Signs of Bad Eyelash Extensions

Signs of Bad Eyelash Extensions

As professional lash technicians, and even as a client, bad eyelash extensions are quite literally our biggest nightmare. We do not want to apply bad lash extensions just as much as the client does not want to receive them. That being said, it can be a learning process. We go through hundreds of hours of courses in order to get professionally certified. 

Since it is a learning process, chances are you will not have the most perfect technique the first couple of times. That is why practice is so important and getting certified is a must. 

How Can I Become a Lash Professional?

Sugarlash PRO created the Academy Partner Program for those who are looking for groundbreaking lash products and training. The Academy Partner program was developed to raise the standards of the lash industry once and for all. 

Partner Academies use our cutting-edge products and education to improve the quality of lash services, the skill levels of lash artists, and support within the lash community. 

We know that becoming a professional is not for everybody, but for those who are interested, you’re definitely in the right place. Our courses are also a great way to increase your current level of knowledge if you are already a lash pro.  

Signs of Bad Extensions

As professionals, we can tell when lash extensions are done properly or not. Lash extensions are an art of their own, so making sure our clients trust our judgment and our skill is crucial. If a client asks what the signs of bad extensions are, there are a few things you can bring their attention to.

Honesty is the best policy. Letting your clients know what exactly to look out for is extremely helpful. Some of the telling signs of bad extensions include:

  • Redness or swollen eyes 
  • Clients cannot brush through their lash extensions
  • Lash extensions lay out in ways that they should not be 
  • They look or feel uncomfortable
  • All of the lash extensions are the same length across your eye
  • Burning of the eyes or eyelid area 
  • A pulling or sore sensation in areas along the lash line
  • Using lash flares or cluster lashes instead of lash extensions 

We will go into the details of every telltale sign, but offer your clients this quick list of signs to watch out for. 

What Clients Should Be Looking Out For

Bad extensions (that you have not done yourself) are typically a sign that your client should either avoid the technician who applied them, or it could be time to remove them altogether. 

Again, this is not an ideal scenario for your client to be in, but the signs are pretty obvious. You, as a professional lash technician, can offer them advice and knowledge about bad lash extensions in hopes that they avoid this in the future. 

Redness or Swollen Eyes

One of the most obvious signs is if the client’s eyes are extremely red or swollen. There should never be any discomfort with lash extensions. Red or swollen eyes can mean you're sensitive to the lash adhesive or becoming allergic to the lash adhesive.

If your client is experiencing an allergic reaction to the lashes, chances are they will figure that out within the first day of having them.

Make sure you let your clients know that if they ever experience any swelling or redness, that they can use a cold compress to help relieve some of the pain and should book for a lash removal ASAP. They should be advised to seek professional medical advice.

You Cannot Brush Through Your Lashes

Another one of the main signs that your client has bad extensions is if you cannot brush through their lashes. When lash extensions are applied correctly, they should be applied with minimal glue and to one natural eyelash at a time. 

As a lash technician, you know that a mascara wand should be able to glide seamlessly through the lashes. Chances are if you or your client cannot do so, there is too much glue that has been used or the natural lashes were not isolated properly. 

Those lashes need some isolation from one another, so make sure that you are using the correct amount of glue when placing the lash extension onto the natural lashes and only ever bond an extension to one natural lash.

Lash Extensions Laying Oddly

Lash extensions are simply that: an extension of the client’s natural lashes. This means that when the extensions are attached to the lash, they should somewhat mimic the way the client’s natural lashes lay. If your lashes are pulling in different directions over time, it's a sign that they are not isolated properly, and you have multiple lashes adhered together which will cause damage over time. 

Lashes should always be comfortable to wear. When a client’s eyelash extensions grow out, they should not be irritating the client in the slightest. If they feel any discomfort, it means that more than one lash is attached together or stuck to their skin. It is important to remind them that each lash is at a different growth stage during the lash cycle. 

As a lash professional, remember those lash extensions should never be applied to the skin. The adhesive is not designed for contact with skin and will definitely result in the clogging of the client’s pores. This could eventually lead to certain issues or an allergic reaction

They Look or Feel Unnatural 

You should have learned that you never use extensions that are too long for the innermost corner. Since it is such a short area of natural lashes, we are trained to know what exact size lash extension should be used during a certain area of the lash. 

If the lashes are too long towards the inner corner, it creates a very unbelievable appearance which the client will most likely not want. Remember, lash extensions should look believable, natural, and beautiful.

Using too long or too heavy of an extension leads to traction stress on the lashes, and will thin them out over time. Ensure all extensions are suited to your client’s natural lash density, and length, and extend them an appropriate amount that can be maintained safely long term. Need help knowing which lash lengths and diameters are appropriate? Check out our ACADEMY COURSES

Burning Sensation

Another sign to tell your clients to look out for would be a burning sensation. We know to ensure that the client’s eyes are closed throughout the entirety of the process. However, if the client’s eyes are burning during and after the appointment, the correct safety procedures were not followed. 

Sometimes there can be a slight opening to the eye even when the gel pads are applied and the clients eyes are closed. One should never perform a lash extension procedure if the eye is exposed at all, as the adhesive is an irritant to mucous membranes and can irritate the cornea.

One other reason there can be burning is from the gel pad holding the lower lashes down, being placed within the water line and rubbing the eye during the appointment. When applying gel pads, ensure the waterline of the client is fully visible so that the eyeball is covered fully and there is no chance of irritation.

Applying lash extensions should be a fun and painless process for everyone! If your client is uncomfortable or in pain, make sure that the proper protocols are being followed. You can also remind them that ANY burning is not normal regardless of the technician. 

Extensions Are Falling Out

When lash extensions shed, you should see the natural lash attached to the base. This means that the extension bond has held through the entire lifespan of the eyelash, and they have shed together naturally. If your extensions are falling out without a natural lash attached, it is called premature loss. It means the adhesive bond has weakened and that the client isn't getting the lifespan they should from their service.

Premature shedding is caused by not cleansing the natural lashes before the appointment (the bonds are weak as they dont have a clean, strong base to adhere to), or through improper home care.

Incorrect Lashes Used

The worst kind of lash extension is the one that uses lash flares or cluster lashes. These knotted, outdated lash types were only ever intended to be worn as strip lashes, and never to be applied with a professional lash extension adhesive. 

They are too heavy to be worn safely full time as they cannot be adhered to only one natural lash. Anytime something is adhered to the eye that is bonded to multiple natural lashes, it should be removed weekly, if not daily.

Classic and Volume lash extensions are both applied individually to each hair to ensure a healthy shed cycle and a maximized effect that can safely be worn for years. 


We know just how much time, money, and effort goes into perfectly applying lash extensions. Our clients are extremely important to us, and they represent a living form of our artwork. Making sure you and your clients know what to look out for can benefit both parties in the long run. If you want the absolute best lashes for your clients, turn to Sugarlash PRO. 


Eyelash Extension Side Effects | Healthline

Infected Eye: Types, Causes, and Treatment | Medical News Today 

Eyelash Extension Allergic Reactions: What to Know | Medical News Today

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