Are handmade fans better than pre-made fans?

Rimvita Marcinkeviciute
Rimvita Marcinkeviciute

Founder of RM Lash & Beauty and professional lash expert

Are handmade fans better than pre-made fans?
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If you’ve mastered the art of volume lashes – great work! The time and patience it takes to learn how to create those intricate lash fans is really something to be applauded. 

Whilst Classic lashes require skill, and there is no doubt that volume lash extensions, also commonly known as Russian volume lash extensions, are on a whole different level. 

Due to the time-consuming nature of creating volume lash fans by hand, some lash artists choose to work with pre-made fans. To help you decide whether you should be using pre-made fans or not, we’re providing you with the lash extension fan low-down.

What are volume lashes?

Firstly, in case you’re a newbie exploring the world of eyelash extensions, let’s make sure we’re all on the right page. Volume lash extensions are created by applying multiple extensions to each natural eyelash. 

Next, a ‘fan’ of extensions is created, which adds epic volume to the lashes and helps fill the gaps between sparser lashes. When you’re training, you’ll learn how to create each of those individual fans by hand, which is fiddly, but does create wonderful results. Practice makes perfect!

What’s the difference between handmade and pre-made fans?

Handmade fans are made by the eyelash technician, usually during an appointment. A few extensions are pulled from the strip, fanned and then applied to the client’s natural lashes using lash glue. Sometimes, lash artists will pre-make their own fans ahead of an appointment (these fans are called ‘pre-made fans). This ensures that the client still receives the handmade treatment and saves the lash technician time during the appointment.

On the other hand, pre-made fans are produced externally by a company and are shipped to the eyelash technician. They’re made by machine, and the fans are bonded by a small amount of lash glue, or sometimes by using heat. A lash artist will apply pre-made fans to their clients in the same way as handmade fans.

Are handmade Russian fans better than pre-made fans?

In life, as a rule of thumb, handmade items are always thought of more highly than machine-produced items. Homemade cakes always taste better than store-bought cakes, and a handmade, tailored dress will always fit nicer and be better quality than a dress from a fast-fashion retailer. Lash extension fans are no exception to this rule. Pre-made fans are, of course, convenient and may even be necessary for some technicians to use now and again, but the quality of the finished look will never quite be the same as using handmade fans.

The best thing about handmade fans is that they give you full control. Every client you meet will have a different set of natural lashes – some will be thin and sparse, others will already be thick and full. Creating your own Russian volume fans will give you the freedom to tailor every fan to your client’s needs. You’ll be able to calculate the length, weight and diameter that each fan needs to be, in order to create the desired effect.

Meanwhile, pre-made fans take away a lot of the control you’ll need to create bespoke lashes for your clients. Although there are a variety of different pre-made Russian fans available to purchase, there’s zero room for customisation, and you’ll often find yourself limited on the kind of style you can provide your clients with. Furthermore, when it comes to the lash glue already applied to the pre-made fans, you’ll have no way of telling how much has already been used, so you risk adding a potentially damaging amount of weight to the natural lashes, when attaching the fans with your own glue.

Although they’ll limit your creativity, pre-made Russian fans are useful in some ways. For example, running a business is time-consuming. Aside from attending to your appointments, you need to work on marketing, accounts and a whole host of administrative tasks. Without a doubt, pre-made fans will free up some of the time you spend in your treatment room, allowing you to focus on other aspects of building your business.

Where can I learn how to make handmade volume fans?

If you’re not yet trained in the art of Russian volume lash extensions, this is your sign that it’s time! Here at RM Lash and Beauty, we run our own Russian volume lash extension course, where you’ll be able to learn and practice how to create your own handmade Russian volume fans. Once you graduate, you’ll have the confidence to be able to create handmade fans for your own clients and the skills to continue practising until creating fans is second nature.

All things considered, as the artist, it’s up to you to decide what is best for you. We highly recommend learning to make your own fans, at your own pace, and building those volume fan-making skills. It’s important to remember that it’s about quality, not quantity, and if you find that creating handmade fans increases the length of your appointments – that’s okay. Your clients would much rather have a quality finish, which takes a little more time. If your handmade fans last longer for your clients than pre-mades, it’s clear that, in the long run, handmade fans will be better for you, even if they take longer to master and make.

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