A Simple Guide to Eyelash Extension Styles and Shapes

by Joan Wong

With the vast lash extensions styles and types to choose from, it might be hard to explain each one to your client. Most especially to new lash lovers because they won’t have any idea what works better for them. In this case, you should be able to explain easily so your clients can make a well informed decision.

This will also show your clients that you are a knowledgeable and experienced lash tech and help earn their trust.

Here are the eyelash extension types and styles that you should definitely explain to your clients:

Lash Extension Types

The most frequently asked question by lash lovers during eyelash extension application is “what is the difference between classic, hybrid, volume, and mega volume lash extensions?”

To put it simply, these categories refer to the technique the technician uses to achieve a certain fullness. Generally speaking, clients that are new to eyelash extensions start with a classic set or hybrid then work up to one of the volume sets, depending on how full they want their lashes. 

Clients will appreciate the knowledge you provide and many will want your recommendations on which style looks the most flattering for their particular eye shape. If you are being asked to make a recommendation, remember to pick a style that matches or compliments your client’s lifestyle and needs. For example, a client who requests a more natural look will not want a long mega volume set, instead suggest starting with a classic set.

Classic lash extensions

This type is called a classic for a reason. Classic eyelash extensions are simple, beautiful, timeless, and natural-looking. If your client wants to look gorgeous every day without putting on a lot of eye makeup, this is the way to go.

Classic eyelash extensions on woman. Cartel Lash

It is not too overpowering and glamorous. But the best thing about classic lash extensions is that they look natural and are great for first-timers. 

Classic lash extensions are applied on a 1:1 ratio. Meaning, you will apply one lash extension to one natural lash. This set adds natural fullness and length because the fullness you achieve depends solely on how many natural lashes a client has. The drawback to this style is that clients wishing for fuller sets will need to upgrade to a hybrid or volume set.

The whole classic eyelash extension application can take from 1.5 hours to 2 hours, depending on the look your client wants to achieve. 

Hybrid lashes

It is exactly as the name suggests, hybrid. A mixture of two different lash extension techniques. Hybrid eyelash extensions are a mixture of classic and volume eyelash extensions. There is no exact ratio used for applications for hybrids, it really is dependent on the look your client wants and the lash artists personal style. For example, an artist could first apply classic lashes to roughly 50% of the natural lashes and then work in volume fans to the remaining lashes to achieve the desired fullness.

Hybrid eyelash extensions on woman. Cartel Lash

This is a great way to enjoy both the natural look from classic lashes and the bold look from volume fans. 

The most common example of celebrities who go for volume lash extensions is the Kardashians. If your client wants that same look but a bit more toned down and natural, go for a hybrid set. Having said that, Kim Kardashian’s lash style became very popular with clients as they liked the look of alternating peaks (of classic extensions) and the fullness (of volume fans). Length can play a big role in how dramatic a set can look as well, so don’t forget to ask clients about their preferred length during their consultation. 

Depending on the look your client is wanting to achieve, hybrid applications can take 1.5 - 3 hours.

Volume lashes

This type is also called volume lash extensions, Volume lashes give a more dramatic and fuller look. This is great if your client is going to an event that requires a more glamorous look. Many clients that request volume sets also like the look of false lashes or strip lashes.

Russian lash extensions on woman. Cartel Lash

The main idea here is you, the lash artist will have to apply multiple lash extensions on 1 single natural lash. The lash extensions used for this are very light to make sure that the weight is not be too heavy on your natural lashes causing breakage and damage. Usually, the  diameters (thickness) range from 0.03 up to 0.07 mm.

The number of lash extensions applied will vary depending on the look your client wants to have and how healthy their own natural lashes are. Typically, volume fans can be composed of 2-6 extensions or more (any more than 6 can be considered mega volume).

Volume lash extensions usually take at least 2 hours up to 3 hours, sometimes even longer depending on the fullness. 

Mega Volume Lashes

This can only be done by an expert and experienced lash technician. Because the lashes used for this type are very thin, usually 0.03mm in diameter. It takes a lot of precision and practice to be able to properly and accurately apply each lash extension.

Mega volume lashes on woman. Cartel Lash

Mega volume lashes are great for clients who want to have an edgy and super full look. The only requirement for this type of extension is your client needs to have strong and healthy natural lashes to be able to hold mega volume lashes. Otherwise, your natural lashes will not be able to hold the extensions causing them to break and fall off, potentially permanently damaging their natural lashes and growth cycle. 

If your client is an ideal candidate and wants to have mega volume lash extensions, make sure to put emphasis on their need to thoroughly clean their eyelashes. Dirt, dust, and debris tend to stick to the lashes and will need a thorough daily cleaning. Make sure to teach them how to properly clean their eyelash extensions.

The whole service could take up to 3 hours.

When you are explaining the lash extension types, it is best to ask your client first the look they want to achieve. This way, you can easily narrow down their choices. Have them bring in a photo of what they want or show them photos of your own work, this is a great way to ensure you are both on the same page. Don’t forget to check the health of their natural lashes because certain techniques may not work for them. 

Lash Extension Styles

Aside from lash extension types or techniques, there are also eyelash extensions styles to take into consideration. Make sure to let your clients know about this. 

Eyelash Extension Style Chart. of Types and Shapes for the eye. Cartel Lash

Here are the most common lash styles offered by artists and lash salons:

Doll Eye

The most common example of celebrities with the doll eye are Megan Fox and Jessica Alba.

Its main goal is to provide more open and larger-looking eyes. The main concentration (the longest lengths of extensions you are using) is located at the center of the eyes. Simply put, long lashes are applied at the middle of each lash line making your eyes look bigger and fuller.

This is ideal for clients with wide-set eyes or downturned (dropping) eyes or for those who want a more open eye look. If your client has round protruding eyes, the doll eye is not for them because they will make you look more surprised or even alarmed.

Cat Eye

The most common examples of celebrities with the cat eye are Angelina Jolie and Taylor Swift.

Before and after of eyelash extension treatment. Cat eye style. Cartel Lash

This is the usual go-to for lash clients. Unlike the doll eyes where longer lashes are concentrated at the middle, the cat eye styles main concentration is on the outer corners. The longer lengths at the end of the eye, help to elongate the eye giving a cat eye like appearance, hence the name of this style.

If your client has rounder protruding or close-set eyes, the cat eye style is the way to go. I do not recommend this style for those clients with downturned eyes because it will make your eyes look more exaggerated and droopy.

Natural Eye

The most common example of a celebrity with natural eyelashes is Blake Lively.

This style refers to the fullness you want to achieve. Natural eyelashes tend to not add too much volume to your lashes, while still giving your eyes a bold mascara look. A natural set can enhance a client’s eye without being too overpowering and dramatic. This style is great for everyday wear, especially for clients that wear little to no eye makeup.

Dramatic Eye

The most common example of celebrities with dramatic eyelashes are the Kardasians.

This style provides more volume, giving your clients fluffier and thicker lashes.

If your client has sparse and fine natural lashes, you can use volume fans to make their lashes look more dramatic, but unfortunately they may not get the fullness they desire if their natural lashes are too sparse. Meaning, a client can only achieve a certain level of fullness based on their own natural lash density. 

Beautiful woman with long eyelashes getting Eyelash extension treatment. Cartel Lash

How to navigate a client consult

For new clients, a consultation can be very confusing as there are so many options to consider. It is best to provide easy explanations to their questions and offer recommendations based on what you think would accentuate their eye shape and natural lash health.

Eye shape

Not all styles can be applied to a certain eye shape. Does your client have downturned eyes, almond-shaped eyes, round, upturned, etc? This will greatly limit the style and type of lash extensions that you can do on your client. You have to let your client know about this so they will not insist on a style that doesn’t work for them.

Face shape

Yes, your client’s face shape will help decide the eyelash extension style. If your client has a long or thin face, avoid super long lash extensions. For clients with a round face, avoid styles that put emphasis on the outer corners of the eyes because it will make their faces look wider. Go for a doll eye with longer lashes in the center.

Set of different types woman face. Oval, diamond, square, round, triangle shapes for eyelash extensions. Cartel Lash

Size of the eyes

Does your client have small eyes, large eyes, or something in between? Choose a style that will flatter the size of their eyes.

Orientation of the eyes

The orientation and how far apart your client’s eyes are will greatly affect the eyelash extension style. For example, if your client has close-set eyes, I highly recommend going for cat-eye. Because it adds length to the eyes making them look longer. Check whether your client has wide-set, deep-set, or close-set eyes. 

Eye color

The client’s eye color will affect the color of the extensions you can apply. Generally, most artists only carry black extensions making this option easy to consider.

State of the natural lashes

You need to consider the health and state of your client’s natural eyelashes. The natural lashes need to be healthy and strong to be able to avoid breakages especially if your client wants volume lashes and mega volume.

Type of eyelids

Does your client have monolids or hooded eyelids? If your client has hooded eyelids, I highly recommend an open-eye style that adds length and fullness to the eyes. Meanwhile, for clients with monolids, suggest a cat eye because it adds length to the outer corners of the eyes making it look more elongated.


You always have to consider your client’s preferences. This is the most important thing to consider. Make sure the look and style you do will make your client feel great about themselves.

Comparison of female eyes before and after of Eyelash Extension. Cartel Lash

In choosing the style and type of lash extensions for your client, I highly recommend taking into consideration their personal style and opinion. Remember that a photo goes a long way- this can bridge any communication issues between you and your client, making all the difference during a consultation.

Visit Cartel Lash for all your lash supply needs.