This is an interesting one, you may be considering eyelash extensions or you may be a regular wearer, and you probably have heard of Russian volume and think this is the holy grail of eyelash extensions in London… Today we are going to break down the myths and explain exactly what you are considering buying… and why, in many cases, it may not be right.
Very quickly, Russian volume eyelash extensions is the process of applying between 2- 6 very light eyelashes to one single eyelash (read the definitive guide on the treatment here) individual eyelash extensions is a term for one single eyelash extension per human lash.
Before we start it’s worth mentioning that Moka & Sarah mainly list individual eyelash extensions at our Shoreditch office with volume included in our premium sets, so you may think that’s why we are propagating the notion that Russian volume isn’t the best option. However, I promise that is not the case. In fact, Moka is highly skilled at performing the treatment and has done for many years, she also has seen the best trainers globally in performing the treatment just to be certain that what we discuss below is accurate. We minimise it on our London eyelash extension menu as most customers think that’s what’s best for them when actually, the look they are aiming for is created with individual or feathered eyelash extensions. We do recommend it in certain cases which will be discussed later.
So why does the customer’s mind see Russian Volume as the best option?
A higher price tag
More eyelashes applied leading to the belief that it will last longer
it is marketed as appearing more beautiful
Let’s break these down (In all of these examples we are assuming you are seeing a technician for Russian volume who is highly skilled and applying correctly):
A higher price tag
This is due to the additional time in application and the skill required to master it. In addition, there is costly training involved for the therapist. Both of these are important for the technician in pricing but have less bearing on the overall look for the client. The actual product costs per treatment are only marginally higher than individual.
More eyelashes applied understandably instils the belief that it will last longer, but that’s generally not the case… Every renowned volume trainer we have seen has advised that Russian volume will not last as long as individual eyelash extensions or the feathering technique.
Now you would think more lashes applied would mean the opposite of this. When applying an individual/feathered extension to the natural lash we use a wrapping and sealing technique that Moka developed to ensure the maximum adhesion without damage to the natural lash. We also use minimal thickness to prevent eyelash loss. This is different from the way that some current UK training advises, but over the years, Moka has found it results in longer bonding and no damage. It’s the gold standard of application in Japan. The individual eyelash extension is bonded around the eyelash and designed to only shed when the natural eyelash comes to the end of its life cycle. When I lose an eyelash I can’t help but marvel at Moka’s craftsmanship every single time!
When applying Russian volume you can only have the Russian lashes and the natural eyelash connected by a 1mm area as opposed to the 3 – 4 mm for individual/ feathered application. Russian volume lashes can only be applied with a pinprick of glue or they will look clumpy and unnatural. With individual you can be slightly more generous with the adhesive without this affecting the overall look.
Therefore, with Russian volume, the bond is weaker (through no fault of the technician) than individual or feathering and they tend to shed prior to the natural lash. Given then that the 2-6 lash fans tend to shed as a whole fan, the gaps created are much more noticeable than other application styles and infills are required much more regularly.
It will appear more beautiful?
This is the crux of it, the main reason our London eyelash extension clients would like the treatment is to a) make their eyes stand out and their lashes appear longer b) convenience of reduced make up routine. Given that Russian volume sheds faster and requires more upkeep, reason b) can be seen as a given to choose individual eyelash extensions.
Back to a), we believe that eyelash extensions should enhance your natural beauty and make your eyes stand out. The way we actually achieve this is by creating space between each individual or feathered eyelash extensions using varying lengths and textures. This is a good example of a client who wished to achieve that effect:
The design follows the brow bone and defines the eye without overwhelming it, it also doesn’t look like false strip lashes. They could conceivably be the clients own.
If the using volume technique or thick individual eyelash extensions you can risk shrinking and overwhelming the eye. Here is an example of what appears to be a 4-6D Russian eyelash extension set, it’s long and full but dominates and shrinks the eye. This is fine if the client wants a false lash look, but often this results in the eyes appearing smaller even with longer volume extensions.
Interestingly, you will rarely see the A-list celebrities wearing Russian volume over a 3D, When wearing volume at all they will blend 2- 4D with individual to avoid the eye shrinkage caused by a solid mass of black. Models very rarely wear more than a natural individual set.
When mixing volume with individual you can create a base for longer looks that open the eye, as Moka has done here (notice the space between longer individual extensions which make the eye appear larger):
Benefits of Russian Eyelash Extensions
Russian eyelash extensions are beautifully soft as the lashes tend to be half the width of an individual extension so they feel much softer when you touch them… however, you shouldn’t touch your eyelash extensions as that could mean you will lose them faster. Japanese Feathering is also crafted with ultra-fine volume eyelashes but offers a much better retention, with our clients requiring a Rebalance appointment at 5 weeks.
If you have sparse, gappy eyelashes due to your genes or previous surgery then we find volume is a brilliant way to blend the gaps! We would still highly recommend applying and individual volume mix as seen above to achieve a beautiful, eye-opening design.
You may find the overall look of volume works much better for you if your eyes are very far apart and you have high cheekbones… this face shape actually suits the shorter, dark density created by Russian volume.
Here is the perfect example of this:
Given the distance between her eyes, there’s no risk of making them appear too close together by applying a heavier design. If she wore too long a look it’s going to increase the distance and wouldn’t suit her. Although her eyes are small in comparison to the rest of her face they are oblong as opposed to round. Which is far more suited to a volume look. It’s not a coincidence that Kate was the face of many volume mascara brands for Rimmel!
We hope this article has been helpful, volume lashes are fantastic, but for many clients, they are (surprisingly) not the best option.