The Ultimate Lash Mapping Guide for Beginners

Lash mapping guide

While our classes teach you how to apply extensions to natural lashes, we take our education a step further! Part of ensuring your clients look amazing is creating the perfect shaped lashes for their eyes. Lash mapping is the technique we use to plan which length, curl level, and thickness you’ll use in each area to create a dramatic, stylish look. 

Explore our lash mapping guide today to learn about this essential part of extension application.

Your Tools

To ensure proper lash mapping, you’ll need a few tools, including:

  • Eyeliner
  • Gel pads
  • Color pen (contrast color from client’s hair)
  • Lash extensions (several styles)

Start Assessing

The first step in our eyelash mapping guide is assessing your client's face and eyes to determine what suits them best. While some clients already come in with an idea of what they want, others trust you to know what’s best. Some of the most important features to consider include:

  • Eye Shape: Are they round, monolid, or almond? Does your client have hooded eyes? Are their eyes symmetrical, large, or small?
  • Eye Angle: Regardless of shape, eyes angle in several directions and could be straight, upturned, or downturned.
  • Eye Spacing: Does your client have wide-set eyes? Eyes that are very close together?
  • Natural Lash Strength: The strength of your client’s natural lashes will determine the length and fullness of their extensions, as fine lashes won’t be able to support heavy extensions.
  • Natural Lash Curl: Do your client’s lashes curl upwards? Are they straight or downward pointing?
  • Brow Shape and Location: You want to complement and balance the brows and lashes, so one doesn’t overwhelm the other.
  • Face Shape: The width of your client's face will affect the end result of your lash application. Narrow faces are easily overwhelmed by long lashes.

After your evaluation, take your client’s desires into consideration and explain how the lashes you select will fit their face and needs. You might also have to work around glasses, makeup preferences, and more.

Creating Your Lash Mapping Guide

Closeup of a woman’s eye with lash extensions

Now that you have an idea of what you’re doing with a client’s lashes, you can start detailing your plan in an eyelash mapping guide:

  • Map on the Skin

Have your client sit straight with their eyes open and looking ahead. Ask them to keep their face as neutral and immobile as possible. 

Place dots on their face with your makeup pencil where you want the longest lashes to be. We recommend placing these as close to the lash line as possible. Mark sections for other lash types along their lid, so you know what you’re doing once the client closes their eyes.

  • Apply the Eye Pads

Next in our lash mapping guide is applying the gel pads to your client’s eyes while they’re still open. The pads should cover the lower lashes completely, pressed firmly down to stay in place the entire time you’re working.

  • Map on the Pads

You’ll want to create a secondary eyelash mapping guide once the pads are in place and your client’s eyes are closed. This time, use your colorful pen to mirror the markings from their skin onto the pads.

Once you transfer the dots, continue drawing lines along the gel pad to show which extension goes where and how long it should be. Add notes for yourself about curl and style in each section on a separate sheet.

Existing Lash Mapping Guides

If creating your own eyelash mapping guide seems daunting, don’t worry! Several mapping guides already exist, and you can adapt them to suit your clients. You might have already heard of some of these!

  • Cat Eye Lash Mapping Guide

One of the most popular styles, Cat Eye Lashes start with short extensions at the inner eye and gradually grow longer to the exterior of the eye. This look is easy, dramatic, and classic. Be wary of applying this look to every client, though, as the Cat Eye makes faces with downward-turning eyes look droopy and sad.

  • Squirrel Eyelash Mapping Guide

For the Squirrel map, also known as a Flick, you want to put the longest lashes near the middle of the lash line. The best way to find the placement for these lashes is to apply them at the arch of the brow. Then, you taper shorter lashes on either side to the outer corner of the eye.

  • Doll Eye Lash Mapping Guide

Similar to the Squirrel map, the Doll Eye map has the longest lashes in the center with tapering extensions to the corner. However, for this look, your longest lashes should be dead center on the eye line, instead of following the brow line.

Dos and Don’ts

A young woman smiling

Here are some general rules to keep your mapping precise and your clients happy.

  • Don’t skip mapping on the skin before marking your eye pads. When the eyes are open, the map looks completely different!
  • Don’t follow a client’s natural lash length. Modify based on what will enhance their eye.
  • Don’t assume longer is better. Some clients do better with shorter, thicker lashes.
  • Do pay attention to the inner corner of the eye. You can keep lashes here short!
  • Do use length at the outer corners to make close-set eyes look far apart.
  • Do use length in the middle to balance wide-set eyes.
  • Do graduate the lashes by alternating two lengths for a small space before moving on.
  • Do choose curls carefully. You might find yourself using different curls on each eye and even along the same lash line.

Time to Get Started

Your one guiding principle when it comes to lash mapping is that everyone is different. You won’t have a one-size fits all solution. So even if you start with one of the existing lash mapping guides, you’ll need to make modifications based on what’s in front of you.

If you want more guidance and support on your lash mapping journey, join one of our classes in person to ask questions and find answers.

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