One question I am asked regularly by both lash professionals and clientele is, “What is the difference between premade volume fans and cluster lashes?" (also known as “party lashes” or “tabs”).
These are two very different products in the following ways;
TEMPORARY VS SEMI PERMENANT
Clusters are a temporary service. They are intended to be worn for a maximum of 48hrs and are applied with a temporary adhesive.
Pre-fanned volume extensions are semi-permanent. This means once they have been applied with professional eyelash extension adhesive, they will stay adhered to the natural lash until that lash sheds.
PERSONAL VS PROFESSIONAL
Clusters and their adhesive are available for purchase by the public. They require no training or particular skill to apply.
Pre-fanned volume lashes are a professional product and are to be applied only by a certified eyelash extension technician.
Cluster lashes for personal use | Available at Retail Outlets
APPLICATION VS ISOLATION
Clusters are applied to the lash-line, resting on multiple lashes at once. The temporary nature of the correct adhesive means there should be no damage to the natural lashes. Clusters applied with professional eyelash extension adhesive inhibit proper lash growth and will cause discomfort and damage over time.
Premade volume lashes are applied to the individual natural eyelash. The safe application of the fans causes no natural lashes to be stuck together meaning no discomfort or damage.
HEAVY VS FEATHER LIGHT
Clusters are heavy, with up to ten thick synthetic strands bound at the base by either adhesive or a knot. When incorrectly applied for long-term wear, clusters can cause premature shedding and long-term damage.
Premade volume lashes are ultra-fine 0.07mm synthetic strands, the same weight used for the Russian Volume technique. Many premade volume lashes are bonded together by heat, meaning no extra weight added to the strands by adhesive. Others may have a negligible amount of adhesive holding the strands together.
In summary, clusters do have their place when applied correctly and temporarily. However when it comes to semi-permanent eyelash extensions, there is truly no comparison between clusters & premade volume fans.