Remember when there was just one of everything? Me neither. For the past 20 years or so, it seems that we’ve been inundated with choices. Whether you’re shopping for crackers or cars, there are too many options—and too many opinions. It can be overwhelming. The same is true for the tools of the trade of a professional lasher. Some choices, of course, are more critical than others, and the right eyelash extension tweezers can mean the difference between success and failure in your lashing business, especially if you’re just starting out. That’s why we went straight to the source, talking to top brands and experienced lashers to get the full scoop on eyelash extension tweezers.
Choosing the right tweezers really comes down to personal preference. Ultimately, though, you’re looking for a tool that makes your job easier. Before shopping for a new pair of tweezers, ask yourself questions to identify what you need: Are you looking to replace your pick-up or isolation tweezers? Do you use Classic or Volume lashes? Which length do you prefer? What’s your dominant hand? Once you’ve narrowed down what you’re looking for, you can start trying out different ones. “I always recommend actually picking up tweezers and testing their weight, balance and grip,” says Soo-Jin Yang, founder/CEO of Illumino. “You want a good fit for your hand because, when held for a long period of time, the tweezers become like an extension of your fingers.” For lash artists who rely so heavily on their forceps, fit and comfort are very important, and there’s no substitute for a test run. “The benefits of trying out a few pairs include learning what works for you and your technique, and learning what lashes are compatible with each technique you use,” says NovaLash brand ambassador Zoe Kinnear, owner of The Powder Room by Zoe. Once you’ve tested out a few options, the key is to choose a pair and commit to them.
It’s also quite common to discover that there isn’t just one tool that does it all. Many pros use different tweezers for different jobs; some even use different ones in each hand. “I use a certain style of tweezer for isolating when I’m applying bottom lashes, and then swap out my tweezers when I’m attaching the top lashes,” says Yang. “You always want the length, curve and shape of the tweezers to keep your wrists from becoming overworked.” Lasher Zachary Falb, a NovaLash global master trainer, utilizes different tools for each hand. “I’ve always used one straight and one fine-tip curved tool in my lash services,” he says. “My hands love how they feel, and I never get muscle strain.” The best lashers are familiar with a variety of styles so they’re never off their lash game.
There are many factors that contribute to the quality of a set of tweezers—from precision to comfort to material—and all of them can have an affect on how the tools perform and feel in your hand. To begin with, look for where the forceps are manufactured; most of the pros we talked to find that the best tweezers come from Germany, Switzerland and Japan, due to the lightweight material and level of precision. Look for surgical steel or stainless steel implements, as it’s vital that the tweezers have a high corrosion threshold and can stand up to regular sanitation and disinfection procedures.
It’s also important to look at closure. When sampling new tweezers, hold the tips up to the light to check for an even seal across the tip. If it looks right, then test it for pick-up and isolation. According to Jenelle Paris, founder of Lash Affair, every pair of isolation and Classic pickup tweezers should be able to isolate three lashes and pick up three Classic lashes. Every pair of Volume tweezers should be able to pick up a 4D .07 diameter fan.
Comfort is also an essential feature of tweezers, as you’ll be holding and working with them for long periods of time. The easier they are to open and close, the less hand fatigue you’ll experience. Kinnear recommends going to trade shows to explore the different options on the market. “Often brands will have their tweezers on display so potential customers can get a feel for them,” she says. Test the tension by squeezing the implement open and closed a few times. You want to feel light tension; if it’s too tight, hand fatigue and cramping will likely result. “Great, long- lasting tweezers are made of high-quality steel with a mix of metals to resist rust and corrosion,” says Yang. “They should also have even tips, balanced bases and close perfectly with the tips touching first.”
As a pro lasher, you can never have too many tweezers. The minimum, advises Yang, is “three pairs, so you can rotate them in between clients.” While one pair is being disinfected, you have another clean pair to work with, and then it’s always a good idea to have an extra set in case something happens to one during the service. “I always have two spare sets of tweezers on hand,” Falb says. “In the rare case of dropping my favorites, I always have an identical backup pair.”
Once you have your set of three to four tweezers, now you have to keep them clean. There are a few options for ensuring that your tools are sanitized and disinfected. First, before disinfecting, you must clean the implement, removing all dirt and adhesive. The pros at Premier Lash recommend using a soft cloth over a brush, which can “cause mild scratches rendering the tweezers prone to brown staining,” with a neutral (pH 7) solution or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. “A good antibacterial spray is handy if you’re a mobile lash artist,” suggests Kinnear, “and a quick dip in acetone helps remove any adhesive you might find on your tools,” she says. Never leave your instrument soaking in acetone, as that can eat away at the protective layer and corrode the tweezers. Once clean, you must disinfect your metal implements. “We recommend using a plastic sanitizing tray, as it completely submerges your tools in solution without fear of damaging the tips,” says Paris. “If you do use a glass jar, put your tweezers in with the tips facing up so they don’t hit the glass, resulting in damage or bending them.” Always leave your tools in the solution for the recommended time—not longer. And while sterilization is an option (i.e. the use of an autoclave), it’s not necessary if the proper steps of sanitation and disinfection are employed. The use of extreme heat can weaken the fragile tips of the tweezers over extended periods of time, notes Kinnear.
Finally, protect your tools when they’re not in use to ensure that they last for a long time. “Never leave your tweezers unattended, as they can accidentally get knocked on the floor by you or a client,” says Falb. Store tweezers in a protective case with the silicone tips on the ends. A tweezer roll is a great way to store and protect your tweezers when traveling or if you work as a mobile lasher.
Dollars & Sense
How much should a high-quality pair of tweezers set you back? Well, it depends. Options start at $5 a pair and can go up to $200, although in general, an average pair of quality tweezers runs between $20 and $30, while higher-end pairs start at $60. “For a good set of basic tools, you should expect to pay around $25 plus tax for tweezers,” explains Zoe Kinnear, owner of The Powder Room by Zoe. “Once you advance a little more, you can upgrade your tools.” Ultimately, when it comes to your eyelash career, you don’t want to compromise on your products or your tools. Find tweezers that fit your budget and that you’re comfortable using. Expensive ones don’t necessarily mean better performance. After all, pricey tweezers get damaged just as easily as inexpensive pairs when dropped!
1. NovaLash Diamond Volume Forceps: The tweezers allow you to grasp the thinnest, most delicate extensions with ease without slipping due to the textured tips made of 100-percent real crushed natural diamonds.
2. Glad Lash SA Series Tweezers: The lightweight, antimagnetic tools allow you to isolate lashes and place extensions with precision.
3. PremierLash 45° Angle Tweezers 5.5”: Designed for comfort and precision, the balanced lightweight design features a curved precision tip and loose camber to reduce hand fatigue.
4. Illumino J-Style Tweezers: When working with mega-Volume lashes, the broad base of these tweezers makes grasping wide fans effortless.
5. Lash Affair by J. Paris Size Matters: The angled tip of these gold-plated stainless steel tweezers guarantees precise isolation, while the opposite end acts as a measuring tool, allowing you to size-up natural lashes against extensions.
6. JB Lashes Pro Volume Tweezer Kit: Feather-light 12mm-length handles and minimal tension reduce hand fatigue, while the holographic finish adds a flashy touch.
– by Nada Manley
[Images: Courtesy of manufacturers; Getty Images]