How Kim K Lash Mapping Bridged the Gap Between Perfect Top Lines and Hollywood Volume, and How You Can Do It Too.
Back in the late 2010s, there were two main schools of thought when it came to applying lash extensions – in particular with regards to volume lashes. The more European approach was to create a super even top line with no lash out of place. This was done by paying close attention to the way that lengths were applied to each layer of natural lashes, and was something that was taught on courses and judged at lash extensions competitions. When you hear the term ‘Russian Volume Lashes’, this is the technique that was being referred to. Across the pond, Lash Techs and their clients were favoring a messier, wispy lash look which was being referred to as Hollywood Volume.
Cut to 2017(ish) when Kim Kardashian was branching out of reality stardom and delving into beauty and cosmetics. Her smokey eye looks and stunning lashes were quickly becoming some of the most googled of all Hollywood icons. Thanks to that, European Lash Techs started to look for ways to add that signature wispy effect to their lash sets, while still keeping that super even top line. Now, we have two quite distinct ways of creating a Kim K lash mapping style thanks to cultural preferences and the development of lash looks over time. Here’s how to create both.
Style 1: Just Add Spikes
Kim K mapping bridged a gap for the European audience between those two distinct styles of volume lash mapping that were kind of clashing at the time. It kick-started a shift as well where Lash Techs started to offer clients different kinds of lash looks instead of only doing what was right by the standard of their training – that’s not to say that clients would be unhappy with their lashes, or that no one at all ever wanted a perfectly even top line, rather that there was a fixation on perfection which led to the only real choice for clients being the kind of density they wanted.
A SIDE NOTE: you can create Kim K lashes with just classics; however, it’s far more common to use volume lash fans and closed spikes to create a Kim K lash map, so that’s what we’ve focused on here. If you’re only using classic lashes or are looking for a wispy classic lash extensions look, simply use the same principles we’ll go over with our mapping tips, but choose classic lashes instead.
This initial style of Kim K lash mapping was equally formulaic and still utilized layers to create the look, but featured obvious spikes at regular intervals throughout the set. This style is still really stunning and absolutely a style that has not only stood the test of time, but is also having a bit of a resurgence!
To map a classic Kim K lash style, draw out any of the 4 basic lash mapping styles that will best suit your client, and then at very regular intervals, draw a line to represent a spike – this is easiest to see if you use a different colored pen.
In the interests of keeping your top line super even, you’re going to be paying attention to the way that you apply your extensions to each layer of the natural lashes. On the bottom layer, add your longest length, drop down one millimeter for the middle layer, and another millimeter for the top layer. This way, when your client opens their eyes, the top line will be SO even.
When it comes to the spikes, add 2 millimeters to whatever length you have in the section you’re adding them to, and add a spike on the bottom layer and the top layer so that you maintain the spiky look, even if one of the spikes falls out.
Style 2: Spikes Are King, but Wispy Is Queen
The second way to style a Kim K look is to pay no mind whatsoever to the layers and how perfect and even your top line is – it’s the quintessentially American approach to the style which takes the rebellion of spikes to a new level that favors texture and wispy lashes (who among us doesn’t?).
With this style, you’ll still do well to draw out your lash map and add spikes at regular intervals and apply those first, as it just makes it easier to work around them and build upon your texture. When you’re applying the rest of the lashes, opt for wider, fluffy fans to really make the spikes stand out, and still pick lengths for your spikes that are 2mm longer than the other lashes in that section. When you apply your fans, don’t worry about dropping down a length as you go up a layer, and you’ll naturally achieve a wispier top line.
For a really textured look, use a mixture of wide and narrow fans around your spikes, and don’t be afraid to mix thicknesses either – a wide 4D fan made from 0.05 lashes will look absolutely stunning mixed in with some narrow 2D fans made from 0.10 lashes, all mixed in with 3D spikes made from 0.07.
If you’re none the wiser about lash spikes, we're here to guide you. There are a couple of ways that you can work with spikes – all they really are is closed volume lash fans, so when you take them from the strip, don’t fan them out before you dip them in your glue and apply them.
For a looser spike, just take them from the strip as they are and apply them straight to the lashes. You’ll have to be careful here to not take more lashes than would be typically safe for the client’s natural lashes if they were fanned out – just use your tweezers here to gently push the lashes forward so that you can see how many lashes you have, and take only as many as you would if you were fanning them.
For a more defined spike, take a microfiber brush and add a drop of Lash Primer, dabbing the excess onto a tissue. Now run the brush along the tips of your extensions to keep them together when you take the spike from the strip. When you’re done lashing, all you need to do is brush through the lashes left on the strip with a mascara brush and the lashes will be good as new and ready for creating regular volume fans.
To take out the guesswork and extra steps entirely, simply opt for premade spikes – they’re already a safe size, they come in lengths up to 17mm, and they’re made from the same fiber as our much loved Mayfair faux mink lashes.
One last thing to consider, if you'd like to take out the guesswork and keep the lash set on the lighter side, is to ignore any kind of volume lashes, and instead choose flat lashes to create a lovely wispy hybrid lash set.
For more lash mapping styles that feature spikes, check out these blog posts:
All in all, a Kim K lash mapping style is a lash mapping staple that has paved the way for numerous new wispy lash mapping styles and textured lash looks. As with any style that stands the test of time, you can be as creative as you like – remember that there’s nothing at all stopping you from creating a full set of pink lashes and adding purple spikes, just like there’s nothing to say that you can’t use Easy Fan Lashes to create even more texture and volume in your Kim K lash sets – the world is truly your oyster.