Anatomy of a Lash Set: How to Manage Your Time During A Set of Lash Extensions

Some of us are excellent at time management, and some of us are, well, less excellent. Regardless of whether you plan your days to the minute or freestyle your way through life, it’s well worth getting an idea of roughly how much time to spend on each part of your eyelash extensions treatments – too little time allocated to your appointments can lead to rushed or unfinished work, skipping steps leading to client discomfort, and overrunning appointments leading to disgruntled clients or missed lunch breaks.

Too much time and you’re effectively doing yourself out of additional clients or reducing the time you can spend on other areas of your business. Plus if you book a client in for two hours and you’re done in one hour 30, they’re likely to think you’ve been skipping steps, even though you haven’t. That being said, it’s better to allocate more time than you might need, especially when you’re first starting out, as this allows you to really do your best work! So, how long does a lash set take, and why?

What Do You Need to Do?

The first thing to keep in mind is that a lash appointment isn’t just lashes being applied – there’s a lot more to it than that! You need to make time for:

  • The Consultation
  • Pre-Treatment
  • Getting Set Up
  • Lash Mapping
  • Application
  • Stickie Check
  • Finishing Off
  • Photos
  • Aftercare Advice
  • Rebooking

Let’s have a look at each one in turn to see why each step is necessary, and to get an idea of how long we should be spending on each step. 

A close up photo of a set of classic lash extensions.

The Consultation

This will be different depending on whether your client is coming to you for the first time or if they’ve been to you before – if their lash set is for an event such as a wedding, it’s also worth spending longer on the consultation so that you can ensure everything is perfect. The long and short of it though, is that consultations for eyelash extensions are really important!

On a client’s first visit, you’ll need to figure out what it is that they want, what it is that will work best for them, and what their lashes are like so that you know which lengths and curls to pick in order to create a lash look that will complement them. Also go over any policies you have that they don't already know from the booking process, and get them to have a look over any forms you need them to fill out for you, and just take a chance to build a little bit of rapport with them. With new clients, set aside around 15 minutes to complete the consultation.

For returning clients coming for a lash fill, it’s worth just setting aside 5 minutes or so just to make sure they are happy to maintain the same look, or if they are in the mood to switch things up a bit. If they want a complete overhaul, it’s worth booking them in for a full treatment and not just a lash fill, but if they're just in the mood to add some colored lash extensions, that’s easy enough to do during a fill! 

One last thing it’s worth mentioning is that consultations can be booked separately to the appointment, which will be good practice if your client wants something a bit more bespoke and you need to order in additional lashes – wedding clients are especially good to have a separate consultation with, as well as a lash trial just to ensure you’re getting it exactly right for them! 


Eyelash Extensions Pre-Treatment is something that cannot ever be skipped! If someone comes in late you can speed up this stage, but be careful to not leave out any products which will mean that your retention is negatively impacted. To put it simply, remember these three golden rules of Pre-Treatment: 

  1. Lash Shampoo can be used as a bare minimum, one step routine 
  2. You need to cleanse the skin around the eyes as well as the lashes, otherwise your eye patches will be the most annoying thing you’ve ever encountered
  3. If you use Cleanser, you MUST follow it with Primer

For the full pre-treatment routine, you’re looking at around 15 minutes. 

a gif showing lash shampoo being dispensed and brushed into the lashes

Getting Set Up

Hopefully you have a well-organized lash trolley which you keep nice and tidy (if you don’t, take this as your sign to get on that!), in which case, your setup time will essentially be a case of putting the lash strips you’re going to use onto your lash palette – this will take only 5 minutes for a new client, and if you organize your lash palettes by client already, it’ll take less than 30 seconds! 

Lash Mapping

Lash Mapping is important. At the heart of a career in lashing is a desire to help others feel their absolute best, so why would you not take the time during a lash appointment to apply the lashes that will suit them based not only on the kind of look they’re looking for, but on their eye shape, face shape and bone structure? 

You’ll have chosen which lash mapping style you’re going to use during the consultation, so this is really just a case of drawing it onto your eye patches to ensure the mapping is consistent across both eyes. This will take you 5 minutes at most. 


So far we’ve spent 40 minutes maximum getting ready to start application, assuming you did your consultation as part of the appointment and didn’t have it earlier. Lash application will depend a lot on which type of lash set you’re applying – classic lash extensions will be the fastest, followed by hybrid eyelash extensions, followed by volume lashes (unless you’re using premade lash fans) – and also on your experience level, as beginners typically apply extensions a little more slowly than lash technicians who have been lashing for longer. 

Generally speaking, you’re looking at an application time somewhere in the region of: 

  • 60-90 minutes for Classic Lashes
  • 90-120 minutes for Hybrid Lashes
  • 2+ hrs for Volume lashes, again depending on the size of the fan you use, and the type of volume lashes you’re applying.
a photo of a closed volume extension being applied to the natural lashes

Stickie Checks 

These are among the most important things you should be doing after every lash set – if it means you have to forego 100% coverage, so be it. Stickies cause damage, and need to be checked for and separated when they’re found. Set aside 10 minutes for a stickie check at least – no exceptions.

Finishing Off

This is nice and quick – once you’re sure any and all stickies have been dealt with, give the lashes a quick fan with a Mini Cooli and apply some Superbonder lash glue sealant to cure the glue bonds, getting rid of any fumes that might irritate your client. This takes an absolute maximum of 5 minutes and is actually optional, it’s just especially good to do if your client tends to want to swim or shower soon after their appointment.


Also optional, but having high quality lash photos on your instagram and website is undeniably great for business! Let’s say this takes 10 minutes or so, depending on how incredible of a set you’ve created, and/or how much time your client has before they have to dash to their next appointment.

Aftercare Advice

It takes maybe a minute to explain to clients that they need to be washing their lashes with a lash shampoo every day and giving them a brush through afterwards – don’t skip this!


If you’re stretched for time, this can be done over a message, just make sure to do it sooner rather than later to ensure that your client is coming back to you for regular lash fills – remember that each natural lash has its own growth cycle, which is why lash fills are necessary every 2-3 weeks.

And that’s everything! It’s important to do your best to stick to some kind of timeframe for each step, but remember that quality is far more important than quantity when it comes to lashes, so steps like pre-treatment and stickie checks simply cannot be rushed or missed!