1– Set Up Your Mannequin
Start by setting up your mannequin in the area where you’ll be working. A lash bed is ideal, but a table that’s at a comfortable height can also work. Make sure the mannequin is at about your chest level when you sit, so you don’t have to bend over it as you practice.
Next, attach a silicone pad under the mannequin’s eyes, and attach a strip of “practice” lashes to each of the mannequin’s “eyes”.
To simulate natural lashes even better, I actually like to attach two layers of practice lashes instead of just one. Our lashes naturally grow in a few layers rather than just one, so this creates a much more realistic experience.
Finally, make sure you have all of your lashing equipment set up comfortably, just as you would have it organized if you were applying lash extensions to a client.
2– Practice Posture and Hold
Isolation tweezer in left and and volume tweezer in right hand.
Hand positioning on mannequin head.
With everything set up, take your time to practice your posture and use your tweezers. Make sure that your chair is close to the mannequin and that your arms are close to your body. As you work, make sure your wrists are supported, and use your mannequin’s forehead as rest points for your fingers.
Once you feel ready, you can use your tweezers to count your mannequin’s lashes – it’s a great way to warm up and ensure that you’re in a comfortable position.
For more tips, check out my guide to holding tweezers for lash extensions.
For a more comprehensive practice, take your time to plan how you’ll apply the lash extensions. You can use the pad on your mannequin to map out the different lengths you’ll use along each part of the lash line.
If you’d like to learn more about the styles you should learn to create, check out my article on eyelash extension styles.
4– Use Booster
Before you start lashing, apply a little bit of pre-treatment to your mannequin’s lashes. Adhesives don’t dry as quickly when applied to synthetic practice lashes. A pre-treatment will speed up the drying time, which will speed up your practice and also be in line with how quickly adhesives dry on porous natural lashes.
Finally, you’re ready to apply the lashes! Applying lashes on a mannequin is no different than applying them on a client. You’ll want to isolate the lashes, dip the extension lashes in the glue, and then apply. Rinse and repeat until you’re done!
Most stylists actually find that working on a mannequin is a little easier than on a client since the lashes are not as dense and isolation is much easier.