I’ve had an on-again-off-again relationship with eyelash extensions for the last few years. When done correctly, they’re a great beauty treatment to splurge on. They make your eyes pop, and not having to worry about wearing mascara is especially great when you have a big event or are going on vacation. Not only do they shave off some serious time in your overall makeup routine, but they also just keep you looking constantly fabulous no matter where you are – seriously, whether you’re just waking up at 6 am, sweating at the gym, or feel like a no-makeup day, your eyes will always look pretty and feminine. But that said, there are some downsides.
As a veteran with lash extensions at this point, there were times at the beginning when I wished I had known certain things before getting them done. But not to worry, after a few hiccups here and there, I’ve picked up tips I’m sharing with you today. Read on for everything you need to know before getting eyelash extensions!
Research, Research, Research
When it comes to where and who to go to for eyelash extensions, researching properly is crucial. I cannot stress enough that reviews and referrals are extremely important. If not done properly, eyelash extensions can look fake, or even damage your natural lashes for months. The best way to find someone is through referral, but if you must, go on Yelp and make sure you choose a place that has received at least 4 stars, with a decent number of reviews (I’d say at least 50!). Read them individually to make sure no one is reporting any horror stories. Another great way to find talented artists is on Instagram, where you can see many examples of their work. Be aware that the glue can irritate your skin. Ask the technician what kind of glue they use, and keep your eyes tight shut for the whole treatment, or it can sting. Although many places say it’s safe to have this done while pregnant – especially if you use a low fume glue – I’d err on the side of caution and avoid it until you’ve given birth.
Prepare to Spend
While it might be tempting to use a Groupon to get your lashes for a crazy low price, in my opinion this isn’t the time to go cheap. As I mentioned, bad lash extensions can cause your own natural lashes to fall out at alarming rates, and they can take months to grow back. Be prepared to spend at least $100-200 for your first set, depending on where you live. Fills will be cheaper (usually in the 50-80 range), and will depend on how much time you let pass between your appointments (it’s not recommended to go longer than 3 weeks). Price can also depend on whether you want your lashes to be made of synthetic mink (polyester) or authentic mink, the latter being the more natural look, hence more expensive.
Results May Vary
Another thing I’ve learned through my own experience and those of others is that not everyone’s lashes end up looking the same. This should go without saying, but of course every person is different, and that goes for their eye shape, eye lids, and natural lashes in general. Or sometimes their lashes are already long and it’s probably best they stick to a more natural look. But either way, the end result is always a nice upgrade to make you feel like a Disney princess. A good tip is to try out some strip lashes in varying lengths and thickness a few weeks before to get an idea. I like my lashes curled and longer at the edges, but some people prefer them longer in the center. Figure out what suits you best and ask the technician what they think will suit your eye shape best.
Mascara No More
Since mascara is a holy grail in a lot of our routines, it feels weird when you learn that you cannot use it while you have lash extensions on. I know there are times where it can be tempting to make your lashes look fuller and sexier by curling them and topping it with some mascara, but believe me – do not do this! It actually can deteriorate the lash glue and make them fall out earlier. The only time you might be able to get away with wearing mascara is if you’re just about to get a refill and they’ve mostly fallen out. The same goes for lash curlers, and for using any face products that contain oil – if you want to prolong the life of your lashes, avoid face oils or oily cleansers. They break down the glue as well, making your lashes fall out more quickly.
Don’t Forget TLC!
Finally, successful lash extensions and longevity is not possible without properly tending to them. They do take some getting used to, but after some time, hopefully you’ll get the routine down. No exposure to water, steam or sweat for the first 24 hours (I made this mistake once, taking a hot shower too soon and it ruined them), avoid rubbing your eyes if you can, don’t wear a sleep mask (I found that the hardest as I rely on mine for zzz), keep them clean, and brush them daily. If you want a touch up, it’s best to do it every three weeks, as they naturally fall out within a month.