I have always been fascinated by eyelash extensions. If you are a weirdo like me, you may enjoy going a little wild with the beauty products at times. While I generally limit my daily regimen to skincare plus liquid liner, mascara, blush and concealer, I also like to go kind of crazy with the colors and shapes while still looking like myself (or myself as a 5-year-old). And that’s why lash extensions are so interesting to me–they can totally alter your look or simply enhance it subtly, all with one fantastic, fairly quick process.
However, before you go for the gold with your lashes, there are some things you absolutely need to know first. As with any cosmetic procedure–especially one that goes so close to your eyeballs–you should always be aware of exactly what you are getting yourself into.
1. What are eyelash extensions?
Lash extensions are a way to can add thickness and length to lashes that aren’t as lush, dark or long as you currently want them to be. Professionals apply false lashes–typically one at a time for the most natural look–to your lash line using an adhesive that is safe for the eye area.
2. Who does eyelash extensions?
There are hundreds if not thousands of salons across the country that offer eyelash extensions as a service. A quick Yelp or Google search should find you somebody in your city or a nearby one. You should always check their credentials prior to having the procedure done, just as you would for a haircut–except with eyelash extensions, there’s a lot more danger of negative health effects should you go to a person who isn’t properly trained (namely, you should be looking for an esthetician or cosmetologist). Additionally, make sure you read reviews of both that salon and the individual pro performing on you. If there is an indication that the location isn’t 100% sanitary, safe and professional, find another one.
3. So, can I do my own eyelash extensions?
Theoretically, it is possible if you are a trained professional, but that doesn’t mean you should do your own. Being that close to your eyeball with various tools isn’t necessarily a great idea if you are not highly experienced, and even then, it can be dangerous. If you’re thinking of DIYing you lash extensions, perhaps just try wearing a pair of great false lashes or a bunch of individual fake lashes with a high-quality lash glue.
4. How much do eyelash extensions cost?
Prices range, but it is safe to say that you should be wary of a seedy salon that offers lash extensions for $10. While these do not need to cost hundreds of dollars to look great, you are paying for both the materials and the time it takes for the pro to apply them properly. Make sure that whatever salon you go to, they are reputable and either have a certified esthetician or cosmetologist doing the extensions.
5. Do they last forever?
No. Your natural lashes fall out every 60 to 90 days, but we do not notice when they fall out quite as much because there’s already a new lash growing behind it. False lashes are often thicker and longer than your natural lashes, so when they fall out, you may wind up noticing it more. With lash extensions that are adhered to your natural lashes, they can fall out anywhere from a week to a couple months down the road. Typically, you will need to get them replaced every six to eight weeks.
6. What are lash extensions made of?
Lash extensions come in a variety of materials. The most common are made out of synthetic polyester, silk and mink, and can range in length from short to very long.
7. Can I wear mascara with eyelash extensions?
You can, but the brush could potentially pull on your lashes and cause them to be damaged, loosened, or removed. Additionally, you should avoid waterproof mascara and should only apply mascara at the tips of lashes. Plus, you may find you don’t need any at all once you’ve got these!
8. Does it hurt to have done?
It is generally not a painful procedure, but some people have negative reactions to materials involved. If you experience any burning, pain or discomfort, let the professional know immediately. Your technician should be trained in dealing with this potential issue.
9. Can I use eye makeup remover while I have them?
When you remove your makeup, just be extremely careful and do your best to avoid touching the lashes. Use a gentle eye makeup remover with a cleansing wipe rather than cotton balls or Q-tips, which Allure says can result in fibers being caught on your extensions. Do not use an oil-based makeup remover, as oil-based products can affect the glue negatively.
10. Who should not get eyelash extensions?
There are a few factors that can rule out eyelash extensions as a possibility. If you do not have eyelashes already, it is very difficult (if not impossible) for the professional to apply the extensions because there is nowhere to put them. If you have very curly eyelashes, your lash extensions might actually fall off in only three days, so it’s not even worth it to get them. If you tend to rub your eyes a lot–even in your sleep–then you should probably not get extensions.
11. Can people with contacts have eyelash extensions?
Yes, but your eyes may get irritated after a while of having them shut if your contacts are still in. If they have a tendency to get dry, just make sure you bring a contact case with you so you can take them out as your have the extensions done, then pop them back it afterward.
12. How can I make them last longer?
Try to sleep on your back! I know this is difficult for those who are accustomed to being side (or even face) sleepers but it can help your lashes avoid getting pulled or prodded. Also, even if you really love feeling that lengthy, lovely, lush set of new lashes all up on your fingertips, resist the urge to touch them anyway. You should be careful whilst washing your face to avoid tugging or pushing on them, as well.
13. How do I take them off?
I strongly recommend going to a professional to have your eyelash extensions removed, as they are trained in the process and know how to do it properly without damaging your own lashes or pulling the natural ones out along with the fake ones.