- What You Should Know Before Getting Eyelash Extensions
- Who can wear eyelash extensions?
- How much do eyelash extensions cost?
- What length should eyelash extensions be?
- How should eyelash extensions be applied?
- Are there any safety tips to be aware of?
- What is the upkeep ?
- What You Need To Know About Lash Extensions
- All Your FAQs About Eyelash Extensions, Answered
- Eyelash Extensions 101
- Why You Might Want Eyelash Extensions
- What You Should Consider Before Getting Eyelash Extensions
- How Eyelash Extensions Are Applied
- How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?
- Eyelash Extention Maintenance
- How to Remove Eyelash Extensions
- Eyelash Extensions Facts, Cost and Risks – How Long Do Lash Extensions Last
- Are lash extensions worth it?
- Do eyelash extensions ruin your natural lashes?
- How much does it cost to get eyelash extensions?
- How do you know what size eyelash extensions to get?
- Can I wear makeup to my eyelash extension appointment?
- Can I swim or shower with my eyelash extensions?
- Can you wear eye makeup with eyelash extensions?
- Should you brush your lash extensions?
- Curious About Eyelash Extensions? Here’s What You Should Know
- Everything You Need To Know Before You Make An Eyelash Extension Appointment
- What are lash extensions?
- Extensions shed! Will all my lashes fall out?
- Will my natural lashes be damaged?
- Okay, I’m ready for my appointment. How can I prepare?
- How long does the complete process take?
- What about the horror stories? Can I go blind?
- And crying?
- Can I wear mascara with eyelash extensions?
- How often do you need to get lash extensions redone?
- And a few final takeaways from a celebrity eyelash extension expert..
What You Should Know Before Getting Eyelash Extensions
Once associated with celebrities Jennifer Lopez, eyelash extensions are now appearing on spa menus with mani/pedis and waxing, and salons specializing in lashes are popping up everywhere.
Individually glued to each one of your existing upper eyelashes with a cyanoacrylate-based glue, which is similar to a surgical adhesive, extensions add length and fullness to your lashes, minimizing the need to apply makeup.
“Old-fashioned false eyelashes have met their match,” says Veronica Tran, owner of Toronto lash and beauty bar Pretty in the City. “Lash extensions shouldn’t look fake.”
Since you’re all about making your eyes pop, why not add a little black eyeliner to your look?
Who can wear eyelash extensions?
As long as your own lashes are at least three millimetres long, you can get extensions.
How much do eyelash extensions cost?
Prices range from approximately $75 for a “flirty” set of 25 to 35 lashes per eye, to $300 for a full set of 60 to 80 lashes per eye. Most lashes are synthetic mink, made of polyester.
You can get authentic mink that is harvested by brushing the animal; this looks and feels the most natural, but it’s also the most expensive and doesn’t last as long as synthetic.
“Polish” lashes, named for their black shine, are the least natural looking.
If eyelash extensions aren’t your thing, here’s the proper way to apply falsies.
What length should eyelash extensions be?
You can double the length of your lashes. But any longer and the extensions and your natural lashes may fall out faster, cautions Mylinh On, owner of Sparks salon in Toronto. Lashes come in widths of 0.10 to 0.30 millimetres, but Tran doesn’t recommend anything over 0.20. “If your natural lashes are weak, it will damage them.”
How should eyelash extensions be applied?
You should be lying down with pads placed over your lower lashes, eyes closed. Using fine tweezers, the technician dips a fake eyelash in adhesive and then applies it to a natural lash, one millimetre above the root of your lash.
A full set for both eyes; upper lashes take about two hours. For best results, lashes should be applied individually.
If the esthetician does it in an hour, or makes you sit up, she’s cutting corners by “stacking” (a technique that glues on three or more lashes at once), says Tran.
You should be able to comb through your lashes with a clean mascara wand. And you shouldn’t be able to feel them. “I’ve seen them at the skin of the eyelid, digging in,” says Tran, which is painful. If that happens, have the extensions removed. (Here are a few more ways to get bomb lashes without going full-on lash extensions.)
Are there any safety tips to be aware of?
Some people might be allergic to the glue, which can cause redness and swelling. And if not applied properly, there’s a risk your eyelids could get stuck together, says Health Canada media spokesperson Leslie Meerburg.
Health Canada has a guidance document on training and certification of technicians using cyanoacrylate for applying eyelash extensions.
However, “the licensing and regulating of individuals working in salons or spas falls under provincial jurisdiction,” says Meerburg.
Extensions pose no known health risks if they’re applied professionally, says Halifax ophthalmologist Dr. Paul Refuse. But if they get in your eye, they are more irritating than natural lashes, says Joan Hansen, an optometrist in Tsawwassen, B.C.
What is the upkeep ?
Eyelash extensions can last up to a month; they simply fall out when your natural lashes do. Oils from makeup will shorten the life of the glue bond, as will rubbing, which might pull off your natural lashes, too.
You don’t need to curl them or even wear mascara, but if you want mascara, apply a water-e to the tips only (don’t use waterproof). “Use water or gel-based cleansers and a sponge-tip applicator or lint-free cloth to remove makeup around the eye,” says Paula McFarlane, owner of Lash Envy in London, Ont.
You can also use baby wash to keep your lashes clean, suggests Tran. (Eyelash extensions not for you? Boost your lashes the natural way with some mascara).
Keep lashes dry after application – no sweat-inducing exercise for the first 24 hours, and avoid swimming, and saunas, for the first 48 hours.
What You Need To Know About Lash Extensions
Most women don’t have the time or patience to apply fake eyelashes every day. (We barely have enough time to use an eyelash curler!) So it’s no surprise that lash extensions have become increasingly popular in recent years.
But to what lengths are you willing to go for a sexy flutter Adele or Katy Perry? Actress Kristin Chenoweth had an allergic reaction to lash glue containing formaldehyde, and she ended up with “eyelid lips.” Ouch!
Feeling a bit apprehensive about trying this beauty treatment? We asked lash expert Courtney Akai to debunk the myths of lash extensions.
What are the most common types of lash extensions?
There are three types of lash extensions: synthetic, silk and mink. Size availability ranges from 6mm to 17mm.
Once selected, the lashes are applied one at a time using a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate the eye nor damage the natural lash.
However, since allergic reactions are possible, there are different types of glue one’s sensitivity.
How long does it take to apply lash extensions?
Applying a full set of lashes takes about two hours, and can be maintained year-round with touch-ups recommended every three to four weeks. A half set of lashes are an economical alternative to achieve a similarly dramatic effect, applied as filler to thicken natural lashes, or applied outward from the eye for a specialized look.
Everyone has different lashes, and depending on the condition of your own natural lashes, lash experts can only go a certain length or thickness. (This is to ensure that your own lashes remain healthy.
) For example, if your natural lashes are on the shorter, thinner side, you won’t be able to get a crazy, dramatic Kim Kardashian look, because it won’t last.
It’s better to start out with a half set (50 to 60 percent of your top lashes) if you aren’t sure or it’s your first time. It’s easier to add more than to remove lashes!
What happens if glue gets in your eyes?
Since your eyes are shut the whole time lash extensions are being applied, no glue will ever get into your eye.
To avoid any irritation, however, the first safety precaution you can take is to be sure that the glue is safe for your eyes and doesn’t contain anything that can harm them, formaldehyde.
Shipping glues across the world often leads to a buildup of formaldehyde by the time they reach the salon.
Additionally, it’s important to understand the difference between an allergic reaction and an infection. A licensed and experienced lash technician will not let an infection occur, but if you’re allergic to the glue, you’re still going to be allergic — this doesn’t mean the glue is inherently harmful.
Can you go blind?
No. Your technician should be trained properly to apply the adhesive and lashes in a way that is completely harmless.
Your eyes are closed the entire time of the procedure. No matter how bad an allergic reaction may get, you will never go blind.
The worse case scenario is that you need to go to the eye doctor to get specific eye drops to treat an allergic reaction.
What happens when you cry?
If you experience any burning or discomfort during the procedure, causing your eyes to tear or making you cry, this is a huge red flag and you should certainly speak up. You may need to have your technician change the glue. Getting lash extensions should be a completely pain-free experience.
Keep scrolling down for more lash extensions tips.
What are the pros and cons of wearing mink lashes Beyoncé?
People want all different kinds of looks — some people go for drama, and some opt for something more natural. The benefits of mink lash extensions are that they are more feathery looking and lighter in general, so they put less pressure on your lashes. Mink lashes also come at a higher cost.
How often do you need to get lash extensions redone?
Lash extensions last through a full growth cycle of natural eyelashes, typically six to eight weeks. That said, because each person’s lash growth is somewhat variable (just hair growth), I suggest light lash maintenance every three to four weeks to maintain a full look.
Do lash extensions fall out over a certain period of time?
Since each lash extension is attached to a single eyelash, they will fall out naturally along with the natural growth cycle of each lash. We recommend a touch-up every three to four weeks.
When an inexperienced professional applies lashes, he or she often applies one synthetic lash to three to four natural lashes, causing clumps or the lash to break and fall out. In addition, your lashes might fall out if you pick at them or try to pull them out yourself, which is a big no-no. But if you avoid those two problems, your lashes should stay intact.
Can you shower or swim right away? Are there products you should absolutely avoid?
Keep water away from your lashes for the first 12 to 24 hours after application or touch-ups. Water can weaken the adhesive before it is set and cause lashes to fall off.
The after-care varies depending on the glue used. For instance, with glue for sensitive eyes, oil-based products or makeup removers around the eye area are not recommended.
Using water-proof mascara on the extensions is not recommended for any type of glue, as it is hard to remove and can actually pull off the lashes prematurely when trying to take it off.
Is it okay to also wear mascara?
If you are planning to wear mascara in addition to the extensions, only use it on the tips of the extensions and with a very light hand. This will be enough to give your eyes that “pop” along with the extensions. Using mascara at the base of the extensions will get very clumpy.
Will your natural lashes get harmed or damaged?
The biggest myth is that lash extensions ruin your own lashes. They do not.
If applied correctly and properly, they are safe and do not ruin the health of your natural lashes.
Be sure not to rub your eyes or tug or pull on the extensions because this can cause lash loss and even damage to your natural lashes. If lashes are applied properly and to each individual lash, they won’t fall out.
What questions should you ask when searching for a reputable salon or professional?
Because of the sensitive nature of the lashes and the surrounding area, finding someone who is certified to apply the lashes is definitely a must. Professionals use professional products and have been properly trained to apply the lashes without damaging your natural lashes or more importantly, your eyes.
Just you would with a hairstylist, research who you want to go to and how long they have been working as a technician. Look at before-and-after photos, read reviews and always make sure they are licensed and lash-certified.
All Your FAQs About Eyelash Extensions, Answered
Let's be real: There's only so much that mascara can do on your quest for extra-long, extra-full lashes. And yes, falsies are a great option…but they'll only last for a few hours.
So when you want show-stopping fringe for weeks at a time, eyelash extensions are your best bet.
While the once under-the-radar beauty service is now fairly ubiquitous with salons offering eyelash extensions popping up all over the place, there are still some important things you need to know before deciding if it's for you.
Ahead, the pros weigh in on eyelash extensions pros and cons, plus everything you've been wondering about how long eyelash extensions last, how you remove them, and, importantly, how much they cost. (Related: The Absolute Best Mascaras On the Market for Every Lash Look)
Eyelash Extensions 101
Simply put, they're little fibers that get attached to your existing eyelashes. “Lash extensions are synthetic, faux mink or silk fibers which are applied one at a time to the existing lash using a specially-formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate or damage the natural hair,” explains celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes.
Why You Might Want Eyelash Extensions
It's a semi-permanent way to enhance the look of your eyelashes, and many people find they are able to forgo mascara altogether after the service.
So you get the look you're after and you save some time in the morning to boot—not to mention that it's a great option for events weddings or vacations.
Plus, the application and fibers used can be customized to create any kind of lash you're after, ranging from more simple and natural, to elongated and dramatic, says Richardson. (Related: How to Expertly Apply Magnetic Lashes)
What You Should Consider Before Getting Eyelash Extensions
As with many beauty treatments, it's imperative to find an experienced professional to perform it. “Safety should be your number one concern,” says Richardson.
“Finding someone who is certified to apply the lashes is a must. Depending on the state, the stylist also needs to be licensed, not just certified,” she adds.
Don't be afraid to inquire about a salon or stylist and their experience and credentials.
However, once you're over that hurdle, the lihood of any side effects from eyelash extensions is minimal. There is potential for those with super sensitive or easily irritated eyes to sometimes be allergic to the adhesive used, notes Richardson. Other factors you should consider though, are the time commitment and cost.
While the extensions will last for quite a while, the application process can be timely and you'll have to come back to either have them touched-up (every two to three weeks), re-done completely (every month or so), or removed (after about six weeks, if they haven't naturally come off by then).
The cost for application, removal, and touch-ups will vary where you live, the salon you go to, and the number and type of lashes your getting put on, but, in general, eyelash extensions can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 dollars, says Richardson. Plan on shelling out anywhere from $50-$100 for touch-ups, and $25-$50 if you want them removed completely.
Point being, this is one beauty treatment that definitely requires both a time and financial commitment.
How Eyelash Extensions Are Applied
You're going to want to aside some time for this, since getting eyelash extensions can take anywhere from one to two hours (!), depending on the final look you're going for, says Richardson. Silver lining: You'll get to lie down with your eyes closed for most of it, so some people actually find it to be a relaxing experience, she adds.
During the application process, the synthetic fibers are carefully applied one at a time, typically 80 to 140 per eye using a specially-formulated, semi-permanent glue and going directly onto the existing hair at the base of the eyelash, not the skin, says Richardson. For context, the average person has about 200-300 lashes on their top lid.
(Related: Kerry Washington Swears This $7 Product Made Her Eyelashes Healthier)
How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?
“Your extensions will shed with your natural hair growth cycle which is typically every six to eight weeks,” says Richardson.
They can start to look a little funky a few weeks in, as the eyelash extensions won't all come off at the same time, in which case refills (every two to three weeks) are a great option, notes lash expert Tirzah Shirai, founder of BlinkBar. She advises a new set every 30 days for the best results.
Eyelash Extention Maintenance
When sporting eyelash extensions, you'll have to adjust your normal makeup and skin-care routine slightly. “Proper lash care and maintenance is just as important as the application itself, and a little TLC goes a long way,” explains Shirai.
You need to keep your lashes dry for the first 24 hours immediately following the application. And you can only use oil-free makeup remover and oil-free eye products, while eyelash extensions are on, she says.
Adopt a hands-off policy, too: “The worst thing you can do is rub your eyes, which leads to immediate breakage,” cautions Richardson. Other no-nos: Lash curlers are off-limits, and if you are going to use a mascara (which you ly won't need to), make sure it's one specially formulated for lash extensions, says Shirai.
These should be a water-based, oil-free formula, as any kind of oil can start to dissolve the adhesive that's keeping the extension attached. One to try: BeautyGarde Oil-Free Mascara (Buy It, $26, ulta.com).
How to Remove Eyelash Extensions
Again, the extensions should naturally come off on their own with your lashes' life cycle, but if they don't, resist the urge to pull them off! This will damage your natural lashes. Instead, go back to the salon and have them removed professionally.
The stylist has the tools to do it properly and safely, and the whole process should take less than 30 minutes, says Shirai. As long as you see a trained professional for application and removal and follow all of the upkeep tips, eyelash extensions should not do any damage to your natural lashes.
(Related: Will Eyelash Extensions Make Your Real Lashes Fall Out?)
Eyelash Extensions Facts, Cost and Risks – How Long Do Lash Extensions Last
I am so lazy when it comes to getting ready in the morning. If I could sleep in my makeup and wake up with a full beat every day, I would (don’t worry, I don’t—I’m a very good beauty editor). So when I first heard about eyelash extensions, it sounded the answer to all my prayers. Full, long, dark lashes every single day without needing coats of waterproof mascara? Um, yes, please.
And if you’re anything me, you’ve probably also contemplated getting lash extensions a thousand times (for the record, I highly recommend it). But before you book an appointment, you need to educate yourself on the good, the bad, and the annoying aspects of having selfie-ready lashes. Keep reading for all the details you seriously need to know.
Everything You Should Know Before Your Appointment
Are lash extensions worth it?
Un gluing a strip of temporary fake lashes onto your lash line, semipermanent lashes are applied by a technician who hand-glues the extensions on top of your natural lashes, says Andra Marin, artistic director and expert lash stylist at Courtney Akai Lash Boutique in NYC. Because lash extensions don’t come in a strip, they are super customizable and actually look real. With proper care (more on that later), they can last for six to eight weeks until they naturally fall out your lashes usually do.
Do eyelash extensions ruin your natural lashes?
There isn’t much evidence that shows whether eyelash extensions actually affect your natural lash length or health long-term.
There is, however, a small risk of developing traction alopecia, says Zaina Al-Mohtaseb, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, which is where your natural lashes can fall out as a result of the constant weight of repeated eyelash extensions. But don’t freak—it doesn’t mean it’ll automatically happen to you.
“It usually takes years of bad application and improper care for long-term lash damage to happen as a result,” says Marin.
So please, only go to reputable, well-reviewed salons (no matter how good that Groupon deal is), and make sure your technician washes their hands between clients, wears a mask, uses sanitary pillow covers, sterilizes their tweezers, and uses disposable eyelash brushes. And yes, you are allowed to ask your technician to confirm all these things.
Oh, and while we’re on the subject, when making your appointment, ask the salon about the ingredients in the lash adhesive they use.
If they can’t answer your question, cancel the appointment (you don’t want inexperienced people sticking things to your eyelids), and if they say the glue contains formaldehyde (a known eye irritant that can cause redness, irritation, and itchy, swollen eyelids), def cancel the appointment.
It may cost you a little more, but it’s best to choose a salon that uses “glues made with butyl cyanoacrylate and octyl cyanoacrylate instead of formaldehyde—they’re less toxic to the eye area,” says Dr. Al-Mohtaseb.
How much does it cost to get eyelash extensions?
In New York City, a basic set (typically 70 to 80 lashes per eye) can range anywhere from $100 to $400 plus tip, which is usually another 20 percent. And because eyelashes grow and eventually fall out, you have to go back every few weeks for fill-ins, which can cost anywhere from $50 to $165, depending on how many new lashes you need.
PSA: The longer you go between fill-ins, the more lashes you’ll need to replace and the more it will cost you—and if you wait too long, your technician might just want to give you a brand-new set of extensions rather than a fill-in, which obviously won’t be cheap.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
How do you know what size eyelash extensions to get?
So you want Kim Kardashian–level lashes? Great—but that doesn’t mean your eyes can handle them. “The type of lashes you can get all depends on the length and strength of your natural lashes,” says Marin.
“Wearing lashes that are too long or too thick for your lashes can actually cause damage in the long run, so you need to make sure your extensions aren’t too much longer or thicker than your natural lashes.”
If all that sounds confusing, don’t freak—a licensed lash specialist will help you make the best decision for your lashes, including what type of material you should get, synthetic mink or synthetic silk. Mink is usually pricier, feels softer, and looks more natural;however, some synthetics, which are highly customizable, can also look and feel natural and end up costing as much as or more than mink.
When it comes to density, curl, and length of your extensions, you’ll want to work with your tech to figure out which is the best option for you.
“A good lash technician will take your face shape, bone structure, and natural lashes into consideration when helping you decide on a lash look,” says Clementina Richardson, lash expert and founder of Envious Lashes in NYC. In the meantime, prepare to answer these three questions with your specialist:
Can I wear makeup to my eyelash extension appointment?
Nope. You’ll want to show up to your appointment with clean skin and no eye makeup. That means absolutely no eyeshadow, eyeliner, and/or mascara. Anything on your lids or lashes could affect how your extensions turn out.
Can I swim or shower with my eyelash extensions?
You can, but not until you’ve waited at least 24 hours after your appointment. “Eyelash adhesives vary in the time they take to cure, from either 12 to 24 hours depending on what glue your stylist uses,” says Marin.
It’s super important that you’re gentle with your lashes and make sure that no water touches them during this time, says Richardson.
You can shower after getting lashes as long as you don’t get the lashes wet and don’t stay in the steam for too long.
How to Care for Your New Lashes
Can you wear eye makeup with eyelash extensions?
Marin doesn’t recommend using mascara with lash extensions. Why? Because when you attempt to take it off at the end of the day, you can actually cause your extensions to break from the friction and makeup remover. As for eyeliner, “avoid using cream-based formulas,” says Richardson. “They often contain oils and waxes that can break down lash glue.”
Can you wash your eyes with eyelash extensions?
Only use cleansers specifically formulated to be safe for eyelash extensions, says Richardson.
Other products may contain ingredients that can weaken the bond of your lash extensions and cause them to shed prematurely.
And if you’re wearing eye makeup, use oil-free pads and gently swipe downward, rather than back and forth, to get your lids and lashes clean. And whatever you do, avoid rubbing or tugging at your eyes.
Should you brush your lash extensions?
Lashes can get tangled when you’re sleeping or showering, so it’s required that you gently brush your lashes with a clean spoolie brush when you wake up, after you shower, and at the end of the day. And to prevent unnecessary tangling, try to sleep on your back or side (not your stomach) and use a silk pillowcase, which tends to be gentler on extensions, says Richardson.
The Final Word
Okay, so there’s a lot to think about before you decide to get eyelash extensions. If you feel mascara isn’t totally cutting it and you’re okay with the extra maintenance and cash that eyelash extensions require, it’s definitely worth finding a specialist and having a consultation. And hey, there’s no harm in experimenting with a good pair of falsies before you commit to anything.
Curious About Eyelash Extensions? Here’s What You Should Know
Continue reading the main story
Can I let you in on a secret, just between you and me? I’ve worn eyelash extensions continuously for about two years now. They make me feel a Disney princess whose pure and gentle spirit has enticed delicate, mascara-free butterflies to live on my face.
Amid my otherwise low-maintenance makeup routine, lash extensions are a cosmetic cheat code: Whether I’ve just woken up, exercised for an hour, gone for a swim or lived through a harrowing 24-hour stomach flu, I’m unfailingly delighted by the way my eyes pop, and by how quickly I can get ready.
When it comes to, say, applying eyeliner, I have the fine motor skills of a ventriloquist’s dummy, but there is no daily effort required on my part for lash extensions work their fluttery magic.
For the uninitiated but curious, I asked the owners of four eyelash-extension salons (and one ophthalmologist) about what to expect when you’re extending.
Un temporary false lashes, eyelash extensions are neither a D.I.Y. affair nor a fleeting commitment.
They are professionally applied, one on each natural lash, with a semi-permanent glue meant to hold them in place for several weeks. Extensions bewitch your lashes with the length and volume that nature didn’t see fit to give you (and beyond what multiple coats of mascara and a lash curler could), but at a length your face deserves.
Before we go any further, let’s get this the way: Ophthalmologists are fine with it.
“We don’t have any problem with people being gorgeous,” Rebecca J. Taylor, a Nashville ophthalmologist and clinical spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. That said, there are some risks that lash extension customers should most definitely be aware of. More on those later.
The price of eyelash extensions varies depending on the style, the technician’s experience and the area in which you live, but you can expect a full set to start around $100 and climb to as high as $500.
At the Lash Method in Salt Lake City, a full set of eyelash extensions begins at $99.
You’d pay $150 for that service at Maxim-Eyes Lashes in Orlando, and Chicago’s Flutter Lash Studio will set you back at least $350.
Other than personal recommendations from friends, reviews and client photos posted on sites Yelp and Instagram are invaluable for offering insight into both the quality of service and the style of lashes a company provides.
Tirzah Shirai owns BlinkBar, an eyelash extension salon with three locations in greater Los Angeles. Her star-studded client base includes Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner and Renée Zellweger.
“As a general rule, I would tell people: Save the Groupon for a yoga class,” Ms. Shirai said. “We’ve seen some crazy stuff at BlinkBar — people who have Groupons who are doing lashes the back of their car, using Krazy Glue.” (Full disclosure: I got my first set of eyelash extensions with a Groupon. Do as I say, not as I do.)
Shelby McKinney owns and operates the Lashing Out eyelash extensions studio in Dallas. When you arrive at your chosen lash salon, she said, look around.
“Take a quick glance to make sure all products used during your service are new or sanitized,” she said. “Your stylist is also required by law to be licensed in the state in which they are performing the service and their license should be posted somewhere in the salon.”
Your first will be your longest, taking at least 90 minutes and possibly upward of two hours. You should arrive at the salon with your eyes entirely clean of makeup.
“We ask that our clients don’t have caffeine before they come in,” Ms. Shirai said. “You’re lying still, it’s a great chance to unplug. My advice would be to bring a playlist or a book on tape.”
I’m partial to podcasts myself, and I always make sure to switch my phone to airplane mode to make sure it won’t be buzzing in my pocket with crazy-making notifications I won’t be able to check for two hours. And given the complicated logistics of extricating yourself mid-application, you should always visit the restroom just before your appointment begins.
Your technician should discuss your expectations and personal taste with you: Are you interested in a more subtle look, or are you hoping to unleash your inner diva? The health and thickness of your natural lashes as well as the shape of your face and eyes will be used to determine the right set of extensions for you.
Eyelash extensions are available in a wide variety of lengths, diameters and curls. There are also different materials, including synthetic, silk and mink (the most expensive, and ethically dubious, option, touted for its real-fur fluffiness).
The general wisdom is that synthetic lashes tend to look glossier and more dramatic than softer, lighter silk lashes, although different extensionists offered me contradictory descriptions of their attributes.
I think it’s safe to say that an untrained observer probably wouldn’t clock a drastic difference.
Julie Mella and Ramona Azcona, the owners of She Winks Lash Studio in New York, recommend that novices err on the conservative side; they can always up the drama later.
“If a client is coming in for the first time, we advise them to follow their lash growth pattern and just make them darker,” Ms. Mella and Ms. Azcona wrote in an email. “That will give them a natural look, as if they were wearing mascara, until they get accustomed to the change.”
To begin, you’ll lie down on your back and get comfortable. Your bottom lashes will be shielded with under-eye pads, stickers or tape. Prepare for your eyes to remain closed for the entire application, as your technician delicately affixes each extension with tweezers.
It may take a few minutes to adjust to the knowledge that a pointed metal object is moving so close to your eyeball, but the procedure is gentle enough that, if you’re me, you might very well find yourself dozing off. I’m usually awakened by the breeze of a small fan the technician points at my lashes to help dry the adhesive as the service wraps up.
“I have clients that come in, say hello and fall asleep,” said Soul Lee, owner of Beautiful Soul Makeup Studio in New York City. “If you can find a way to relax yourself, I think it’s great to find an hour during the day to take a nap.”
After your appointment, don’t let your extensions get wet for the next 24 hours, so that the glue can dry completely. Steer clear of humid environments saunas, too. I once made the mistake of running a 10-K on a steamy summer morning right after an evening lash application, and I remember wiping my sweaty face with my hand and finding three or four fugitive extensions on my palm.
To preserve your extensions, keep them clean and gently detangle them with a pristine mascara wand or spoolie brush every day. You can wear eye makeup, but accept that oils and oil-based makeup remover are your lashes’ worst enemy, because they break down the adhesive. When it comes to mascara specifically, the experts suggest skipping it.
“You don’t really need mascara. That’s why you’re getting the extensions, and you’re spending a lot of money doing it,” Ms. Lee said.
Ms. McKinney added: “The rule of thumb for eyelash extensions is the less you mess with them, the better and longer they are going to stay.”
To keep your extensions looking full and fresh, touch-ups should be scheduled every two to four weeks. These fill-in appointments take roughly one hour and range in price from $50 to $250. (After a month, you’ll normally be charged for a full, new set.
) Extensions, properly applied and cared for, should not make your eyelashes fall out, but you will notice some inevitable casualties as your lashes grow and shed according to their natural cycles. Ms.
Lee said she has clients who have worn lash extensions for 10 years without any apparent adverse side effects, though she does recommend that her customers take a three-month break every year or two.
Among the medical concerns associated with eyelash extensions are the possibilities of trauma to and infection of the eyelid or the cornea, permanent or temporary loss of the eyelashes, and allergic reactions to the glues, some of which have historically contained formaldehyde. ( other cosmetics, eyelash adhesives are not subject to F.D.A. approval.)
If you’re interested in lash extensions, and your eyes and eyelids are otherwise healthy, Dr. Taylor, the ophthalmologist, recommends asking about the contents of any glue before it’s applied near your eyes and even requesting that your technician first do a spot test on the inside of your wrist.
“What you don’t want to end up with is a massive allergic reaction,” Dr. Taylor said. “You’re just trying to go in and get a little bit more glorious and beautiful, and two days later, you wake up with swollen eye you can’t even open.”
Should symptoms pain, itching or redness present themselves, don’t take matters into your own hands. Dr. Taylor strongly recommended against attempting to remove your extensions at home, as did every lash guru I spoke to.
“If you’re having a problem, please come in and see an ophthalmologist,” Dr. Taylor said. “You may exacerbate your symptoms by tugging and pulling. You may fracture your lashes. Try not to handle it yourself, because sometimes it can be a bigger fish to fry than you realize.”
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Everything You Need To Know Before You Make An Eyelash Extension Appointment
If you've ever wanted fuller, longer eyelashes you are not alone. Everyone from Beyoncé to your favorite Real Housewife has taken steps to get the lashes of their dreams. One of those steps is eyelash extensions.
Extensions are a more permanent option that has the power to transform your face and make you throw away your falsies for good.
However, if you're me—meaning, on the crazy side—you'll have a few questions before a stranger glues a foreign object on your delicate lids.
Celebrity eyelash expert and Envious Lashes owner Clementina Richardson answered my most paranoid questions about eyelash extensions. Find out if the horror stories have any truth (can you go blind?!) and why you should never get extensions right before a bad breakup. Ahead, eyelash extension questions and answers for the most neurotic.
What are lash extensions?
Lash extensions are synthetic fibers that are attached to the natural lashes using medical grade adhesive. Lash extensions can come in a variety of sizes ranging from 6mm-18mm with a few curl width options. With proper placement, lash extensions can make the eyes appear wider and more lifted. With proper care, lash extensions should last up to six weeks before all the extensions shed.
Extensions shed! Will all my lashes fall out?
Your extensions will shed with your natural hair growth cycle which is typically every six to eight weeks. Refills are a great way to extend the life of your lashes and recommended every two to three weeks.
Will my natural lashes be damaged?
If you see a licensed and certified professional your natural lashes should not be harmed. Lash extensions alone will not ruin your lashes. Damage to the natural lashes is the result of improper application, or the stylist not selecting the correct type of lash for an existing natural lash.
There are a few factors that contribute to this problem: Applying extensions that are too heavy for the natural lash will result in premature shedding, and rubbing your eyes will also result in immediate breakage.
This is actually the worst thing you can do, so it's important to try to be as gentle as you can with your eyes.
Okay, I’m ready for my appointment. How can I prepare?
Richardson recommends not wearing mascara to your appointment or using any oil-based makeup products around the eyes. This will help the adhesive stick better and make the application process flow much smoother.
How long does the complete process take?
The initial appointment can take anywhere from one to two hours depending on the style and volume desired.
What about the horror stories? Can I go blind?
It is extremely crucial to not let the adhesive get in contact with the eye itself—this could cause blindness. However, in Richardson’s 11.5 years of lash experience this has never happened.
It is extremely rare since so little adhesive is being used. Make sure to always check to see if the technician is licensed and certified and do NOT go for the cheapest price!
It’s also recommended to avoid steam and wetting your lashes for the first 48 hours. You can of course wash your wash your face and take a shower, just make sure that no water touches your lashes.
Crying is the same as getting the lashes wet. Try to avoid it if at all possible. That means, avoid watching The Notebook.
Can I wear mascara with eyelash extensions?
One of the fabulous benefits of having eyelash extensions is that you no longer need mascara. Richardson doesn’t recommend mascara with lash extensions as it’s hard to remove and will cause the bond to break. If you must wear mascara, try to just wear it on your lower lashes and avoid waterproof mascaras.
Also, only use cleansers specifically formulated to be safe for eyelash extensions. Other products may contain ingredients that can weaken the bond of your lash extensions and cause them to shed prematurely! If you are making an investment in extensions in the first place, you surely don’t want to see them go to waste.
How often do you need to get lash extensions redone?
There is no need to get your lashes removed and redone. Natural lashes grow and shed with your natural hair cycle, so every time you go in for a fill, your lashes will differ for example fuller, longer or shorter. Refills however take more skill and expertise than a full set.
The reason is because lashes are grown and have shed from different areas of the lid. It’s difficult if you do not have a trained eye to create symmetry to create the look of the initial set. Removing and replacing overgrown lashes and creating a balance is extremely important.
Refills are recommended every two to three weeks to keep your lashes looking lush and full. Conditioning serums are great for lash wearers to use in between appointments.
And a few final takeaways from a celebrity eyelash extension expert..
Just you are with your blowouts, be gentle with your lashes. Apply a protective coating 48 hours after service from base to tip and use a silk or satin pillowcase as cotton can cause drying and/or snagging.
Never EVER use a mechanical eyelash curler. If your extensions are starting to fall use a heated eyelash curler to gently lift them. Richardson says Mary J Blige apparently has one always stashed in her makeup bag and never travels without it!
Avoid touching the extensions and applying cream based liners on your top lid. Tight lining while wearing lash extensions should also be avoided. This disrupts the base of the extensions where the strength of the bond is most critical.
Use a protective coating after the second day. This product acts that topcoat to nail polish. It coats the adhesive area protecting it from dirt oil and makeup.
Richardson finds that her clients that use this have a much better hold when they return for their fill.
Now that you've got all the basics down, know that lash extensions are not as high maintenance as people think. If you’re a first time wearer, these may seem a little overwhelming on day one, but you will get used to it after one week and be batting those full lashes in no time.