Long, luscious lash extensions are replacing manicures and pedicures, stepping into our high-maintenance beauty ritual of cuts, colors, brows, and Brazilians. There is only one drawback: once you begin receiving them, you cannot stop. Eyelashes are the one-stop wonder to face transformation.
And if you’re anything like me, getting ready in the morning is a race against the clock. So, anything that can streamline my beauty routine is a godsend. Eyelash extensions fit that bill perfectly. Do they give the appearance of long, thick eyelashes (sans mascara) and last for more than two weeks? Um, yes.
I’d choose eyelash extensions any day over mascara! So, if you consider getting them (for the record, I highly recommend them), there are a few things you should know before making an appointment for your first set. Here’s everything you need to know about eyelash extensions: before and after.
Eyelash Extensions Explained
Eyelash extensions are essentially little hairs (made from silk, mink, or synthetic materials) glued to your existing lashes with a semi-permanent adhesive.
Most of us desire stunning luscious, thick, long, curling, and fluttery lashes. Extensions can ensure it without the added trouble of curling, perming, or applying a dozen coats of mascara. Trust me; once you try eyelash extensions, you will get hooked!
Before getting an eyelash extension, your appearance is very common. You have eyelashes, but they are nothing to write home about. If you wear mascara, it clumps, flakes, and smudges. In other words, your typical eyelashes can’t give Brigitte Bardot a run for her money.
Eyelash extensions give you the appearance of long, thick eyelashes without the hassle of mascara. But before you visit a lash artist, you should know what you want your lashes to look like.
For your first time, it’s usually best to stay with a more subtle appearance so that you don’t appear to be, as Richardson puts it, “walking lashes.” You can always add more length, thickness, and curl later.
It’s also important to understand that different eyelash extensions will produce different results.
Classic eyelash extensions, for example, are single strands of synthetic lashes applied one by one to your natural lashes. If you’re looking for a more dramatic look, you might want to try volume eyelash extensions, which are multiple (usually three) thinner lashes that are fanned out and applied to one natural lash.
So you want lashes on par with Kim Kardashian’s? That’s fantastic, but it doesn’t imply your eyes can take them. According to Andra Ciulei, Artistic Director and expert lash stylist at Courtney Akai Lash Boutique in NYC, “the kind of lashes you can acquire entirely depends on the length and strength of your natural lashes.”
Make sure your extensions aren’t longer or thicker than your natural lashes because wearing lashes that are out of proportion to your lashes may harm them over time.
Your technician will sit down with you for a consultation before applying eyelash extensions to examine your daily skincare and makeup routine, the shape of your natural eyelashes, and your desired outcome.
After you agree on the look, your lash tech can take through several before and after photos to give you an idea of what to expect.
Despite everything, consult a professional. This is not the time to cut costs and choose the least expensive choice. Your eyes are involved, a part of your body that is highly fragile and sensitive. You want to make sure you’re in good hands.
Find a professional who is more concerned with the health of your natural eyelashes. Not just one that will give you the appearance you desire.
The process is pretty straightforward. A technician will glue the eyelash extensions to your lashes, one by one. The entire procedure usually takes about two hours, give or take. Let’s take you through the process.
You ought to safeguard your bottom lashes. Lash technicians cover the bottom lashes with professional-looking yet cozy eye pads that resemble a cross between a tape and an eye mask.
This is crucial because you keep your eyes closed throughout the procedure, causing your bottom and top lashes to meet. If this happens, the glue on the top of your lashes could cling to the glue on your bottom lashes, thus gluing your eyes together.
Don’t worry; this has never happened to anyone we know, and that’s why you need an experienced professional. After your lashes are isolated and safeguarded, the technician will apply a gel-like substance to your eyelids to prep them for the eyelash extensions.
Once your lash tech preps your lids, it’s time to match you with the right eyelash extensions. This is usually done by holding different eyelash extensions up to your lashes and seeing which length, thickness, curl, and color works best with your natural lashes.
It typically takes one to two hours to finish both eyes because each eyelash is applied individually. A single extension lash is dipped in transparent adhesive and fastened to the base of a single natural lash after being isolated and located with a pair of special angled tweezers.
Once the tech glues the eyelash extensions, they will examine your lashes and make any necessary adjustments.
While the initial eyelash extension experience may be a bit daunting – you are, after all, entrusting someone to glue tiny hairs to your eyelids – the results are worth it.
Though you’d always been pretty happy with your God-given long (yet straight) lashes, you’ll get sold after your first eyelash extension experience.
After getting eyelash extensions, your appearance is very different. Your eyelashes are the bomb, and you can confidently bat them at anyone who crosses your path.
But expect your eyes to feel a little different, too. They may feel heavy, and keeping them open for long periods might be challenging. The heaviness will go away after the end of your first day, and get used to them.
Adjusting to the length, thickness, and curl of your eyelash extensions may take some time. But we promise you’ll get used to them.
Aftercare is also crucial when it comes to eyelash extensions. You should avoid getting them wet for the first 24 hours after application. Be careful when using oil-based makeup removers or eyeliner, as they can break down the bond between the lash extension and your natural eyelash.
But there is a negative aspect. The “honeymoon” period ends roughly three weeks after application, if not before, and things go awry. You may notice a bunch of lashes falling out and landing in your towel after a shower. A few silken strands begin to go rogue. To keep the dream going, you turn to some mascara.
You should have between 50 and 80 percent still attached in three weeks. If you want to keep the lashes on, now is the time to visit for a refill. It may take six to eight weeks for the lashes to entirely fall out if you decide not to maintain the appearance. (This is crucial: if a salon claims that their eyelashes last six to eight weeks, it isn’t a whole set; instead, it’s a guide until all eyelashes fall out.)
Be gentle when washing your face
Use an eyelash extension-safe cleanser or just water. Ingredients in other products could weaken the link between your lash extensions and hasten their premature shedding. If you are wearing eye makeup, gently swipe downward with oil-free pads rather than back and forth to clean your lids and lashes. Avoid rubbing or scratching at your eyes in any way you can.
Brush your eyelash extensions every day to avoid them from getting tangled.
Use a clean, soft toothbrush or an eyelash extension brush. Gently brush through your eyelashes, starting from the root and working your way to the ends. Use a silk pillowcase, which tends to be softer on extensions, and try to sleep on your back or side rather than your stomach to reduce unwanted tangling.
Avoid mascara and eyeliner.
Mascara can be difficult to remove without damaging your eyelash extensions, and eyeliner can cause them to fall out prematurely. As for eyeliner, avoid using cream-based formulas because they contain oils and waxes that can damage the bond holding your eyelash extensions in place.
Avoid pulling the eyelash extensions when they start shedding off.
This will damage your natural eyelashes. You must return for fill-ins every few weeks because eyelashes naturally fall out over time.
If you react to the lash adhesive, remove the eyelash extensions immediately and consult a doctor. Eyelash extensions are generally safe, but there is a small risk of infection or allergic reaction to the adhesive.
Eyelash extensions are a great way to enhance your natural lashes and give you a more put-together look, but they’re not for everyone. If you have sensitive skin or eyes, you may want to steer clear as the lash adhesive can irritate. Eyelash extensions can also be pricey, costing anywhere from $100 to $400 for a complete set.
Therefore, if you want your extensions to look good—and your natural lashes to be intact when you take them off—find a professional that prioritizes the health of your lashes.