Why is it that little boys have the MOST GORGEOUS eyelashes? Liam’s lashes are 100 percent enviable: They’re long, thick and naturally curled. It’s insane! My lashes, on the other hand, are naturally light brown and straight (go figure, I have wavy hair!). I’ve basically tried everything: lash tinting, super-dark mascara, lash primer, waterproof mascara, falsies, fiber mascara, and of course, eyelash extensions–multiple times in fact! Plus, thanks to my background in beauty, I’ve had an inside look as to how the lash extension industry works and how exactly the pros operate. And, though I’ve taken multiple breaks over the past couple of years, I have finally found a set of lash extensions that I love! But, fair warning, lashes are a HUGE commitment. Here, everything you need to know before amping up your flutter factor.
-There is a lash extension type for everyone
While your lash artist should always have a thorough consultation with you prior to the application, it’s important that you come to your appointment familiar with what you want. Currently, there are three types of extensions available: Classic, Volume and Hybrid. Classic extensions provide the most natural-looking results. For this technique, a single extension is applied to a single lash, resulting in a longer, fuller yet wearable look. Volume extensions, on the other hand, give you a more dramatic, “fluffed-up” appearance. Sets of 3-8 extensions are applied to a single lash, resulting in a thick, full, false lash look. Hybrid extensions (my current fave) are just that: A hybrid of both Classic and Volume extensions. So what does all this mean? Essentially, with so many options available, you can customize your lashes to fit your liking.
-They save SO. MUCH. TIME.
Whether you’re a mom chasing after a crazy toddler all day like me or are working a 9-to-5 job, lash extensions save so much time in the morning. I can’t tell you how many days I skip makeup altogether (except brows–they make such a difference!) when I have lash extensions. Plus, you can easily go from day to night with a simple swipe of liner and eyeshadow. If you hate spending more than 5 minutes on your mascara application like I do, the mere time savings alone is definitely worth it!
-Lash extensions are an investment
Lash extensions, much like many other beauty treatments, aren’t cheap, especially the initial full set, which can range anywhere from $80-$300 depending on the type of extension and stylist you choose. Fills can cost anywhere from $35-$90 every 3-4 weeks. And, while you may be tempted to go to cheaper lash artists out there, don’t do it–they may use cheap glues that may irritate your eyes or result in major lash fallout mere days after the initial application.
-They require constant maintenance
Yes, lash extensions may allow you to forgo mascara in your morning routine, but they do come with their fair share of upkeep. First, regular fills are critical. Your natural lashes (and thus, the extensions) typically shed every 2-3 weeks, depending on your natural lash growth, so you’ll want to book a fill prior to all of the extensions falling out. Otherwise, you run the risk of starting from scratch. If you do plan on making the commitment, prepare to visit your lash stylist often.
-They take up your time
Visiting your lash artist every few weeks can quickly start to feel more like a chore than a luxury. The initial appointment takes 2 hours (yes, 2 hours!) and every appointment after that is usually around 45-60 minutes. On the plus side, if you have kids, that small time block is actually a glorious break–you can’t do anything but shut your eyes and drift off to sleep!
-You may have allergies you’re unaware of
Unfortunately, some women are allergic to the glue and are unable to wear extensions. Your best bet? Ask your lash artist to perform a patch test, then go back for the full application if you don’t experience any irritation. And always speak up! I seem to be allergic to the eye pads that are applied prior to the application, so I ask my lash artist to apply the tape directly to my skin instead, So far, so good!
-You have to baby your lashes at all times
Once again, I can’t stress enough: lashes are extremely high maintenance. For starters, you must toss out any oil-based makeup removers or cleansers as the oil will loosen up the glue and cause your extensions to fall out. You should invest in a lash cleanser, or use a small amount of baby shampoo mixed with water to gently cleanse your lashes. What’s more, you can no longer lie face down and you must always shower with your face away from the water to protect your extensions. Can you get them wet? Yes, but the more contact they have with water, the shorter their lifespan.
-Your natural lashes may feel thinner or weaker after you remove the extensions
This is probably the biggest concern for women looking to get extensions. And while my lashes remained intact after taking them off on three separate occasions, you must proceed with caution. For starters, always go to a lash artist with strong experience and an array of positive reviews. When removing your lash extensions, allow some to fall out naturally, then saturate the lashline with oil (I prefer castor oil) to gently loosen up the adhesive. After a few minutes, the extensions should easily come off with minimal rubbing. When you do remove your extensions, your natural lashes will feel lighter (hello, you just had 2x or 3x as many lashes piled on top of them!), but they should remain intact. To help them grow longer and stronger, apply castor oil nightly. More on the amazing lash-growing benefits of castor oil HERE.
Yes, lash extensions require a great deal of upkeep, but I honestly think that they are SO worth it. If you don’t mind making the commitment and putting in the time, money and effort, definitely give them a try!
What’s your stance on lash extensions? Love ’em or hate ’em? Share below!