Eyelash Extensions Basics: Dos, Don’ts and Aftercare
Eyelash extensions or lash extensions are the perfect solution if you’re sick of mascara, or if it seems as though no matter how many coats of it you apply they still seem short and sparse. The eyelash extension procedure normally takes around an hour and a half, in which tiny lashes made of mink, silk, synthetic fibers, or even human hair are glued close to the lash line, making for fuller, longer, and thicker lashes.
The results of an eyelash extension procedure can range anywhere from subtle to sultry. They make the eyes appear larger, brighter, and more awake. Eyelash extensions, for many, totally erase the need for mascara and eyeliner. Unlike false eyelashes, which are a decent choice for one-night occasions, eyelash extensions will never peel off in an embarrassing strip nor will they weigh down the eyelid.
Types of Eyelash Extensions
What’s cool about eyelash extensions is that your look can be totally customized! Lashes range in size from 6mm to 17mm, and there are two types of curls: the softer ‘J’ curl and the more extreme ‘C’ curl.
Lashes are most frequently available in black and dark brown, although if you really wanted to do something out of the box you can ask your technician to order something special. Eyelash extensions are available in almost every color in the visible light spectrum.
A talented eyelash extension technician could combine the different sizes and curl types to create a variety of different looks. You could have cat-eye eyelash extensions in which the lashes in the outer corner of the eye are longer.
A narrow eye could be made to look wider with longer eyelash extensions concentrated in the middle. For a more natural look you can have your aesthetician apply alternating sizes of J-curl lashes in a subtle size gradient. The options for lash extensions are endless.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
What some people don’t realize is that eyelash extensions are not glued to the skin, but to the lashes themselves. If you have no lashes at all, or bald spots, you would be better off learning how to apply false lashes, since the eyelash extensions won’t stick well to bare skin.
On the other hand, if you have most of your lashes and they are just not thick or long enough for your taste, then eyelash extensions are a great choice!
The second thing to consider is whether sitting through the procedure, and then maintaining the aftercare, is doable. Eyelash extensions take between an hour and a half to 2 hours to complete, and during that time the client must lie still with their eyes closed. For someone fidgety and high-energy it’d be quite difficult.
However, many other people find the eyelash extension procedure soothing and relaxing. Additionally, overly sensitive eyes and allergies to the adhesive should also be considered.
So What’s the Big Deal with Aftercare?
As for the eyelash extension aftercare, it’s a big list of “don’ts.” Don’t touch your eyelashes, don’t get them wet for the first 24 hours, don’t sleep on your stomach, don’t wear mascara, don’t use oil-based makeup remover. Do comb the lashes out every morning, and do be really, really careful.
People who don’t follow the eyelash extension aftercare to a T will lose a lot of eyelashes, and might find their aesthetician’s hard work totally gone after a week. However, someone who is diligent and careful can keep her eyelash extensions looking gorgeous for over a month!
Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Salon
These days almost every salon offers eyelash extensions, but not all eyelash technicians are created equal. Look at your prospective technician’s Instagram profile or online gallery, and make sure you like her style. After that read reviews, and specifically look for reviews that talk about the long-term results.
A lesser eyelash extension stylist might glue one faux-lash to a cluster of natural lashes, causing the natural eyelashes to fall out. However, a professional lash extension job will leave all of your eyelashes intact, with no cause for concern.
Questions to Ask
When you make your appointment ask about the types of eyelashes available – they should have a variety of sizes and curls on offer. Ask about whether their eyelash extension glue is formaldehyde-free and made in North America or Europe (the answer should be yes).
A great eyelash extension salon will carry multiple types of adhesives, in case a customer has an allergy to a specific ingredient. NovaLash is the favorite eyelash adhesive of many professionals.
How Much Does It Cost to Get Eyelash Extensions Done?
There is a lot of variation in eyelash extension costs, based on how many lashes you want used on you. It can go from $100 for a very subtle look, all the way up to $500 for a very dense application.
It’s worth considering a consultation, where you describe to your eyelash stylist how you would like your eyelash extensions to looks, and she should be able to give you a price quote. Touch-ups should cost between $30-$80, and are normally recommended doing every 2-3 weeks.
Pros and Cons of Having Eyelash Extensions
Pros: Gorgeous eyelashes, less need for makeup, little to no discomfort during the procedure, excellent for special occasions.
You can still wear makeup when having eyelash extensions, however, when applying mascara, use it only on the tips of the extensions to avoid a clumpy look, as well as to avoid potentially damaging or removing your extensions.
If you wear contact lenses, you still can get eyelash extensions done, however, it’s advised to remove them during the lash application process to avoid getting irritated eyes because of having your eyes shut for a while.
Cons: Aftercare can be a hassle, not cheap. Eyelash extensions may harm your natural lashes if you don’t follow the aftercare rules. In case of getting harmed natural lashes, you can recover their health by applying Vaseline after the removal of the extensions.
To get your eyelash extensions removed, you’ll need to get it done at the salon. However, if you don’t want to spend extra money on this service, you should just wait for the extensions to fall out during the natural shedding of your own lashes, which normally happens every 60-90 days.
You need to be extremely careful when using makeup remover, trying not to touch your extensions. Special eye makeup removers can work for your eyelash extensions as long as you avoid using cotton pads and rubbing, but rather remove your makeup by gently wiping the lid to the tip of the extensions.
I know that for me, at least for every day, the answer is no. I don’t find that applying mascara every day is an issue, and my current favorite (Clump Crusher by CoverGirl) does a more than adequate job. I am also very fidgety and I love to sleep on my belly, so I doubt I’d be able to get the eyelash extensions to last for longer than a week or two.
Lastly, I don’t enjoy going into the salon more than once every few months so the frequent touch-ups sound like a major annoyance.
On the other hand, the results really are dramatic and beautiful. I will seriously consider getting eyelash extensions done for a very special occasion, like a wedding or an awards gala.
Photos courtesy of @studiomascara, @luxuriouslashes_