15 Things You Need to Know About Eyelash Extensions
If you’ve ever put on fake eyelashes, you know that they literally transform your face. Without a stitch of makeup, you could look spectacular. Your eyes open up, you look refreshed - you could even pull off a braided terry headband à la Let’s Get Physical, (and let’s be honest Olivia Newton John was the only one who ever pulled that off).
You also know that putting fakes on is not the easiest task. After 30 minutes in the mirror, I usually settle for a couple of 3 lash flairs placed on the edges — slightly askew — ready to turn into a spider attack in the face of the slightest gust of wind.
Enter the eyelash extension. Like a perfect set of tips, eyelash extensions turn drab to fab, and everyone from Beyoncé to the tweens on my daughter’s favorite Disney shows know it… but there are some things YOU should know before you superglue stuff to your face.
1. Be Ready to Become Addicted
Remember when you got those hair extensions, highlights or acrylic nails for the first time and never stopped? Those lashes won’t extend themselves, they will eventually shed and need to be replaced and filled on a regular basis. In other words, plenty of upkeep and you must keep up with it. Look, consider it a win seeing as how there are worse things to be addicted to.
2. Don’t Trust Just Anyone with Crazy Glue and a Pair of Tweezers
Someone is working dangerously close to your eyes people - your EYES. You need those things for holding up your fabulous high-intensity shadows and to assist in a perfect flick of liquid liner… oh… and also to see! So let’s be picky here.
3. Make Sure Your Expert is an Expert
Where did they train? Are they licensed? Are they certified to apply lashes? How long have they been doing lash extensions? Are they associated with a doctor’s office? Are they at a reputable salon or reputable lash-only establishment?
4. Lash Extensions are Not Cheap or Quick
It takes about 2 hours for your first set and fills/touch ups are recommended every three weeks. The cost can be in the hundreds for the initial visit.
5. Shop Around, but Don’t Let Price Dictate Your Choice
This is a pricey endeavor. Don’t go this route if you don’t have the money to maintain it. A sale isn’t worth your eyesight. Consider starting with a half set, it may be enough and it’s a cost-conscious alternative.
6. Get Stuck on Research
There are many types of glue available. Make sure your tech uses one that is formaldehyde free. Be aware that you may be allergic to a type of glue that is considered safe. If it starts to burn during the procedure or if you tear up, tell your tech, you may need to switch glue due to sensitivity.
7. Know What You’re Looking For
A friend whose lashes are perfect is usually the best billboard and great for a referral, but if you don’t have one of those (lucky you, you’ll be the first), ask the tech for before and after pics. You want to look for evenly spread lashes that look symmetrical on both eyes with no glue residue clumps or slanted fibers.
8. Be Your Own Customizer
There are different types of lashes that vary in length. Opt for ones that fit with your life, your work, and your current lashes. Also, think weight — mink are lighter so they put less weight on the eye and look feathery, yet they are the priciest. Synthetic mink is a great alternative. Be advised -the lighter the individual lash, the better they’ll likely look.
9. Embrace Change
It takes time to adjust. Your J. Lo lashes won’t necessarily make you feel like J. Lo immediately. You may notice the difference in weight or comfort or an urge to wear super low cut jumpsuits. Don’t be alarmed - your inner J. Lo needs time.
10. Habits Shmabits
You want fabulous supermodel lashes? Well, you may have to suffer like one. Relax, you can still eat donuts, but you can’t touch your eyes. Seriously, if you like to rub your eyes… cut it out! Rubbing, pulling, picking, twisting and tugging are major no-nos.
11. Bad Sleep Habits Kill Lashes and Dreams
Switch your pillowcase to a silk one, it doesn’t add friction to your face or lashes. Switch your sleep position to your back, it also doesn’t add friction… or wrinkles.
12. Maintain Your Investment
Aside from getting fills or touchups every 3-4 weeks, make sure to detangle after showers and in the morning with a light brushing and fanning. You should also rinse your lashes with water and a mild cleanser or baby shampoo.
13. Don’t Be Slick
Lashes and oil don’t mix. You should avoid creams, shampoos, conditioners or makeup with oil, as the oil destroys the adhesive bond. Remove eye makeup gently with an oil-free remover.
14. Say Goodbye to Mascara
Yes, you can do it! There is really no need for mascara when you have perfect Kim K. lashes. If you must indulge, only apply to the tips, as mascara will clump if you go over the glue. Also, make sure to avoid waterproof formulas, which may have oil and will be hard to remove.
15. Go Out the Way You Came In — With a Pro
You may get sick of the process, the feeling, the upkeep, the compliments… but don’t pull or attempt to remove your lashes yourself. Have them removed by a professional or let them shed naturally.
Getting eyelash extensions isn’t a medical procedure; however, that shouldn’t deter you from looking for a licensed aesthetician to apply lash extensions. A good place to start your search for an aesthetician is at a plastic surgeon’s practice. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your eyes!