Look, I have a confession to make. The first time I got eyelash extensions, I was so excited about having big, fluttery lashes without the hassle of falsies or mascara. But here’s the thing—I forgot to ask all the important questions before my appointment. I did zero research. So let me save you from making the same mistake. I reached out to lash experts to get all the details on how to prep for your appointment, proper aftercare, and everything else you need to know about eyelash extensions.
What are Eyelash Extensions?
Eyelash extensions are a game-changer. Unlike strip lashes, these semipermanent lashes are individually glued to your natural lashes, making them highly customizable and incredibly real-looking. Andra Marin, artistic director and expert lash stylist at Courtney Akai Lash Boutique in NYC, explains that they are hand-glued on top of your natural lashes, giving you the perfect customized look.
How Long do Eyelash Extensions Last?
The lifespan of your eyelash extensions depends on how well you take care of them. If you follow the proper aftercare routine, they can last for an impressive six to eight weeks. Just think of it—they can stay on until they naturally fall out, just like your own lashes. And even when they start falling out, you can always go back to your lash stylist for fill-ins. With good maintenance, you can make your extensions last indefinitely.
Do Eyelash Extensions Ruin Your Eyelashes?
Here’s the truth: There isn’t much evidence to suggest that eyelash extensions cause long-term damage to your natural lashes. There is a small risk of developing traction alopecia, where your natural lashes fall out due to the weight of repeated eyelash extensions. However, this is rare and usually only happens because of bad application and improper care. To avoid any mishaps, make sure to go to a reputable salon that follows all the necessary protocols and ask questions about their sanitation and disinfection practices. Trust your instincts, and if something feels off, reschedule your appointment.
What’s Bad About Eyelash Extensions?
Eyelash extensions aren’t inherently bad. The key is to ensure that your technician follows proper methods and uses the right materials. Before your appointment, it’s essential to inquire about the ingredients in the lash glue being used. If the salon cannot provide clear answers or if the glue contains formaldehyde (a known eye irritant), it’s best to cancel the appointment. Choose a salon that uses glues made with safe alternatives like butyl cyanoacrylate and octyl cyanoacrylate.
It’s also important to understand the difference between certification and licensure. Not all lash technicians are licensed by the state and health department. Some states require licensing, so make sure the person you’re seeing meets all the necessary requirements.
How Much do Eyelash Extensions Cost?
The cost of a full set of eyelash extensions varies depending on where you live. In New York City, a basic set (around 70 to 80 lashes per eye) can range from $100 to $400, plus tip (usually around 20 percent). Remember, eyelashes grow and eventually fall out, which means you’ll need fill-ins every few weeks. The cost of fill-ins can range from $50 to $165, depending on how many new lashes you need. Keep in mind that the longer you wait between fill-ins, the more lashes you’ll need to replace, driving up the cost.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
It’s essential to find the right size and style of eyelash extensions for your unique features. Your lash technician will take into consideration the length and strength of your natural lashes. Wearing lashes that are too long or too thick can actually cause damage in the long run. Trust your technician to guide you through the process, helping you select the right material, such as synthetic mink or synthetic silk. While mink lashes are pricier, they feel softer and look more natural. However, some synthetic options are highly customizable, looking and feeling just as natural as mink.
Your technician will also help you decide on the density, curl, and length of your extensions. Classic lashes involve attaching one extension to each natural lash, while volume lashes add multiple extension hairs to a single, natural lash, creating a fan-like effect. Hybrid lash extensions combine both classic and volume techniques for a more customized look. To ensure you and your lash technician are on the same page, ask for photos of their previous work, as lash terminology may vary.
Can I Wear Makeup to My Eyelash Extension Appointment?
No, you should arrive with clean skin and no eye makeup whatsoever. That means no eyeshadow, eyeliner, or mascara. Anything on your lids or lashes can affect the outcome of your extensions, so be sure to wash your face thoroughly beforehand.
How to Care for Your Lash Extensions
Caring for your lash extensions is crucial to maintain their longevity. While each lash technician may have specific aftercare instructions, there are some general guidelines to follow. Avoid tugging, pulling, rubbing, or applying oily formulas to your lashes. Oils can break down the adhesive, and friction caused by these actions can damage the extensions. You can use eye creams, but make sure to protect your lash line. For those with oily skin, eyeshadow primers can help absorb excess oil to prevent it from reaching the lash line.
Showering is completely fine after getting eyelash extensions, but consult with your lash stylist to determine how long you should wait before exposing them to water. Be gentle when your lashes come into contact with water, and when drying off, use a towel to carefully absorb the water under your eyes.
It’s not advisable to use mascara with lash extensions as it can cause breakage during removal. Mascara can also clump your lashes together, making them difficult to clean. Cream-based eyeliners should also be avoided, as they can interfere with the adhesives.
When washing your face, use cleansers specifically formulated for eyelash extensions. These products are designed to be safe and gentle, helping remove any buildup without weakening the lash bond. Use oil-free pads and swipe downward to clean your lids and lashes. Avoid rubbing or tugging at your eyes.
To keep your lash extensions from tangling, gently brush them with a clean spoolie brush. Do this when you wake up, after showering, and at the end of the day. If you notice any tangles above the lash line, use the tip of the spoolie to separate the hairs and avoid pulling them out.
To remove lash extensions, it’s best to visit a lash technician. However, if you can’t get to one immediately, you can try a DIY method using a little oil, such as vitamin E or castor oil. Apply the oil to your eyelashes and leave it overnight. When you wash your face in the morning, the extensions should slide off easily.
Are Eyelash Extensions Worth It?
Deciding to get eyelash extensions requires careful consideration. If you feel like mascara isn’t meeting your expectations and you’re willing to put in the extra maintenance and expense, it’s definitely worth seeking out a specialist for a consultation. But before committing, feel free to experiment with a good pair of falsies to get a sense of the look you desire.
In conclusion, eyelash extensions can give you the long, fluttery lashes of your dreams, but they also require attention and care. By following the proper aftercare routine and choosing a reputable salon, you can enjoy the benefits of eyelash extensions without any drawbacks. So go ahead, enhance your natural beauty and flutter those lashes with confidence.