Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Eyelash Extensions

If you’re anything like me, you love the way makeup looks, but hate the process of putting it on. One of my major aesthetic goals is to have skin healthy enough that I virtually never have to wear makeup. 

This isn’t by any means a paid post or an ad but ever since I tried eyelash extensions, I realized I’m one step closer to fulfilling this goal. These semi permanent false lashes are my way out of wearing any eye makeup. With their popularity rising substantially over the past year, the options seem endless. To quash any misconceptions or concerns you may have about them, here is a comprehensive guide to the before, during, and after of eyelash extensions. 

What exactly are they? 

Eyelash extensions are individual, synthetic lashes that are glued to each of your natural lashes. These extensions are usually synthetic mink, made of polyester. Authentic mink lashes are also available, gathered from brushing mink fur, which can look and feel more natural but are a little more expensive. Depending on the style you want, a certain number of synthetic lashes are glued to your individual lash. Classic sets follow a 1:1 ratio, and Russian volume sets follow a 6:1 ratio, with options between to cater to individual want. 

There are different curl types, as well as lash extension lengths which you get to pick under the guidance of your lash technician. This will depend on the strength of your natural lash, as well as what kind of look you are seeking. The curlier, longer, and higher ratio you choose, the more dramatic the look. An eyelash appointment can cost between $100-$200. 

What can you expect from an appointment?

Eyelash appointments are, in a word, pampering. They typically last between 1-2 hours. You want to show up to your appointment makeup free, as oils from the makeup can impact the adhesiveness of the lash glue. If it’s your first time, your lash technician will sit with you and go over your lash style options.

You get to lay down on a comfortable day bed. Hydrating pads are placed along your water line to separate the bottom lashes from the top lashes, to avoid the adhesive from sticking to them together. This can feel a little weird at first, but quickly becomes quite pleasant. You spend the entire appointment laying down, with your eyes closed. In fact, it’s common for people to fall asleep during appointments. After your technician completes both eyes, a handheld fan is used to dry the adhesive, before you are finally allowed to open your eyes. 

How to care for your lashes 

The most important thing you can do to make sure your lashes, both natural and synthetic, are healthy and stay that way is to go to a trusted lash technician. It’s important to do some research before booking an appointment. Most lash bars, or independent technicians, have Instagram accounts that showcase their work. It’s important to check these out, as well as read reviews. Although it may be tempting to go somewhere less expensive, when it comes to letting someone work on your face, you shouldn’t take any risks. Improper application is the only way lash extensions can be damaging to your natural lashes. 

Following application, in order to ensure your lashes last as long as possible, you have to avoid getting the lashes wet for 24 hours. After the first 24 hours, it’s fine to get them wet, but you should avoid excessive soaking. You should also avoid oil based products from coming near the eyes- from oil based makeup to oil based moisturizer, all these will work to degrade the lash glue prematurely. Lashes should be brushed from root to tip once a day, to avoid tangling and tugging. It’s also important to clean along the base of the lash line, to avoid any bacterial buildup. 

Typically, the lashes follow your natural lash cycle since they are attached to your natural lash. Most people will need to go in for a refill after 2-3 weeks. A fill costs about $40-$80, depending on how many of your lashes have fallen out. Lash bars do not usually do refills after the 4 week mark. If cared for properly, lash extensions, without a fill between, will last just fine for 4-6 weeks. 

Eyelashes can lift your entire face. They open up the eye, and can make you feel totally fabulous. Their semi permanence and customizability make them an appealing alternative to mascara and strip lashes. If you’re looking to spice up your look, or to stave off makeup application in the mornings, they’re a great option!  

As always, remember to do research and be safe!