Everything You Need To Know About Eyelash Extensions

Interested in eyelash extensions? Here’s what to expect. Into The Gloss, The Huffington Post and others have some great tips and things you must know below if you are strongly considering it.

First from Into The Gloss:

1. It’s a very luxurious process.

Really—it’s enjoyable. You lie down in a bed and close your eyes for an hour and a half while calming music plays in the background and a technician attaches little feathery nothings to your lashes.

It’s the most socially acceptable naptime a working adult could ask for. And if you’re not already sold, most salons offer a complimentary massage while you’re on the operating table.

2. Every lash extension experience is customizable.

When you’re done, you will not end up looking like you just got a permanent strip lash attached to your lid. First, you can choose the length. Most salons will carry extension lengths from 9 to 15mm (or, from natural to Kardashian length). The sweet spot for most is 10-12.

After you pick your length, pick your curl. A “J” curl is for a more natural, awake look, while a “C” curl is a more dramatic, “I never leave home without my Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler” look. If you want to get creative, you can do “J” on the inner corners of your eyes and “C” on the outer edges for a more cat eye look.

Now, in terms of material, you have a lot to choose from: Faux Mink, Faux Fox, Silk, Real Mink, and last but not least, Real Human Hair. The differences between these looks are negligible so opt for the Faux Mink since it’s the most affordable.

3. Eyelash extensions last longer than you think.

With proper care, I can get my extensions to last up to a month and a half. Most places recommend you come back every 2-3 weeks for a touch up, but if you’re looking to save a bit of money, you can prolong their lifespan. Just be careful not to get water on your lashes and don’t use oily products near your eyes.

4. Yes, you can wear makeup with them.

If you can’t stand the thought of ditching your smoky eye, don’t worry, you don’t have to. Only liquid-based eye products can be damaging to the extensions, but you can get away with a tiny wing of liquid liner as long as you’re not dragging it along the lash line.

Make sure to carefully remove the shadow or liner with oil-free makeup remover and Q-tips for precision.

Most importantly, stay away from mascara entirely. This it because it leaves the extensions crusty and damaged. It’s only acceptable if you’re at the end of your cycle and will be getting a fresh set in a few days.

5. Extensions can ruin your eyelashes—but they don’t have to.

That is, if you don’t play by the rules. I am one of the many people who have made the mistake of pulling out the extensions myself. Not only is it extremely painful but it leaves you with few to no natural eyelashes left.

However, after what I like to call the intense “eyelash rehab” program of applying Vaseline to my lashes every night, my natural eyelashes return normal after a month and a half.

6. The only way to get rid of them is to get them professionally removed or have them fall out naturally.

Getting a professional extension removal is as easy as having them put on–painless and relatively quick. Every salon will have this service available.

If you’re not looking to spend any more money, however, the extensions do fall out with the natural shedding of your lashes. This is a much slower process, but it is free, so there’s that.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post…

What are the most common types of lash extensions?

There are three types of lash extensions: synthetic, silk and mink. Size availability ranges from 6mm to 17mm. Once you select them, a technician will apply them one at a time using a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate the eye nor damage the natural lash.

However, since allergic reactions are possible, there are different types of glue based on one’s sensitivity.

How long does it take to apply lash extensions?

Applying a full set of lashes takes about two hours, and can be maintained year-round with touch-ups recommended every three to four weeks.

A half set of lashes are an economical alternative to achieve a similarly dramatic effect, applied as filler to thicken natural lashes, or applied outward from the eye for a specialized look.

Everyone has different lashes, and depending on the condition of your own natural lashes, lash experts can only go a certain length or thickness. (This is to ensure that your own lashes remain healthy.) For example, if your natural lashes are on the shorter, thinner side, you won’t be able to get a crazy, dramatic Kim Kardashian look, because it won’t last. It’s better to start out with a half set (50 to 60 percent of your top lashes) if you aren’t sure or it’s your first time. It’s easier to add more than to remove lashes!

What happens if glue gets in your eyes?

Since your eyes are shut the whole time lash extensions when a technician applies them, no glue will ever get into your eye. To avoid any irritation, however, the first safety precaution you can take is to be sure that the glue is safe for your eyes and doesn’t contain anything that can harm them, like formaldehyde.

Shipping glues across the world often leads to a buildup of formaldehyde by the time they reach the salon.

Additionally, it’s important to understand the difference between an allergic reaction and an infection. A licensed lash technician with experience will not let an infection occur, but if you’re allergic to the glue, you’re still going to be allergic — this doesn’t mean the glue is inherently harmful.

Can you go blind?

No. Your technician should have the proper training to apply the adhesive and lashes in a way that is completely harmless.

Your eyes are closed the entire time of the procedure. No matter how bad an allergic reaction may get, you will never go blind. The worse case scenario is that you need to go to the eye doctor to get specific eye drops to treat an allergic reaction.

What happens when you cry?

If you experience any burning or discomfort during the procedure, causing your eyes to tear or making you cry, this is a huge red flag and you should certainly speak up. You may need to have your technician change the glue. Getting lash extensions should be a completely pain-free experience.

What are the pros and cons of wearing mink lashes like Beyoncé?

People want all different kinds of looks — some people go for drama, and some opt for something more natural. The benefits of mink lash extensions are that they are more feathery looking and lighter in general, so they put less pressure on your lashes. Mink lashes also come at a higher cost.

How often do you need to get lash extensions redone?

Lash extensions last through a full growth cycle of natural eyelashes, typically six to eight weeks. That said, because each person’s lash growth is somewhat variable (just hair growth), I suggest light lash maintenance every three to four weeks to maintain a full look.

Do lash extensions fall out over a certain period of time?

Since each lash extension attaches to a single eyelash, they will fall out naturally along with the natural growth cycle of each lash. We recommend a touch-up every three to four weeks.

When an professional with very little experience applies lashes, he or she often applies one synthetic lash to three to four natural lashes, causing clumps or the lash to break and fall out.

In addition, your lashes might fall out if you pick at them or try to pull them out yourself, which is a big no-no. But if you avoid those two problems, your lashes should stay intact.

Can you shower or swim right away? Are there products you should absolutely avoid?

Keep water away from your lashes for the first 12 to 24 hours after application or touch-ups. Water can weaken the adhesive before it is set and cause lashes to fall off. The after-care varies depending on the glue used.

For instance, with glue for sensitive eyes, oil-based products or makeup removers around the eye area are not recommended. Using water-proof mascara on the extensions is not recommended for any type of glue, as it is hard to remove and can actually pull off the lashes prematurely when trying to take it off.

Is it okay to also wear mascara?

If you are planning to wear mascara in addition to the extensions, only use it on the tips of the extensions and with a very light hand. This will be enough to give your eyes that “pop” along with the extensions. Using mascara at the base of the extensions will get very clumpy.

Will your natural lashes get harmed or damaged?

The biggest myth is that lash extensions ruin your own lashes. They do not. If applied correctly and properly, they are safe and do not ruin the health of your natural lashes.

Be sure not to rub your eyes or tug or pull on the extensions because this can cause lash loss and even damage to your natural lashes. If lashes get the proper application and to each individual lash, they won’t fall out.

What questions should you ask when searching for a reputable salon or professional?

Because of the sensitive nature of the lashes and the surrounding area, finding someone with a certification to apply the lashes is definitely a must. Professionals use professional products and have the proper training to apply the lashes without damaging your natural lashes or more importantly, your eyes.

Just like you would with a hairstylist, research who you want to go to and how long they have been working as a technician. Look at before-and-after photos, read reviews and always make sure they are licensed and lash-certified.