EYELASH EXTENSIONS 101

IMG_4516Eyelash extensions are one of those amazing miracle beauty services. They require zero mascara, and little maintenance between appointments.  They are a must-have service for a lot of women, but there are a few unknown things about having them done that even seasoned lash service clients might not know about. Today I want to give everyone a little 101 class on these babies.

To start, eyelash extensions are individual synthetic lashes that are adhered to your real lashes, piece by piece, for the appearance of longer, thicker eyelashes. They typically last about 3 weeks before needing to be filled. To get the best information possible, I met with my dear friend Laura, a licensed esthetician who has been doing lashes for quite a while. She was kind enough to let me pick her brain, swap stories with, and even do my own lashes.

IMG_4513Before booking your appointment, it’s important to find an extensionist that is also a licensed esthetician. Bonus points if they are certified in eyelash extensions as well. The reason being, you want someone who has been educated, particularly with something so close to sensitive facial areas like your eyes. Additionally, they will know all the sanitation processes needed to keep tools and products up to standard. Don’t be afraid to ask your extensionist how long they’ve been doing it for, what products they use, and what their prices are. Be sure to let them know ahead of time if you have any allergies to adhesives, or if you have any concerns about the actual process.

IMG_4518As you get ready to take off for your appointment, there are a couple things to do. First, keep in mind that your initial full set of eyelash extensions could take up to 2 1/2 hours to complete. Remember that the extensions are being glued to each individual eyelash – that takes some time! Keep your schedule open for that amount of time. You don’t want your extensionist to feel rushed to get you out the door, and end up with a poor set of lashes. Also, you’ll be laying on a cushioned table for a long time, unable to move. Be sure to wear something comfortable, and maybe bring a sweater in case you’re prone to getting cold in air conditioning.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, be sure to throughly remove all your eye makeup before the appointment. Any mascara or eyeliner residue can prevent the adhesive from bonding correctly to your natural lash, resulting in extensions not lasting as long. Try not to use any oil based makeup removers as well – perhaps just a warm, damp washcloth instead!

IMG_4514As your extensionist works away, you might begin to get drowsy. Be sure to let them know you might fall asleep, that way they can be prepared if your head dozes off to the side, and also so they don’t try to have a conversation with a sleeping person! Ha!

Now you may have a few expectations before going in, but there are a few things to keep in mind that will save both you and your extensionist a possible headache:

Firstly, your extensionist cannot put extensions where there are no lashes. A lot of us tend to get “bald” spots near the inner corners of our eyelids. While they can certainly try to fan out lashes to give the appearance of a fuller look, they simply cannot just glue an extension directly onto the lid. Not only will it likely not adhere, it would irritate and hurt your eyelid terribly.

Secondly, if you have naturally straight lashes, don’t ask for extensions with a lot of curl or volume. Since your natural lashes are straight, they will eventually begin to separate from the extension. You’re going to want extensions with curl and volume somewhat similar to your natural lashes. While you may not end up with lashes up to your eyebrows like a Kardashian, you will still end up with beautiful thick extensions, that truthfully look more natural.

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IMG_4515Don’t be freaked out when your extensionist tells you they need to tape down your bottom lashes. This is to prevent the adhesive from spilling onto the lower ones and gluing your eyelashes shut! The tape will not pull out your lower lashes as it typically has a very gentle adhesive. After they begin to apply the extensions, it is imperative to NOT open your eyes until you’re told. The fumes from the glue can cause you to tear up, which could make all the extensions fall out. Try not to get the lashes wet for 24-48 hours after you appointment, and do not use any makeup remover on them.

IMG_4512Post Appointment Care:

  • As mentioned, don’t get the extensions wet for at least 24-48 hours after application. Try to also avoid steam rooms, or super hot showers. The intense heat and humidity can cause the adhesive to soften.
  • Do not put mascara over them. Granted, the reason behind getting extensions is partly to not have to use mascara, but you’d be surprised how many people will continue to use it. Doing so can loosen the extension, or completely pull it out.
  • Lightly comb through them if they get tangled, trying your best not to pull one out. It’s normal for you to lose a few extensions as the days go on. Try not to pull out any extensions if they start to droop, and avoid rubbing your eyes if you can.
  • To some, these might seem a bit high maintenance, but the benefit of not having to curl your eyelashes and apply mascara is worth it alone to me. Going swimming without looking like a raccoon, and waking up feeling pretty in the mornings are a great bonus too!

breann bowman