I’m sure it comes as no surprise that, just like thousands of women out there, I’ve always wanted longer and thicker eyelashes. So, one day, I stopped wishing and decided to do something about it. I decided to try eyelash extensions.
Look at any picture of a celebrity on a red carpet or any selfie posted by a professional makeup artist, and they are sure to have eyelash extensions camouflaged underneath coats of mascara. I decided that I wanted to be like those women, so I turned to a trusted and recommended lash technician in the Upper Marlboro area, where she gave me an “extreme” full set on the eyes.
So, what exactly are eyelash extensions?
Eyelash extensions are used to enhance the length, curliness, fullness and thickness of natural eyelashes. Extensions can be made from several materials including mink, synthetic or horse hair.
It should also be made clear that eyelash extensions are not the same as temporary lashes. Typically, semi-permanent eyelash extensions are applied by a technician who hand glues the lashes on top of your natural ones. With proper care, they can last for weeks at a time.
Whether it’s your first time, or you are an eyelash veteran, here are some things you should know:
After you have booked your appointment, you should come prepared with an “eyelash” set in mind. Believe it or not, there are quite a few options out there. Wispy, fairy, extreme, classic, hybrid and the list goes on. More specialized salons have an extensive list of curl patterns for the lashes. You can also customize the thickness and length, once you communicate with your lash tech about what you are looking for.
You should also come with a bare face (or at the minimum, no eye makeup). Which means no eyeshadow, eyeliner, and especially, no mascara. My lash tech emphasized the importance of not wearing any oil-based eye makeup, as it prevents the extensions from adhering as strongly. You may also have to plan out your activities for the rest of the day a little bit strategically. Before, clients were told not to get their extensions wet for 24 to 48 hours. Today you should be able to get your eyelashes wet right away. With that being said, it can still be tricky. If you’re intent on getting in a workout in, plan it before your appointment and make sure you shower before.
Now, time for the procedure itself. The experience of having the extensions put on was not terrible. It took roughly about an hour and 45 minutes. It was the outcome that ultimately made me regret my decision.
I, of course, liked the way they looked, especially when I would take selfies. However, after day one, my lash extensions began to hurt. Not consistently, but I did feel some stinging and burning around my waterline. Another issue with my lashes is that they began to fall out continuously each day, along with some of my natural lashes.
It was difficult to do everyday tasks like washing my face, even laying down. My lash tech advised that you can’t fully lay on your side, as you might squish and contort your lashes. They are also high maintenance. Realistically, you will have to get a “fill” every two to three weeks, which means that your lash tech will fill in the areas where your lashes have grown or fallen out. This can take up to an hour. I have a pretty demanding schedule, so scheduling consuming beauty regimens every two to three weeks isn’t really in the cards for me right now.
Before joining the cult of eyelash extensions, you should also know that they are an expensive habit. For the first initial appointment, the application, depending on the lash type, can cost anywhere around $80 to $200. And, for every two to three-week fill, it can range from $40-45. The cost to maintain the lash extension lifestyle quickly adds up.
Having lashes aren’t all bad though, I promise. One benefit is that you can wear less makeup.
With lash extensions, they can instantly make your eyes appear larger and brighter. You never have to curl your lashes and can forego the look of clumpy mascara. My morning routine went by so fast when I had them on. These are the perfect “accessory” for the holiday season when you want to rock the minimal makeup look.
So, would I do it again? It’s unlikely. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. But, word to the wise, do your research and know the risks of incorporating eyelash extensions into your beauty routine before you take the plunge.