My eyelashes have always been nearly invisible. Translation: unless I wear false eyelashes or a ton of mascara you can’t see them. A year and a half ago I went to the dentist and the receptionist had the most beautiful natural looking eyelashes I’d ever seen. I asked her secret. Eyelash extensions. I was intrigued, so she gave me a referral (it was actually her mom!) and I hoped for the best. Nearly two years later, I’m hooked. Today I want to share my experience with eyelash extensions and answer a few of your questions (via instastories!). Enjoy!
What is the difference between eyelash extensions and false lashes?
False or “strip” eyelashes are a strip of synthetic hair placed on your lash line with glue. Strip eyelashes are taken off at night and can be re-worn 3-5 times depending on the quality of the lashes. Eyelash extensions, on the other hand, are individual hairs dipped in glue and placed on the root of your natural lashes by a lash technician. Depending on the person, eyelash extensions can last 2-4 weeks before a “fill” (ie. touch up) is necessary. Strip eyelashes are a cheap, quick fix while eyelash extensions are a more costly investment that lasts longer and typically look more natural.
What kind of eyelash extensions do I get?
I get faux silk eyelash extensions as I prefer my lashes to appear dark, but natural looking. Faux silk lashes give off a delicate, soft and wispy look. Since my eyes are hooded, I prefer my lashes to be longest in the center and gradually become shorter at the corners of my eyes. My technician replicates my natural lash length. My lashes are 0.20mm and range from 15mm- 10mm in length. My longest lashes (in the middle of my eyes) are 15mm and shortest lashes are 10mm at the edges of my eyes.
What kind of glue is used to apply my lashes?
My technician uses medical grade lash glue. She has sensitive skin herself, so she uses this glue as it has the best results with her clients in terms of staying power and non-irritability. I’ve been told glues that hold lashes longer are more potent and therefore likely to irritate your eyes. The health of my eyes is always my first priority so I’d rather use gentle glue and go in for an eyelash fill more often. Important note: the eyelash glue should not burn during your eyes during application/ after your lashes have been applied. If they do, ask your technician to use a more gentle medical grade eyelash glue.
How long does it take to get them applied?
My initial application took 2.5 hours. I’ve been told I have a “lot of lashes” compared to most people, so this affects the duration of my application. Fills are done every 3 weeks and typically take 1-1.5 hours depending on how many extensions are left!
What about aftercare?
Immediate aftercare: I can’t get my eyelashes wet for 24 hours after application. This allows the glue to dry fully. So this means no swimming, crying or showering (my face). As for everyday care, I use baby shampoo to wash my eyelash extensions. I put a pea size amount on my (clean) fingers, gently rub the shampoo through my eyelashes and rinse with water. I’d highly recommend washing your eyelashes with baby shampoo as it’s the most gentle (and affordable!) way to keep your lash extensions clean. If I wear eye makeup, I use an oil-free eye makeup remover and use a makeup wipe to remove my makeup.
Have my eyelashes fallen out?
I only had one occasion when my natural eyelashes fell out and it was when I visited a new eyelash extension bar! This eyelash bar chose to apply 4-D and 5-D lashes on my eyelashes to create a more dramatic, voluminous look. 4-D and 5-D lashes are when a clump of 4 or 5 lashes are attached to one of your natural eyelashes. The weight of the 4-5 lashes along with the amount of glue it takes to hold them in place damaged my natural lashes. I ended up losing a ton of my natural lashes and they took months to grow back. I would highly advise against 4-D and 5-D lashes! *Sometimes* locations use these lashes as it saves time during the application process. If you’re a first timer, I’d highly suggest single lash extensions to see how your natural eyelashes handle them.
Can you wear eye makeup with eyelash extensions?
You cannot wear mascara as it will damage your lash extensions and make them fall out faster. However, you can wear eyeshadow and eyeliner. Just make sure your eyeliner is oil-free as oil will loosen the glue and can make your eyelash extensions fall out faster!
Can you feel the eyelash extensions?
The first time I got eyelash extensions, I could feel the eyelash extensions for about two weeks. After that, I got used to the added weight on my eyelashes. Since then I cannot feel my eyelashes at all and often forget I have them!
How much do they cost?
I get my eyelashes done in Canada, where it’s much cheaper. I paid $150 CAD ($115 USD) for my initial application and $65 CAD ($50 USD) for a fill. I’ve seen eyelash extensions anywhere from $150 USD to $300 USD for the initial set and $50 USD to $85 USD for a fill-in Florida. Eyelash extensions are an investment. Never take the cheap route when it comes to eyelash extensions – its your eyes after all! Avoid Groupon or any deal that seems too good to be true. I’ve heard horror stories of people’s eyes being glued shut from “technicians” with little to no experience. If you can’t afford it, no worries – I’d stick with eyelash strips!
I opened up my instastories to y’all and asked if you had any specific questions on eyelash extensions. Some questions were repetitive so I combined a few questions below. If you have any additional questions that aren’t listed below feel free to shoot me an email and I’d be happy to answer – firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I know which eyelashes to get?
First of all, figure out what look you’re going for. Do you want natural looking eyelashes? Dramatic looking eyelashes? Find photos of eyelash extensions you like and show them to your technician. If they’re a goof technician they will evaluate your eyelashes before applying the extensions. Everyone’s eyelashes are different and those who have short, thin natural eyelashes may not be able to handle dramatic, thick or long eyelashes. Don’t push it. Only get extensions your eyelashes can handle.
How long do they last?
This depends on so many factors. First: your eyelashes! Everyone’s eyelashes are different. Some are thick, thin, long, short, curly, straight etc. The longer and thicker your natural lashes are, the longer your extensions will stay in place. Also, the glue used has a huge affect on how long your lashes will stay put. The more potent the glue, the longer they will stay. However, the more potent the glue, the higher chance of irritating your lash line. Another factor: how rough you are with your lashes. Do you sleep on your side? If the answer is yes, they may come off easier on the side you sleep on. Do you wear mascara? That will make your extensions fall out faster. Do you rub your eyes? Don’t.
Have you taken a break from getting eyelash extensions since starting?
I have! I took a 3-4 month break within the past two years. Why? My gal was doing renovations on her house and paused her business. I’m loyal like a dog!
If you have sensitive eyes is this safe?
It depends how sensitive. I would consider my skin/eyes sensitive and so far so good. If you have sensitive skin I’d suggest to do your own research on what eyelash glues to avoid. Some can be more potent than others and the fumes can irritate your eyes. You may also be allergic to certain ingredients in the glue or the eyelashes themselves! I’d suggest researching the most highly rated eyelash bar in your city and having a consultation beforehand.
Can you get extensions if you wear contacts?
Yes! I am blind as a bat and wear contacts all day everyday. It took me a couple of days to get used to putting in/taking out my contacts with extensions but I got the hang of it! I also wear my contacts when my extensions are being applied. I’ve never had an issue!
How do you do eyeliner and/or eyeshadow without ruining the extensions?
Use as little as possible. Or none at all. I’m a makeup junkie so this isn’t even an option for me. I try to stick with oil-free liners (as those with oil can break down the eyelash glue) and take off my eye makeup with oil-free eye makeup remover. Remember to avoid mascara at all costs, no matter how tempting it may be!
Can it damage your natural lashes?
YES! Eyelash extensions can easily damage your natural lashes or even worse…make them fall out completely. Make sure you get your extensions done by someone who is certified and has a lot of experience. As previously mentioned, I’d highly suggest to stay clear of 4-D or 5-D eyelash extensions. Their added weight can damage your natural lashes and make them fall out. Also, never ever play with/tug on your lash extensions. This can also pull out your natural eyelashes.
Do you feel like eyelash extensions are dramatic enough to not wear mascara?
I do! But I prefer a natural look. If you’re looking for a super dramatic look I’d stick with false lashes. Don’t jeopardize the health of your eyelashes for a dramatic look.
Who should apply my eyelash extensions?
Someone who is certified and has lots of experience! Make sure to take a look at their portfolio before getting yours done!
When you first got eyelash extensions did it take a while to get used to?
Yes. I’d say the first 2 weeks when I first tried out eyelash extensions I had trouble adjusting. I could feel them all the time. But after awhile my eyes got used to the extra weight and now I can’t feel them at all!
Can you see the eyelash extensions?
*Looks into the distance to see if I can see my own lashes*. Yes. But it’s verrrrryyyy minimal. It’s hard to explain, but my eyes have adjusted to them so I can’t see them unless I am asked this question. Lol.
Does it hurt?
The application process does not hurt at all. In fact, I find it super relaxing! The process itself is gentle and soothing. Plus, I get to shut off my phone, lay down and relax for 1-2 hours, listen to calming music and talk with my eyelash technical. It sometimes turns into a legit therapy session so I kill two birds with one stone!
Do they fall out after time? If so, how long?
Your natural eyelashes should not fall out at all. If they do, the technician is either using too much glue, too heavy of lashes or your eyelashes are too weak to handle extensions. If you find your real eyelashes are falling out, I’d suggest finding another eyelash technician.
Do the real lashes fall off and don’t grow back because they didn’t naturally fall off?
No, they should stay in tact. When your extensions fall out, your natural eyelashes should not be attached. If they are, find another eyelash technician.
Left eye: natural eyelashes | Right eye: eyelash extensions
Eyelash extensions not for you? Check out my post on How To Select The Perfect Pair of False Lashes
Disclaimer: This post chronicles my personal experience with eyelash extensions. Everyone’s eyelashes are different and eyelash extensions may not be right for your lashes.