If your beauty routine includes things like curling lashes and applying multiple layers of mascara—news flash—you may be wasting precious time. Though an upfront investment in both time and money, there’s a more permanent solution: eyelash extensions.
What are eyelash extensions?
Lash extensions are semi-permanent fibers that are individually applied to each strand of your natural lashes to give you longer, fuller lashes, and enhance your overall appearance by lifting, elongating, and opening the eye, says Clementina Richardson, a celebrity lash expert and founder of Envious Lashes. During application, a professional glues each individual fiber onto your natural hair by hand. This makes the overall look highly customized and natural.
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Are there different types of eyelash extensions?
These fibers—generally synthetic, faux mink, or silk—come in a variety of different sizes ranging from 6mm to 18mm, says Richardson, with a few curl width options as well. For a full set, most people need 80 to 150 lashes to create natural volume.
When it comes to lash extensions, there are also three general styles: classic, fan, and hybrid. With classic lashes, a single extension is attached to a single, natural lash; with fan, the tech can apply a few extensions a single lash for added volume; hybrid is exactly what it sounds like—a combination of the two.
How to choose the right extensions for your face.
“Most people don’t realize that applying lash extensions is an art,” says Richardson. “It’s not one size fits all. Since everyone has a different face shape and bone structure, it’s important for women to understand that lash extensions are an enhancement of your own natural lashes.”
A licensed and certified lash expert will customize each set of eyelash extensions for the individual client, using anywhere from three to five different lengths and up to two different curvatures, says Richardson.
How long do eyelash extensions last?
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Application is pricey (the most basic full set at Envious Lashes costs $105) and does take some time—anywhere from one to two hours depending on the desired volume—but, with proper care, lash extensions should last for up to six weeks, says Richardson.
“Extensions will shed with your natural hair growth cycle, which is typically every six to eight weeks,” says Richardson. “Refills are a great way to extend the life of your lashes and are recommended every two to three weeks.”
Is there any way to make eyelash extensions last longer?
Because lash extensions are applied to your natural lashes and follow your natural hair growth cycle, they will eventually shed—no matter what you do. But there are some steps you can take to avoid premature breakage.
Upon application, stay away from steam and wetting your lashes for the first 48 hours.”You can, of course, wash your face and take a shower—just make sure that no water touches your lashes,” says Richardson.
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Skip oil-based products and heavy creams around the eyes while you have eyelash extensions. And ditch the mascara—especially waterproof mascara—since it’s hard to remove and can cause breakage, says Richardson.
You should also refrain from rubbing your eyes, using a mechanical eyelash curler, and standing under the shower head for a prolonged amount of time, she says.
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But it’s not all about things you can’t do. To keep eyelash extensions in tip-top shape, you should gently brush them with a spoolie every so often, then apply a conditioning serum. You should also sleep on your side and use a silk or satin pillowcase to prevent drying or snagging, says Richardson.
Will extensions ruin my natural lashes?
Because application requires precise work around such a delicate area of your face, it’s important to find someone who is certified to apply lashes, says Richardson. In some states, the stylist also needs to be licensed.
“If you go to an inexperienced lash stylist, chances are, you’re going to end up with uneven, clumpy looking lashes,” says Richardson. “Even worse, they can damage your natural lashes, which can also prevent regrowth.”
But with proper application, eyelash extensions will not ruin your natural lashes, assures Richardson. Just be gentle with them—if you rub the area, the extensions may fall out or pull out whatever hair they are attached to, she says.
So… are they worth it?
Eyelash extensions are pricey and require upkeep, but they give your eye natural volume that renders mascara unnecessary. If you apply makeup regularly, this is a definite time-saver worthy of the commitment.
But, if you rarely wear makeup or aren’t able to regularly maintain your set of extensions, you might want to sit this beauty treatment out.
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