I’m sure I’m not alone in vying for long, luscious lashes. It’s all very well achieving extra length and volume by sticking on a pair of falsies, but wouldn’t it be great if you could have that minus the 20 minute (tearful) struggle to fix them to your lashes, all while trying not to stick your actual eyelids together. Or even worse, mistaking the nail glue for eyelash glue (yes, it’s happened to me – I had a near miss).
The answer to my above problem has actually already been answered – in the form of eyelash extensions, something I indulged in (a little too often) for about two years. In a process which can take upto 2 hours (the stuff we go through in the name of beauty), individual lashes are stuck onto your natural lashes, resulting in a natural – yet lengthy look. They’re usually darker, longer and thicker than your own, meaning that you don’t even have to wear mascara if you don’t fancy it. For me, it was bliss!
However, despite many claims that eyelash extensions don’t damage your natural lashes (if fitted properly), in my own personal experience – I’m afraid this just isn’t true. I’ve been to about 5 or 6 different beauty salons to have them fitted and my experiences have differed, however if you’re considering getting them done – I’d urge you to follow these simple steps.
DO: Get them done. Please don’t let me put you off (with my rather scaremongering intro). When done correctly, once or twice a year, they’re absolutely fine. You just have to ensure you are dealing with a reputable company (they should be trained by a lash extensions specialist – and will have a certificate up to prove this) and that they don’t overload your lashes.
Don’t: Go overboard. As I said above, once or twice a year is absolutely fine however I got to the point that I was having extensions topped up every couple of months. You do shed natural lashes anyway, however they can shed faster if they have something heavy placed on top of them all the time – and once the extensions have fallen off, your own lashes do look quite sparse. I’d stick to once or twice a year – for holidays or special occasions. I loved the final result, which is why they can be quite addictive, but I do believe that your lashes need time to recover and regrow.
DO: Go for a natural look. I’ve seen eyelash extensions that look rather spider-like and frankly, a bit scary. Unless you’re including them as part of your halloween costume, I’d avoid going for this look. Remember, you’re going to be wearing them both during the day and at night, rather than only the latter – so go for something that suits both. I always tended to opt for the ‘half’ package, which was cheaper, less time and had an extension on every other lash, rather than each one. Overall, it created a much more subtle look.
Don’t: opt for the wrong weight/size. Just like falsies, lash extensions come in all shapes, lengths and sizes. They should be tailored to your natural lashes, as you don’t want them to be too heavy and pull them out. Make sure you decide on a length and shape (straight/slightly curled) before the beautician starts applying them – as once they’re on, they’re on! I tended to go for a slightly curled look – so that they were always voluminous (you can’t curl them remember) and had a natural flick.
DO: plan ahead. They’re probably going to look their best during the first week of application, so if you’re having them fitted for a special occasion, I’d bear this in mind. Mine tended to last 2-3 weeks without looking too noticeably sparse and then on the fourth week, there would only be a couple left.
Don’t: panic if there’s loads on your pillow the night of application. Eyelashes shed naturally, so often in fact that you barely notice them going. However, when there’s a much longer, far more noticeable thick black extension attached to them – they do draw your attention. It’s totally natural to have 5 or 6 on your pillow the night following the application – however if there is significantly more than this, make sure you give your salon a ring. This happened to me once and it turned out I’d had a reaction to the glue, making my eyes more watery – resulting in the eyelashes themselves not sticking. They can re-apply them for you should this happens, however to avoid – make sure you do a patch test with the glue.
Do: maintain them properly. The salon should give you a special brush (kind of like a dry mascara wand) to put through your lash extensions on a daily basis. This is so handy (as odd as it seems) because the lashes do have a tendency to turn upside down or twist around and look a bit silly. Brushing them and taking care of them means that they constantly stay integrated with your own lashes and look totally natural.
All in all, lash extensions can be a fantastic addition to a make-up look when done properly. Usually, they tend to advise you not to wear mascara (unless water based) for the duration of your extensions, as the oil can break the glue bonds (this includes liquid liner unfortunately) however it does mean that you can get creative with dry eye-shadows! If you have any questions at all, or are considering getting them fitted yourself – please do let me know as I’d be more than happy to chat. I’m not an expert by any means, but having had them on and off for two years (a little too much), I’ve had my fair share of experience with all things lash related.
Currently, I haven’t had them for about a year, as I’ve been trying to grow my natural lashes as much as possible. I use two products (which I’ll talk about in another post) to speed up growth and improve thickness and despite both sounding like a complete fad, they actually work – which is amazing! Watch this space!
Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to eyelash extensions? What has been your experience of them (good or bad)?