If my years as a makeup artist taught me anything – it’s that a great set of eyelashes can be one of the most transformative things you can do for your face.
Seriously. It’s hard to get the kind of impact and raw, sexual magnetism that a long, lush, dark set of lashes will give you with any other type of makeup.
There’s just something about long lashes that give your eyes this dreamy, bedroom effect – even when you’re wearing no makeup at all. Plus, they really bring your eyes to life when you’re being photographed. I always, always wear falsies when taking family photos, because the difference is significant (try it, you’ll see).
Eyelashes really are the one-stop wonder to face transformation.
But, like many of you, I was not born with ridiculously long, perfect eyelashes. I’ve tried everything over the years, from different eyelash serums to magnetic lashes. So, after feeling like I had tried everything else on the market (and was desperate for an excuse to leave the house for a few hours), I decided to invest in my first set of eyelash extensions.
What Are Eyelash Extensions:
Even though I am always up for trying something new in the beauty department – there is a learning curve to the world of eyelash extensions. While I did have a guide – my adorable lash queen babysitter – I also had to figure a few things out for myself.
For example, eyelash extensions are individual or small clumps of lashes that are glued to your existing lashes. That’s right. They do not attach to your skin. Since our lashes have natural shed cycles, this means that clumps of them may come out at the same time with your natural hair, leaving you with a little bit of a spider look over time.
This is why most eyelash artists recommend getting a “fill” every 2-3 weeks. In my experience, 3 was plenty of time if you’re working with someone good and you are taking care of your lashes.
When it comes to your first set, they can be expensive, often costing around $160-$250, depending on the type of lashes you are looking for and where you go. Obviously if the girl is working out of her spare room, she has less overhead, so you save money. But, you might want to splurge for that nice set from the reputable place down the street – something we’ll discuss later.
I’ll write another post soon about the different types of lashes, lash glue and lash styles that you can choose from, but let’s do a crash course here – most newbies will want to start with a natural or classic style set and go from there. You’ll get a good feel for the experience and learn to take care of them, while still being able to add more length, volume and variety down the line as eyelashes shed.
If you’ve been wearing falsies for awhile and know you like them super thick and dramatic, go ahead and go for that hybrid lash, girl. You do you.
And, for that first set – book a good 3 hours. It’ll probably take slightly less, but it could take longer depending on the skill level of the lash artist and your requests. But, it’s this lengthy time in the chair that has coined the term “lash nap” – something some people look forward to when they get their lashes done.
A fill, however, should only take 1-2 hours, depending on how much work needs to be done, and typically costs around $60-$100.
Oh, and yes, a tip is customary. So, factor that in.
Alright, now that we’re all up to speed – let’s talk about the nitty gritty, real real that you need to know if you’re thinking about investing in eyelash extensions.
What You Need To Know Before Getting Eyelash Extensions
1. Choose Your Artist Wisely:
Make sure to read reviews for a variety of places and also ask around to compile a list of possible options. Then, ask them all a few questions to compare, including:
- What type of lashes do you use?
- How much is a full set?
- How often do you recommend fills?
- What days do you work?
There are a lot of girls that are working out of their houses with little to no training – so they’ll price lower, but also, may have really scattered work hours. Think about your own schedule here. If you need to go every 2-3 weeks for a fill, you need someone who works when you are available to go in.
Don’t book with that girl who charges less for a full set if she doesn’t work on days/times when you need to get a fill.
Something I learned the hard way: some people will make time to get you in for a full set, because they make more money, and then not be available when you need a fill. Then, other lash artists may not want to take on somebody else’s client for a fill, since they consider it more work to figure out what somebody else did without getting paid for it.
This is where finding a reputable lash lounge with good reviews, a wide range of hours, and set pricing is going to be your friend. After struggling to find someone who had hours when I needed – after already getting my first lash set – I just went ahead and joined a local lash lounge membership where I know I can get my fills at the times I need for a price I can afford.
You can also post on sites like Nextdoor asking for local referrals. Your local ladies are a wealth of information when it comes to finding the right lash girl in your area.
2. Ask About Sanitation:
Similar to getting pedicures, you want to be careful about sanitation practices. Are they sterilizing tools or using fresh tools for each guest? Are they sanitizing the station after each guest? Are they wearing masks and following Covid protocols?
When you go, how clean does it look? Do they wash their hands? Look around the room and look to see how clean it is.
Your eyes are very sensitive and can get infected super quickly with just the smallest amount of contamination. So, make sure to find out about sterilization and sanitation.
3. Look At Pictures Online:
Each lash parlor is going to have their own styles and names for those styles, but they break down to basically the same thing. So, do your research on Pinterest and find a picture of lashes that you really like and show up prepared.
Remember to compare your eye and lid shape to the example, because if your eyes are hooded, but the girl in the picture doesn’t have hooded eyes – the lash artist could give you the same set of lashes with a totally different result.
Also, there are different degrees of curl to the lashes they can use, something I learned after the fact when my first girl put a very curled lash on me that ended up being a bit too curled for my taste.
Here’s a basic guide to the types of curl, thickness and length you can usually get. I have learned that I really prefer a slightly straighter lash, especially on the outer corners of my eyes, to get that cat-eye effect.
This photos is courtesy of the site Eyelash Extensions Club. They have a ton of information on eyelash extensions that has been a big help to me.
Just a note on length and thickness – this is typically something your lash artist will figure out based on your natural lashes and the desired look/effect you want. You don’t need to have an opinion on that going in. You should, however, have an idea of how much curl you want.
Looking at pictures online will give you a good idea of what extensions can look like and allow you to come prepared.
4. It May Hurt:
Yup, the “lash nap” may not be in the cards for you. I found the process a bit uncomfortable – and at times – straight up uncomfortable.
First of all, your skin and eyelid is taped in several places to keep the lash line accessible and visible. This leaves your lids slightly ajar. I don’t know about you, but I can’t sleep with my eyes open.
Then, there is a slight poking feeling when they use the tweezers to attach the hair to your eyelash. Maybe some people don’t feel this, but I certainly did.
And, when they use the spool to brush your lashes, over and over as they add more, my eyelid started to get a little sore.
Was it worth it? Hell yeah! I’ll always put up with a little pain for beauty, but I was a little bit disappointed that the lash nap wasn’t a real thing for me. I really like to nap.
5. Your Eyes May Be Red:
After getting your lashes done, your eyes may be red for awhile. Yup. It is not a good idea to plan that hot date right after.
Not only can the glue and application irritate your eyes, but you can’t put on makeup or wash your face for 12-24 hours after. So, any event that requires that full face of makeup is out.
But, give it a day, and you’ll be the sexy vixen you always imagined you would be with eyelash extensions.
Worth the wait, girl. Worth the wait.
6. Caring For Them Takes Time:
I thought after getting lashes, I could just go about my regular routine – but that is not the case. They take a little extra TLC when you wash and dry your face, as well as when you shower.
In fact, my first shower after getting my lashes done, my eyes get super red and I need to wait awhile to do my makeup. Now, I have an autoimmune condition that effects my eyes, so this could be specific to me, but I’m guessing I’m not the only one that experiences this.
Also, when you wash and dry your face, they feel a bit crunchy, not like the soft natural lashes we are used to. This takes a bit of an adjustment at first.
In fact, I still haven’t really adjusted to the feeling and it does annoy me. Just another thing that comes with the territory.
7. You’ll Need To Make Some Changes:
Not everything you did and used before will work now. Here are some things to consider (affiliate links used below):
- Use a face wash that is oil free – oil dissolves the glue holding them on
- Ditch the smudge pot eyeliner and eyeshadows
- Never trim them – even if they get really long – they’ll fray
- Use a fresh spool on just your lashes and toss them every so often to keep it sanitary
- Don’t lean too close to open hot ovens or over hot pans while cooking- the heat will cause the extensions to lose any curl
- Avoid mascara or use sparingly
- Do intentionally clean the eyelashes gently or they get gross
- Keep your hands off – the oils from your fingers can cause the extensions to detach
- Keep a soft towel nearby when washing your face or showering that you can use to gently absorb water around the lashes, without damaging them. I like these.
You’ll probably figure out a few more things that help keep your lashes looking fresh and last longer. But, this list will give you a good start as you embark on your eyelash extension journey.
Read my full post on how to take care of your lashes to keep them looking good and lasting as long as possible.
So, what do you think? Are you seeing all the girls with gorgeous lashes and thinking it’s time to get a set of your own?
Having eyelash extensions has been such a fun experiment for me and a great diversion from the joy that 2020 has been.
I’m not sure how long I’ll keep them – as they are expensive and require some extra upkeep, but I have really enjoyed them so far.
If you want to be a fly on the wall and read about other beauty experiments I’ve tried, check these out:
- How To Get Rid of Undereye Wrinkles with the Tria Laser
- I drank Celery Juice for 7 Days and This is What Happened
- Is the Hanacure Mask Worth It? Find out!
- I tried custom skincare and I’m telling you everything!
Have a fabulous day,