Do you have a hectic lifestyle but want to look put together in the mornings? Are you a busy mom that doesn’t have a lot of time to do your own makeup in the morning? Do your falsies always fall off after hours of use or are you allergic to the glue? IF you answered yes to any of these questions, then eyelash extensions might just be the thing for you! Wow, that totally wasn’t supposed to sound like sales pitch, HA!Over the course of the last 5 years, I have probably seen an upwards of about 8 different lash artists, many that I have gone to for multiple months and years, so this is the experience I am speaking from. I absolutely LOVE getting eyelash extensions and would totally recommend it to others, but there’s a lot of pros and cons and even bad experiences I have faced that I wanted to share here before you make your decision on if you want to try it or not.
I first discovered eyelash extensions 5 years ago when my sister in law introduced it to me. The very first time, we were out there for awedding, and I wanted to try out eyelash extensions for it since I always thought it was something people did only for special occasions. But I quickly realized that some people did it ALL the time. I was living in Kansas City, MO at the time and there weren’t very many lash artists out there, that I could find anyways. And the one salon I found charged like $200-$250 for a full set and I didn’t have that kind of money… so for special occasions in California it was for me. It actually wasn’t until I moved to Utah a year and a half ago, that getting eyelash extensions became a regular thing for me. Honestly, there’s a TON of salons here so the prices are competitive, which is great for me! In Utah, a full set can range anywhere from like $60-$120, and a fill is around $35-70, depending on where you go. I imagine this range is completely different in different parts of the country just based on supply and demand.
How The Process Works
1. Some places will ask you to wipe off your makeup first before going, some places don’t care.
2. You will have a consultation with your lash artist about the length, how much curl, and the type of volume you want for your lashes. They usually have a variety of natural to very noticeable lengths, as well as amounts of curl (C, D, L, L+ – these go from least curly to curliest, I find for Asian eyes the curlier the better because my natural lashes point down). A normal lash extension is applying one eyelash extension to one of your eyelashes, but some artists do “Volume” lash where 3-4 lashes are applied to one of your eyelashes. Once I go to an artist multiple times, she just usually gives me the same thing unless I tell her otherwise.
3. Your lash artist will have you lay back on a padded cushioned table, much like a massage table…
4. You will close your eyes and they will place either a sticker or a gel piece under each eye. This is to keep your skin away from your eyelashes.
5. Some artists will also tape the top of your lid or eye up so that the lashes are again more easily separated from your skin.
6. Then they will use their special glue and apply EACH lash extension individually onto EACH one of your eyelashes.
7. The whole process can take about 1 – 2 hours depending on how many lashes you have.
8. Usually I start off talking to the lash artist and then eventually start dreaming or snoring. It’s really my favorite time to take a nap.
9. Once you are done, they will usually have a fan running or just let you sit there for a few minutes after they apply your last lash before telling you to open your eyes. They may also comb through your eyelashes with a dry lash wand (my favorite).
10. Your eyes may start watering, or you may feel a stinging sensation, but those will go away. Honestly, the glue should be DRY before opening your eyes as to prevent these things.
11. Your lash artist will do a double check that a lash didn’t get accidentally glued to your skin. And if not, you are good to go!
12. Try not to get your lashes wet for 48 hours!
Maintenance (for fills)
In my experience, if you are using a glue that’s good with your body and your lash artist does a good job, your lash extensions should look good for 3-4 weeks. A good fill should take about 45 minutes to an hour. But let me tell you, I have been to artists who would squeeze me in between her appointments and take 20-30 minutes. I honestly didn’t think that would be enough time to fill my lashes completely and I noticed it too. Sometimes, my lashes would seriously only last 1 week and they would look super sparse.
In terms of care for your lashes, there are serums you can buy to apply daily to make them last longer. You are usually given a dry wand brush to comb through your lashes. When taking off makeup you have to be extra careful not to rub too much. Using oil based makeup products or skincare products can break down the eyelash glue faster. And I also have a friend who has a nervous habit of touching her eyelashes… which doesn’t help either. Your eyelash extensions should fall out with your natural lash, as part of the natural shedding process. YOU ARE NOT supposed to pluck them out, but I totally did this in the beginning when I knew I wasn’t going to get a fill. It was actually kind of fun, but that is NOT good for your lashes. When sleeping, you have to be careful not to sleep where your eye touches your pillow, just because that can make them fall out more easily.
1. Don’t have to wear mascara or false lashes. Looks more natural than false lashes.
2. Low maintenance.
3. Overall time saver.
4. Good for special occasions.
2. Need to be more careful with use of other products and makeup removal.
3. Wearing sunglasses/glasses.
4. Long term effects.
I will say that my absolute worst experience was when I went to a new lash studio one time, got my lashes done, and later that night went on a family vacation. We did go into the pool and some water my have splashed into my eye, I’m not exactly sure if it touched my eye, but let’s just say it did. That night, something was bothering my right eye and I realized it was the lash glue. It had kind of clumped up and was like falling into my eye. I picked at it for quite a bit and couldn’t get it out and I was in turn really irritating my eyes. Long story short, I got pink eye… and if anyone has had it, it was an awful next week! Now, I really CANNOT 100% say that the eyelash extensions caused my pink eye, because I probably shouldn’t have been messing with it for as long as I did, but needless to say, to play it safe, I didn’t go back to that studio again because I just didn’t feel comfortable with their technique. And out of the what maybe 50 times that I have gotten extensions, this was the only negative experience.
I do want to mention is that the entire process should NOT HURT at all. It is a painless “procedure”. HOWEVER, I did have one lash artist where I did feel some pulling or pain a few times here or there, which seemed odd to me. Again, I eventually stopped going to her as well.
In the end, you need to find a lash artist you trust. It may be hard if it’s your first time to know what to expect, but I think that what’s most important is to make sure you are comfortable with your artist, the process doesn’t hurt, and that your lashes last 3-4 weeks (of course they will be sparse at this point but they should really look pretty good leading up to that point). To me, it’s like one of those monthly expenses you just budget in, like others who might like to get your hair washed or a mani/pedi every few weeks. I absolutely LOVE not having to figure out the best mascara for my tiny lashes and waking up looking like I already have eye makeup on.
And because I am not sure if I will truly want to do this forever, but for the time being I really love it, I have started using neuLash Lash Enhancing Serum with my extensions to try and grow my natural lashes. I have read that this is safe to use with extensions, so I am trying it out.
If you live in the Salt Lake City area, some eyelash artists I highly recommend are:
Sirene Lash (based on Orem)
Amazing Lash (lots of locations throughout SLC) – I went to American Fork
EBLLashes (does L+ curl)
Again, I want to stress that my information is based on my own experiences and I am not a cosmetologist or anything, so if I said anything incorrect, please let me know!