Anything that makes my beauty routine shorter is an instant “gimme gimme gimme”. We’re all busy, and if we could spend a little less time on techniques that make our skin smoother, hair more manageable, faces perfectly contoured, or eyes more sultry I think we all would jump on that chance (or maybe it’s just me).
With summer upon us, I am particularly interested in things that can keep the beauty up and the maintenance down. I’ve got quite a few products and tips that I use every summer because they make my life so much easier. However, this summer I wanted to try something new (for me), which has been raved about for the past year—eyelash extensions!
First things first. Eyelash extensions can cost a pretty penny. Typically ranging anywhere from $100- $300, depending on your area and the skill of the Esthetician. They are supposed to last anywhere from 4-6 weeks. And they come with some rules like: no oily products (which includes makeup remover, moisturizers, cream pencils, eye primers, etc.), no mascara (duh), and no rubbing/curling/touching—ok, you can touch but not like normal lashes, you have to be gentle.
The other thing that is particularly important is that you decide and communicate with your esthetician about the way you want your lashes to look. The lashes vary in thickness which is going to make them look more dramatic (thicker lashes) or more natural (thinner lashes). They also come in different lengths. Additionally, the placement pattern is either going to enhance your eye shape or make it look not so great. View an example picture of the different placements (left).
Longer lashes on the outer edges of the eyes are going to elongate them, making the eye appear more of an almond shape. Having longer lashes in the middle of the eye will give the appearance of a doe-eye (rounder shape). For me personally, my eyes are slightly almond but also have round characteristics. When considering my face shape, features, etc. We decided I wanted to keep what my natural eye shape was, so she would place medium ones in the center and longer ones on the end. Instead of the traditional “cat-eye” aka almond eye (lashes going perfectly from short to long) we created a hybrid. I also chose a light-weight lash so it would look like I have mascara on all the time as opposed to fake lashes (I’m not a daily falsie’s person).
Now the process. I climbed up onto the esthetician table, pulled my hair back, and laid down on my back. I was given a blanket, my hair was pinned back with a cloth around the hair line and the under-eye patches were placed. Then, really bright lights were turned on my face. That took a little getting used to, especially because my eyes are so sensitive to light! I just had to pretend I was at the beach laying on the hot sand in the sun (of course with tons of sunblock. Ha! Ok enough about what goes on in my head). Then, the lashes began to be placed. They use giant tweezer things to separate a lash from the other lashes, then dip a false lash into glue and place it on top of the real lash. The whole process took a little over an hour (it usually takes anywhere from 60-90 minutes to complete), and yes my eyes were closed the whole time! I think I might’ve fallen asleep at one point. I definitely wouldn’t recommend going hyped up on caffeine.
When one of my eyes was pretty close to being done, we stopped at the "doe-eyed" look just to see how it was—wow, did my eyes look round (totally not what I’m going for). So we continued and added in the long pieces at the outer corners (way better!). I know you won’t be able to see the doe-eye (round) shape with my eyes closed but here’s a nice comparison on how the eyelash extensions look compared to natural lashes.
When we were completely done, I took a look in the mirror and at first it was like “BAM! All lash” but after a little while I got used to it. I was instructed to keep them completely dry for 24hours, and given a clean eyelash wand to brush them daily with. View my poor cell phone picture day of procedure (left). It is hard to get a clear close up of your eye.Sorry guys!
I am now almost at the four week mark and my lashes are still intact! They have definitely “thinned out” as a few have fallen out with the natural lash or as the glue releases; but they still look natural, and they are so much better than wearing a waterproof mascara at the beach (or nothing at all, which is usually the route I go).
So here’s my assessment.
Cons: They limit you on the products you can use on your eyes, and if you do use product it’s a bit of a pain to remove. Every once in awhile one falls into your eye and it’s worse than a real eyelash. You may develop a fear of pillows if you sleep like a maniac like me, as I have been afraid I might mess them up in my sleep! They also seem to collect and hold a lot more water than normal eyelashes, so swimming and showering becomes interesting.
Pros: It takes way less time getting ready in the morning (I don’t do anything to my eyes, just my brows). I look like I have mascara on 24/7, which is sooooo awesome! Especially at the beach and pool. I don’t have to spend money on mascara. They look natural and enhance my eyes.
I give eye lash extensions five stars. I would definitely do them again. I don’t know yet if I think that they should be something you have 365 days a year, not because that wouldn’t be awesome, but because I personally think that it may eventually cause your lashes to fall out if there is too much weight constantly on the hair follicle. So for me, I’ll reserve eyelash extensions for the summer and/or special events. But I absolutely LOVE them.
Have you tried eyelash extensions? What'd you think?
I am a professional makeup artist and licensed cosmetologist. I absolutely enjoy sharing hair and makeup tips to help others enhance their natural beauty. (Trust me, you're gorgeous.)