The Ultimate Guide to Eyelash Extensions
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Eyelash Extensions have been around for a few years now and the demand for them is only growing! We’ve seen them all over Hollywood with celebrities like the Kardashians and Beyonce rocking these beauties! Why not try what they’ve been raging about, but first lets get the 411 on these puppies!
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What are eyelash extensions?
Eyelash extensions are light-weight synthetic, silk, or mink lashes that are applied directly onto your natural lashes using a special semi-permanent glue. The process is quiet luxurious, and takes about 2-3 hours for a full set. They are sized in millimeters ranging between 6mm-18mm long and .05-.25 in diameter. While strip and cluster lashes have been around for a long time. However when eyelash extensions were introduced they completely changed the eyelash game by provided the wearer up to 8 weeks of wear and the ability to get them wet!
Types of Eyelash Enhancements:
- Strip Lashes – Set of lashes pre-attached to a thin strip (most common type of lash enhancement).
- Approx. $3-$8
- Self applied
- Last 1 day
- Available at department or drug stores
- Cannot get wet
- Cluster Individuals – Individual, pre-fanned filler lashes.
- Approx. $5-$10
- Self applied or at a salon for $20-$50.
- Lasts up to 1 week
- Available at department or drug stores.
- Cannot get wet
- Eyelash Extensions – Single lashes applied directly to natural lashes.
- Approx. $100-$500
- Applied by a licensed and certified cosmetologist or esthetician
- Last up to 8 weeks (suggested 3-4 weeks between fills)
- Available at Salon
- CAN get wet wohoo!
Different types/methods of eyelash extensions:
Classic lashes are the most common type of eyelash extensions. The extensions are applied 1:1, one false lash to every one natural lash. The process is completely customizable with varying lengths and curls and diameters between .15mm and .25mm for a natural to dramatic look.
- Why to choose Classic Lashes:
- Usually faster application than volume lashes.
- Less expensive then volume lashes.
- Can look the most natural for those who want a just-put-on-mascara look.
- Can still give a full and dramatic look similarly to the volume.
Volume lashes are eyelash extensions where multiple false lashes are applied one natural lash. Using diameters between .02-.1, allows professionals to apply multiple lashes to a single natural lash with the same light weight as the larger diameter classic lashes.
These lashes still come as individuals but your professional will grab multiple at the same time, fan them out with their tweezers and apply then at once. Volume lashes can give a more full yet softer and dramatic look without the added weight. This process can be customized similarly to the classic lashes in curl and length at a much smaller diameter. Volume lashes are also commonly labeled at 3D, 4D, 5D and so on. This is how many lashes are applied at once. 3D = 3 lashes per 1 natural lashes, 4D = 4 lashes per 1 natural lash, 5D = 5 lashes per 1 natural lashes. Generally the more lashes, the smaller diameter.
- Why to choose Volume Lashes:
- Thinner = Softer
- More full and softer look than classic lashes.
- More dramatic.
- Because they are fanned out, they can better hide gaps in your natural lashes.
They are totally custom!
Eyelash extensions are classified by length, diameter, and curl. Start by deciding whether or not you want classic or volume, what material (synthetic, silk, mink), then decide the style. The two main styles are natural and cat eye. Natural goes with the natural shape of your eyelashes, shorter on the inside and outside with the longest towards the middle. Cat eye gradually gets longer from the inside out.
Next after consulting with your professional decide what length you want, same size as your natural? A little longer? Maybe as long as is safe for your natural lashes (my personal fav)!
Next, if your professional has a collection of curls, you can choose what kind of curl. A J curl is a slight “wide awake” look and continues A, B, C, with D having the most curl. There are U and L curls but aren’t commonly used. Sometimes your professional may only have a few curls to choose from, or may not even give you a curl option. Most of my extensionist friends use the popular C curl and nothing else.
Will they damage my natural lashes?
Okay here’s the honest answer, they can but shouldn’t. Applying eyelash extensions is a delicate process, and if not done correctly can easily damage your natural lashes. Damage to the natural lash is easily avoidable by making sure whoever is doing your lashes is a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician that is CERTIFIED to do them! Here are the most common ways eyelash extensions, when done incorrectly, can damage your natural lashes.
- Too much glue – The most common way these extensions can damage you natural lashes is when they are applied with too much glue, or applied 1 false lash to more than one natural lash. When too much glue used, it can easily cause more than one natural lash to bond to one lash extension. This is a problem because no two lashes grow at the same rate. So if your natural lashes are clumped together, eventually the faster growing lash will pull out the other slower growing lashes! If you’ve ever gotten eyelash extensions and a few days later it feels like your extensions are pulling on your natural lashes, this is usually why!
- Using lashes that are too long – Generally when applying eyelash extensions the applicator should only place lashes that are 1 1/2 the length of the your natural lash or shorter. Placing lashes that are larger than this proves to be too heavy for your natural lashes to handle! You may not notice that these lashes are too big until your lashes start showing signs of damage. Just another reason to make sure you don’t just go to Joe Shmo down the street.
- Pulling out your eyelash extensions – Your eyelash extensions are glued to your own natural lash using a semi-permanent glue which means, they’re on there pretty good! If you pick out your extensions you’ll also pull out your natural lashes ouch! And depending on your growth cycle, it may take a while to grow those bad boys back.
Do they hurt?
Similarly to the last question, if applied correctly they shouldn’t. All the reasons above can cause your extensions to hurt, which pretty much boils down to who over is applying your extensions doesn’t really know what they’re doing! That being said, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Some glues are more fumey than others – Yup I just made up that word. Depending on what glue your lady is using, some have stronger fumes than others. However this shouldn’t cause your eyes to hurt. Most commonly your eyes may water after opening them, however if you know you have any allergies you can opt in to using a sensitive glue, just let your professional know.
- Extensions touching your eyelid – Eyelash extensions are not suppose to actually touch your eyelid, they should be slightly off (about the width of a dime). When they are placed directly against the eyelid they end up poking, which hurts and is SO annoying. You’ll probably end up trying to pull it out, only to repeatedly pull out the wrong one. Great, now you have an un-fillable gap! Wonderful.
- If one falls in your eye – Okay this really doesn’t happen very often. About as often as you get a regular lash in your eye, but man, if it does it isn’t fun. Just don’t rub your eyes or sleep on your face and you should be good.
How long do they really last?
Eyelash extensions will fall out with your natural lashes so they can last 6-8 weeks, but you have many lash cycles so by that point, you’d be pretty spars. To keep your lashes looking their best it is recommended that you fill them every 3-4 weeks. Sounds pretty good right? Plus a fill usually takes about half the time of a full set. Which is wonderful for all of us who are a little ADD after having our eyes shut for too long.
Can I still wear makeup with them?
Yes, but skip the mascara. You can add it to your bottom lashes but to keep your extensions at their best, don’t use mascara on them. It can cause major clump-age! Besides, with these bad boys you won’t need it. It is however, a little more complicated to take off your make up because you don’t want to rub on you extensions. Ive found that using an oil-free makeup remover with a Q-tip works the best.
How do I remove them?
The easiest way would be to go back to where ever you had them put on and ask them to take them off. You can also rub a small amount vaseline on your lashes (don’t get it in your eye!) and slowly brush them out. The oil in the vaseline will help loosen the glue but this takes some time. Or finally you can just let them fall out naturally. This is the slowest way but it’s free-99 and doesn’t require any work!
How do I take care of my eyelash extensions?
The biggest thing to remember is you shouldn’t get your lashes wet for 24-48 hours after application. After that you’re good to hit the beach, or the showers or whatever. Just plan to shower before your appointment and you’ll be good.
After your application, your professional will usually give you a mascara wand to keep your lashes tangle free. I suggest you brush them everyday when they are dry. Most commonly after a few days you may notice you have one or two lashes that have turned or flipped upside down, just brush him back up and he should stay. Your natural lashes grow in a slight corkscrew shape so turning of a few lashes in totally normal.
Remove your eye makeup every night. It can sometimes be a tedious task at times especially if you wear eyeliner everyday, but removing your eye makeup will avoid build up that can attract bacteria. We definitely don’t want that!
Try not to sleep on them. As a tummy sleeper myself, it isn’t uncommon to find a few extra lashes on my pillow. This won’t necessarily ruin your lashes, it just may require you to get fills more frequently than someone who sleeps on their back. If you’re really concerned about it, you can buy a nifty contoured sleeping mask here. Yes, it’s a real thing.
Why you should totally try them:
Coming from someone who has 6 years of experience with eyelash extensions, from wearing them and doing them, eyelash extensions are worth trying. They complete and intensify any look, and personally I feel like you don’t even need to wear makeup with eyelash extensions. Now you can cut out the 1+ hour you spend doing your makeup and fighting with those darn strip lashes! You’re welcome. Plus they give you even more of a reason to post more “woke up like this” selfies.
Honestly if you do try them, you’ll probably end up loving them and never again go without them. Sorry not sorry, they really are the bomb! Just make sure to do your research and find someone who does them right. Throughout this post I talk about making sure you go to a licensed and certified extensionist, but I’m going to be honest with you. Not everyone who isn’t licensed is doing to do a bad job. In fact there are many who aren’t licensed who do a great job! That said, for every 1 great unlicensed there are way more who will mess up your lashes. Just ask your friends and family who they like, read reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask your extensionist questions. You want to make sure they know their stuff.
If you found this post helpful, end up trying eyelash extensions, or think I forgot something leave me a comment! And as always if you liked this post, pin it and share! You can keep up to date on all of our posts, and get an exclusive first look at what’s coming by subscribing to our newsletter in the sidebar (below post for mobile)! Thanks for reading!
[themify_icon icon=”fa-heart-o” link=”http://”] Cassie Jean