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6 Things You Need to Know About Eyelash Extensions

In her Meet The Team profile, Glossier’s Digital Designer Nadine Head-Gordon had this nugget of wisdom to share: “I used to get eyelash extensions, when you essentially get synthetic eyelashes semi-permanently glued onto your real eyelashes. I wanted to look like Bambi. I was on a date with a guy and one of them fell onto my cheek, and he told me make a wish. So I made a wish on a fake eyelash. That was when I decided to get them removed.” In our book, this makes her the office expert on the topic. So we coerced her to write us all a guide to share with the world. Because who doesn’t want to have semi-permanent Bambi lashes, too?

Despite working at a beauty company, I am the laziest of the lazy when it comes to getting ready in the morning. In my ideal world, I would wake up looking exactly as I did the day before—this is why, for most of 9th grade, I slept in my makeup. That doesn’t work and I don’t recommend it.

Then in 2012 came the answer to my prayers: eyelash extensions. Similar to the ones you can get on your head, eyelash extensions are individual lashes, made of silk, mink, or something synthetic, that are attached to your existing lashes semi-permanently. If you’ve ever dreamt of waking up with Bambi lashes but without that ring of leftover mascara dangling a foot under your eye, this is your solution. Curious? At least a little? Good, so get off Google search—here’s everything you need to know about getting eyelash extensions:

1. It’s a very luxurious process.

Really—it’s enjoyable. You lie down in a bed and close your eyes for an hour and a half while calming music plays in the background and a technician attaches little feathery nothings to your lashes. It’s the most socially acceptable naptime a working adult could ask for. And if you’re not already sold, most salons offer a complimentary massage while you’re on the operating table.

2. Every lash extension experience is customizable.

When you’re done, you will not end up looking like you just got a permanent strip lash attached to your lid. First, you can choose the length. Most salons will carry extension lengths from 9 to 15mm (or, from natural to Kardashian length). The sweet spot for most is 10-12.

After you pick your length, pick your curl. A “J” curl is for a more natural, awake look, while a “C” curl is a more dramatic, “I never leave home without my Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler” look. If you want to get creative, you can do “J” on the inner corners of your eyes and “C” on the outer edges for a more cat eye look.

Now, in terms of material, you have a lot to choose from: Faux Mink, Faux Fox, Silk, Real Mink, and last but not least, Real Human Hair. The differences between these looks are negligible so opt for the Faux Mink since it’s the most affordable.

3. Eyelash extensions last longer than you think.

With proper care, I can get my extensions to last up to a month and a half. Most places recommend you come back every 2-3 weeks for a touch up, but if you’re looking to save a bit of money, you can prolong their lifespan. Just be careful not to get water on your lashes and don’t use oily products near your eyes.

4. Yes, you can wear makeup with them.

If you can’t stand the thought of ditching your smoky eye, don’t worry, you don’t have to. Only liquid-based eye products can be damaging to the extensions, but you can get away with a tiny wing of liquid liner as long as you’re not dragging it along the lash line. Make sure to carefully remove the shadow or liner with oil-free makeup remover and Q-tips for precision. Most importantly, stay away from mascara entirely as it leaves the extensions crusty and damaged. It’s only acceptable if you’re at the end of your cycle and will be getting a fresh set in a few days.

5. Extensions can ruin your eyelashes—but they don’t have to.

That is, if you don’t play by the rules. I am one of the many people who have made the mistake of pulling out the extensions myself–not only is it extremely painful but it leaves you with few to no natural eyelashes left. However, after what I like to call the intense “eyelash rehab” program of applying Vaseline to my lashes every night, my natural eyelashes were back to normal after a month and a half.

6. The only way to get rid of them is to get them professionally removed or have them fall out naturally.

Having the extensions removed is as easy as having them put on–painless and relatively quick. Every salon will have this service available. If you’re not looking to spend any more money, however, the extensions do fall out with the natural shedding of your lashes. This is a much slower process, but it is $free.99, so there’s that.

—Nadine Head-Gordon

Photo via ITG.

Maybe mascara is more your thing—in that case, read up on the best drugstore mascaras over here.

All You Need to Know About Eyelash Extensions

Lash extensions have become hugely popular in recent years. From celebrities and stars to the women at your work, and ones you see on the street, ladies everywhere are obtaining beautifully full and long lashes with lash extensions. If you’re wondering whether you should try it out yourself, here’s everything you need to know before diving in and getting glued.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About a Lash Lift and Tint

Eyelash Extensions Pros and Cons

Like any beauty treatment, eyelash extensions can have both pros and cons. Their biggest benefit, however, is the way they look. There’s no denying that eyelash extensions are a great way to get the lashes of your dreams without having to apply them every morning. They’ll also save you time on your makeup routine as you won’t need to curl your lashes and apply mascara. Some lashes do need maintenance, though, including regular brushing, special cleansing and sometimes even blow drying. Although they’re incredibly long-lasting, eyelash extensions also need regular touch ups, which costs money. Despite being somewhat pricey, a lot of women find that they’re worth the investment and provide great results.

Are Extensions Bad for Your Natural Lashes?

It’s a common misconception that eyelash extensions damage your natural lashes. If the extensions are applied correctly and not pulled out, they will not damage your lashes or your eyes. Just make sure to visit a professional technician for the application. Although the glue used in the process is safe, be aware that some women can experience allergic reactions and tell your technician if you experience any stinging or pain. Once the eyelash extensions have been applied, they will take some time to grow out. If you decide you don’t want to keep up with the upkeep of your new lashes, you will experience an awkward growing out phase as your lashes naturally grow out with the extensions attached.

Getting eyelash extensions should always be a pain-free experience when done right. If you’re concerned about the sensitivity of your eyes, make sure to ask your lash technician about the glue before beginning. The glue shouldn’t contain anything to harm your eyes, such as formaldehyde.

Types of Eyelash Extensions

There are three types of eyelash extensions: synthetic, silk and mink. Which type you receive will depend on your natural lashes and desired results, as well as your technician’s preference. Some technicians like to use a synthetic and silk combination while others stick to one or the other. These artificial lash types will create a uniform look with ease. Mink lashes, on the other hand, are 100% natural fiber lashes. This means that they’re lighter and appear more natural than artificial lashes, but their length and thickness cannot be controlled. Although they might sound appealing to you, be aware that mink lashes come at a higher cost.

Eyelash extensions can come in a range of sizes from around 6mm to 17mm. The length and thickness of the eyelash extensions you can receive depends on your natural lashes. A professional technician will be able to best advise you on the right lash extensions for you. As you want to ensure that your natural lashes remain healthy, it’s best to start with smaller and fewer extensions and add more later, particularly if you have naturally short and thin lashes.

How Long Does it Take to Apply?

In the process of eyelash extension application, each lash is individually adhered to a single natural lash using semi-permanent glue. For a full set of lashes, this process will generally take around two hours. During this time you will need to keep your eyes completely closed to ensure correct application and safety. If you’re wanting eyelash extensions on a budget, or are looking for a more subtle effect, consider getting a half set of lashes instead. A half set will still have a great thickening appearance on natural lashes without the drama of a full set. It will also take less time to apply and cost less.

How Often Do You Need to Get Them Re-Done?

One of the great things about eyelash extensions is that they’re long-lasting. A set of lashes can easily last year-round with the right maintenance. Since a single lash extension is attached to a single natural lash, the extensions should each last through the whole growth cycle of your natural lashes (generally six to eight weeks). To ensure they always look their best, however, it’s suggested that you get light touch-ups every three to four weeks. Also, make sure you don’t pick or pull at your extensions as this can ruin both them and your natural lashes.

Products to Avoid

Once you’ve received your eyelash extensions (including touch-ups), you’ll need to avoid water (showering, washing your face and swimming) for the first 12 to 24 hours. Water can weaken the glue before it’s completely set and cause lashes to fall off. After that time, it’s fine to get your lash extensions wet, but be sure not to rub or pull at them. Avoid using oil-based products and makeup removers around the area as they can also affect your extensions. Likewise, using waterproof mascara is not recommended as it’s hard to remove and can lead to lashes falling out. Regular mascara, on the other hand, can be used when you have lash extensions but is best avoided if possible as it can shorten the life of the lashes.

Find a Salon

When looking to get eyelash extensions, it’s essential to find a professional technician. Only someone with the proper training can guarantee the right products will be used and that the lashes will be applied without damaging your natural lashes or causing harm to your eyes. Here are our recommended eyelash extensions salons in Australia.

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Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about eyelash extensions

When I was 23, I got really over wearing makeup to work every single day. Not only was 12 hours a day in foundation making my skin spotty, but the time spent applying makeup was time I could use to sleep instead. When you live over an hour away from the office, a bit of extra time in bed is essential to avoid looking like a zombie.

So I said goodbye to makeup during the week and it was awesome, although getting used to the no mascara look was hard. I have long lashes, but they’re fine and very straight. They’re basically invisible unless I have something on them. So I decided to get eyelash extensions. I still got away without makeup, but my eyes had more definition.

I had them on for about two years straight and developed a bit of a love-hate relationship with them. I often get asked questions about them from those who are toying with the idea of getting them, so I decided to share my experiences.

How long do eyelash extensions last?

It depends. Most salons say three to four weeks. In my experience, four weeks is really pushing it. Mine only looked good for two weeks and by the third week, I was counting down the days until my next appointment.

If you want to keep them for a long time, you’ll need to have infills every 2-4 weeks. I had mine filled every three weeks exactly. I had the same Thursday night appointment every time.

But this is different for everyone. There are a variety of things that affect how long your extensions will last.

  • Oily skin or beauty products. If you have particularly oily skin, they may not last as long because oils dissolve the glue used to hold the lashes. The same goes if there is oil in your beauty routine. Oil-based cleansers, makeup removers, moisturisers etc. will shorten the life of your extensions substantially. If you ever put mascara over the top of your extensions, make sure the mascara is oil free.
  • Contact with water. Another factor is how often you get them wet. You cannot get them wet at all for the first 48 hours after they’ve been put on otherwise the glue won’t bond properly. I usually tried to push this to 72 hours as I felt I always got a few extra days out of a set if I waited longer. If you can, try to not get them wet at all. They’ll last way longer. It’s an impossible feat but the fewer times they’re exposed to water, the longer they stay on.
  • Type of extension. Some extensions are heavier than others and obviously, the heavier ones fall out faster, taking your natural lash with it. If you opt for heavy extensions, you’re not going to get as much time out of them as lighter ones.
  • Your eyelashes. If you’ve got thick, sturdy lashes that don’t really fall out all that much, you’re extensions will last longer. If you’ve got light, fine lashes that aren’t going to be too good at supporting the weight of an extension, your lashes will fall out sooner with the extension attached.

How much do they cost?

My initial set were $150 and infills cost from $40-$80. The price of the infills depends on how many lashes need replacing. The fewer the lashes, the cheaper they are, but every salon has its own pricing.

You’ll find that mink lashes and silk lashes will be more expensive whereas the non-natural ones will be cheaper. The synthetic ones aren’t necessarily worse; it depends on what look you’re going for.

If something seems way too cheap, then it’s probably not a good idea. Really, really cheap lashes can be heavy, which makes your natural lashes fall out. I also don’t think you need to spend a crazy amount like $400 to get a good set. Just shop around and find a fibre and price you’re happy with.

Is there more than one type of eyelash extension? Which one is the best?

Yes. Generally there are mink, faux-mink, silk and synthetic extensions.

Synthetic lashes will generally look the most intense and the least like your natural lashes. So if you’re after drama, these are the ones you should go for. Generally, they’re also the cheapest.

Mink lashes are made from, you guessed it, mink. A lot of people and salons object to these for animal rights reasons. I certainly never got them. The idea of gluing animal fur to my eyes was never particularly appealing. But they will behave the most like your real lashes. You can curl them and mascara them as you please.

Faux-mink lashes are synthetic lashes created to try and behave the same way as real mink. Because they’re plastic, they will never look exactly like real hair, but at least you’re not using fur. Faux mink lashes are light and glossy, so if you’re after a bit of shine in your lashes, these are a great option.

Silk lashes are my personal favourite for one reason; they’re the lightest. The lighter the extension, the longer they stay on. A lot of people think that eyelash extensions pull out your natural lashes, but they technically don’t. What they do is put extra weight on your lashes, so if you’ve got a lash that is close to falling out, it may fall out sooner thanks to the extra weight.

It’s as if you stuck weights on the hair on your head. They are not going to pull your hair out, but they may cause your hair to fall out faster. Silk lashes also don’t have the same glossy plastic look to them. They look more natural, which is another reason why these were my pick.

Talk to your salon first before you make a decision. If you are after a lighter lash, I’ve seen some salons sell finer and lighter synthetic lashes than even the silk ones I used to wear. Although, synthetic is generally heavier, there are new innovations and styles being created every day so this isn’t always the case.

How long should my eyelash extensions be?

Again, this depends on the type of look you’re going for. But there are a couple of things you should bear in mind.

Lash extensions are generally glued to the base of your natural lashes so as your natural lashes grow out, so do the extensions. As a result, the extensions look longer and longer as time passes. If you opt for a longer set with more drama, they’re going to look really, really long by week two.

I asked my aesthetician for a set that were the same length as my natural lashes. That way when they grew out, they didn’t look over the top. I prefer the natural look, but you may want something different.

Can I trim my eyelash extensions?

Not really. Not by yourself anyway. Lashes start thick at the base and grow out to a dainty point. If you cut them, you chop off the point and are left with blunt ends. And it’s really, really noticeable.

When I went to get my infills done, my aesthetician would trim the extensions that were crazy long and disrupted the natural look of my new set. But she had a special pair of trimmers designed to create a pointed end.

I would recommend you not trim them yourself. The exception to this rule is if one has fallen out but is still glued to others that are still intact, then you should trim the fallen one. Also, if a lash has turned backwards and it’s bothering you, trim it rather than pulling it out.

How can I clean my eyelash extensions?

You don’t really have to clean them. Just brush them through once a day with a dry mascara brush to keep them straight and untangled.

You will need to wash them if you’ve put makeup on them. Try to gently cleanse the mascara/makeup off with water alone. Once you’ve gotten off as much as you can, you can clean the surrounding area as normal. Do not use makeup remover or oil-based products on lash extensions as it will dissolve the glue holding them on.

Do eyelash extensions ruin your lashes?

Yes and no. If you’re gentle and kind to your extensions, they shouldn’t do much to your natural lashes other than make a few fall out a tad earlier.

If you get heavy extensions, if you tug at them all the time, if you put makeup on them and don’t wash it off, if you rub them, if you pull them, or if you do any of the things the salon specifically tells you not to do, you will pull out many of your natural lashes and it will take a couple of months for them to grow back properly.

Do eyelash extensions hurt?

Nope. If the process of having them put on hurts at all, your aesthetician is doing it wrong.

I personally found it very relaxing.

Can I remove eyelash extensions myself?

I never did this myself, but I believe you can completely dissolve the glue holding them on with oil-based makeup remover. It might take a few applications, but I believe this should do the trick.

How can I make my eyelash extensions last longer?

Here are my top tips for making your extensions last as long as possible.

Remove all forms of oil from your beauty routine. That means oil makeup removers, oil serums, oil-based moisturiser, oil-based foundation etc. Oil dissolves the glue that holds your extensions on. So avoiding oil will help the glue stay intact.

Try not to get them wet too often. Getting your eyelash extension wet within the first 48 hours prevents the glue from setting correctly and your extensions will fall off. After this, you should be mostly okay to wet them. Just know that water, especially hot water, can reactivate the glue and cause multiple lashes and extension to stick together. This becomes a problem if one lash falls out and all of sudden you’ve got a loose lash and extension hanging off a lash that is still intact. Basically, it will force the still intact lash to fall out. Your fallout rate has essentially doubled (or tripled even). So avoid water where possible and if you do wet them, always gently brush them through after.

Try and sleep on your back. I know this one is easier said than done, but it makes a difference. Sleeping with your face in a pillow tugs and rubs your lashes and extensions as you move in your sleep. Don’t be surprised if you wake up with a pile of pulled out lashes in your pillow.

Try not to put mascara on them. Wearing mascara on your extensions increases the likelihood that your extensions will be exposed to water and oil, which we’ve established is not a good thing.

Pick the lightest type of extensions. The lighter the extension, the less weight you have tugging on your lashes, encouraging them to fall out.

Opt for shorter extensions. Again, shorter extensions are lighter which means they’ll last longer.

Don’t tug at your extensions. Your lashes are delicate and just a small pull can rip out your lashes. Tugging at your extensions can pull your lashes out.

If combing them, don’t pull or apply too much force. This is the same situation. It only takes a little bit of force to tear out a lash. Be very gentle when combing

If you find multiple lashes or extensions glued together at the base, don’t try to separate them. You’re more likely to pull lashes out than separate anything.

If a lash and extension fall out but are glued to a lash that hasn’t fallen out, try and gently trim the piece that has fallen out. This will eliminate the extra weight tugging at your intact lash.

If you find that one extension has turned backwards and is curling the wrong way, trim it. Avoid pulling at all costs.

Are eyelash extensions worth it?

Again, there is no definitive answer for this. I adore the look of them. Not having to wear a scrap of makeup but still looking made-up and polished is such a time saver.

Wearing lash extensions made me feel pretty and having a regular beauty appointment is a quiet, little luxury that added some regular relaxation to my life.

That said, the upkeep is pricey. You need to be prepared to spend potentially $100 per month for maintenance.

You also need to handle them like a glass slipper. No more roughly washing your face and no more freely shampooing your hair. You need to sleep differently and change your moisturiser. It’s a lot of work trying to keep them looking good.

In the end, the kicker for me was the water. I’m a bit of a beach bunny. I live on the sand in summer. When it came to summer time with my extensions, I’d either have to avoid swimming altogether or deal with my extensions falling off left, right and centre. So I said I would stop having them done in the summer months, but it’s been a year now and I still haven’t bothered to go back.

I would definitely get them again in the colder months. I feel like they made a real difference to how I felt about myself, plus they allowed me a little more time to sleep in the mornings.

For me, they were worth it, just not in summer.

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Bat your lashes. Photo: licsiren/Getty Images/iStockphoto

I got eyelash extensions for the first time two and a half years ago, and I haven’t looked back. After seeing a promotional email on Groupon, I showed up to my appointment, fell asleep on a spa table, and woke up an hour later with individual wisps of fake hair affixed over my own lashes. I also left an extra $215 poorer; I’d being convinced to buy a pack of refill sessions by the girl at the front desk, thus sparking a habit that costs me an average of $100 a month, plus tip.

When I first read about lash extensions, I learned that their upkeep is not cheap; your own lashes have a growth cycle akin to the rest of your body hair, and the glue holding an extension to your eyelash can weaken and dissolve over time. What I wasn’t expecting was how sparse my old lashes seemed in comparison once my extensions began to fall out. I began to look forward to my refill appointment, and tried my best to extend the life of my lashes as best I could, lest my technician be mad at my care and keeping of her handiwork.

According to Clementina Richardson, the founder of Envious Lashes salons, properly applied lash extensions can last up to six weeks. “As the weeks progress, the extensions will slowly shed until you are back to your natural lashes,” she explains. “Your natural eyelashes fall off every 45–60 days, and are naturally replaced with the growth of a new eyelash.” When an eyelash falls out, so too will the false lash attached to it. She also warns against exposure to steam, rubbing your eyes, or sleeping face-down as factors that can damage your lashes; I once got too close to an open oven and noticed that the heat had caused my lashes to singe and curl.

Richardson says that the first two days after an application are the most important; you should avoid getting your lashes wet for as long as you can (though you can obviously wash your face, just be careful about the process!) “Avoid steam and wetting your lashes for the first 48 hours, and don’t stand under the shower head for a long time,” she warns. If you work out, she recommends investing in a sweatband, and dab at your face with a towel gently; if you really need to get your fitness on, it’s better to book a gentle class rather than an all-out sprint fest for the first few days.

Most lash salons require clients to make refill appointments every two to three weeks; wait any longer and they’ll book your refill as a new, full set. As a result, I’ve sometimes had to play schedule jigsaw, or get refills a week and a half after my first application if I’m going out of town and can’t make the three-week window.

Luckily (but, I suppose, unluckily for my wallet) I don’t have to stop any time soon. “You can have extensions indefinitely, as long as you make your refill appointments,” Richardson explains. And while properly applied lash extensions shouldn’t damage your lashes, if your technician doesn’t get it right — likely by applying too much glue, or attaching clumps of extensions to multiple lashes — that can result in damage, or the extensions pulling the lash out.

While it might be tempting to ask for the longest, curliest extensions available, those could do the most damage if your own lashes can’t support them. “Applying extensions that are too heavy for the natural lash will result in premature shedding,” Richardson warns. She screens her clients before giving them the longer extensions most people ask for.

As for the worst thing you could do while wearing extensions? Richardson says that’s rubbing your eyes, even if that can sometimes feel inevitable, especially if you wear a lot of eye makeup. I’m hopeless with eye shadow to begin with, but ever since I began getting eyelash extensions, I’ve found myself rarely bothering with the stuff at all. (I’ll wear a bold lip instead, for a very lazy attempt at the so-called “French girl” look.)

If you are devoted to your eye-shadow palettes, Richardson says you need to be careful not to disturb the glue bonding your extensions to your lashes. When you have extensions, she says, makeup becomes a series of don’ts, for practical reasons: “Avoid using oil-based products, cream-based liners, and heavy creams around your eyes; and plus avoid playing, picking, rubbing, and touching your lashes excessively. Never” — she emphasized this word — “use a mechanical eyelash curler,” she added, nor does she recommend using mascara on your lashes.

What should you do, instead? Brush your lashes with a clean spoolie brush, but Richardson warns not to overdo that, either. And if you do need to remove makeup, do it with an oil-free formula like NARS’s Gentle Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover.

Eyelash Extensions Pros & Cons – Are They Right for You?

Eyelash extensions can be a beautiful, albeit expensive, way to enhance your natural eyelashes without mascara or strip false lashes. These individually applied lashes can look surprisingly natural. With the exception of the expense and the appointment time, it means waking up each morning looking fabulous.

Other than the doctor-prescribed Latisse®, most cosmetic products claiming to grow lashes don’t work. And although there are great mascaras, they rarely, if ever, perform like the ads say they will (just look a little closer, the women in almost every mascara ad have false eyelashes on.).

Paula became intrigued when she saw a friend of hers wearing these extensions, and had to try it for herself. We explain the pros and cons she experienced so you can decide for yourself if lash extensions are for you.

What are Lash Extensions?

Lash extensions are individually applied synthetic or natural hair fibers attached to the base of each eyelash with surgical glue. Each fake lash is applied one by one (it’s a painstaking, time-consuming process) to your own eyelashes.

If you are very, very careful in how you take care of your eye area after having lash extensions applied, and have touchups every two to three weeks, your lash extensions can hold up pretty well. But straying from the guidelines can cause a mess, with the lashes coming off sooner than they would have otherwise.

Subsequent appointments after your initial application is mandatory for maintenance. How often you need a “fill” depends on your own natural eyelash growth cycle and on how well you take care of your lashes. Taking care of your lash extensions is a big deal.

Before You Book Your Lash Extension Appointment

If you decide to give this a try (and the result can be gorgeous), you need to follow these guidelines to ensure your experience goes as smoothly as possible:

Research your lash professional. It’s best if your lash technician is professionally certified and trained in an established method of application. Don’t be embarrassed to ask about credentials; the best ones will be proud to show you their work.

Choose your look carefully, just the way you choose a hairstyle by looking at pictures. Most lash technicians will walk you through this. There’s a fine line between gorgeous, fluttery lashes and spidery, obviously fake-looking lashes.

Understand there are potential risks although they’re rare. The most common complaints about lash extensions are allergic reactions to the glue, eye infections from contact with unsanitary tools, or an infected follicle from two lashes being glued together, and/or from the glue itself clogging a hair follicle.

Understand the process. Applying a full set of new lashes can take anywhere from 90 to 180 minutes. Depending on the look you want to achieve, anywhere from 60–120 individual lashes will be applied to each eye. To prepare the eye area for extensions, your lash technician should be taping your lower lashes down to your skin, and placing hydrating eye pads on top. This is done to prevent the glue from getting on the lower part of your eye as lashes are applied.

As with any beauty treatment, there are pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you. With lash extensions, the positives and negatives are almost equally weighted, though you’ll rarely hear the downside in a salon that provides this service. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed decision:

Pros:

They look fabulous. More dramatic than mascara, yet far more natural than a strip of (or individual) false eyelashes, lash extensions are simply stunning when done right.

They’re instantly gratifying. Lash extensions deliver the gorgeous lashes you want with one appointment, and you won’t have to bother applying and removing mascara every day, or worry about mascara flaking, running, or smearing.

They can save you time. Some people say that because lash extensions look just as good if you aren’t wearing makeup, you can forego this time-consuming step in the morning. We’re not convinced about this as you still have to find the time twice a month to get the extensions filled in, so it more or less evens out.

They can last for months and beyond.
Typically, lash extensions stay looking good for 2 to 3 weeks, but beyond that, all of them will gradually fall out on their own. However, with regular fills, your overall lash extensions will last indefinitely.

Cons:

They’re expensive. Expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $500 (yes, that much) for your first full set of lashes. From there, refills (typically needed every 2–3 weeks) cost $50–$100 per visit. If you do the math, that’s anywhere from $1000 to $2500 per year spent on lashes.

They’re high maintenance. Your lashes will need extra attention to look good between fills because preserving these expensive additions to your eyes should be the goal.

  • Do not use oil-based cleansers and makeup removers as they cause the glue to breakdown.
  • Avoid using mascara over them because removing it can snag the extensions, causing them to fall out prematurely.
  • You must be careful when washing your eye area as any movement of your lashes will increase the lash falling out or getting twisted around.
  • Do not let water from the shower fall directly on your face as the pressure will make the lash extension loosen and shed faster.
  • Do not rub your face with a towel or press your face too hard into the pillow when you sleep.
  • Use a dry mascara wand (your lash technician will give you one) at least once a day in the morning or several times during the day, as needed, to comb through your lashes and gently straighten them out, especially if they get wet. Careful! If you tug to much they’ll loosen and fall out. The extensions easily get twisted around from sleeping positions and after washing your face and they can start looking really odd.
  • Be careful how you apply makeup. Avoid oil-based skin care products around the eyes as well as greasy eye pencils and concealers as they will breakdown the eyelash glue. Also avoid applying heavy eyeliner as removing it tugs at the lashes, resulting in more fallout. Use a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover to take off makeup at your lash line.
  • The more dramatic the lash, meaning thicker, the more likely it is to get twisted and fall out earlier than you want.

Eyelash Extensions Before and After

Lash extensions can be worth the money, but they’re definitely not for everyone. It really comes down to your budget, time allotment, and compliance with the guidelines as these aren’t easy to maintain. Following our advice will help increase your chances of getting great results.

References for this information:

Cornea, February 2012, pages 151–125
Critical Reviews in Toxicology, September 2011, 672–721

Latisse® is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc. Paula’s Choice Skincare has no conflict of interest or affiliation with Allergan.

RELATED: This Serum Will Lengthen Your Eyelashes in Just Days

What Are Eyelash Extensions and How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?

Eyelash extensions, or semi-permanent lashes, are different from false lashes in that you don’t simply glue them to your lash line and take them off at the end of the day. You need to book an appointment at a salon and have a professional hand-glue the extensions. For people who don’t have enough time to put a full mug of makeup on each morning, this is a perfect alternative.

Lash extensions are also great because they don’t just save time on your morning makeup routine; they also last much longer than falsies. How long do lash extensions last exactly? They can last up to six to eight weeks or even longer with the right maintenance.

How Much Do They Cost?

In Australia, prices for eyelash extensions vary depending on a number of factors. Classic lash extensions go for $USD80 to 180. According to celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson, it is advisable not to get the cheapest option. Do your research and give yourself something that is well-reviewed and of high quality. This will ensure that your extensions will last longer, with fewer trips to the salon to get them refilled or touched up.

How Do Eyelash Extensions Work? How Do I Prepare For An Appointment?

Once you’ve decided to book an appointment for eyelash extensions, your next step is to prepare for it. Before you head to your appointment, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Lash extensions are either made of synthetic or natural hair fibres. These are attached to your lash line using a type of glue. You need to know if you’re allergic to any types of hair or synthetic fibres and consult with the technician so that you don’t get anything that will cause a reaction.

The same goes for the glue. Ask your technician for the ingredients of the glue they use to attach the semi-permanent lashes to avoid any allergic reactions.

Another thing to keep in mind is the style you want for your eyelash extensions. You can opt for a natural look or something more glamorous.

How to Maintain Eyelash Extensions

Now that you know how they work and how long lash extensions last, here are some answers to some frequently asked questions on the maintenance of lash extensions, including hot tips on how to make your eyelash extensions last longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to wash your face with eyelash extensions?

You can still wash your face, but you must do it gently in order to avoid ruining your extensions. Use cleansers that are made for people who have extensions, as these products will not have any harmful ingredients that might cause any damage.

How to shower with eyelash extensions?

One thing you should remember is that you cannot get your extensions wet 24 hours after getting them applied. So when you shower, do not touch your eyes. Afterwards, it’s totally fine to shower, but again, you must remember to do it gently.

Another tip is to avoid using too much hot water or steam, as this may cause the glue to lose its efficacy. Brush your lashes with a small spoolie brush after every shower to avoid tangles.

Can you swim with eyelash extensions?

You can get in the pool and swim with eyelash extensions. Chlorine won’t do much harm to your extensions, but it will irritate your eyes. When our eyes become irritated, we tend to scratch at them, and this scratching can cause the extensions to break and fall off.

How to clean eyelash extensions?

How to make your eyelash extensions last longer? Clean them thoroughly!

Remove all your makeup using a gentle cleanser. Then you use a special lash shampoo, which you’ll likely be able to purchase at the salon where you get your eyelash extensions. When applying shampoo, do not rub the lashes. Simply splash water onto your eyelids to get the shampoo out.

When drying, carefully dab your face with a soft towel. As mentioned above, brush your lashes with a spoolie brush afterwards.

Repeat this twice to three times per week.

Can you wear false eyelashes with eyelash extensions?

We advise that you don’t as the whole purpose of eyelash extensions is so that you don’t have to wear falsies anymore. You can also run the risk of destroying or ripping off your extensions by using falsies, as the extensions might stick to them during removal.

What to avoid?

According to celebrity brown and lash artist Amy Jean, you need to avoid oily makeup removers and heavy mascaras, as these may lessen the bonding capabilities of the glue.

Conclusion

Eyelash extensions are a great alternative for people who don’t want to have to apply mascara or falsies on a daily basis. And although it’s more expensive either of those options, eyelash extensions are semi-permanent and will last for several weeks with proper care.

RELATED: What Is A Lash Lift?

A consultation will also help you determine what to choose for material (most common are silk and faux mink; silk is bit more shiny and pops more, whereas mink is most fluttery and natural), length, and curl type (J is the slightest curve but ends up looking longer; C and D are the most flipped up), as well as how many lashes should be applied. A great lash artist will also mix lengths to give lashes a naturally wispy vibe, Shirai says. “At Blinkbar we use a minimum of four different lengths for every style we offer.”

Stay away from cluster lashes.

If your lashes are sparse, some salons may suggest 3-D lashes, or clusters, which are three hairs glued together, to give your eyes a more voluminous look. Avoid them—they’ll only weigh down your natural lashes and lead to breakage. “You should always have one extension applied to one natural lash, there should be no visible glue, and the extensions should not be touching your lid in any way,” Shirai says. Basically, if they look like falsies, they’ll be way too heavy.

They will feel weird at first.

It takes a day or two to get used to the feeling of wearing extensions, but I found them to be much more comfortable than strip lashes. They’ll also mess with the way you normally sleep (unless you’re already a back sleeper). “If you sleep on your side and stomach you’re going to crush them and they won’t last as long,” Shin says. “Try using a travel pillow or something that helps to elevate and keep you on your back.”

You might need to adjust your skin care routine…

The general rule of thumb is to avoid anything too oily. I love nothing more than rich face oils, but had to give them up while I had extensions. And if you’re going to apply eye cream, Shin recommends using it in the morning instead of at night so it doesn’t travel into your lashes (skip greasy ones that are packed with mineral oil, Shirai says). Stick to nonoily makeup removers as well: Shin recommends using micellar water with a cotton swab to remove makeup around your eyes (with cotton pads, fibers will stick to your lashes), whereas Shirai prefers presoaked oil-free makeup-removing pads.

…and the way you do your makeup.

While there are some “extension-safe’ mascaras out there, Shin recommends avoiding mascara completely. You just splurged on lashes—don’t jeopardize them! Also stay away from waterproof eye makeup; removing it will take a toll on your eyes and can soften the glue. Shin also recommends avoiding loose powder or glittery eyeshadows, which can build up on the roots of your lashes, eventually weakening them and leading to breakage. And if you’re devoted to liner (though you may find you no longer want it), stick to gel and liquid formulas that won’t tug at your roots.

You’ll have to relearn how to wash your face.

There is nothing as jarring as leaning into a sink, washing your face, and accidentally bumping your extensions. It feels incredibly strange and I’ve lost more than a few lashes this way (RIP, lashes!). Here’s the technique that worked for me: Get as low as possible to the sink—I basically stick my head into the bowl—and gently splash water on the bottom of your face and forehead. Then carefully suds up the lower half of your face and forehead, rinsing it clean by lightly dabbing and doing a light, outward pulling motion. After that, I use my ring fingers to wet around my eyes with any leftover cleanser, following with water. No scrubbing.

And give your eyes extra attention.

This is gross, but because you’re not washing your eye area as thoroughly as usual, you can and will get residue buildup, particularly at the lash line. “Even if you don’t put eye makeup on, there’s still outside impurities and dust ,” Shin says. “I mix distilled water with a little bit of tear-free baby shampoo and use the mixture to thoroughly clean my top lids and the bottom of my eyes.”

Like your hair, lashes need to be brushed.

My lashes would get a little wacky when I woke up or after showering. That’s why Shin ends every appointment by handing you a soft pink spoolie and demonstrating how to comb your lashes daily. Here’s how she does it: Looking down, support underneath your lashes with your pointer finger. Then gently twirl the spoolie on the top side of your lashes (the opposite of how you’d apply mascara; brushing that way will tug at the hair). “It takes five seconds out of your day and it goes a long way,” Shin says.

Never—ever!—pick at them.

The only way to remove eyelashes is with a pro—seriously. You’ll end up tearing out or breaking your lashes if you try it yourself, and it’s not worth it. “That doesn’t mean you have to remove them; you can also just wear them until they all cycle off,” Shirai says. Typically they last around three to four weeks, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself back for refills before then. I told you, they’re addicting.

What You Need to Know Before Getting Eyelash Extensions

Let’s be real: There’s only so much that mascara can do on your quest for extra-long, extra-full lashes. And yes, falsies are a great option…but they’ll only last for a few hours. So when you want show-stopping fringe for weeks at a time, eyelash extensions are your best bet. While the once under-the-radar beauty service is now fairly ubiquitous with salons offering eyelash extensions popping up all over the place, there are still some important things you need to know before deciding if it’s for you. Ahead, the pros weigh in on eyelash extensions pros and cons, plus everything you’ve been wondering about how long eyelash extensions last, how you remove them, and, importantly, how much they cost. (Related: The Absolute Best Mascaras On the Market for Every Lash Look)

Image zoom stock_colors/Getty Images

Eyelash Extensions 101

Simply put, they’re little fibers that get attached to your existing eyelashes. “Lash extensions are synthetic, faux mink or silk fibers which are applied one at a time to the existing lash using a specially-formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate or damage the natural hair,” explains celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes.

Why You Might Want Eyelash Extensions

It’s a semi-permanent way to enhance the look of your eyelashes, and many people find they are able to forgo mascara altogether after the service. So you get the look you’re after and you save some time in the morning to boot—not to mention that it’s a great option for events like weddings or vacations. Plus, the application and fibers used can be customized to create any kind of lash you’re after, ranging from more simple and natural, to elongated and dramatic, says Richardson. (Related: How to Expertly Apply Magnetic Lashes)

What You Should Consider Before Getting Eyelash Extensions

As with many beauty treatments, it’s imperative to find an experienced professional to perform it. “Safety should be your number one concern,” says Richardson. “Finding someone who is certified to apply the lashes is a must. Depending on the state, the stylist also needs to be licensed, not just certified,” she adds. Don’t be afraid to inquire about a salon or stylist and their experience and credentials.

However, once you’re over that hurdle, the likelihood of any side effects from eyelash extensions is minimal. There is potential for those with super sensitive or easily irritated eyes to sometimes be allergic to the adhesive used, notes Richardson. Other factors you should consider though, are the time commitment and cost. While the extensions will last for quite a while, the application process can be timely and you’ll have to come back to either have them touched-up (every two to three weeks), re-done completely (every month or so), or removed (after about six weeks, if they haven’t naturally come off by then). The cost for application, removal, and touch-ups will vary based on where you live, the salon you go to, and the number and type of lashes your getting put on, but, in general, eyelash extensions can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 dollars, says Richardson. Plan on shelling out anywhere from $50-$100 for touch-ups, and $25-$50 if you want them removed completely. Point being, this is one beauty treatment that definitely requires both a time and financial commitment.

How Eyelash Extensions Are Applied

You’re going to want to aside some time for this, since getting eyelash extensions can take anywhere from one to two hours (!), depending on the final look you’re going for, says Richardson. Silver lining: You’ll get to lie down with your eyes closed for most of it, so some people actually find it to be a relaxing experience, she adds. During the application process, the synthetic fibers are carefully applied one at a time, typically 80 to 140 per eye using a specially-formulated, semi-permanent glue and going directly onto the existing hair at the base of the eyelash, not the skin, says Richardson. For context, the average person has about 200-300 lashes on their top lid. (Related: Kerry Washington Swears This $7 Product Made Her Eyelashes Healthier)

How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?

“Your extensions will shed with your natural hair growth cycle which is typically every six to eight weeks,” says Richardson. They can start to look a little funky a few weeks in, as the eyelash extensions won’t all come off at the same time, in which case refills (every two to three weeks) are a great option, notes lash expert Tirzah Shirai, founder of BlinkBar. She advises a new set every 30 days for the best results.

Eyelash Extention Maintenance

When sporting eyelash extensions, you’ll have to adjust your normal makeup and skin-care routine slightly. “Proper lash care and maintenance is just as important as the application itself, and a little TLC goes a long way,” explains Shirai. You need to keep your lashes dry for the first 24 hours immediately following the application. And you can only use oil-free makeup remover and oil-free eye products, while eyelash extensions are on, she says. Adopt a hands-off policy, too: “The worst thing you can do is rub your eyes, which leads to immediate breakage,” cautions Richardson. Other no-nos: Lash curlers are off-limits, and if you are going to use a mascara (which you likely won’t need to), make sure it’s one specially formulated for lash extensions, says Shirai. These should be a water-based, oil-free formula, as any kind of oil can start to dissolve the adhesive that’s keeping the extension attached. One to try: BeautyGarde Oil-Free Mascara (Buy It, $26, ulta.com).

How to Remove Eyelash Extensions

Again, the extensions should naturally come off on their own with your lashes’ life cycle, but if they don’t, resist the urge to pull them off! This will damage your natural lashes. Instead, go back to the salon and have them removed professionally. The stylist has the tools to do it properly and safely, and the whole process should take less than 30 minutes, says Shirai. As long as you see a trained professional for application and removal and follow all of the upkeep tips, eyelash extensions should not do any damage to your natural lashes. (Related: Will Eyelash Extensions Make Your Real Lashes Fall Out?)

  • By Melanie Rud

If you’ve ever wanted fuller, longer eyelashes you are not alone. Everyone from Beyoncé to your favorite Real Housewife has taken steps to get the lashes of their dreams. One of those steps is eyelash extensions. Extensions are a more permanent option that has the power to transform your face and make you throw away your falsies for good. However, if you’re like me—meaning, on the crazy side—you’ll have a few questions before a stranger glues a foreign object on your delicate lids.

Celebrity eyelash expert and Envious Lashes owner Clementina Richardson answered my most paranoid questions about eyelash extensions. Find out if the horror stories have any truth (can you go blind?!) and why you should never get extensions right before a bad breakup. Ahead, eyelash extension questions and answers for the most neurotic.

What are lash extensions?

Lash extensions are synthetic fibers that are attached to the natural lashes using medical grade adhesive. Lash extensions can come in a variety of sizes ranging from 6mm-18mm with a few curl width options. With proper placement, lash extensions can make the eyes appear wider and more lifted. With proper care, lash extensions should last up to six weeks before all the extensions shed.

Extensions shed! Will all my lashes fall out?

Your extensions will shed with your natural hair growth cycle which is typically every six to eight weeks. Refills are a great way to extend the life of your lashes and recommended every two to three weeks.

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Request our Envious Eyes set with our natural eye lift styling to achieve this look!! Our branded popular ultra silk lashes were used to create this bold look. Tag a friend that would love this look 🌸

A post shared by Celebrity Eyelash Expert (@enviouslashes) on Aug 13, 2018 at 7:52pm PDT

Will my natural lashes be damaged?

If you see a licensed and certified professional your natural lashes should not be harmed. Lash extensions alone will not ruin your lashes. Damage to the natural lashes is the result of improper application, or the stylist not selecting the correct type of lash for an existing natural lash. There are a few factors that contribute to this problem: Applying extensions that are too heavy for the natural lash will result in premature shedding, and rubbing your eyes will also result in immediate breakage. This is actually the worst thing you can do, so it’s important to try to be as gentle as you can with your eyes.

Okay, I’m ready for my appointment. How can I prepare?

Richardson recommends not wearing mascara to your appointment or using any oil-based makeup products around the eyes. This will help the adhesive stick better and make the application process flow much smoother.

How long does the complete process take?

The initial appointment can take anywhere from one to two hours depending on the style and volume desired.

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For sexy flirty eyes book today! We can #contour your eyes to appear perfectly almond without surgery.. ✅✅ www.enviouslashes.com

A post shared by Celebrity Eyelash Expert (@enviouslashes) on Jul 24, 2018 at 12:40pm PDT

What about the horror stories? Can I go blind?

It is extremely crucial to not let the adhesive get in contact with the eye itself—this could cause blindness. However, in Richardson’s 11.5 years of lash experience this has never happened.

It is extremely rare since so little adhesive is being used. Make sure to always check to see if the technician is licensed and certified and do NOT go for the cheapest price!

It’s also recommended to avoid steam and wetting your lashes for the first 48 hours. You can of course wash your wash your face and take a shower, just make sure that no water touches your lashes.

And crying?

Crying is the same as getting the lashes wet. Try to avoid it if at all possible. That means, avoid watching The Notebook.

Can I wear mascara with eyelash extensions?

One of the fabulous benefits of having eyelash extensions is that you no longer need mascara. Richardson doesn’t recommend mascara with lash extensions as it’s hard to remove and will cause the bond to break. If you must wear mascara, try to just wear it on your lower lashes and avoid waterproof mascaras.

Also, only use cleansers specifically formulated to be safe for eyelash extensions. Other products may contain ingredients that can weaken the bond of your lash extensions and cause them to shed prematurely! If you are making an investment in extensions in the first place, you surely don’t want to see them go to waste.

How often do you need to get lash extensions redone?

There is no need to get your lashes removed and redone. Natural lashes grow and shed with your natural hair cycle, so every time you go in for a fill, your lashes will differ for example fuller, longer or shorter. Refills however take more skill and expertise than a full set. The reason is because lashes are grown and have shed from different areas of the lid. It’s difficult if you do not have a trained eye to create symmetry to create the look of the initial set. Removing and replacing overgrown lashes and creating a balance is extremely important.

Refills are recommended every two to three weeks to keep your lashes looking lush and full. Conditioning serums are great for lash wearers to use in between appointments.

And a few final takeaways from a celebrity eyelash extension expert…

Just like you are with your blowouts, be gentle with your lashes. Apply a protective coating 48 hours after service from base to tip and use a silk or satin pillowcase as cotton can cause drying and/or snagging.

Never EVER use a mechanical eyelash curler. If your extensions are starting to fall use a heated eyelash curler to gently lift them. Richardson says Mary J Blige apparently has one always stashed in her makeup bag and never travels without it!

Avoid touching the extensions and applying cream based liners on your top lid. Tight lining while wearing lash extensions should also be avoided. This disrupts the base of the extensions where the strength of the bond is most critical. Use a protective coating after the second day. This product acts like that topcoat to nail polish. It coats the adhesive area protecting it from dirt oil and makeup. Richardson finds that her clients that use this have a much better hold when they return for their fill.

Now that you’ve got all the basics down, know that lash extensions are not as high maintenance as people think. If you’re a first time wearer, these may seem a little overwhelming on day one, but you will get used to it after one week and be batting those full lashes in no time.

Chloe Hall Beauty Director Chloe Hall oversees all beauty coverage at ELLE.com.

What is the secret to natural looking eyelash extensions?

High quality materials and extreme skill are important in creating natural looking eyelash extensions. We source the highest grade lashes and adhesives to ensure the lashes are light, flexible, sturdy and long lasting, yet incredibly soft. Our technicians are amongst the most experienced in the country, with many having over a decade of experience purely in eyelash extension application.

Russian Volume Eyelash Extensions Lady Lash Parramatta – despite the amount of lashes applied, Russian Volume Lashes can still look very natural on the wearer, yet are incredibly soft and long lasting

Glamorous natural looking eyelash extensions?

If you’re looking for volume and density, but want extensions that look like you could possibly just be genetically blessed in the eyelash department. I would recommend the Russian Volume Sets where over 200 extremely fine extensions are applied per eye. This is a relatively new style and is gaining popularity. Only a handful of salons in Sydney do Russian volume eyelash extensions, as it is an advanced technique and takes more time than classic lashes. They are absolutely beautiful though, and are very long lasting eyelash extensions.

To widen very close-set eyes, I would recommend a half set with ends that are a little longer and fanned out. For eyes with a rounder shape, we wouldn’t use an extreme curl, because it can give the wearer a ‘surprised’ look. It’s always best to not go too long as well, if you’re aiming for ‘au natural’, as very long extensions usually end up looking tacky and messy and are much harder to maintain.

Most importantly, we would consider your facial structure and complexion, and your overall ‘look’. The type of eyelashes that look ‘natural’ on a tanned, dark haired 20-year-old brunette will probably not look natural at all on a mature aged blonde with paler features. You really have to tailor the lashes to the person. We are trained to do that – to look at the whole picture, your face and eye shape, makeup style, complexion – to work out what type of lashes will look the best and suit your lifestyle.

Feel free to call us anytime on 0420 634 904 or pop into any of our Salons for complimentary consultations.

How Do Eyelash Extensions Work?

Once reserved for proms and weddings and then peeled off at the end of the night, eyelash extensions now add a dose of glamour to everyday life. If you’re considering them, you may have some questions. Don’t worry, we’re here to provide some answers and to help you feel prepared to get the type of lashes an old porcelain doll stashed in the attic would kill for.

SHOPPING FOR A GLAM GAL-PAL? CHECK OUT OUR FAVORITE GIFTS FOR WOMEN.

What are eyelash extensions?

Lash extensions are tiny black fibers that resemble eyelashes and that are attached to natural eyelashes using glue. The fibers either come as individual pieces or attached to a strip. Strip lashes can be applied by anyone. Professionals typically apply individual lashes. Our guide focuses on the latter because they’re more complicated, not to mention expensive.

How do eyelash extensions work?

Licensed technicians carefully apply fake lashes by attaching the tiny extensions one-by-one to create a look that’s both dramatic yet natural. After the service, lash extensions will last through a full growth cycle of your natural eyelashes. Though each person’s lash growth may vary, this process is generally between six to eight weeks. However, most technicians recommend touch-ups every three to four weeks.

What are they made out of?

The most common extension materials are mink, synthetic hair, and synthetic silk. Mink extensions tend to be the lightest and softest, which is why some people believe they’re the best fake eyelashes. It’s also why they’re the most expensive. Synthetic lashes are typically the thickest and heaviest of the bunch, resulting in a highly dramatic look. Synthetic silk extensions are the most common type of extensions used nowadays because they tend to be fairly light, very dark, and able to hold a curl.

Learn More

Which Eyelash Extensions Should I Get?

Find out the pros and cons of each type of lash and which one is right for you.

How much do eyelash extensions cost?

Lash extensions range in cost, depending on the type of material used. But generally, an initial full-set lash application will cost somewhere between $150-$200. Monthly maintenance and refills, however, will run anywhere from $55-$65 per session. Mink lashes—reportedly the only type Beyoncé wears—typically cost $300 for a full set. Luckily, you can snag a full mink set on Groupon for as little as $72 and silk and synthetic for even less.

How many extensions do I need?

You have to decide if you want a full set or partial set. If you want a full set, you’ll need as many extensions as you have eyelashes—about 80–120 per eye. A full set gives you a highly glamorous, dramatic look. If you want a partial set, a good option for newbies and those who want just a little enhancement, you’ll need about 35–40 per eye.

How are they applied?

A technician applies patches to the undereye area to help hold down your bottom lashes. She then applies a primer to your upper lashes before using tweezers to fan out your lashes and isolate one of them. With her other hand, the tech picks up a tiny extension using another pair of tweezers, dips the extension in glue, and carefully attaches it on top of the isolated natural eyelash. Your eyes stay closed throughout the whole process.

How long does the application process take?

Because the application process is so meticulous, getting a full set of can take 2.5–3 hours. Most clients use the time to nap. Half sets and touchups take considerably less time.

Watch our lash-extensions video to see a technician apply them and learn more about the process:

How long do extensions last?

The lifespan of the extensions hinges on the growth cycle of your natural lashes. Natural lashes fall out every 6–8 weeks before regrowing, which means that extensions fall out when the natural lashes they’re attached to fall out. Most reputable salons suggest that extensions can last up to six weeks with proper care, but touchups are recommended every three weeks to keep the extensions looking their best.

How can I make them last longer?

  • Avoid getting new lashes wet for 24–48 hours (also avoid getting very sweaty during this time).
  • Avoid using oil-based products, any products that include glycol, and waterproof mascara.
  • Avoid using anything that’s moisture-rich, such as lotion, shampoo, conditioner, and face wash, near your eyes. A pair of goggles in the shower might help.

Can I still wear eye makeup with extensions?

To some extent, yes. You can’t use oil-based or waterproof mascara, which can dissolve the glue. In fact, applying mascara can also tug at the extensions, causing them to fall out sooner. Luckily, most people find they don’t need to wear it when they have extensions. If you can’t face three weeks without mascara, though, go ahead and gently apply it to the very ends of the lashes, avoiding the roots. Using any other eye makeup should be fine as long as you take it off carefully using an oil-free eye-makeup remover.

What It’s Like to Get False Eyelashes

Two editors discuss their experience getting and wearing falsies for the first time.

Eyelash Extensions Reviews

Here’s what some of our customers had to say about their own lash experiences:

“This was my first time getting eyelash extensions and I was blown away by how wonderful of an experience it was. Lash Out was extremely clean, the prices are affordable, and the quality was far above my expectations. I wake up everyday and I don’t have to do a thing with my makeup. Would definitely recommend to all of my friends.” – from Chelsea S.’s review of Lash Out Chicago

“Still rocking lashes a month after. This spa is always clean and professional. I plan to return.” – from Tiffany R.’s review of Red and White Spa in New York City

“I went to get my lashes and they looked wonderful. Since then I’ve went back and got a refill on my lashes. I have received many compliments and I definitely recommend service. She was very sweet and on time. Most importantly it was relaxing!” – from Lauren J.’s review of Luxurious Lashes in Los Angeles

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If you’re anything like us, you probably can’t get over the new beauty fad that completely took 2018 by storm and is already making its stamp on 2019. Of course, we’re talking about eyelash extensions! At one time, false eyelash strips were exclusively used for glam makeup statements or perhaps prom night. Now, however, eyelash extensions give women a flawless day-to-day look that ranges from flirty “girl next door” to a bold night out on the town. But, similar to any other beauty trend, it’s normal to ask: How do eyelash extensions work anyway?

Before we go into how eyelash extensions work, we will start with the basics. What are eyelash extensions? Put simply, eyelash extensions are thin fibers that resemble natural eyelashes. Using permanent adhesive, these thin fibers are attached to each natural eyelash giving a lengthened appearance of each lash. And, spoiler alert! They look amazing.

Eyelash extensions are typically made of mink, synthetic silk, or synthetic mink. While expensive, mink eyelashes are generally the most natural looking, comfortable, and soft. However, they are also the thinnest and last the shortest amount of time. Synthetic extensions, on the other hand, are most common and tend to be the thickest and heaviest appearance.

The first step of getting your lashes done is selecting the best eyelash shape and size according to your eye shape and desired look. Don’t worry — your eyelash technician will do this for you! Next, while laying on your back, an experienced licensed eyelash technician will place protective pads over your lower lashes and under eyes and have you close your eyes.

Using precise tweezers, your lash artist will take a single eyelash extension, apply adhesive, and place carefully on one of your natural lashes one millimeter above the root. If you opt for volume lashes in a more glamorous, open-eyed look, the process will only differ slightly. Rather than applying just one extension to each lash, your lash artist will first glue a few synthetic lashes together to create a fan. From here, the same process as noted above will be used.

How do I get eyelash extensions?

Now, onto the most important question – how can I get my own eyelash extensions? Thankfully, whichever city you find yourself in, there are most likely plenty of options for you! When selecting your lash artist, be sure to look for someone who is licensed and has adequate experience. You can either find a lash artist who works independently or a technician that works as an extension of a salon. If you want to go to the experts, you can even go to a lash studio that specializes in lashes!

Just remember to do your research and pay attention to reviews. Even if you see someone who has cheaper pricing, remember – you get what you pay for!

Where can I learn how to apply classic lashes?

If joining our girl gang of eyelash technicians sounds like the perfect career option for you, look no further than The Lash Professional! Submerse yourself in the world of lash extensions, meet other women in the same space, and learn all that you can about lashes at our two-day training!

Interested? Read more about our Classic Eyelash Extension training on our website. We hope to see you soon!

It’s OK to admit if you’re more than a little curious about eyelash extensions, especially now that this beauty trend has extended beyond your favorite celebrities to the moms at your kids’ soccer games.

“Women love extensions because they can make lashes appear fuller and younger looking, while completely eliminating the need for mascara,” Clementina Richardson, a celebrity lash artist and founder of Envious Lashes in New York City, told TODAY Style. But while the idea of a simplified makeup routine sounds great, there’s still the question of whether extensions healthy and safe or if they’re worth the time and money.

It’s clear that not everyone sees eye to eye.

Heather Muir, beauty director of Real Simple and Health magazines, has been wearing extensions consistently for the last eight years. “I’m hooked! I can wake up and start my day eye makeup-free, yet still look done. Plus, they give me a confidence boost,” she said.

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But some medical professionals warn that safety often comes down to finding an experience technician.

“No doubt, this person needs to be well trained, as I’m seeing more and more patients with injuries caused by extensions, some of which can threaten a woman’s vision,” said Dr. Rebecca Taylor, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Anyone who experiences an infection, any inflammation, an allergic reaction or a noticeable loss of natural eyelashes should see an ophthalmologist immediately.”

Here’s a guide to the pros and cons eyelash extensions pros and cons along with a few tips on how to prepare and maintain them.

What are the different types of eyelash extensions?

Made of mink, sable, faux mink, silk, cashmere or synthetic acrylic, extensions come in a range of material and curl options.

“It’s important the curl on your extension follows the curl of your natural lashes, which is why I consider the application process an art, never a one-size-fits-all procedure,” said Richardson. “With so many different face shapes, it’s important for your lash stylist to figure out the best look for you and your lifestyle.”

Extensions come in a wide range of materials and curl shapes.Victoria O’Brien

How long do eyelash extensions take to apply?

“The initial process lasts about two hours, while touch-ups, recommended every two to three weeks, can take up to an hour,” said Richardson. A single lash extension, ranging in size from 6 to 18 millimeters, is painstakingly attached — one by one — to the base of the natural eyelash.

No matter what your extensions are made of, your bank account is going to take a hit. Pricing varies depending on where you live and your technician’s level of experience, but anticipate shelling out anywhere from $150 to $350 for a full set of lash extensions (80 to 150 lash extensions per eye), and then another $75 to $100 for touch-ups every two to three weeks.

“You might want to consider a partial set, which will cut the cost and time in half, while still adding thickness to your existing lashes,” said Jennifer Garcia, a senior lash stylist at Maud’s of Beverly Hills in California. “And although natural hair is more expensive, if you’re allergic to animal fur, it’s best to stick to a man-made material.”

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Get a daily roundup of items that will make your life easier, healthier and more stylish. A partial set will cut the cost and time in half.Victoria O’Brien

Are eyelash extensions painful?

You may feel anxious with tweezers operating so close to your eyes, but you shouldn’t feel any discomfort. “Your eyes are closed throughout the process,” Richardson explained.

How long do eyelash extensions last?

Sad to say, but you’ll lose the extension when you lose your natural lash, which is about every 6 to 8 weeks. “Women shed about 20 lashes per week,” said Garcia.

Are eyelash extensions safe?

“Lash extensions are easier to mess up than to get right,” said Richardson. A quick view of YouTube videos (“Lash Extension Horror Stories!”) confirms there can be some serious consequences if you fall into the hands of an inexperienced technician. Someone lacking in training can use too much adhesive, resulting in clumped lashes, or they can glue a single lash extension to multiple natural lashes, resulting in even more clumping or even breakage.

“Lashes grow at different rates — if you glue two together when only one is ready to shed, it can pull out the other prematurely,” notes Richardson. Which is why it’s important to research your technician. Find out how long he or she has been applying extensions, read online reviews, look at his/her before and after Instagram photos and confirm he/she’s state licensed and working at a reputable establishment.

Extension adhesives that contain formaldehyde can trigger an allergic reaction, so it’s important your technician uses a medical grade, formaldehyde-free, non-irritating glue. “If you notice any burning or tearing during the application, ask your lash stylist to stop immediately,” said Taylor. The gel patches used to hold down your lower lashes, which may contain ingredients including collagen, aloe and hyaluronic acid, can also cause irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin (some stylists prefer to use medical-grade tape to cover the bottom lashes, but even the tape’s adhesive has been know to cause allergic reactions).

“If you notice any burning or tearing during the application, ask your lash stylist to stop immediately,” said Dr. Rebecca Taylor. Victoria O’Brien

Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, told TODAY Style that he’s “not a fan” of the beauty treatment.

“While they look attractive, they can be associated with allergies and irritation of the skin and can cause harm, sometimes permanently, to your natural eyelashes,” he said.

Beyond glue issues, there’s also traction alopecia to think about. “It’s when the natural lash is lost — either temporarily or permanently — due to the tension and grip the extension has placed on the natural lash,” said Taylor. “You have to remember eyelashes serve an important purpose; they sweep debris away from your eyes, preserving your vision. Losing them temporarily is harmful enough, but if they never grow back, you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of eye issues.”

Can I wear mascara with eyelash extensions?

Lash extensions allow you to ditch your mascara, eyeliner, and lash curler, saving you time in the morning. “Mascara can clump on extensions, but if you feel the need to stroke on a few coats before a big night out, be sure to apply a mascara that’s water-based, contains conditioning ingredients like vitamin B5, and is formulated for easy removal,” suggested Garcia. She recommends Xtreme Lashes Length & Volume Mascara.

Xtreme Lashes Length & Volume Mascara, $28, Amazon

How to take care of eyelash extensions:

If you notice your new lashes are flaking off, there’s a good chance something has interfered with the adhesive bond. Avoid getting your lashes wet for the first 24 – 48 hours, as water can weaken the glue before it has the chance to set. Steer clear of oil-based eye products, cream-based eyeliners and waterproof mascaras, which can be difficult to take off even under normal circumstances. Never use a cotton pad or swab, which can snag the extension, pulling it out.

If you’re a stomach or side sleeper, consider a silk or satin pillowcase along with a nightly application of a lash topcoat. “I see a big difference in lash retention rates when clients use a sealer to help defend against dirt, oil and makeup,” said Richardson.

Beauty7 Excellent Lash Coating Essence for Eyelash Extension, $14, Amazon

How to clean eyelash extensions:

Use an oil-free lash cleanser formulated specifically for eyelash extensions, as some products contain ingredients that can weaken the bond and cause extensions to shed prematurely.

Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover, $16, Amazon

Also available for $17 at Walmart.

Muir recommends this makeup remover because it’s oil free and shouldn’t ruin the adhesive bond of the extension. “In the morning and evening, I gently brush my extensions with a spoolie to keep them clean and detangled,” said Muir.

Colored and lower lash line extensions:

Colored lashes are in fashion this season, noted Richardson, who likes to choose hues that complement a client’s natural eye color. “For example, purple will make green eyes appear more intense and brown eyes larger, while green paired with hazel eyes creates a beautiful wash of color,” she said. Applying colored lashes will add about 30 extra minutes to the process, as they require more thought in terms of placement.

“Eyes are not naturally symmetrical, one may have more lash density or the lashes may grow in different patterns,” said Richardson. “Colored extensions draw more attention to the eyes and it’s pretty noticeable when one eye holds more color than the other, so the goal is to keep the upper and lower lashes looking even.”

Another big trend? Adding extensions to the lower lash line.

“Most women apply extensions — black or colored — on their upper lashes only, but bottom extensions are now gaining in popularity as they make your eyes appear larger by creating balance with your upper lashes.”

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Who does eyelash extensions?

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