The 10 Rules of Eyelash Extensions You Need to Know
Eyelash enhancement is a slippery slope. First, you spend hundreds of pounds in search of the perfect mascara. Then you start waking up early to apply false lashes every morning. And if you're still not satisfied, you fully commit to your fringe and take the plunge to get eyelash extensions. If you haven't tried them yet, brace yourself for a full-blown addiction.
Eyelash extensions are the flirty, sex-kitteny cousin of acrylic nails — they require consistent upkeep. The best ones look totally real, and if you go to the wrong tech, you could be putting yourself at risk for permanent damage. We interviewed extension experts Kim Jaynes and Erin Taylor of Borboleta Beauty, a luxury lash training and retail brand, to find out everything you need to know before you go for your first appointment.
DON'T think that all eyelash extension technicians are all the same.
Don't be afraid to ask questions — after all, they're working near your eyes. Be sure that they have an aesthetician's license and are certified to apply lashes, and ask to see pictures of their previous work. Quality eyelash extensions should look defined, straight, and natural (even with lots of volume). If you can see glue, lashes stuck together, or crooked fibres, find a new technician.
DO compare prices.
For the most part, the adage "you get what you pay for" is true when it comes to eyelash extensions, and price dictates quality. But some lash artists overcharge and some undercharge, which is why looking at pictures of their work is so important.
DON'T go to a lash tech that hasn't taken courses from a reputable company.
Again, do your research on your lash expert. Believe it or not, you can learn how to apply lash extensions on YouTube, but do you want self-taught technicians applying glue near your eyes? Not only do training courses explain how to properly isolate each lash for extension application, they teach technicians about the chemistry behind the work and the ingredients in the glue. You need to be sure that they can verify there is nothing harmful (like formaldehyde) in the products they are using on your lashes.
DO know that lashes can be customised.
Just like your real fringe, extensions come in different thicknesses, lengths, and levels of curl to perfectly blend into your real lashes. You don't need to have superdense, dramatic lashes — you can get more natural extensions that look like you've just applied a few coats of mascara.
DON'T forget to groom your lashes daily.
After each appointment, your tech should provide you with a clean spoolie brush to keep your lashes aligned. Lightly brush them throughout the day to avoid looking messy.
DO cleanse your lashes.
While you may be wary of getting your extensions wet, it's important to wash your lashes daily. Your eyelashes exist to prevent dirt and debris from entering your eyes, and this grime can build up on extensions. Rinse your lashes gently with diluted baby shampoo (one tablespoon of baby shampoo to one cup of distilled water) once a day.
DON'T use oil-based products near your eyes.
Oil destroys the adhesive on your lash extensions, making them fall off sooner. Borboleta recommends skipping out on mascara altogether. But if you can't bear the thought of going without, steer clear of waterproof formulas (which are oil-based). Be sure to check the ingredient lists on your antiageing eye creams, too.
DO switch out your pillowcase.
As if you needed another reason to love your silk pillowcase. Not only does it prevent wrinkles, but it also prevents damage to your lash extensions! As you toss and turn at night, your face (and lashes) rub against your pillowcase. While cotton causes friction, silk glides smoothly, meaning your lashes will last even longer.
DON'T be rough!
You will definitely be tempted to fuss with your lashes once you get your extensions, but do not pick or pull at them. Just like the hair on your head, your natural eyelashes go through a shedding cycle. Tugging on your extensions can cause your real lashes to shed prematurely. Unfortunately, just like your hair, lashes are not infinite. You can only pull a lash out so many times until it never comes back, so be careful!
DO maintain your lashes.
Just like you keep to a strict schedule for your waxing or hair colour appointments, you need to go in for your regular eyelash tune-up. Get fills no later than every three weeks to keep them looking fresh, full, and even.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Maria del Rio