Everything You Need To Know About Getting Lash Extensions

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Remember when we used to rely on mascara for the longest lashes in our self-care beauty routines? If we were feeling particularly *fancy* then we would try false lashes. But now we want more. We want bigger, longer, flirtier (it’s a word), more voluminous, more Kardashian lashes. That has led to the rise in professional eyelash extensions.

Lash extensions are not the same as falsies you pick up from the drugstore. Eyelash extensions are a professional, semi-permanent treatment. They also come with their own set (there’s a pun in there) of rules and tips. If you’re considering getting lash extensions, listen up. This is the eyelash extension information to know.

Eyelash Extension Information

Lash extensions might seem like a fun thing to try, but it’s essential to remember that this is a treatment centered around your delicate eyeballs. So, it’s imperative that you do your research. “Getting eyelash extensions can be a luxurious experience with beautiful results, but it’s important to do your research first,” Mary Irwin, celebrity makeup artist, explains. “[Lash extensions are] attached using medical-grade adhesive near your eyes, so definitely make sure you go to someone that is well trusted within the industry — try and get a personal recommendation, if possible!

If you can’t get a recommendation through friends and family, check out online reviews and lash experts’ biographies. Look for reputable, licensed salons. See how long someone has been performing lash extensions and the type they do. It’s also helpful to see if someone specializes in eyelash extensions or whether they perform other services like waxing, threading, etc. Best to see the best of the best when it comes to these kinds of things!

Lash Extension Appointment

Once you’ve finally decided on your eyelash expert, it’s time to prep for your appointment. Don’t worry, there isn’t anything elaborate involved. Do not wear any eye makeup to the appointment, suggests Lavish Lashes. A good lash expert will always cleanse the eye area before applying lashes, but why add to the work? And it’s not like you will need the eye makeup after.

Some lash experts suggest not curling lashes and being careful about applying any face creams close to the eye area. The oils and other ingredients in the products could negatively impact the glue of the false lashes. Happy Lashes recommends removing contacts because eyes will be closed for the majority of the appointment.

A lot of lash experts advise wearing comfortable clothes because it can take one to two hours to apply a set of eyelashes. You’ll be in a comfy position, often reclined in a chair, but who wants to wear something that they’ll be fidgeting or itching in the entire time?

Lash Extensions Look

To make sure you and the lash expert are on the same page bring in inspiration photos. It’s more helpful than telling your lash expert you want to look “natural” or “wide-eyed” because the terms are subjective. What they look like to you can be very different to the expert.

It’s also key to remember that everyone’s eyes are different and a full-on approach isn’t always best for you. “One of the biggest mistakes I see in eyelash extensions is people wanting to go to the absolute max when their natural lashes actually can’t handle that much length and volume,” Irwin explains. “This can actually cause damage in the long run to your natural lashes, so it’s best to stay within a ‘yours but better’ range.”

Make sure you consider your eye shape. Irwin says not every eye shape needs lashes spaced equally. She also suggests that lash experts use multiple lengths to achieve the most natural look.

Those with deep-set eyes often need more length while a round or almond-shaped eye is balanced with more emphasis on the corners. Same goes for monolids. For hooded eyes, she suggests bringing the focus to the center of the eye and adding a bit more length to cover the excess lid. Eyelash experts can often select different lengths, curls and thicknesses of false lashes for a tailored approach. There are also different materials including synthetic (i.e. polyester) or mink, which costs the most.

Lash Extension Application

Once you’ve decided on the eyelash look you want, it’s time for the application. Your lash expert should explain the procedure before he/she gets started. One of the key eyelash extension facts is they are bonded to your natural lashes. (In contrast, at-home falsies are glued to the lash line.)

The lash expert will apply the individual false lashes to your real ones in the most flattering way for your face shape and eyes. The number of lashes will vary depending on the look you want, but it’s likely they’ll apply 60 to 120 lashes per eye, with 80 to 100 being the average. You can see why it takes a few hours now.

Eyelash Extensions Maintenance

You’ll want to show off your gorgeous new lashes, but there are some instructions you’ll need to follow post-appointment. It’s recommended to keep lashes dry for 24 to 48 hours following your appointment to help them set properly. That means being very careful if washing your face. Avoid sweaty gym sessions and be mindful of them in the future.

The big question people have is can they wear makeup with eyelash extensions. Irwin says “you can absolutely use makeup” but she advises to skip using mascara and avoid tight-lining on the top lid. Firstly, you really won’t need mascara when you have your bat-worthy eyelash extensions. Secondly, she reports that removing mascara when having eyelash extensions can be challenging and it can cause the lash bond to break. So, it’s best to avoid it entirely. When removing the rest of makeup (i.e. eyeshadow) she instructs to use cleansers that are formulated to be safe for lash extensions — like this one from Clinique.

One big piece of eyelash extension information to remember is to never, ever rub directly on the lashes.

Wondering about your natural lashes? Eyelash extensions shouldn’t damage them but there are no real studies that look at the long-term results. And there is always a risk, especially if you go to an unlicensed place where proper tools might not be used.

There’s also the perception of how tiny your natural lashes will look after wearing extensions. Warning: You will become addicted to the full, mega lash look.

Eyelash Extensions Price

Lash extensions don’t come cheap. They’re significantly more than a tube of mascara or false lashes. It will depend on the location and the expertise of the person applying them, but expect to pay between $100 to $400 for a full set of lashes. The costs don’t stop there. We lose approximately one to four natural lashes per day which impacts lash extensions. Eyelash extensions will shed with regular lashes which is why you’ll need “refills” every couple of weeks. Lash fill-ins can cost from $50 to $65. Some people might want to stretch time between appointments but beware. If you wait too long, you’ll end up needing a full set of lashes all over again.

Whether you’re feeling confident about going fake-lashes for a while or still weighing your options, there’s no such thing as too much research and when it comes to something this pricey and this precious, knowing as much as possible is key.