As many of you know, I got eyelash extensions for the first time a little over a month ago. As promised, I've put together a little post to talk about the overall experience and answer any of your questions.
What are lash extensions? Eyelash extensions are synthetic eyelashes that are placed on each of your natural lashes individually to add length.
How long does the process take? For the first application of a full set of lashes, it takes about 1.5-2 hours (they are carefully glueing an individual lash onto each of your lashes, so it takes some time!). For lash refills after that (basically a touch-up), it's normally 30 mins - 1 hr.
How long do they last/how often do you need to get a refill? This varies depending on the person, but normally lashes don't need to be refilled for 3-6 weeks. So far, I've only gone back once, a little over a month after my first extensions were applied.
Cost? Price can really vary, but no matter where you go, the price will increase if you want a more dramatic look. At my salon, your first set of lashes can be as little as $50. At other salons in Boston, most sets start at around $99-195, and I've seen prices go as high as almost $500. For lash refills after that, it's less expensive - depending on the salon and how many lashes you need, it can be as low as $35.
What is the process like? When I went in, they had me lay down and close my eyes. They apply eye pads under your eyes and gently secure your lower lashes so they are out of the way. From there, it just feels like someone is playing with your eyelashes. For first application, 1.5-2 hours sounds like a long time, but it goes by pretty fast and it's really relaxing - I fell asleep both times.
Does it hurt? Not at all! Application doesn't hurt and having the lashes on doesn't hurt at all. When you first open your eyes, sometimes they water because there has been (safe) lash glue near them, but that goes away after a minute.
Can you feel them? Not really. If I look up, my lashes sometimes touch my brow bone, but beyond that the only time I can "feel" them is if I touch my lashes or if it's really windy (ha).
Maintenance? You can't get them wet for the first 24 hours. After that, you can take showers/wash your face/swim as you normally would. Obviously, you're not supposed to rub at your eyes or pull at your lashes. You also cannot use an oil-based makeup remover on your eyes (as it will loosen the lash glue). The ladies at my studio recommended that I use a Q-tip with oil-free makeup remover (I use mycellar water) and just run it along your lash line to keep the area clean.
Can you wear mascara? No mascara - but you won't need it! All other eye makeup (liner, eyeshadow, etc) is totally fine, as long as you remove it with an oil-free makeup remover.
Do they fall out easily? Nope, as long as you are following your salon's care instructions.
Does it hurt your natural lashes or make them fall out? Not at all! Your lashes (and therefore, the extensions that are attached to your lashes) will fall out naturally as they do normally. Extensions do not "weigh down" your lashes or make them more likely to fall out.
Does it look real? It depends on how dramatic you want to go! Some lash extensions are very obviously extensions and some are very subtle. I like mine to look more on the natural side.
Warning: you'll probably want to take a lot of selfies afterwards. as seen above.
My style/preferences: There are a few different "styles" and shapes of lash extensions that you can get. My favorite is the "open eye" shape, where extensions are longest in the middle and shorter on the outer edges. What will look best on you depends on your eye shape!
Would you recommend? If there's a salon near you that fits in your budget, then yes! I definitely would.
Will you continue getting them? YES. I'm totally hooked.