Lash extensions are allll the rage these days. From classic, to hybrid, to volume, you can really use these extensions to customize your perfect eye look!
***I would like to begin by promptly stating that I am not a lash tech, I do not have a cosmetology license, I am no expert. I am just a chick who’s spent more money and time than I’d ever like to admit on my addiction that is: Lash Extensions.
I have been getting lash extensions for about 2.5 years now. When I first started, I was a little uneasy about the whole concept. My lash tech (wisely) started off on the low-key side of volume lashes. Clearly she didn’t know me, otherwise, she would’ve known off the bat that I want my lashes to reach to high heaven! 😉 Eventually, we worked our way up to some of the most beautiful lashes I’ve ever had. Full-blown VOLUME but in the most tasteful way! Since then, I’ve had my ups and downs with the lash extension life, so I feel fully equipped to give you the low down on what you need to know.
There is nothing I fear more than letting a “lash tech” who does not know what they’re doing come anywhere near my eyes. Because the industry has blown up and so many people have realized the financial potential around being a tech, there are many techs and salons out there doing Lord knows what on people’s eyeballs. There is a true methodology behind correct lash application. Why is that important to you, you ask? Because improper application puts YOU at risk. Glue is too close to your eyeball? Get ready for a nasty eye infection. Lashes aren’t isolated? You’re likely going to be in pain as they grow out, and even more likely will lose big chunks of your real eyelashes. …You feel me now?
While those items are risk factors associated with this beauty product, reputable and well-trained salons are not going to make those mistakes. There is a huge financial investment on their parts to make sure they’re staying up to date on application methods and constantly improving their skills as techs and salons overall. The only way for you tell the difference between a salon you can trust, and one you maybe shouldn’t, is research. See what other people are saying, look at the salon’s social media pictures, do clients’ lashes look well done? Trust me, you’ll be able to tell very quickly if its a reputable salon or not. And despite the lure of a discount, (because extensions are no cheap thrill), this is NOT a service you want to find on Groupon.
First thing’s first. CLEAN YOUR DANG EYEBALLS. If you show up with eye makeup, mascara, the whole works, you’re going to be wildly disappointed when they make you clean all of it off. Some salons even ask that you don’t wear any makeup at all–I personally never wear a drop because the tech’s hands rest on your forehead and whatever makeup you had on before will not be the same when the appointment is over. Plus I dread ever being told by a lash tech that I made a mistake. So I just error on the side of caution at all times. 🙂
Now, this is kind of a quirky personal precaution I take prior to appointments. It’s not necessary at all but I do it to prevent any embarrassment for myself and save my tech from an hour of misery. Washing. Your. Hair. LOL, seems unnecessary right?! Listen, I would’ve never thought of it before having experienced as many appointments as I have. But think about it–your lash tech sits behind your head, she leans over your forehead to apply your extensions, so that means, the entire time you are on her table, your hair is ALL UP IN HER FACE. So if it stinks, SHE SMELLS IT. Listen, do as you please, but food for flippin’ thought, right?
When you go in for your first appointment, a good salon will walk you through all the basics; ie, lash curl types, lengths, looks, after-care, and maintenance schedules. (Don’t worry, I’m going to share those details as well a little bit later for those of you that are curious over-achievers.) At that point, the tech is going to ask you what kind of look you’re going for and if you have any thoughts on length/curl. If you don’t know, you’re going to be in the hands of your tech. Sometimes that’s perfect and she’ll be able to guide you in the right direction, or you risk potentially leaving unhappy with your outcome. Either way, don’t panic. Getting the “full set” on your lashes is the first step.
As I mentioned before, in my first experience, my extensions were way too understated for my preferences. But upon going in for my first “fill”, she was able to amp it up dramatically. So, if you’re really uncertain and want to play it safe, feel confident that your lash tech will take care of you and moving forward you can start to tweak it to your preferences.
Full Set: The very first application of lash extensions. This is typically the longest and most expensive appointment. In my experience, these appointments last between 2-3 hours and can cost anywhere from $150-$400+, depending on the salon and what part of the country you’re in. But if you keep up on the maintenance of your extensions, you won’t have to do this again.
Fill: This is the maintenance of your lashes, where you go back in to have any losses in your extensions filled. Depending on how much your natural lashes shed and how well you take care of the extensions, you may have to get a fill anywhere between every 2 to 4 weeks. These appointments are typically only an hour long and significantly less expensive than a full set.
Having been through an insane amount of “full sets”, I can tell you it does pay off to have done some digging to find a look you think you want. But be mindful of the person wearing the lashes in the image. Do you have hooded eyes and the lady in the picture does not? Do your natural lashes stick straight out? How does your own body compare to the model you’re using? You don’t want to pick a face that’s totally opposite of your own and expect to have the same result. Your tech will likely point this out to you if you make this mistake and he/she will recommend how to alter the look to better fit your eyes, but its best to do the work ahead of time so you’re not let down in the salon.
Once your lashes are applied, you won’t be able to brush them or get them wet for an explicit period of time. The most I’ve experienced is no brushing for 12 hours and no water/mist/sweat for 24. So now regardless of the salon, I abide by that rule to provide ample protection for my investment. The last thing you want to do is spend $150, accidentally get them wet two hours later and all of them fall off before the day is over–because no salon will have any pity for you.
After you’ve cleared the “cautionary” time period, it’s your job to make sure you take good care of them. This includes brushing and washing them daily. You’ll want to purchase either a specific lash cleanser from your salon or some salons say you can use baby soap as an alternative. I personally have found that cleansing my lashes daily with a lash cleanser has DRASTICALLY affected my retention. You can find the cleanser I use here. The salon should send you home with a complimentary lash wand to use to brush out your lashes. My care schedule looks like this:
Retention: How well your lash extensions stay on your eyes in between fill appointments.
As for putting things onto your extensions, the general rule of thumb is: don’t. The point of getting lashes is so that you no longer need mascara, so if your lashes aren’t dramatic enough and you still feel like you need it–ask for a more dramatic look, don’t fill in the gap with mascara which will hurt your retention and put your investment at risk. If you DO have some odds and ends days where you throw a little mascara on top, maybe as you near a fill appointment perhaps, just make sure you are removing the makeup properly. Makeup wipes, washcloths, and cotton pads won’t cut it. All of those will get caught on your lashes and end up ripping them out (and probably your natural lash along with it).
And lash glue?! Girl stop right where you are. You should be saving your money and only buying strip lashes if you still feel the need to put them on over your lash extensions. **Important note here: If you are someone who thrives off of the variety of strip lashes and how fun they are to really customize each eye look, then extensions may not be for you. Because in reality, you can only have one or the other, never both.
Now because I’m not an expert, I can’t break down for you what lash curl you use and why. I’m just here to show you a visual of what your tech will hopefully explain to you at the salon. They will have a recommendation for which lash curl depending on what look you’re going for.
As for what lash style you should get, it’s 100% personal preference. Typically, Classic is the cheapest option and the price goes up from there. Some salons charge the same for everything, but it just depends on where you go. I personally would only recommend volume–but I like a very dramatic look. In my opinion, volume is the way to go simply for the density of the lashes; your tech can use shorter lengths and certain curls to make the lashes less “va-va-voom” if you will. But ultimately it just comes down to personal preference and how much money you’re willing to invest.
All in all, lashes really are a luxurious investment, but nevertheless, a game-changer for many women including myself. If you’ve been on the edge about whether the extension life is for you or not, I hope this information helps you feel better prepared to take on this beauty service or realize its not for you.
Thanks for reading and guess what? No one will even notice your bad hair days with those lashes, girl.