Scenario: You wake up frantic because you’ve slept through your alarm. You officially have 10 minutes to get dressed (jk, now 7 minutes because you just did an obligatory skim-through on insta… you obv HAVE to know if you missed something in your 8 hours of slumber) put your face on, and get out the door! However, you quickly realize this is hardly a challenge because half of your makeup regimen is already done. How, you might ask? Because of your EYELASH EXTENSIONS.
Ok, first I should probably premise with the fact that I am pretty low-maintenance with my cosmetic up-keep in the first place. I am not one to spend hours in the bathroom doing my makeup; I only get my nails done for special occasions; I get my hair done every few months (or whenever my roots become too noticeable to cover up). Moral of the story: I LOVE little/no up-keep. In contrast, I should probably note that when it comes to my lash-to-volume ratio, aka my mascara application, I am QUITE meticulous. Honestly, it’s the biggest chunk of time I spend when doing my makeup. Hi, I’m Erica and I am a mascara junkie. *Hiiiii Erica*. With that said, I have heard of/researched/fantasized about getting eyelash extensions for quite some time. With knowing I had some fun things coming up, including a wedding and NYFW, and knowing I would be constantly travelling and on the run, I finally decided to take the plunge!
Before we go any further, let’s do a little Lash 101 for anyone that doesn’t know what Eyelash Extensions are *slides glasses to the brim of her nose, approaches the professor’s podium, and turns on a semi-British accent*.
What are Eyelash extensions? Eyelash extensions are a new, popular way to enhance the length, fullness, and curliness of your natural lashes.
What are Eyelash Extensions made of? Eyelash extensions can be made from a few material options- synthetic, mink, and silk. Note: I opted for synthetic because these are the most cruelty-free option (there are cruelty free/vegan lash extension available).
How are they different from the lashes you can buy at the store? One of the biggest differences between eyelash extensions and strip lashes/”falsies” is the way the lashes are applied. For one, eyelash extensions require a lash artist for application. The lash artist adheres a single false lash on top of each one of your natural lashes by using semi-permanent glue. Once they have been applied, you simply have to wait 24 hours to get them wet, and going forward you can shower, swim, and even get caught in the rain with a dapper young gentleman. With strip lashes, no professional help is required, and can be applied by yourself or a friend. Here, an entire strip of lashes are applied close to your eye lid with one swift application. These lashes CANNOT get wet. Sorry dapper young gentleman, no rain-smooching for you.
How long do Eyelash Extensions last? As mentioned above, the lash extensions are applied by using semi-permanent glue. No, unfortunately you will not have Cinderella-esque lashes forever, but your lashes should last about 2-4 weeks. Because the lashes are being glued to your natural lashes, the longevity of your lashes is contingent on when your natural lash falls out, and how well you take care of them. But think of it this way… for the next 2-4 weeks, your lashes are going to look longer, fuller, and voluminous without a single application of product. In contrast, a pair of strip lashes from the drug store will last about 24 hours, or until you shower next.
How much do they cost? This is probably the number one question I get, and unfortunately, it GREATLY varies by the artist and your area. However, most lash artists range from $100-$300 for the application. There is then a cost each time you go to get them refilled (approximately $50-$100). Some women get them refilled every two weeks, where others may go as long as 4 weeks. With that said, you do not need to go to the most expensive artist on the block, but I would recommend avoiding any lash artists that are offering lashes for a sketchy $10 promo… You want to be sure that the artist you are going to is being cleanly and using the utmost care and safety with your eyes.
Ok, let’s pause here. I’m sure some of you are thinking, Wow, Erica, that’s expensive. Guys, yes; definitely think of this as an investment. But, for girls that are SUPER into makeup- let’s do a little self-check-in and think about the amount of mullah you drop as Sephora a month…. (…some girls may be cringing at the thought. This is how I feel when I evaluate my monthly Starbucks spend. #yikes) For my girls who are NOT Sephora addicts, and are like me who have the mentality of “less time getting ready, the better”; Again, these lashes are an investment, but so is your time! In my mind, I found swapping the 2 hours of relaxation and pampering for the cumulative XX number of hours spent in the bathroom getting ready to be TOTALLY worth it. Want another example? Think of getting you nails done. You go in and spend about 45 minutes to an hour and approximately $30-$50, and as a result, you don’t have to pay any mind to your nails for the next 2-3 weeks. That’s a win win.
I had the absolute pleasure of going to Lashed by Randi, and having my lashes applied by Randi, herself. Local to Horsham, PA, Randi is the definition of a She-Boss. Having founded LASHED all on her own, she made my experience at LASHED simply amazing. From the moment I walked through the door, you could tell that Randi only wanted one thing: to make her customer 100% comfortable and at ease. Randi’s studio exudes professionalism and tranquil vibes with its adorable and modern décor. Prior to beginning the application process, Randi and I did an extensive consultation, where she discussed with me the multiple options for eyelash length, fullness, and curl. Randi also reviewed my natural lashes, and went over what type of look I was looking for (um…. is a Disney Princess an applicable answer?). After discussing my desired outcome, Randi began to prepare the lashes I selected. I was prompted to get comfortable on the table bed, which was not difficult at all because Randi provided a super, plush blanket to snuggle up to and a tranquil playlist to listen to. From there, I simply closed my eyes and drifted off (well, actually, I took my nap about 30 minutes in. The first 30 I was chatting away… SORRY GIRL).
What to Expect During Your Visit
Getting started: Each lash artist has a different technique for applying the lashes, but you will be asked to get comfortable, prop your head back, and relax. To be quite honest, this is the extent of your duties for the next two hours, except for the occasional request to shift your head to the left or right.
How long will I be there? Just to be safe, block off about 2 hours. Ladies, your lash artist is applying a single lash to each of your lashes… this takes time (and a boat-load of patience on the artist’s end.)
Can I wear makeup there? No, come with a clean face, or at least no eye makeup. Because the lashes are being applied to your natural lashes, you want you eyes entirely clear of makeup.
Dress Comfortably– This one may be a bit obvious, but you are going to be lying with your eyes closed for about 2 hours. Be prepared for a nap/deep thinking/me-time.
Avoid Caffeine prior to Application: So this sounds super silly, but I found it rather difficult to sit still/keep my eyes closed for 2 hours right after sucking down a Grande iced coffee. Skip the Red Bull and maybe grab a decaf tea/coffee to help you relax.
Talking is actually a No-No: So, I’m a talker- especially after my iced coffee… BUT, talking might actually make it more difficult for your artist to keep his or her hands steady and be more precise. I started out my session by carrying on a convo, and then realized that every time I spoke, I was actually moving my eyelids, which led to Randi losing her place (OOPS!) Truly, do not feel obligated to chat with your artist until after you’re done. They will probably thank you!
Should you tip your lash artist? YES! Just like you would tip a hair stylist or a nail artist, your eyelash artist is busting his/her butt and providing a service. They certainly deserve to be tipped. A 15-20% tip is standard.
What to Expect from Your New Lashes
Upkeep: Before you leave your appointment, your lash artist should supply you with a few lash wands and some instructions on how to keep your lashes lush and full for as long as possible. The instructions mainly will include the following:
- For the best results, brush your lashes out when you wake up, before going to bed, and immediately after getting out of the shower. Again, this is for best results. I certainly forget to brush them out, and they are fine. But, I do try to keep a wand in my car, purse, and bathroom for when I do remember.
- If you can, sleep on your back, because this helps your lashes from tangling while you are sleeping (Fun Fact- it’s quite humorous to wake-up next to your significant other and witness his or her face when they see you post-deep sleep and your eye lashes are going in all sorts of directions #horrified #iwokeuplikethis #relationshipgoals) If this does happen, no worries. Grab your wand and brush them out a bit. They’ll go right back to normal.
- Use oil free makeup remover when taking off any makeup, and be sure to be delicate when removing makeup on your eyes.
- Don’t get your eyelash extensions wet during the first 24 hours.
Comfort Level: As far as discomfort, I have experienced none. For the first few days after getting the extensions applied, you may feel like your lashes are bit heavier then normal. For anyone that has ever worn strip lashes before, you should know what I mean. This possible heaviness will fade once you’ve been wearing the lashes for a bit. For me, the biggest change is the way I felt. Mentally, you will be floating – or lets say fluttering – on air. As silly as it sounds, I found I had/have a surge of confidence and to put it plainly- I just felt sparkly.
Wearing Eye Make-Up: While you are allowed to wear eye makeup with the lash extensions, you will most likely find that you won’t want to. You may throw on a bit of under-eye liner… but as for mascara… forget about it. Not only will you not NEED it, but you won’t WANT it. It’s also defeating the purpose of getting the lashes in the first place. Also, technically, mascara is not good for your false lashes. The bristles from your mascara can potentially rip the lashes out (further defeating the purposed of the extensions), and can lead to build-up on your lash line #yuck! HUGE TIP: Avoid using mascara until you NEED to, aka once most of you false lashes have fallen out and have some gaps in your lash line. This is also a good indication that you’re ready for a refill! Also, the one con of the extensions is cleaning them (another reason to not use mascara). Cotton balls and some makeup removing cloths like to get tangled in your lashes if you are not careful.
Will the extensions hurt my natural lashes? No! This one is super easy to answer. The false lashes are simply lying on top of your natural lashes, and will fall out whenever your natural lashes are good and ready to fall out.
Ok, so you’re probably wondering, “Erica, was it worth it?” and I respond with a huge bat of my new fabulous lashes and say OH EM G YES. Back to my initial point about being able to cut my makeup application time down, this is an absolute given when having my extensions. Since getting my lashes, I have eliminated the time I took to apply mascara and only use upper eyeliner when going out for the night. I have also found the up-keep process to be very simple. There are a number of blogs out there that say eyelash extensions are high maintenance, but I have to completely disagree. Again, speaking from the girl who wants little/no upkeep in her daily regimen, I have found that not only have eyelash extensions been a huge help as far as cutting back time when getting ready, but they have also simply made me feel more confident, and well, pretty! I was not joking when I mentioned my surge of confidence since getting my extensions. I feel more confident at events, more confident behind the camera… more confident even when I don’t have a lick of makeup on!
So, yes, in my opinion, not only are eyelash extensions SO worth it and NOT high maintenance, but on the contrary; I find that if you are willing to nap for 2 hours, while a patient bystander transforms you into a doe-eyed princess, eyelash extensions are right up your ally *wink, wink, flutter, flutter*
Obsessed with eyelash extensions as much as I am? Go visit my girl, Randi, at LASHED by Randi and use my promo code SIMPLYELL for 15% off your first set of lashes.