Eyelash extensions are a relatively new thing in the beauty world, and even though it may seem like a simple procedure there are actually a whole lot of misconceptions and improper expectations about what eyelash are and what the possibilities are.
So, as an experienced eyelash extension technician, I thought I’d spend a little time getting this information down on paper and out to into the world to clear up the confusion…
I’m going to break it down into what I think are the 5 most important things you need to know before getting eyelash extensions.
So here we go…
1 – Eyelash Extensions Aren’t “Falsies”
Falsies is a pretty common term for false lashes or strip lashes. You’ll often find these at chemists, makeup shops or anywhere that sells beauty products.
They’re a single strip of lashes that stick onto your natural lashes. Some are better than others, but you’ll probably agree that they all look very fake.
They’re generally very symmetrical, very thick, and often very shiny! None of those are traits you get with natural-looking lashes.
Falsies are great for their purpose, which is to be a cheap, fast way to make your eyes stand out a bit more without using extreme mascara.
On the other hand…
Eyelash extensions are just like your natural eyelashes. They look the same, feel very soft and light, and look very natural.
And the thing with your natural eyelashes is that they fall out. Everyone knows this. It’s kind of like the hairs on your head falling out…
They have a natural cycle where little baby lashes sprout up, then grow into thick mature lashes, and then fall out, only to be replaced by a fresh baby lash. The fall rate is usually something like 3 to 6 every day, but that’ll depend on the person.
We rarely notice our natural lashes falling out because they’re small, fine and they kind of just drop off throughout the day.
The problem occurs when we get eyelash extensions because each extension is glued permanently to one of your natural lashes when your natural lash falls out, it takes the extension with it. And now that it’s longer and thicker, it’s much more noticeable when it happens. You might feel it brush down your cheek, or see it land on the table in front of you, and when you do you’ll be tempted to think “oh no, my beautiful extensions are falling out”.
But fear not!
It’s a natural process and is to be expected. If the extensions were applied properly they’ll only fall out when your natural lashes do.
Lash extensions when done properly are always one extension carefully glued to one of your healthy, mature natural lashes.
Extensions should never be glued to baby lashes, or multiple lashes put onto a single natural lash!
BUT I constantly get clients coming to me from other salons (usually cheaper ones) where they’ve used WAY too much glue and clumped natural lashes together with extensions and caused massive damage. This puts a lot of tensions on your natural lashes and pulls them right out.
If this happens then the best thing to do is wait for them to all come out naturally and then come to see me when your lashes are healthy again.
The reason is that after poorly done extensions your healthy, mature natural lashes will be very gappy, so it’s not possible to fill the gaps with more extensions unless they’re glued to the baby lashes (which makes the situation even worse!)
Here’s an article I wrote about the things to avoid when getting eyelash extensions but the moral of the story is to be very careful where you get your lashes done.
Enough about that, let’s move on…
2 – Shower BEFORE Your Appointment
This is for two reasons…
First, your lashes need to be COMPLETELY clean!
Better salons will give your lashes a deep clean before adding extensions, but you should give them a scrub too.
The main reason is that you shouldn’t get you lashes wet AT ALL for at least 24 hours after your extensions are applied, and preferably 48 hours.
That’s because the glue takes time to be fully cured.
If it gets wet in this crucial period you will lose lashes.
So don’t get anything on your lashes for at least 24 hours.
- Don’t shower for 24 hours (it’s actually better for your skin not to shower every day anyway!)
- Don’t put on any mascara or oils
- Don’t heat them up – so don’t be over a hot stove, steaming pot, open oven door, even a toaster
- Don’t go in humid areas – like the bathroom while the shower is on!
Yes, there’s a lot of rules for that first 24 hour period, but after that, you’re free to do what you want!
Other than putting on lash glue remover they’ll basically stay on until the natural lash drops off.
3 – Get Them Applied Properly
Lashes aren’t all the same, and lash technicians aren’t all the same either.
Here are a few things you’re going to want to look for when getting eyelash extensions:
- Make sure the salon is only adding 1 extension per mature natural lash. If they’re adding more than one, or putting them on baby lashes to make it look more full then there’s a big problem because even though they might look great when you walk out the door, it’s doing massive damage to your natural lashes that’ll take a few months to grow back properly.
- Look at photos of their work. If the glue looks clumped on, then avoid them! If they don’t have photos, then you should probably avoid them too.
- Make sure the salon is controlling the humidity. Lash glue only works properly between certain humidities. The glue I use works best between 50 and 70% humidity so I use a humidifier to control the humidity in the room. Other salons don’t bother, which leads to lashes not sticking properly, and you wasting money!
- A clean and organised environment. Your eyes are incredibly susceptible to infection from bacteria or germs, so a lash salon that looks messy probably isn’t worth risking.
Now, of course, I’d love for you to book with me, but that’s not always possible – maybe I’m fully booked when you need an appointment, or maybe you just live too far away – it’s cool, I understand 🙂
Following the shortlist above should help you to track down a great lash salon by a process of elimination. Just call and ask a few simple questions, and if their answers aren’t what you’re looking for then just call the next salon…
Remember you’re not ‘price hunting’, because the cheaper lash extensions are almost always bad. Instead, you’re trying to find great lashes from a salon you can trust.
Which brings us to…
4 – There Are Big Differences In Lash Styles
Just like lash salons and technicians aren’t all the same – the same is true for styles. You can’t just say “I want eyelash extensions”. That’s kind of like going to a hairdresser and saying “Give me a haircut”, because there are many different styles.
I personally specialise in natural-looking eyelash extensions. I always aim to create a look that enhances the beauty of your eyes without looking obviously fake…
So I tend to stay away from super long, crazy curly or too straight, and definitely no coloured lashes.
Just like a haircut, I can tailor an eyelash extensions style to your face shape and the look you’re going for. But here are a few of the most popular styles I do:
This look is made with a combination of Russian volume lashes, along with single mink lashes. The lashes are purposefully placed in evenly spaced clusters to give quite a dramatic effect. This style is generally done fairly thick and quite long, but can be tailored to the look you’re going for.
The Cat Eye
This style is characterised by extra thickness and length towards the outside of the eyelash which just like the name, gives the appearance of a cats eye! This look is popular for events like weddings because it is dramatic enough, yet still quite natural looking and very feminine.
Kim Kardashian Lashes
These lashes are thick, long, and have quite a bit of curl to them. They’re meant to get attention and make your eyes look bigger. The volume is consistent along the lash from end to end, but the length tapers down on both sides. A combination of longer and shorter lashes are used in the central area to make them look more natural in appearance and less like a strip lash.
The Natural Eye
This style is supposed to be quite subtle. Most of us aren’t blessed with long, full lashes, so the natural eye is designed to look like you’ve been gifted with long, thick lashes without looking like extensions. People won’t always notice these extensions because they really do look so natural, but you’ll start to get compliments on how your eyes really stand out, and your eyes will look great even without any makeup!
The Open Eye
Definitely, the best choice for those with hooded eyelids because their lashes tend to point straight out instead of curling up. The open eye style overcomes this by creating a natural-looking lash that creates extra curl so that the eye looks bigger and much more accentuated.
If you’re confused about which style would be best for you, don’t worry!…
Lash Style Consultation
When you come in for your appointment I’ll assess your face and eye shape to help you choose the right style.
If you’re hoping for the look of a specific celebrity you can bring in a photo on your phone (high enough quality that the lashes are clearly visible) and I’ll be able to match the style and give suggestions about how we could make it even better.
I always do this lash consultation because I understand that everyone is different and want you to leave with lashes that you absolutely love!
I’ve heard so many stories from my clients about other salons not even asking what they want. They simply lay them down on the table and get to work as if everyone wants the same set of lashes!
If you’re going to another salon then just ask before you book about choosing a lash style during your appointment. If they say they don’t do particular styles then it’s probably best to look elsewhere.
5 – Your Lashes Need Maintenance
Just like most beauty treatments, your eyelash extensions need proper maintenance to make sure they look great and last longer.
Here are the most important things you should know about maintaining your lashes…
- The MOST important thing is to not get them wet for at least 24 hours after application!!! That means it’s a good idea to shower right before your appointment so that you can wait 24 hours until your next one.If you do shower and they get wet, or even if they don’t get wet but are in the humid environment of a shower – then your lashes WILL fall out because it will cause the glue to weaken.
So if you’re someone who absolutely must shower morning and night, then you should read this article about how frequently hygiene experts say you should shower.
- Try to avoid oil-based mascara. Have you ever heard of that life hack where you put peanut butter on residue from stickers to remove the sticky stuff? Well, the reason it works is because the oil penetrates the glue and releases the bond. The same sort of thing happens when you use an oil-based mascara on your lashes – it can penetrate the glue and release the bond, meaning your lashes will fall out sooner!So avoid it while your extensions are on for best results!
- Use a lash comb to brush your lashes daily. Just like long hair can tangle if it’s not brushed, so too can long lashes. It usually happens when you’re sleeping and the pillow presses on the lashes – they can become bent or twisted which will make them look messy…But a gentle brush with a lash comb will fix them quickly. Do it when you wake up in the morning to keep them fresh.
- Use a lash cleanser. These are hard to find but I give all my new clients a bottle of my own lash cleansing formula that works great and smells nice too! Just like oil-based mascara can wear down the glues bond between your natural lash and the extension, so too can your body’s natural oils.A single pump of my lash cleanser (I like to give you a bottle as a gift at your first appointment) once every two to three days is enough to remove any excess oil buildup on your lashes and keep them clean and healthy.
If you’re not a client of mine and don’t have my lash cleanser then you can use a ph balanced soap – get your fingers wet, then rub them on the soap, then gently massage the lashes making sure you don’t pull them or twist them. Lastly, just give them a rinse with cool water.
- Get infills/refills every three to four weeks. Your natural lashes are constantly shedding and every one of the natural lashes you have right now will be gone in around 6 weeks time, having been replaced by a new lash…Because of this lash shedding, no matter how great the glue or how well you maintain your extensions, they will fall out when your natural lashes do!That’s why infills are recommended around once a month. I’ll add new extensions to your new natural lashes and this will keep your extensions looking full and beautiful.
If you’re not looking to have extensions on an ongoing basis and just need them for a single event, just realise that in around five to six weeks you’ll be back to having no extensions – and it’s a bit funny but once you’ve had extensions it’s hard to not have them because your natural lashes will look so thin and sparse in comparison…
That’s why around 70% of my weekly bookings are from regular clients getting infills!
Now That We’ve Cleared The Air…
I hope I’ve helped you to better understand some of the misconceptions about eyelash extensions and prepared you with everything you need to know before getting your new set of lashes.
If you’re thinking of booking with me then just get in touch through my website (you can see some of my before and after photos here), or if you’re booking with another salon then use the guidelines above to at least eliminate the salons that probably won’t do a great job.