The Truth About Eyelash Extensions

My love affair with lash extensions went south really fast. The relationship started out great – total love at first sight. Three weeks later I’m ready to break up and they just won’t go away!

First, I’ll tell you about the good times: lashafterhoriz Lashes After

Immediately following application, they were BEAUTIFUL. I felt like I didn’t need any eye makeup because they were so wonderfully voluminous and they just brightened up my whole look.

…And then I realized what goes into maintaining them.

My advice to anyone who wants eyelash extensions would be to study up on what you’re in for! Here are a few things I wish I knew before getting these suckers glued to my lashline:

Application takes a really long time

I do (temporary) individual lash applications all the time, so I assumed the length of time would be pretty close to the time it takes me to apply falsies with my trusty old DUO. Similar process, just different adhesive, right? Wrong! Lash extensions are a much more intricate procedure. It took close to three hours. Not a huge deal, but something you definitely want to know for planning out your day – or liquid intake! Try going to the bathroom with your eyes full of glue.

You can’t get your lashes wet for 24 hours

For 24 hours you can’t get them wet at all. No crying, no pools, no excessive sweating. To make things easier on yourself, hit the gym in the morning, shower right before your lash session, and skip that showing of Titanic when you get home. You never realize how often it’s on until you’re not allowed to cry for 24 hours. (P.S. If you didn’t just get eyelash extensions, you can cry with Jack and Rose twice next week – 4:30 July 28th and 9:45 p.m. July 29th on AMC. You’re welcome!)

Washing your face will not be the same

Even after that first 24 hour period, you will have to revamp your cleansing routine. It is suggested that you wash around your lashes (not touching them directly). I get it, but there is something so satisfying about splashing water and rubbing facial cleanser all over your face. I miss that!

You might have to change your makeup (and the way you apply it)

Oil based makeup (aka the kind I wear) is a no-no when it comes to lash extensions. The oils can loosen the glue and make the lashes fall out quicker than they should. Pre-lash extensions, I used to cover my entire face in foundation and powder without care because I always go over my lashes with mascara. That’s me. Some girls can throw on a speck of cream blush and be on their way. Those girls will LOVE eyelash extensions. I am not one of those girls. Womp womp.

You need to think twice before booking that spa appointment

I somehow turned myself into a professional spa-goer, so I realize this may not be an issue for everyone. But even if your at-home relaxation routine consists of throwing a warm towel on your face, this may be something you want to consider. Facials are not ideal while you have extensions as the steam can loosen them up and cause them to fall out. Same goes for saunas. Even massages can be a little tricky depending on the massage table (if you go to a place that makes you faceplant into an awkward headrest that might also jack up your lashes).

Most likely, you’ll lose real lashes

Let’s get real, no matter how careful you are, it’s highly likely that you’ll lose a few of your own in the end. Batches of fake lashes are glued to your real ones, so if they snag and come off the hard way, some of yours might go with them. Especially when they start to come loose, these suckers are easily snagged on bath towels, mascara wands, and other things you never thought would come in contact with them.

They will not come off all at once

eyelashOf course after you spend the first couple weeks preserving them, they will ultimately start to start falling off… but not evenly. This can leave you with like six long lashes randomly placed in a sea of short natural lashes. I present to you, straggler mode (see pic at left). Not cute. At this point, you can either get them filled, or you can do what I’m doing which is trying every which way to get them off. So far, steaming and olive oil has been my best bet. (For the record, I’m sitting here blogging with olive oil dripping down my face.)

So, there you have it. Like most beautification treatments, there are pros and cons. I see lash extensions the same way I see high maintenance services like dying your hair platinum blonde. Don’t get me wrong – I think it’s beautiful, but I also don’t think you should expect to just throw some bleach on your hair once and be on your way. It takes time, money, and effort to maintain beauty treatments like these.

It was fun while it lasted, but unfortunately the cons outweighed the pros on this one. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wipe the oil off, order my favorite strip lashes, and hit the bottle of Latisse.


  1. Ana Avalos Ramirez July 21, 2013 / 2:15 am

    my lashes are finally growing back… I feel ya sister! Good luck, I had to go back to the salon to get them removed, it was not pretty. 0_0

    • Katie <3 July 21, 2013 / 10:58 am

      I can imagine!! Glad yours are finally growing back. Thank you for reading! 🙂

    • Madison February 1, 2017 / 11:50 pm

      Almost all of my lashes came out and the remaining ones are all crooked now and look absolutely horrible!! How long did yours take to start growing back?

  2. sassysally26 July 21, 2013 / 8:48 am

    Shared on my 2 pages and my 2 fb accts..thanks for this!

    • Katie <3 July 21, 2013 / 10:58 am

      Awesome thank you for reading and sharing! You are so welcome! 🙂

      • sassysally26 July 21, 2013 / 3:30 pm

        No problem, anytime..all bloggers inspire me!

  3. Mysty July 21, 2013 / 12:19 pm

    Highly recommendable post! Thanks for the nitty gritty! Sounds like something I sure wouldn’t be interested in! Guess I’ll stick to my stubby little lashes and use good ol falsies now and then 🙂

  4. jtomkat July 21, 2013 / 3:56 pm

    OMG–your eyelashes look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree! Thanks for the warning!

    • Gen! July 9, 2014 / 1:40 pm

      That is too funny the Charlie Brown comment:
      My experience with lashes was negative also I lost most of my own lashes and some of them even looked like they were cut…

      • Tray October 16, 2016 / 7:03 pm

        Did your lashes grow back?

      • Tiggy February 19, 2018 / 8:00 pm

        Exactly my experience. I was happy with them the 1st tint but when I got he 2nd set they fell out really quickly & I was left with stubble! The beautician said at the time that my lashes were really fine …. but it seems she really meat that she broke them when she tried to remove & replace them with the 2nd set. Beware the glue & the re,oval formula. If you are a woman of a certain age they will not grow back for months! Be careful.

  5. July 31, 2013 / 1:45 pm

    That really sucks. I’ve heard good and bad things about them and almost all the stories didn’t end good. Thanks for that information 🙂

    • Katie <3 July 31, 2013 / 1:51 pm

      Yeah, it was not cute for a while! My lashes are recuperating now though. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!! Btw- love your blog!! xoxo

  6. gina August 19, 2013 / 5:20 pm

    I am going through the same problem!! Need to find a good alternative in until my lashes grow back

  7. Jenn September 3, 2013 / 6:05 am

    Had a similar horrifying experience with extensions, needed all the help from Latisse AND Idol Lash to grow them back to normal.

  8. Yvonne Bishop October 20, 2013 / 10:36 am

    Thank you!!! Everyone begs me to do them, and I am like NO!!!! I tell them everything you just posted and still they want them. I am like fine go get that mess done and see me in two months when you need them off.

  9. Kylie November 6, 2013 / 3:27 pm

    I also had eyelash extensions and mine ended up just like yours ( a little worse actually). We tried removing them with the glue and were very careful not to pull them. I only have a 3 or 4 real eyelashes now. I have never tried false eyelashes but I’m going to have to. How long did it take yours to fully recooperate?

  10. Kylie November 6, 2013 / 3:28 pm

    With the glue remover sorry:)

  11. Tina E November 7, 2013 / 9:46 pm

    OMG! I thought I was the only freak running around like this!!! I had them put on in the clusters of 3 on my eyelids and in between my own long beautiful lashes. My best friend took the class assured me that they were easy to take care of and hers always looked so great. Had to have them. No she she did not tell me about the 2 hours it took and that I would lose lashes just anytime and anywhere. leaving big gaps. My boyfriend always telling me how beautiful they were assuming they were mine. Now that I’ve had a fill and still not happy bc they are so heavy. I had them taken off not knowing again that you lose your REAL lashes! I have 2 to 3 on each lid. And her wanting to just put another set over them,I just left with sunglasses on crying. Still at a lose of what to do. ALL I had to do was get a fill. WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • sylvia July 4, 2018 / 7:14 pm

      THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME!!!! I left the salon bawling my eyes out yesterday because the lady ripped my eyelashes all out, leaving me looking like a naked mole rat. she didnt use oil for my thick eyelash extensions and now my lashes are so damaged and stubby, half gone!!!!!! Spent $160 to put mink lashes on so that i dont look naked anymore. Still look awful. NEVER AGAIN, I REPEAT NEVER AGAIN!!!!

  12. chrystal July 16, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    OMG! The same thing happened to me! I kept them up as instructed. I kept up my fills and got plenty of compliments, but not realizing that I was losing my natural lashes also when the individuals were coming out. My eyes were also very itchy after a week or so . I got into a very stressful situation and it included many tears and eye rubbing (at that point I couldn’t help it). Now I’m out of the stressful situation and went back to get a fill again. Not realizing that most of my own were gone! Well, of course the tech was more than happy to accept my money and not say a word about my lack of real lashes. Well the lashes started falling out after a day or so and a close exam showed me that I did not have real lashes to put the individual lashes on. So at this time I have peach fuzz for lashes and after reading about strip lashes, it said I should not wear strip lashes in order to allow my natural lashes to grow. So now I’m looking like a new baby chick about the eyes and just saw another article stating it will take about 4-6 weeks for my natural lashes to grow out. So my lesson learned is to be thankful for the beauty God already gave me and hopefully my own lashes will return, I am not a spring chick anymore and my hair grows very slow so I am hoping the peach fuzz is not permanent and my summer of the glamor look is gone hopefully the fall and winter will include bringing back my natural beauty.

  13. Samantha August 18, 2014 / 10:26 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to be real…I have been getting lash extensions for about a year and half!!!…..I have blonde lashes so I thought this would be a real nice treat to not have to put mascara on every day. At first, they were amazing!! Continued to have them filled on a regular basis, every 4-6 weeks at 75.00 a fill!! I know crazy! Even with all the research I did now where did I read that they would harm my natural lashes…THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!!!! I really began to get tired of the time and money to maintain them about 1 year into it. I had also noticed that my natural lashes were broken and stubby!!! So, I decided to have them removed. After a very painful visit I left with barley any natural lashes left. My eyes were irritated and sore. I looked terrible. I decided to get Latisse to help with the growth process. It has helped quite a bit. They are still not back to normal but I am hopeful!! 🙂

  14. ygp September 2, 2014 / 7:44 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to be real…I have been getting lash extensions for about a year and half!!!…..I have blonde lashes so I thought this would be a real nice treat to not have to put mascara on every day. At first, they were amazing!! Continued to have them filled on a regular basis, every 4-6 weeks at 75.00 a fill!! I know crazy! Even with all the research I did now where did I read that they would harm my natural lashes…THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!!!! I really began to get tired of the time and money to maintain them about 1 year into it. I had also noticed that my natural lashes were broken and stubby!!! So, I decided to have them removed. After a very painful visit I left with barley any natural lashes left. My eyes were irritated and sore. I looked terrible. I decided to get Latisse to help with the growth process. It has helped quite a bit. They are still not back to normal but I am hopeful!! :).

  15. Jessie October 24, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Thank you so much for this info! I wanted to research lash extensions and this is the 1st page I visited. Your info was so helpful, my research is over. I will NOT be getting lash extensions.

  16. Maya Naik April 16, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    I had the same experience…they were great the first weeks…a pain to get used to the new careful ways of treating my extensions…and a nightmare weaning off and seeing the aftermath of lash loss, broken lashes and waiting for the last extensions to go away. Don’t do it…not worth it!

  17. MOLLY PARKS HENDERSON April 18, 2016 / 11:07 am

    Thank you for being so honest. You helped me make my decision!

  18. Lind April 19, 2016 / 1:54 am

    so true. i looked bare for 6 months when I decided to do it again. what was I thinking!!!

  19. Lori Burr April 19, 2016 / 11:55 pm

    Why didnt I read this before today! 🙁 I just got them on! Now I’m freaking out and want them off! What should I do? Get them wet and start putting oil on them before my real lashes come off?

  20. Terri April 23, 2016 / 7:54 pm

    If you have a good and properly trained lash tech….you can wear for years. The pros definitely outweigh the cons. I have had them for 4 years and I would never go back. Do your research and get them filled every 2-3 weeks. Best decision ever. Your experience isn’t the norm.

    • claudia r pacheco June 15, 2016 / 10:29 am

      WOW. I’m sorry most of you guys had had bad experiences. Ive been getting my Lashes one for two years now n I still have lots of my own lashes. Your lashtech must have been crappy. I get my Lashes wet after 2 hours. I wash my Lashes with soap and water because if you don’t wash your Lashes you can get all those eye bogies and crust buildups yuck. My Lashes don’t hurt and not full of glue. I have get facials once a month my estetichian places little eye covers and my Lashes are great. Hope not all of you get scare. My girl is in LA.

      • Laura April 17, 2017 / 8:31 pm

        Hi Claudia, I had a great experience too but, the person I was using moved. I live in LA and I would love the name of the person you go to. I’m gun shy about trying someone I haven’t heard anything positive about. Your lash extension person sounds great. Thanks for sharing and hopefully you’ll share her info with me. Thank you so much. Laura

  21. TiaLove June 3, 2016 / 12:11 am

    I wore lash extensions for three years. Eventually I stopped because after two weeks the lashes just wouldn’t hold anymore and my lashes never looked “full.” The reason they didn’t last as long is because eventually my natural lashes began to completely fall off. My lash tech tried to tell me my real lashes are still the same but that was complete crap. Lash extensions completely damaged my real lashes.

    • Tray October 16, 2016 / 7:02 pm

      I’m exactly where you were … Did your natural lashed ever come make a back? (Please say yes !!)

  22. crystal June 17, 2016 / 7:35 pm

    So apparently I have toxic tears and I cry way too much. My tears literally softened the glue even after a week and my eyes would start to burn because the glue was putting off fumes. Then I would cry more because it hurt and it was a big ol vicious cycle. Needless to say one week later I am without lashes except for my cute little short ones.

  23. Charli Leary September 14, 2016 / 11:05 am

    If the eyes are the windows to the heart, eyelash extensions are some acutely swanky curtains: You kind of wake up feeling like Beyoncé, without doing anything at all. But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows with these babies.

  24. Lyn September 18, 2016 / 10:30 pm

    I had same experience- regular lash fills and then no real lashes! It’s been 2 years since I quit. There is one small spot in middle of lash line that breaks off periodically. Same spot- not attractive. I am extra gentle in removing mascara. I’ve googled this with no real answer. I just feel it has something to do with lash extensions- maybe trauma.

  25. Rosie September 19, 2016 / 3:44 am

    Thanks so much for the info!! I wanted to know about full foundation with these lashes as like you mentioned I tend to get a little foundation and powder on my natural lashes as I always put mascara over the top anyway and I’m not one of those girls that can go without foundation sadly, so thank you so so much for the information ☺️☺️

  26. Megan November 30, 2016 / 4:40 am

    To all the aestheticians out there that say lash extensions cannot harm your natural lashes – you are full of crap. JUST LOOK AT THIS COMMENT SECTION!! I had the exact same thing happen to me. Natural lashes were destroyed.

    Everyone who’s tried lash extensions for a sufficiently long period leaves with lash trauma and natural lash loss.

    I have used WINK for FOUR years and while the initial results (after4-6 weeks) did help me stop hyperventilating and hiding behind sunglasses, finally, after 4 years, I am really, really proud of my natural lash volume and length. I LOVE my natural lashes. WINK at night, Bobbi Brown’s Gentle Lash Curler, 2-3 coats of Lancome Cils XL followed by Better Than Sex mascara and I have long, curly, girly, thick lashes for days!

    To anyone else stuck in this vicious cycle, there IS a way out! Turn back as fast as you can, and start pampering your natural lashes. You’ll thank me later.

  27. Kacey March 8, 2017 / 12:15 am

    I saw the after picture of your lashes and I thought it was my eye! That is exactly how my eyes look currently! I’m very curious to know how long it will be until my lashes are back to normal, because my wedding is 94 days away

  28. Vanessa March 8, 2017 / 12:34 pm

    Why won’t anyone answer the recurring question about how long it takes for your lashes to regrow???

  29. Michelle March 9, 2017 / 5:38 pm

    I love my lashes as well, but I have now learned I am allergic to them. Bloodshot eyes for 2 days and now swollen puffy lids 🙁 Sad day. I guess now since I paid so much I will just wait for them to fall out. Taking my Hair, Skin, and Nails vitamin will help my naturals grow back!

  30. Veronika April 20, 2017 / 11:44 am

    Loventure Premium Individual Silk Lash comes in trays of 12 strips. Each Loventure Silk eyelash is crafted from the highest synthetic polyester, then shaped and curved to replicate a natural eyelash. They are light, comfortable and respond better to wear and tear than any other materials. Check our full range of other extension lashes and application tools at

  31. Dariela February 6, 2018 / 1:18 pm

    Hey, I understand having extensions can be very seducing, but why everyone is using such complicated ways with many consequences?.. Latisse could be a good option but many claim it’s harmful for the eyelids and eyeballs. Why not to use a simple castor oil for growing crazy long eyelashes?? 🙂 If you don’t have 1-2 months of patience, try serums without side effects like Cherish Lash. I absolutely love its quick effect. No suffering needed!!

  32. Sandra February 17, 2019 / 7:50 pm

    I wish I read this before getting extensions. I’m naturally oily so within a week I have maybe 6-10 long ones left. I really miss rubbing cleanser all over my face as you mentioned.

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