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.