I’m about to lash out.
If I had to create a list of the most popular beauty trends right now, lash extensions would probably be at the top of list. People of all ages are learning how amazing this small bi-weekly procedure can replace the chore of apply mascara everyday. I definitely had the desire to toss out my mascara and store my falsies away for another time because lash extensions changed my life. I spoke with a certified Lash Technician to learn everything about lash extensions!
What are lash extensions?
Lash extensions are like false lashes that literally extend the length of your natural lash. But instead of gluing a ready-made strip to your eyes, the extensions are installed individually and directly to each lash. It’s a one-to-one ratio. And, as a result, lash extensions can last for weeks longer than falsies.
Materials, curls and styles
One thing I didn’t know until I was getting my lashes done for the first time was how many materials and curl styles are available. Most lashes are made with either mink or silk materials. “Every lash artist uses something different,” says Brigitte of Fresca Beauty. “Mink is thinner and more natural-looking. Silk is a bit thicker and more dramatic.” Be sure to ask your lash tech what kind of lashes they use, so you know exactly what you’re getting.
In addition to different materials, lash extensions also come in different curl patterns or curl types. It all depends on the natural curl of your eyelashes and what kind of curl you’re looking for. “The C curl is the standard and very natural,” says Brigitte. “The D curl are curlier and won’t flatten over time.” There is also the J curl for people with very straight lashes and the B curl for people with only a slight curl in their lashes. Ask your lash tech what curl they tend to use and what would suit your lashes.
The last thing to consider is what style of lashes to get: classic, hybrid, or volume. Classics are the most natural-looking of the three. It’s like a single coat of mascara but adds some much-needed length. I usually opt for the classic style, because I don’t wear a lot of makeup. Also, I think hybrid and volume lashes look too full on my bare face.
Volume lashes, by comparison have a full, over-the-top kind of look and are by far the most popular style you’ll see. “You can get different colours but the black are the most common because you’re getting that mascara-look,” says Brigitte. Hybrid lashes are a mixture of the two. They are thicker than classics but aren’t as dramatic as volumes. Both are great if you’re used to wearing falsies on a regular basis or if you’re looking to add fullness. I’ve done volumes a couple of times and while I like the added drama, I found that this style requiresy more maintenance than I was prepared for. But, I will say that volumes lasted way longer than my classics. So, it’s a bit of a trade off.
Finding a lash tech
With the rising popularity of lash extensions, the search for a good lash tech can be surprisingly difficult. Not only are you looking for someone who is actually certified, but you also want to look for someone who has a good reputation, uses quality materials and clean tools, and offers affordable prices. Many people turn to Instagram, searching through the dozens of accounts for the cheapest or most convenient option. But, if you’re thinking about getting lash extensions, like any other beauty procedure, go with someone who is certified and highly reviewed. “Just like at the nail salon, your lash artist should be using clean tools and fresh glue,” says Brigitte. “Expired glue can cause reactions or make lashes fall out.” Don’t be afraid to shop around when it comes to finding the right person.
Before any lash appointment, you should come with lashes that are free of any eye makeup, including mascara. I usually go with a bare face because it’s easier. The appointment can last anywhere between one to two hours, depending on the style you’re getting. You and your lash tech will decide what type of lashes to use, the length, and the style. For my appointment, I chose to a hybrid still with lashes ranging from 12 to 14 inches. I find that anything longer for me is too much, especially because I wear sunglasses a lot. After this, the lash tech will tape down your lower lashes and start installing the extensions.
Care and maintenance
A new set of lashes will last anywhere between two to three weeks, as long as you’re working to maintain them. “You can refill lost lashes every two to three weeks,” says Brigitte. “Four weeks is pushing it.” The extensions will fall out as your own lashes fall out do because of the natural shed cycle. Eyelashes are like the hair on our head and we lose a couple every day without noticing. Mine usually last only two weeks, but I have a terrible habit of rubbing my eyes (#allergies). There are a few golden rules when it comes to maintaining lash extensions:
- Don’t get your lashes wet for the first 24 hours. When you wash your face, be careful to wash around the eye area. After the first day, you can get them a little wet and just pat them dry.
- You shouldn’t use oil-based products on or near your eyes. Oil will ruin the lashes and make them fall out faster. If you’re looking for a makeup remover, try makeup remover wipes or micellar water. You can also use lash shampoo to remove build up.
- Use a brush wand to comb out your lashes. Sometimes a couple of lashes will go astray and bend in a weird way or have merged with another lash. Just comb your lashes out like you normally would when applying mascara.
- Avoid rubbing and touching your lashes. Sleep on your side or back to avoid flattening the curl. This also applies to using a sleeping mask. This is one of the harder rules for me because I have allergies, but it’s doable.
Everything in moderation
I love how lash extensions look on me, but I also know that overtime my lashes will get weaker if I do them all the time. Your natural lashes need a break, just like the hair on your head and your nails. Taking a break every two to three months is beneficial and will help keep your lashes looking and feeling healthy. Using a lash serum is also recommended if you want to do them on a regular basis. I’ll get lash extensions every couple of months for my birthday or other special occasions. Otherwise, I use my favourite mascara products to give me full, thick lashes.
Have you thought about getting lash extensions? What kind of lash extensions really appeal to you? Tell me in the comments!