PSA: If you're in Connecticut, you can get in touch with my lash technician Krystal to make an appointment!
The number one beauty question I get is, "What mascara do you use?!" The answer? I don't use any! I have lash extensions. Since I've been doing extensions for over a year and since I get so many questions about them, I thought I would put together an entire post about lash extensions.
What are lash extensions? They're essentially false lashes that are applied by a trained technician with lash glue and applied one by one to your individual lashes.
How long do they last? I go for a fill every two weeks, but some people are able to extend to three weeks. It just depends on how quickly your lashes grow and how full you like your look to be.
How much does it cost? This varies by city, and depends on so many things, but in general, they're not cheap. For a full set (your first time going), you could expect to spend between $175 - $399 (this price also depends on what style you're getting - more on that below). For a fill, you can expect to pay between $50 and $99 (this price also depends on what style you're getting, and how long you've gone between your last fill).
What looks are available? There are lots of looks to choose from. You can choose a more natural look, where it just looks like you're wearing a little mascara. This look will require relatively thin false lashes, and your technician won't apply that many of them. This will be the least expensive look to go for. If you want more of a glam look, you can ask for volume lashes, which will require lots of lashes that are handmade with a split down the middle to create this super full look. This look will likely be more expensive. You could also ask for a cat eye, which will require slightly thicker and longer lashes placed towards the middle/outer part of the eyes. You could also ask for doll lashes, which have longer and thicker lashes applied toward the middle part of the eye only. I ask for a relatively full look, so that it looks like I'm wearing a good amount of mascara.
How do you care for them? Your technician will give you a spooley lash brush which you can use to gently brush your lashes every morning or whenever you need. You don't really need to do anything other than that. You don't need to wear mascara, so there's no issue of having to use make up remover on them. If you wear eyeshadow like I do, just be careful about taking the shadow off. You want to avoid rubbing the lashes, as that may loosen the glue and they'll fall off or get twisted and wind up looking funky. If you happen to get shadow on your lashes, they do make a special cleanser for the lashes you could use, but honestly in over a year that I've been doing extensions, I've only had to two that three or four times (after formal events and big shoots).
How long does a lash appointment take? This is going to depend on how experienced your technician is and how many lashes you're doing, but generally, you can expend to be there for about two hours or so for a full set, and one hour or less for a fill.
How do I find a good technician? This is the toughest part, because the thing about lashes is that the regulations vary by state. Some states require certification, and some do not. What this means is that sometimes you'll have a technician who uses great products and knows what she's doing, and other times you'll wind up with nail glue on your lashes and a damn eye infection from it! So the best thing to do is look online for technicians in your area, and check out their work on social media. Ask them what kind of products they use. Bella Lash is a great brand, and is what technician uses.
Do you find that the extensions ruin your lashes? I haven't found that to be the case, and I actually had to travel for an extended period of time recently, where I wasn't able to get home in time for a fill and most of my extensions naturally fell out due to the time. My natural lashes looked full, thick, and healthy, and I think this is due to the fact that my lash technician uses a high quality, professional product (Bella Lash), and I maintain the lashes well (brushing them once a day, and being careful not to rub or pick at them).
What is the process to put the extensions on? So, I am funky about people near my eyes. I get terrible anxiety when I have to go to the optometrist, so when I heard that you have to tape your bottom lashes down and you can't open your eyes, I freaked out. But! It was nothing, and I was fine getting them done. So here's what generally happens: technicians usually have a massage table you'll lay on, face up. If your technician is professionally trained, they'll use a specially made tape that gently pushes your bottom lashes out of the way and you'll close your eyes. Then, you just rest there with your eyes closed while the technician applies the lashes one by one. You can relax, chat with your technician, or listen to a podcast on your headphones to pass the time.
We shot the below vid in a time-lapse so you can see what it generally looks like to get lashes applied. I hope this post helps - let me know down in the comments section below if you have any other questions and I'll be sure to answer them!