I Got Eyelash Extensions: Here’s What You Really Need to Know

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Here’s the truth: Eyelash Extensions are super fleeky.

If you’re reading this post, you probably already know that and are considering getting them yourself, or you are like me you have no idea what they are and immediately said, “sign me the F%$K up!” (please don’t do this). Extensions can be a real game changer for a lot of women (and men!). When done correctly they’re gorgeous, you feel like a Jenner/Sugar Baby/Baddie/Boss Ass Bitch, and they can cut your daily routine IN. HALF. It truly is a thing of dreams. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, it is only a dream. If you don’t even know what the hell they are let me explain:

Eyelash extension are tiny hairs that are applied with a glue to each individual lash. You can choose either mink, faux-mink, silk, or synthetic. Mink is obviously the most costly and luxurious but having an animal’s fur near my eyeballs made me want to die so I went with silk. Most often you’ll be at a salon or a specialty beauty bar. It will be very chicly decorated and play bumpin’ music from the top 40’s or relaxing spa music. You’ll have a very short consultation with your specialist and you’ll talk about allergies, sensitivity, how you want them to look, all that fun stuff. She’ll lie you back on a really comfy bed, put some not so comfy eye patches under your eyes so your lower lashes don’t get glue on them, and swiftly get to work. She will go back and forth putting each individualized extension on to each lash, never touching the skin. I’m actually a psycho at beauty appointments and am always asking questions, but this was so relaxing and I even fell asleep for 20 blissful minutes. The entire process takes 2 hours, but it goes by pretty quickly. At the end, your specialist will hold up your forgotten smokey quartz on the bed and go “is this yours?” and you will bashfully take it and murmur something about how it’s for some extra luck. Hopefully you’ll then have fabulous amazing lashes that will last for three weeks until they gradually fall out and you need a fill.

The Good

  • You can cut your routine time in half. This was the biggest seller for me. To wake up with gorgeous lashes and not have to worry about mascaras with chemicals that hurt natural lashes? Amazing.
  • You will feel so. hot. Most celebrities, gurus, and Instagram stars have extensions and they all look flawless.
  • You won’t have to bother with eye makeup (unless that’s you’re thing).
  • The process is fairly pain-free and relaxing. My place even offered a hand or foot massage while you get it for $10. Nice.
  • You will get compliments from strangers, which is always pretty rad.

The Bad

  • They can get really pricey. I was with an apprentice (more on that later) and I still paid $100 and $20 for tip, even though I didn’t love my lashes. They can run anywhere between $350 to $100 at a “good” place. But please, do not go to seedy places where they do them for $50. That’s just wrong, girl.
  • If you want to maintain your lashes, you need to fill them every three weeks. It’s pretty non-negotiable. Fills cost between $75 to $200 based on the specialist.
  • They are a serious commitment. In all seriousness now, they are very high maintenance. You cannot get them wet for 24 hours, not even crying or rain, because it loosens the glue. Don’t even think about washing your face or taking a shower. When you can wet them, you have to brush them with a tiny spoolie brush afterwards and sometimes even blow dry them. When you’re blow drying your lashes, you’re not a low maintenance girl anymore, sorry. That’s pretty extra.
  • I’m going to make this super clear: YES THEY CAN RUIN YOUR NATURAL LASHES. Every place you go to will tell you that’s a myth, but it’s true. I have done so much research on extensions in hindsight, and the general consensus is that they can ruin your lashes. If you go to someone who is not licensed, is inexperienced, if you have them for a long period of time without giving your natural lashes a break, or if they’re put on incorrectly, you’re risking losing your natural lash. Like the hair on our heads, lashes have a cycle too and sometimes cutting or damaging a lash can cause it to not grow back permanently. Just be aware out there.
  • If you’re used to not wearing falsies or a lot of makeup, you may hate it. It’s pretty dramatic and sometimes you’ll get a very dramatic pair even when you asked for the barely-there ones. Just be very clear with your lash stylist!

The Ugly

Here’s where my personal story comes in.

I heard about lash extensions from some girls that I work with. They all had amazing fluffy lashes and I was so jealous. I thought they were just genetically blessed until one day when I asked what mascara they used and they told me they were fake. I was blown away. A lash? A fake one? On your real lash? And it looks really good? This was life changing news and I booked an appointment for exactly a week away at a local place with an apprentice for $100 who everyone in the store confirmed was amazing. I researched up on extension care and watched so many Youtube videos to prepare myself. I was scared, but I was determined when walking into my appointment. I was going to have fluffy eyelashes a la Quinn Fabray in Glee (my absolute dream lashes).

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Look at these. Amazing.

My lash specialist was really sweet and we chatted a bit about how she liked working there and just life stuff when it came up that she had only been working there for a month.

A month.

You may say I’m an idiot (rude, but…yeah) for expecting that she had more experience than that even though she was an apprentice. Seriously, everyone there had reassured me that she was awesome. I would have paid extra for someone else but I’m a college girl and really, who wouldn’t take a deal? I paid for it. I paid for it hard. I walked out with very dramatic lashes on my already bigger eyes and they just didn’t suit me at all. They were very obviously fake and weighed down on my eyes. The worst though was when I got home only to realize that my eye was being stabbed by three tiny sharp fake lashes that weren’t applied properly in the outer corner of my eye. The pain is almost indescribable. It’s like being poked with a sewing needle for hours on end. Every blink hurt like hell and my eye was super red. I went back the next day to get them removed by another girl who said that yes, they had been done wrong and not only that, she had used way too much glue and they were clustered together. Clustered extensions are SUPER harmful for your natural lashes because those are the kinds that will pull your lashes out and make you bald. If someone offers them to you, run away. Luckily, they were all removed and my lashes were okay, but my eye is still sore and red and the hypochondriac in me thinks I have a corneal abrasion, but I’ll let you know if that’s the case.

My advice to anyone considering them is to do your research and don’t make a spur of the moment appointment. They’re a huge commitment and you should really think about the risks before trying it. Make sure you go to a reputable place. Make sure your specialist is trained and has at least two years of experience. Don’t let your dreams be dreams, but don’t let the promise of Quinn Fabray lashes put your health at risk.

 

C

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