My Experience: Eyelash Extensions

We all have our insecurities -- for some it is their eyebrows, for some it is their nose, for others is may be their lips, for me it was my eyelashes. It may sound strange but I've always envied people with long curly beautiful eyelashes and for years I would curl and prod and mascara the heck out of mine. My biggest problem is that mine are pin straight almost to the point of inversion and they also happen to be fairly light colored (as you may have expected from a blonde). A problem I always had with strip fake lashes is that because they're placed on the skin behind your own lashes, there was always an obvious difference between my pin straight blonde lashes and the fake black stick on ones -- no matter how much primping I added. I'd heard of eyelash extensions as some obscure idea but had never really looked into the idea, assuming they would have a similar problem. So last fall at one of my internships when the other interns were raving about their lash experiences, I naturally got curious and that curiosity soon turned into excitement as I booked my first appointment. I had no idea what to expect...

I started going to a place called Lash Forever which has two locations in the city. The first time was a little stressful and strange but it quickly becomes easy. You lay down on a table and close your eyes and the stylist begins by placing gel patches under your eyes to keep your bottom lashes out of the way and a few extra pieces of tape here and there as needed. Then she gets to work carefully gluing each individual lash with the steady hands and precision of a surgeon. The lashes are applied to your own natural lashes, literally as an extension of the lashes you already have (maybe I was the only one that hadn't realized this but it made so much more sense once I did). The lashes themselves are made of either mink or silk (or sometimes synthetic materials) and they use a medical grade adhesive to apply them that is meant to be used around the eyes, not touching the skin. After the first visit when I stayed awake expecting something surprising, I have fallen asleep almost every time to the calm classical music playing from the speakers overhead. Unlike the strip fake lashes, you may be surprised that you barely feel them other than a little added flutter. When the stylist handed me the mirror that first time and I blinked in awe at my reflection I was hooked. They're natural looking, they're subtle and pretty, and they are an addiction. An added glamour to an otherwise natural look? I could get used to this... And I really have gotten used to it, now going back every three weeks for touch ups. It's a little pricey but honestly well worth it for how much it has, in my opinion, transformed my look.

A few tips for newbies:

  • Within the first 24-48 hours you must avoid excessive moisture from showers, saunas, facials, swimming pools, or the like as it will break down the adhesive used to hold the lashes.
  • The less you mess with them the better. You shouldn't use mascara, use much less eyeshadow and liner, and definitely don't touch an eyelash curler. And it may seem obvious but try not to rub your eyes -- this was a bad habit I had to break because it will break and damage the lashes.
  • If you do decide to wear any eye makeup, use oil-free makeup remover or wipes to take it off. My go-to removers are:
  • Pick up a few disposable mascara wands for maintenance to remove any lint or dust by brushing through the lashes from mid length to ends the way you would when applying mascara.