Will eyelash extensions make your real lashes fall out?
Plus, everything you need to know about this procedure.
After all, who doesn’t have eyes that could use some extra oomph? The procedure, where an aesthetician glues individual strands of silk, synthetic, or mink-based hairs to each of your natural lashes one by one, can give lashes some extra volume and length—with no clumping or smudged mascara.
And it's become incredibly popular, as more and more women realize the allure of a shorter makeup routine and scoring Beyonce-esque “I woke up like this” lashes every day.
While it may seem like a no-brainer to get these extensions if you’re craving longer lashes, there are a lot of things you should know before you book an appointment.
First off, it's definitely a time and money commitment, says Arianna Montazem, a makeup artist and cosmetologist in Los Angeles who specializes in eyelash extensions. A full set of eyelash extensions can take between one and a half to two and a half hours, depending on the type of set. Plus, to maintain the extensions, you'll need to come back to get them touched up. For fills, she says it takes between 45 to 90 minutes. In Los Angeles, where she works, a full set can range from $150 to $350, although the price can be higher (up to $1000). The general consensus seems to be you get what you pay for, so beware of prices that seem to good to be true.
For the procedure itself, you can get a range of lengths and shapes added to your natural lash. According to Montazem, lashes usually range from six to 18 millimeters. However, she says she doesn’t apply anything longer than 15 millimeters since it can be dangerous to the health of the natural lash. As for shapes, her clients ask for eyelash extensions that imitate everything from a doll's eye to a cat's eye. People generally study different eye shapes and lash maps in preparation for their appointment in order to get the specific look they're trying to achieve.
Once applied, eyelash extensions require some regular upkeep. “I recommend for most of my clients to come back between two to three weeks [after getting the full set],” Montazem says. “Anything after four weeks or less than 40 percent of extensions left, I consider to be a new full set.” They also require upkeep apart from touch-up appointments. She also recommends caring for your extensions by "eliminating mascara from your beauty routine, or at least using much less, and cleaning the lashes gently each day." (Clean by brushing them gently with a clean spoolie brush.) You should also be careful when removing eye makeup to not disturb the extensions.
The biggest question on our minds: Will they mess up your natural lashes? The American Academy of Opthamology warns that eyelash extensions are associated with ocular conditions like karatoconjunctivitis (itchiness and redness), swollen eyelids, and losing natural lashes. But Montazem says you're safe in the hands of a trained aesthetician. “The only way a lash extension will damage the natural lash is if a client gets an application by someone who is not properly trained, or if the client does not follow the proper aftercare instructions given by the artist,” she says.
However, lash extensions are not for everyone. “If someone has extremely thin lashes, or not very many lashes, they will not achieve the desired effect. An extension can only be applied to the natural eyelash, not to the skin.” She also says that they aren’t worth it for people who are not going to invest in the upkeep of them. “Eyelash extensions are an investment,” she explains. “They're something you have to keep up with, just like nails.” So ultimately, it's up to you to decide if it's truly worth your time and money.
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