How to Get the Most Out of Your Eyelash Extensions

The first time you heard about eyelash extensions it probably went a little something like this:

Friend: I just got eyelash extensions! I love them so much and now I need them forever.

You: Eyelash extensions, what are those? Like strip lashes?

Friend: No girl, they’re amazing – it can give you a strip lash look but they’re so comfortable and you don’t ever have to take them off. I literally wake up like this *bats eyelashes*

You: So how does that work? Do they just glue the strip to your eyelashes?

Friend: Not at all. They take individual synthetic extensions and glue them to each of your natural lashes to give you fuller/longer/darker/curlier lashes – whatever look you want. If it’s done right it doesn’t even damage your natural lashes.

You: My lashes could definitely use some help. Yours look soooo good. Spill it, how much was it and HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?

After you found out you could have the eyelashes of your dreams, you wanted to know how much it would cost and how long they would last.

To briefly address the price topic, I’ll simply say that a lot of the time you get what you pay for with eyelash extensions. Do your research to find a qualified/licensed lash artist that prioritizes natural lash health. For more advice on choosing a lash artist, check out this blog post I published a few months back titled The Warning Signs of a Lackluster Lash Artist.

Now, to tackle the question I am most frequently asked about eyelash extensions, “How long do they last?” It’s a simple question with a not so simple answer. The short answer is they can last forever with proper aftercare and regular maintenance! The long answer involves the application process, aftercare, and your individual hair growth rate. If you have already invested in eyelash extensions or are considering getting them for the first time, I’m sure you want to get your money’s worth. Keep reading to find out how to get the most out of your eyelash extensions:

To get the most out of your eyelash extensions you need to have proper application. This falls on both you and your lash artist. Your lash artist needs to make sure their environment, supplies, and technique are optimal for the best application. But you play a big part in this process as well. Here’s what you can do to make sure you set your lash artist up for a great appointment:

  • Come to your regularly scheduled appointments with a clean & makeup-free face. That means no eye shadow, no foundation, no concealer, no mascara on your bottom lashes. Nothing. Please. If there is any residue on your eyelashes the adhesive used to apply the extension won’t get the best possible bond. This means you could lose your extensions prematurely. If you have foundation or concealer on your undereye, the eyepad used to secure your lower lashes is likely to shift during your appointment. This can cause irritation to your eye and makes the application more difficult and timely for your lash artist. If you’re heading to your lash appointment from work or another engagement, bring a makeup remover wipe and your lash wash with you and take a few minutes to prep before your appointment. Your lash artist will thank you.
  • Don’t drink caffeine before your appointment. Caffeine can stimulate the eye muscles, causing involuntary spasms. This makes proper application nearly impossible for the lash artist. Caffeine can also prevent you from relaxing during your appointment, which is the opposite experience you and your lash artist want.
  • Refrain from talking during your appointment. It’s not that lash artists don’t enjoy your conversation, it’s really the best way to get the most out of your appointment. When you talk, you most likely move your eyes, cheeks, and sometimes even your whole head without realizing it. This movement can cause the eyepad used to secure your lower lashes to shift, which can result in eye irritation and/or your lower lashes popping out and getting glued to the top ones. It can also prevent your lash artist from properly isolating your natural lash in order to apply the extension. Staying quiet and still allows your lash artist to concentrate and work more efficiently, so you to get the maximum amount of extensions applied while keeping your appointment on schedule.
  • Let your lash artist know if something is bothering you. Getting eyelash extensions should be a comfortable and relaxing experience. If you’re uncomfortable, your lash artist most likely has a remedy. Cold? Ask for a blanket. Leg asleep? Ask for a cushion/pillow. Eye irritated? Let your lash artist know so they can make adjustments.

Getting the most out of your eyelash extensions requires proper aftercare. Once you do your part to ensure your lash artist can properly apply your eyelash extensions, it’s your job to take care of them so they’ll last as long as they should. Here’s how you can care for your extensions so you get the most wear:

  • Avoid water, steam, extreme heat and sweating for 24 hours after your appointment. This may require a bit of planning on your end, but it’s worth it because these things can interfere with the adhesive’s ability to fully cure/harden – meaning you could lose your extensions prematurely.
  • Cleanse your lashes regularly. Like every night, or at least every other night before you go to bed. If you swim, get sweaty during a workout, or have a good cry, make sure to give your lashes a rinse after. You should be using a cleanser specifically for eyelash extensions and a soft brush to make sure you reach the lash line and in between your extensions. Your lash artist should have a cleanser available for you to purchase. Think of cleaning your lashes like brushing your teeth. The better you take care of them, the longer they’ll last.
  • The less makeup you wear around your extensions, the better. Specifically try to avoid mascara and eyeliner. Most mascara and eyeliner formulas contain oil-based ingredients, which can prematurely break down the adhesive bond. These are also difficult to completely remove from your lash extensions – causing buildup around the lash line that creates a prime environment for bacteria to grow. Getting lash extensions should ideally replace the need for mascara and eyeliner. If it doesn’t, talk to your lash artist about what they can do to adjust the style of your extensions. P.S. Never use a lash curler on your extensions.
  • Pay attention to the products that come in contact with your extensions – particularly those that contain oils. Oil is the enemy of the adhesive used to apply your extensions. So check the ingredients in your face wash, don’t let shampoo and conditioner run down your face in the shower, and stay away from lash growth serums while you have extensions.
  • Try not to pick at or play with your lash extensions throughout the day. If something is out of place, give it a brush and then leave it alone. There are oils on your fingers that can weaken the adhesive bond and cause your lashes to fallout prematurely.   
  • Avoid sleeping on your face. Try to sleep on your back or side instead.
  • Schedule regular fills with your lash artist. Book them out in advance if your lash artist is busy and you like a certain appointment time. Whether it’s 2 or 4 weeks apart, my recommendation is to get a fill before it looks like you need a fill.

Lastly, your individual hair growth rate affects the retention of your eyelash extensions.

  • The faster your hair/eyelashes grow, the sooner you will likely need a fill. The slower they grow, the more time you may be able to go between fills. There is no right or wrong here, just mother nature at work!
  • If you are on any vitamins or medications that affect hair growth, it’s best to let your lash artist know so they can work accordingly.

Well, there you have it! By setting your lash artist up for a great appointment, following aftercare instructions, and understanding your individual hair growth rate, you’ll be able to get the most out of your eyelash extensions. Which is critical, because, let’s face it…once you’ll never want to go back.

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