Today I am going to tell you all about my experience with eyelash extensions. First, a little lash-background: my lashes are long and curly, but they are pale blonde (like my brows and hair), which requires me to wear mascara every day if I wish to look even remotely awake. As an emotional crier and profuse sweater, however, mascara is less than ideal for me to wear on a non-standard day (like when I work out, the temperature is hot, or there is a chance I will cry when Barney gets shot down by Robin yet again on How I Met Your Mother… no judging!).
I have been especially worried about wearing mascara at my wedding. Even thinking about my vows causes me to tear up, so I am betting I will be a wreck day-of. Running mascara all over my beautiful face of makeup and gorgeous dress? No thanks! So on my recent trip to Costa Rica, I decided to test out lash extensions in a non-mascara friendly environment to see if they would be comfortable and easy enough to wear for my wedding.
The basics: lash extensions, unlike strip or single lashes (which are actually about 3 lashes with a common base) that come off at the end of the day, eyelash extensions are “permanent” and will fall out with the actual lash hair, meaning they will last for 3-4 weeks, depending on your eyelash loss-rate. On each one of your top lashes, the lash technician will glue a single false lash.
Having the lashes applied takes approximately 1.5 hours. The application process is not comfortable, I won’t lie: your eye is essentially taped shut so the technician can work. You cannot blink and have to try not to twitch much (which is WAY harder than it sounds, especially when you’re thinking about it!). My lash technician was amazing – talking to her was like hanging out with an old friend and she was very patient and professional. She decided to do a dramatic lash look on me, as my lashes are already long and she wanted me to be able to really see the difference. The cost was $120.00. Every few weeks, you need to go get a “fill”, meaning the technician will put a false lash on each of the new lashes that have grown in since your last visit, as to replace the ones that fell out. Each fill costs between $50.00 and $75.00, depending on how many new lashes you need applied.
I won’t lie: the lashes look amazing. I looked like Kim Kardashian (in the eye area, not the booty – I can only do so much!). The rules for caring for the lashes were simple: do not use oil based makeup products (goodbye, cream shadow and kohl liner!), do not use an oil based cleanser, do not use mascara on them, and to brush them with a little mascara brush that she gave me in the morning and evening so they didn’t get tangled.
For the first few days, they continued to be beautiful. I adored them, I couldn’t feel them on my eyes, and I was getting more compliments than ever on my eye makeup, which miraculously looked amazing no matter what I did. After a few days, however, they began to itch.
Disclaimer: I am a “picky” person. Any scab, any gunk, any zit, I feel the overwhelming need to pick. So when the lashes started to feel crusty and dry and brittle, it took all of my will power not to pick at them. Though my brain knew that it was just the glue growing out from the lash line ever so slightly, a part of me still wanted to pick at it until it was gone because it felt itchy, like having sleep in your eyes. For the average bear, I bet the false lashes feel weightless and just like regular lashes. For me, it felt like tiny little bugs crawling in my eyes and causing me to blink like a crazy person and pick at my lashes like there was no tomorrow.
Overall, I would say that I lost lashes at a rate of 1-3 per day (it isn’t hard to keep track of like “regular” lashes, as these are so large, dense and black that they are easily visible when they fall out). I have now had extensions on for almost 3 weeks, and I would say that they still look good. I still love how they look, despite the fact that they occasionally annoy me. I would definitely recommend lash extensions to a) someone who does not like to spend time on makeup, b) has short or blonde lashes that are difficult to see and c) someone who does not have sensitive eyes or the incessant need to pick at things. I will definitely be going back to the same lady to do my lashes for my wedding, but I cannot justify the cost to get something that bothers me every couple of weeks.
Final thoughts: worth it for a special occasion, but not for my everyday life.
I hope my experience helps you decide whether or not you would like to invest in lash extensions!