Let us ask you a question. Who doesn’t want to roll out of bed each morning with lashes looking like you’ve just walked off the runway? Show of hands? That’s what we thought.
You’re here because you’re contemplating getting eyelash extensions and it probably kind of terrifies you, that’s fair. Tiny, semi-permanent, fake eyelashes are going to be glued to each of your natural lashes, and that can be a bit daunting. But don’t worry, because we’re here to answer all your questions about lash extensions; how to make them look as natural as possible, how much they cost, how to care for them so you get the most bang for your buck, and so much more. Let’s get into it!
Will eyelash extensions ruin my natural lashes?
The short answer is no. If you’ve done your research and chosen a qualified lash technician then there should be no permanent damage to your natural lash line. However, many people that try out lash extensions for a bit do mention that, when they end up getting them removed, their natural lashes are shorter and weaker than they were before. This may be due to the weight of the lash extensions causing them to become more brittle than previously, but within a few weeks your lashes should naturally shed and the new lashes should be back to normal. If not, you can use a lash growth serum to encourage them to grow back thicker, longer and stronger.
And if you’re worried about your eyes, you shouldn’t be. During your appointment, which can take up to 2 hours, your eyes will be closed the entire time so there’s no risk of you getting anything foreign in them. If they do start watering, however, let your lash tech know immediately as they may need to change the glue they’re using to something gentler. Also tell your lash technician if you have any allergies as they’ll be able to determine if the allergen is in any of the products they use.
How to get the best lash extensions?
- Research – This is definitely the most important step to finding the best lashes of your life. You need to do as much research as possible to find a qualified, experienced and professional lash technician. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their qualifications. If you don’t get the right answers make sure you don’t use that technician.
- Bring photos to your appointment – Use Instagram, Facebook, Google, and whatever you can to find photos of your chosen lash technician’s work. Save a few of those photos on your phone so you can show the technician exactly what kind of style you want when you go to your appointment.
- Ask questions – You need to know what types of lashes they’ll be using and if they’re from a reputable brand, the ingredients in the glue they use (walk away if they can’t tell you), the best aftercare practices (we’ll give you some tips later in this article), and anything else you can think of that will give you more peace of mind that you’re choosing the right lashes for you.
How much do eyelash extensions cost?
Depending on where you get them done, you should be expecting to pay around $80-$150 for your first set of classic eyelash extensions (about 80 lashes per eye). And infills, which need to be done every 3-6 weeks will be around $40-$110 for the classic set. If you’re wanting a set that’s a bit more dramatic prices can range anywhere from $150-$500. Here’s exactly what will influence the price of your lash set:
- Experience level of your lash tech – Newer, less experienced lash technicians may charge around 50% less than full price. Experienced lash technicians will be much more expensive as they have the skills necessary to apply better looking lashes every time.
- Demographics – Suburbs with more expensive living costs will have more expensive lash prices compared to suburbs with lower living costs (further away from major cities).
- Material – Mink, silk, or synthetic? Natural fibres will cost more as they look much more realistic and are a lot lighter, therefore gentler on your natural lashes. Synthetic lashes are cheaper but may come with a more plastic, shiny look and feel heavier on the eyes.
- Beauty salon or solo technician – Beauty salons will generally be more expensive than going to a solo lash tech, but the salon’s hygiene practices and standards should be more regulated so may be a safer option.
- Hidden costs – If you rock up to your appointment with makeup still on, your lash tech may charge you a few extra dollars if they have to remove it for you. Holiday time also tends to raise prices by just a little bit, too. And don’t forget aftercare, you’ll need spoolies to brush your lashes, a water-based eye makeup remover (products specifically for eyelash extensions will work best) and a satin pillowcase to prolong the life of your lashes.
How can I make my eyelash extensions look natural?
Not everyone is looking for a super bold and dramatic lash look, some want a natural, only-just-noticeable, kind of look. If you’re the latter, here’s our top tips to get the most natural looking lashes of your dreams.
Curl, length and colour
Your eyelash extensions are going to be black, so think about how you like your lashes to look when you’ve brushed on a couple coats of your favourite mascara. Do you curl them beforehand? Are they long or do you go for more volume over length? Your technician should ask these questions and be able to match the curl type and length (around 6 to 17mm) of the lashes they apply to your preferred lash look. To be on the safe side, just opt for a ‘Classic’ set for your first time around. This should be the most natural and least dramatic lash set they have.
Lash separation and glue
A qualified lash technician will be able to separate each individual lash and attach an eyelash extension to each. This will avoid any pulling or tugging that would occur if an extension was attached to a clump of your natural lashes, causing them to fall out prematurely (patchy lashes just doesn’t scream “natural”).
And to avoid any irritation of the eye, make sure the lash glue they’re using doesn’t contain anything you’re allergic to or formaldehyde (dangerous in high levels). If they can’t tell you what’s in the glue, definitely don’t use them.
Eyelash extension material
As we mentioned above, there are natural and synthetic lash extension material types. Silk and mink lashes are going to look much more feathery and light than synthetic lashes, which have the tendency to look quite fake and more like plastic. Natural (or faux-natural if you’re wanting a vegan option) lash extensions will be more expensive than synthetic ones, but due to their lightweight nature they’re actually a lot gentler on your natural lashes and so will last longer.
Caring for your lash extensions
Your lashes might look amazing when they’ve just been freshly applied, but that can go downhill pretty quickly if you don’t look after them properly! Here’s how to keep them looking fresh and feathery for as long as possible:
- Don’t get your lashes wet for 48 hours after application – If you do get them wet it will loosen the bonds of the glue that hasn’t completely set yet and cause eyelashes to fall out. You can still shower but just be sure to be quick as the steam can also ruin the glue.
- Stay away from oil-based products – Stick to water-based products for your makeup routine so you don’t weaken the glue on your lash extensions.
- Cleanse and brush daily – If you can, invest in a good quality lash extension cleanser and buy a packet of spoolies so you can clean and brush your lashes morning and night. This might sound like a lot of effort, but it will still take less time than if you had to apply and remove a couple coats of mascara daily if you didn’t have your extensions on!
- Don’t use mascara if you can avoid it – Unless you want a clumpy mess, stay away from mascara at all costs. If you really need it though, only apply it to the tips of your lashes and make sure you remove it as gently as possible afterwards with your water-based eye makeup remover.
- Don’t sleep on your front – This is a difficult one, but if you sleep on your stomach your lashes are bound to get squashed and you’re going to wake up to crazy lashes all bent out of shape. If this happens, gently brush them in the right direction ASAP and cross your fingers that they’ve corrected themselves before you have to leave the house.
- Regular touch ups – Your natural lash life cycle is about 4-6 weeks, so by the end of the fourth week you might have some pretty patchy looking lashes. Get them refilled every 3-4 weeks for best results. The longer you wait to have them refilled, the more lashes you will have lost and the more it will cost to replace them.
- Buy a satin pillowcase – We mentioned this above but it’s an awesome hack so bears repeating. Cotton pillowcases won’t allow your lashes to glide across them as easily as they would on satin, meaning you could wake up to crumpled and kinked lashes more often.
How to remove your lash extensions
Are you needing your extensions off ASAP but not sure what your removal options are? Here are a few of the most effective:
1. Leave it to the professionals
It’s going to set you back around $25-$40 to get this done, but it’s worth the money. The safest, easiest way to get your lash extensions removed is by getting a professional to do it. They will have all the correct products and training to get those extensions off safely and gently, reducing any possible damage that may occur to your natural lashes if you decide to attempt the removal at home.
2. Eyelash extension removal product
It’s not always feasible to get to a lash technician, so as a last resort you can do it at home safely as long as you’re being very careful and gentle. The next best way to have them removed is if you’re able to purchase a bottle of professional-grade eyelash extension remover, which should come in a liquid or gel form. The instructions on the bottle will tell you exactly how to use it, make sure you follow it to the letter.
3. Oil-based eye makeup remover
If you’re a bit strapped for cash and a professional-grade eyelash removal product isn’t on the cards then your next best bet will be a good quality oil-based eye makeup remover. Remember how we mentioned above that oil will loosen the glue bonds? Well, that’s exactly what we want to do right now, so here’s the best way to use it:
- Remove all makeup from your eyes and face.
- Steam your face first to start breaking down the lash glue. Fill a bowl with hot water and place your face over it with a towel over the back of your head to keep the steam from escaping.
- Soak a cotton pad with your oil-based eye makeup remover.
- Gently wipe that soaked cotton pad over your lashes in a downward motion, never rub at your lashes as the friction can cause irritation and damage to your natural lashes.
- Your lash extensions should start coming off, but if you have any stubborn ones you’ll need to take a break after a few wipes. Give it an hour or so before you try again so you don’t irritate your eyes. The oil in the makeup remover should still be breaking down the glue during this time so the last few will probably come off quite easily.
4. Coconut or olive oil
Looking for something a bit more natural? We have two amazing options for you to try and they’re probably sitting in your pantry right now! Coconut oil is very well-known for being able to do just about anything. But it’s also got some awesome antibacterial properties to stop any germs getting near your eyes. And speaking of germ-fighting superpowers, the humble olive oil contains polyphenols, which are shown to have antimicrobial effects (go for virgin olive oil for best results). So both these oils are a hygienic option that shouldn’t irritate your eyes during the lash extension removal. Here’s how to use them:
- Soak a cotton pad with the oil.
- Gently hold the soaked cotton pad over your closed eye for a minute or so. Do this process to one eye at a time so you can see what you’re doing.
- After the minute is up, gently wipe the cotton pad over your lashes in a downward motion. Take a break if they don’t come off after a few wipes. Don’t rub your lashes and don’t pull at them as you don’t want to cause damage to your natural eyelashes.
- Once finished, gently massage any remaining oil into your skin for some extra moisturisation.
From bold and dramatic to feathery and natural, whatever look you’re going for there’s a perfect lash set out there to suit you. Wake up looking fresh, bright and ready to take on the world every morning with eyelash extensions that boost your confidence and your look. Use our tips and info above to find the best eyelash extensions for you and your budget, and get ready to be hooked on the amazing world of luscious lashes.