Beginner’s Guide to Eyelash Extensions
August 20, 2018
I’ve been in an on-again, off-again relationship with eyelash extensions for some years now. I always get a new set installed before I travel and during the spring/summer months. They make such a difference in my overall look and really help in cutting down makeup time and amount. In case you don’t know, my natural lashes are sparse and short aka nearly non-existent. I don’t really bother with mascaras because the difference isn’t too major.
Long fluttery lashes really help complement my warm weather outfits and style. I tend to wear more feminine dresses and silhouettes, and it just makes me feel prettier! Plus, now that I have my brows microbladed, eyelash extensions give me a good “gym face”. I never wear makeup to work out unless its for an event where photos are taken left and right, ha!
My latest eyelash set was done at Salon de Beaute, downtown in the FiDi district of the city, and I love the results. Plus, I always appreciate a salon that takes in consideration interior decor.
See below for my lash before and after. HUGE difference, right?!
Now you see why I love giving myself this treat and getting my lashes to look 100x more glam and fabulous, let’s get into the basics since I have had my share of experiences these past years.
What is it exactly?
Eyelash extensions is a semi-permanent makeup service where individual lashes are applied to your natural ones using medical grade glue. Usually, you have a choice of mink, silk or synthetic lashes. There are difference curl types (J, C, D etc), thickness, and length (10-20mm). Different salons have their own selection and availability of lash types. Depending on your eye shape and size, different amounts are needed to create the style you want to achieve. Salons now have style choices for you, ie natural, glam, cute, cat-eye shape etc. It varies from place to place. They last 4-6 weeks and it really depends on your natural lash cycle. Just like the hair on your head, you will lose a lash naturally and the extension comes off right with it.
Like with everything else, if you want to try it, just do it! I normally search on Yelp to find a reputable place. In NYC, salons are everywhere and there’s always some sort of Groupon or Gilt City deal available. Just beware when looking for those — sometimes, you literally get what you paid for. Between my friends and I, we’ve had our share of bad experiences. I highly advise asking around and doing your research to find a reputable salon that uses the correct products and procedures. Once, I’ve had a technician glue the lashes ONTO my skin instead of on top of my lashes. It was a painful lesson to learn. Don’t skimp on dollar or due diligence on something that goes near your eyes.
Now that you’ve found a place, your first visit usually includes a consultation, and you get to talk to your technician about volume, shape, length etc. Always talk through during the consult and get any questions answered beforehand. An expert can help determine how much weight your natural lash can hold, the shape that suits you and amount needed. The whole application process is performed on a bed and lasts for about an hour or more. Due to my wider eyes, mine usually take a little longer because I require more lashes applied (100+ per eye) than average. Your eyes are taped down and some places give you a collagen (or similar) mask for under your eye. I love the little details. It helps to be comfortable while you are lying there with your eyes taped closed for awhile. I’ve also been to salons that offer complimentary foot massages (omg, yes!) or even mani/pedis. I fallen asleep 85% of time. That’s why finding a place with a good lash technician and comfortable beds/ambiance makes such a difference. A light-handed expert can make the entire first experience effortless. When all the lashes have been applied, a handheld fan may be used to dry the adhesive quicker, otherwise it might burn your eyes. I always love waking up to a whole new person in the mirror.
Okay, your lashes are fabulous and you might need to change a few things to care for them. The first 24 hours, you should avoid getting them wet. This ensures that they last as long as they can. Obviously, don’t touch or rub your eyes aggressively. As for makeup removal or skincare, you will need to avoid any oil-based products. I love using this cleansing micellar water. Oil will loosen the bonds quicker. As for mascara, it’s recommended to avoid it, but I like treat extensions like my own and only apply it to the tips, staying clear of the bonded part, for even more oomph on full makeup days. To keep them from tangling and neat, gently brush them with a spoolie. Around the 2-3 week mark, you may need to book a touchup to refill any lash drop-offs. Yes, there’s maintenance! A lot of people also like to use lash growth serum in conjunction with eyelash extensions to promote better growth and keep it healthy. It’s something I want to try starting!
I really love the look of eyelash extensions. It’s a great alternative to applying falsies on the daily. Also, if you’re not careful with strip lash removal, you’ll end up taking out your own eyelashes at the roots. I just leave it to the experts. If you’re in the NYC area, here’s a look at where I went.
Salon de Beauté
160 Broadway, Suite 1100
New York, NY 10038
I had a really pleasant experience from start to finish. The staff are really friendly and they took extra care with the salon decor and privacy curtains. My technician was great and gentle in the application of my lashes. I decided to try their Gorgeous style (normally I get cateye, which is their sexy shape). I’m so happy to try this new eyelash shape style because it complemented my winged liner so well. It also opened up my eyes a lot better. I’ll be getting this look from now on! For reference, I always get a C-curl lash at 13mm maximum length and mascara thickness, in this case .18mm. They have plush beds and during the process, a blanket to tuck into. My extensions are still set even a few weeks after — my natural lash cycle is kind of slow. Overall, super happy!
Thanks so much for reading!
Happy to answer any questions I can, below.