Eyelash extensions are used to enhance the length, curl, fullness, and thickness of natural eyelashes. Semi-permanent lashes that are hand-glued on top of your natural lashes. Because every lash is glued on individually, unlike strip lashes, they’re highly customizable for natural-looking results.
Extensions may be made from several materials including mink, silk, synthetic, human or horsehair.
The main method of applying the extensions is by using a cyanoacrylate adhesive to apply the extension(s) to the natural lash 1-2 mm from the base of the natural eyelash, never making contact with the eyelid. A certified and experienced lash specialist will help you make the best decision for your lashes, including the type of material you should get, like synthetic mink or synthetic silk. Mink is usually pricier, feels softer, and looks more natural; however, some synthetics, which are highly customizable, can also look and feel natural and end up costing as much as or more than mink.
You’ll want to show up to your appointment with clean skin and no eye makeup. That means absolutely no eyeshadow, eyeliner, and/or mascara.
Here are the general steps of the process:
- Gently cleanse both your eyes.
- Your doctor will tape your lower lashes to your skin with surgical tape to avoid accidentally gluing your natural lower lashes to your upper ones.
- Your natural eyelashes will be isolated, typically with a tweezer or other device.
- Artificial lashes will be done on top of the isolated lash with tiny drops of glue.
- This process will be repeated until the full lid and both eyes are done.
The eyelash extensions process may take up to two hours.
Do not shower until you’ve waited at least 24 hours. Eyelash adhesives vary in the time they take to cure, from 12 to 24 hours depending on the glue used.
Eyelash extensions can last for six to eight weeks until they naturally fall out like your lashes usually do. Once they start falling out, though, you can go back and have your lash stylist fill in the missing pieces. So, technically, you can make your extensions last indefinitely.
Mascara is not recommended because the attempt to take it off can actually cause your extensions to break from the friction and makeup remover.
As for eyeliner, avoid using cream-based formulas that may contain oils and waxes that can break down lash glue.
Only use cleansers specifically formulated to be safe for eyelash extensions.
Lashes can get tangled when you’re sleeping or showering, so it’s required that you gently brush your lashes with a clean spoolie brush when you wake up. To prevent unnecessary tangling, try to sleep on your back or side (not your stomach).
Here are the general steps if you have decided to remove your eyelash extension.
- Upper and lower eyelids will be covered. Lash glue remover will be applied and left on for several minutes.
- Removal of lashes will be done one at a time, with a sterilized tweezer, tiny brush, or other devices.
Wearing lashes that are too long or too thick for your lashes can actually cause damage in the long run.
Most complications from eyelash extensions result from a skin reaction or allergy to the chemicals used in the glue adhesive. Unsanitary conditions can also cause complications.
Symptoms you may experience include:
- Stinging and burning in the eye.
- Severe swelling.
- Red or bloodshot eyes.