I have been an eyelash freak for as long as I can remember. I have searched high and low for the best mascara to use, and I have a small collection of stock piled false strip eyelashes that I would have on deck for days I wanted some extra volume to my lashes. Over a month ago, I decided to trade in my mascaras and falsies and try out eyelash extensions after seeing them done at the trusted salon I go to for nails, Ellada Studio and Spa.
I was always curious about eyelash extensions. I wanted to try them, but to be honest I was sort of scared. A foreign eyelash adhered to your natural lash seemed so weird to me, but when I look at all the other things we do to ourselves like hair extensions or lash lifts, or false nails, it didn’t seem that weird. I found a place I trust with an amazing lash tech, Farideh, so I decided why not give it a chance. I’m dedicating todays post to those of you who may too be intrigued, but may be on the fence like I was. I’m hoping this post will provide you with the information you need to decide if extensions are something you want to try!
Eyelash extensions by Farideh at Ellada Studio.
My initial thoughts on extensions are all positive. They make you look absolutely fabulous- with, or without makeup. I used to joke that you would never see me leave the house without makeup. This statement has changed, as now thanks to my lashes which look fab 24/7, I now feel confident enough to not always have to wear makeup when I run out for coffee or to run errands. It’s funny, some extra false eyelashes can completely change something that you’ve been accustomed to for years. Case in point- makeup-less errands, and I have gone without my go-to black winged eyeliner for over a month. Now that, is crazy! My common problem of mascara running is also no longer an issue! That’s a plus all around!
I’ve had my extensions now for 5 weeks. I have had them refilled once and have my next appointment in 2 weeks. While I don’t think I will have extensions forever, I see myself using them likely through the spring and into the summer so I can survive the dreaded heat and humidity of DC summers, with minimal makeup while feeling like I still look presentable with long, full lashes.
To make sure I was addressing questions that you may have in this post, I asked for questions through Instagram Stories, on what YOU want to know, and I have included them in the below list! Thank you to the fabulous ladies who asked some q's!
What are the lash basics?
The full application process is about 3.5 hours. The lashes are applied to your natural lashes, one by one, and sealed in with special glue. Your eyes remain closed the entire time. When I went for my refill, it took 2.5 hours. The cost of lashes vary by place, but at Ellada Studio & Spa, they begin at $250 for a full set and $125 for refill. You can choose from classic or volume lashes. The classic option is more natural and the volume lashes are much more fluffy and full. I opt for the volume lashes.
Does it hurt?
The application does not hurt. At times you can feel the lashes being applied, but it is not painful at all. The barrier that is placed right under your lashes to protect the rest of your eye can get uncomfortable after a long period of time, but thats the extent of any sort of discomfort.
How long do they last?
The lashes lasted me a solid 3 weeks, but I could have stretched it to 4. It is recommended you go in for the lash refill every 3-4 weeks. You will have lashes fall out during the 3-4 weeks in between appointment, but that is normal. The extensions will fall out with the natural cycle of your lashes life span.
Are you able to stretch when you get them or do you need to stick to a schedule?
It is highly recommened that you stick to a schedule. As the lashes grow longer, the extensions can become heavy on your natural lashes and it can cause breaking. If you decide to commit to extensions, you should plan to stick to a schedule and plan for your refill every 3-4 weeks. You can also have the lashes removed professionally at any time, but you should never try to remove them yourself.
Can you get them wet?
Yes, except for the first 24 hours after application. After 24 hours you can get them wet. You do need to wash them, to keep them clean. Every 2 days I gently rinse them after the shower and I pat them dry with a towel.
Can you wear eye makeup?
Yes, you can. I have had to change the way I apply eye shadow and eyeliner (I barely use eyeliner now!), but you can still wear it. I have noticed that glittery shadows are harder to clean as the glitter can fall on the lashes, but otherwise I wear eyeshadow the same. To remove the eye makeup you need to be gentle on your lids, and cannot rub your eyes. I used to remove my makeup with cotton balls, but cotton balls are not recommended to use on your eyes with extensions as the cotton can get stuck in the lashes. I now douse an oil-free makeup remover over Q-Tips and gently swipe the eyeshadow or liner off, in an upwards motion from the base of my lid with the Q-Tip.
Are they heavy on your eyelids?
Not at all. The lashes are applied directly to your natural lash and they do not touch your eyelids at all! They are lightweight and at times I forget I have them. If you've never had them before, the first few days after the first application you'll feel they are there since you aren't used to it, but they aren't heavy.
Are they good for sensitive eyes?
I read that some people can have an allergy to the glue used, but it is not common. I did not encounter any issues and I have semi-sensitive eyes, with some mascaras and eyeliners giving me allergies in the past. I have experienced no irritation or eye pain as a result of the lashes. However, you should consult with your lash tech if you have super sensitive eyes or have any concerns.
Have you had to change how you wash your face?
Yes, I have, but its nothing drastic. Instead of putting my whole face in the sink to wash my face, I now am a bit more careful about my lashes and I wash my face in sections, to avoid getting my face wash on the lashes.
What happens when you stop using them?
I have not yet taken the extensions off, however, if you are going to a trusted salon, the lashes will be removed with an oil-based cream and your natural lashes should remain unharmed in the process, as long as they were applied correctly.
Photo by Arielle Lewis Studios
In parting words, remember that when committing to extensions, routine upkeep is super important. There will be maintenance like being more delicate with your eye area, not sleeping face-down, using oil-free face products (oil weakens the eyelash glue), and you should not pluck or pick at your lashes. They require upkeep, period.
I’m sure you’re now wondering is it worth it? Yes, to me it is. It saves me a ton of time getting ready in the mornings now, and they make me feel totally put together!
Blonde in the District