So you want longer lashes without applying mascara, or false lashes, or waiting for a growth serum to kick in? Thirty years ago, someone would have told you to stop whining and that your requests were insane, but today, it's a possibility thanks to the widely popular beauty treatment that is eyelash extensions.
But no service—no matter how transformative and effective—is perfect. And after having them on-and-off for about a year, I think I've experienced all the eyelash extensions pros and cons. Here, I broke down the bonuses and downsides you need to know about before booking your own appointment.
Eyelash Extension Pros
1. Your makeup routine is cut in half.
"I’ve been told by clients that their morning routine is cut down 20 to 30 minutes because lash extensions alleviate the need for curling their lashes, applying mascara, or wearing eye makeup altogether," says celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes.
I can vouch for the fact that you really don't feel the need to apply eye makeup. The lashes made me look wide awake (even when I was running on three hours of sleep) and took attention away from my dark blue under-eye circles. There were days where I went totally concealer-free—and believe me, that has never happened.
2. They're customizable.
Before application, you should talk to your specialist about how you'd like your eyelashes to look and the main concerns with your natural lashes—i.e. why you booked an appointment in the first place. Do you want length? Volume? Fullness? Is this for a special, once-in-a-lifetime event? Do you want to draw attention to the shape or color of your eyes? Once you've answered those questions, the specialist will help you choose the perfect set for your needs, and one that will enhance your eye shape. So no, you're not going to be walking around with the same eyelashes as your co-worker.
3. No mascara mishaps.
Extensions take mascara smudges, clumps, and flakes totally out of the equation. "No matter how rough your day or night was, you will always wake up looking gorgeous with absolutely no makeup," says Richardson. "Many of our clients have also said that they even see less wrinkles and fine line round their eyes as they aren’t constantly removing their stubborn eye makeup and pulling at the delicate skin around the eye area."
With that being said, taking off your makeup at night instantly becomes easier, too.
VIDEO: 5 Ways to Enhance Your Eyelashes
Eyelash Extension Cons
As with any beauty treatment, whether it's regular manicures or colorist appointments, there's a cost for keeping it up. At Envious Lashes, the pricing of your initial set ranges between $140 and $450, depending on the type of lashes you choose and if a stylist or a master stylist applies them. Touch-ups are recommended about every two to three weeks (three is pushing it, FYI) and start at $140. It's a financial decision you have to be ready to make.
2. There's quite a bit of maintenance.
Obviously, now you know that you'll have to be willing to make trips into the salon every two to three weeks. But, you're also probably trimming time off your morning routine, so it's a give and take. There's also very specific eyelash extension care rules you need to follow to insure the health of your natural lashes, as well as to keep the extensions looking good.
For starters, you can't use an oil-based eye makeup remover—that'll loosen up the glue and cause the extensions to fall out faster. It's also recommended to cleanse them and brush them daily with a little spoolie brush that's usually provided, along with applying a lash conditioner, like the Luxuriating Lash Conditioning Serum. "Gentle for everyday use, the unique formula helps stimulates the growth of hair follicles while strengthening and moisturizing," says Richardson. "It nourishes short, thin, and brittle lashes with the help of its exclusive formula that has been developed with the perfect pH balance to increase the volume of your lashes." This will also keep your eyelashes from sticking together.
You also have to train yourself not to rub your eyes, so if you have allergies and really can't kick this habit, eyelash extensions might not be for you.
When it comes time for eyelash extension removal, or if you really want them off, you will also have to take a trip to the salon for a specialist to remove the extension without harming your natural lash—do NOT try to pull them off yourself.