Are you guilty of being a lash liability?
It’s no secret that eyelash extensions are becoming ever more popular, with fluttery long lashes a perpetual trend. Extensions provide stunning results, giving your lashes a dramatic lift that is (literally) eye-opening.
Lash extensions are essentially your step-up from strips, providing semi-permanent volume and length that’ll leave your mascara heartbroken while you wonder how you lasted so long without them. Instead of gluing a whole line of falsies to your lid, eyelash technicians will attach the extensions (typically made of mink, silk or fur) to pre-existing lashes, giving you long-lasting lashes so lush you’ll hardly see the need to apply liner or mascara.
But while lash extensions offer an easy way to look primped the moment you wake up, they can also spell disaster for your natural lashes, and your eye health, if you don’t do your research before booking in a treatment.
We spoke to professional eyelash technician and owner of Lashes By Gemma, Gemma Dewhurst, to find out what every lash pro needs you to know before you lose your lash extension virginity…
1. Caring for your lashes may be harder than you think…
It’s important to note that eyelash extensions can be expensive and time-consuming to maintain, but for results this good, it’s well worth the investment and upkeep. You’ll have to be extra careful with your eyes, too, especially just after the application. Try to avoid oil-based cleansers, rubbing your eyes or regularly wetting them is also a no-no if you want your results to last.
To clean your extensions, you really need to use a lash extension foaming cleanser, which is specifically designed to get rid of any nasties (like excess makeup or bacteria) without messing with the adhesive.
“Eyelash extensions are high maintenance! Only get them if you are prepared to look after them correctly,” explains Dewhurst.
2. “Bad aftercare can result in damaged lashes”
Our eyes are very sensitive, and so we need to look after them, and your eyelashes are no exception.
“One of the biggest mistakes my clients make is not cleaning the lash extensions as directed. Lashes, like all areas, collect bacteria and by failing to clean them could result in eye infections,” says Dewhurst.
But before you take to cleansing them, you’ll need to keep your new lashes high and dry for 24-48 hours after the initial application. That means no sweating, swimming or crying. Once the adhesive has dried, make sure you clean your extensions with a gentle-alcohol free cleanser, and avoid using cotton pads or balls, as the fibers can get stuck in your lashes. Instead, opt for a cotton tip.
3. Being a lash lady is no easy business
From the outside, being a lash technician may seem like all glitz and glamour but don’t be fooled. It’s a tough gig, especially when you’re running your own business.
“I have always had a passion for the beauty industry, and I wanted to specialize in a specific area that was unique, and so eyelash extensions were the way to go for me,” explains Dewhurst.
It’s predicted that by 2021, mascara sales would have dropped by four percent, and this is likely due to the high volume of women turning to lash extensions as a semi-permanent means to speed up their beauty routines and boost confidence. Bear in mind that there’s high demand for good technicians, who need to manage the upkeep of clients ever two to three weeks, so they’ve got a lot on their plate.
Keep your lash lady in mind when booking in appointments and be sure to turn up on time. “One of the hardest parts of running my own business is relying on clients to show up on time, but nothing makes me happier than showing my clients the finished look,” emphasizes Dewhurst.
4. Good eyelash extensions are exxy (but totally worth it!)
If you thought eyelash extensions were a one-off expense, think again. A full set will put you back anywhere between $80 to $300, depending on the style of lash, what it’s made out of and which technician you use; and they’ll need to be refilled regularly.
Dewhurst recommends going no more than two to three weeks before visiting your lash specialist for infills, in order to keep your lashes maintained, so be prepared to dig into your pocket regularly. An infill service can cost anywhere from $80 to $150, depending on the style and technician. Waking up with long, fluttery lashes is the dream but do be prepared that it comes with cost and upkeep. You can’t put a price on confidence!
5. It’s a process (and it takes a while)
The average top lash line holds 200 lashes (give or take). When getting eyelash extensions a further 70-150 lashes are attached, and if your technician is good, they’ll be attaching them one at a time.
It obviously takes time for your technician to apply two lids’ worth of lashes, so it’s best to set aside at least an hour or two for your treatment.
If it’s your first time, a stranger with tweezers and glue so close to your eyes might be daunting, but rest assured an expert lash technician will be passionate about giving you those fluttery long lashes you’ve always dreamed of. This is why having a technician you trust (and can make small-talk with) is crucial.
“I love applying lashes,” says Dewhurst.
“The best part of my job is receiving positive feedback from clients and making people feel like their best self.”