Thinkin’ about trying lash extensions? I did—and here’s the 411

Louis Vuitton - Spring 2012

My eyelashes are naturally super-short and super-straight. If it weren’t for mascara and lash curlers, I don’t think I would ever leave my house (without a pair of sunglasses, at least).

That said, the whole mascara and curling process can take a lot more time and effort than you’d think—definitely more than I’d like to spend in the mornings, anyway. #firstworldproblems, much?

But thanks to the beauty world and its ability to come up with solutions to every beauty woe, we short-/straight-lashed gals need never complain about our less-than-ideal lashes again. With lash extensions becoming more popular, you can wake up with pretty lashes every day (without having to do anything to them, YAY!).

I recently got some lash extensions myself after visiting Good Gosh Beauty (goodgoshbeauty.com) in Toronto and now I understand why they’re becoming, like, the new black. Eyelash-wise, I went from Tilda Swinton

Tilda Swinton SAG Awards 2012 Thinkin about trying lash extensions? I did—and heres the 411

to Mila Kunis

Mila Kunis Golden Globes 2011 Thinkin about trying lash extensions? I did—and heres the 411

Yeah, it was that serious.

Since it was my first time having the procedure done, I definitely had a lot of newb questions regarding the application and after-care process. The lovely Lauren Kurtz of GGB did an amazing job at application and she was kind enough to answer. Here’s how it all goes down:

Lash extensions 101

lash extension application Thinkin about trying lash extensions? I did—and heres the 411

WHAT ARE THEY? Lash extensions extend the length of your lashes (duh) to make them look longer, thicker and fuller. Depending on the look you want, you can have anywhere between 30 to 80 lashes applied (I think I had around 45 to 50 put in). Each individual lash hair is carefully glued to your own natural eyelash using a special lash bonding adhesive. (Many places use real mink hair for the eyelashes,  but GGB uses synthetic—Lauren says they retain their shape better and won’t cause an allergic reaction.)

HOW LONG DOES THE PROCESS TAKE? About 1.5 to 2 hours.

THEN WHAT HAPPENS? It takes about 24 to 48 hours for the adhesive to fully set, so your eyes can’t have any contact with water for that period of time. Washing your eyes/swimming/crying is a HUGE no-no for a couple of days and yes, I know it sounds impossible, but Lauren provides an aftercare kit which actually includes a pair of goggles so you can wash your face/shower/all that good stuff without getting them wet. I swear that will probably be the hardest part of the lash extension process. Once the glue completely sets, you can do whatever you please with your new babies (minus using a lash curler, but you wouldn’t need to anyway—seriously!).

HOW LONG DO THEY LAST? I think the best part about lash extensions is that they last about four to six weeks depending on how well you take care of them. You’ll find they’ll start to fall out after 2.5 weeks due to your natural lash cycle—but of course you can always get them re-done to keep your lashes looking nice and lush. Mine lasted about four weeks before falling out. If you can avoid sleeping on your face and scrubbing or touching your eyes often, they’ll last a bit longer (I have a tendency to sleep on the left side of my face so the lashes started to fall out a lot quicker on that side than the other, ha!).

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS? I was a bit skeptical of lash extensions at first because I didn’t know if there would be any side effects—and by side effects, I mean having all of my lashes fall out. Eeks! Could you blame me? I didn’t want to go from having barely any lashes to beautiful ones to none at all! For those who have the same irrational fears, no worries—this won’t happen, except maybe you’ll experience lush-lash withdrawal later on when they come out!

Still not sold? Here are a couple of sweet alternatives:

Latisse

Latisse Thinkin about trying lash extensions? I did—and heres the 411

If you’d rather grow your lashes naturally (sort of), try looking into Latisse. It’s a topical medication that you apply to the base of your lashes just like eyeliner to help them grow in longer and thicker. Results take about six weeks to take full effect, but aren’t permanent (if you stop using it, they’ll go back to normal), and you’ll need a prescription from your doctor. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Have I mentioned I'm a diehard Latisse convert? DIEHARD. I was scared at first, but my derm reassured me that unless you're putting the stuff IN YOUR EYES—which you won't (duh)—there's virtually no way it'll turn your blue eyes brown. Although I haven't noticed any difference in thickness, it does made my lashes super-long. But not in a crazy fake-looking way. I get compliments on them all the time!]

Peptalash

Peptalash Thinkin about trying lash extensions? I did—and heres the 411

Peptalash from Indeed Labs is the newest over-the-counter eyelash serum on the market, and as the name suggests it uses a combo of three peptides to encourage natural lash growth. Results won’t be as dramatic as with Latisse, but it’s still worth checking out (I haven’t tried it out myself, but the reviews are promising!). There are tons of other over-the-counter options out there, of course. Just remember that compliance, i.e. daily application, is key!

UPDATE: I didn’t get a chance to take any nice before-and-after photos of my lashes right after the procedure (I know, I know… I was too busy enjoying my lashes, okay?) but here are a couple I found on my phone.

This is what my lashes (or lack thereof, really) looked like before:

BEFORE Thinkin about trying lash extensions? I did—and heres the 411

…and after:

AFTER 300x75 Thinkin about trying lash extensions? I did—and heres the 411

Pretty big difference, huh? (I’m not wearing any makeup in either so please disregard my eye bags, eek!)

Jasmine Kabiling is a Toronto-based journalism student. Follow her on Twitter: @orjasmic_.

So…

Ever tried eyelash extensions?
What about Latisse?
Have any over-the-counter alternatives worked to give you lusher lashes?

17 Comments

Nomadic D
Monday, July 23/2012 at 11:05 am

Sounds amazing! I don’t have particularly short lashes, but who wouldn’t want ridiculously long and lush ones?! Still, I don’t know if I’d ever actually do it, any procedure so close to my eyeballs makes me a bit nervous. Same for Latisse, though your gushing recommendation does make it sound pretty appealing…

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

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Laura
Monday, July 23/2012 at 11:08 am

Lash extensions look cool, but they are definitely expensive…. Also, I’ve heard the Peter Thomas Roth lash growth product has the same chemical (in maybe the same concentration? can’t remember) as Latisse.

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Nicole
Monday, July 23/2012 at 11:39 am

Can you post a pic of your lashes? Would love to see the results!

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Elaine R
Monday, July 23/2012 at 11:52 am

I have long lashes, but they are incredibly thin. I got lash extensions for the first time about 6 weeks ago, and I’m hooked! I get the “natural” ones, which don’t give me a lot of length, but tons of volume. I do hot yoga, and this is the best “hey im gorgeous even when I work out” secret. I highly reccommend them. BUT! Make sure you go to a place that uses SINGLE LASHES ONLY. A lot of places use cluster lashes and they will tear your natural lashes out. See the attached album as proof…

http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.251825248216943.55505.163385147060954&type=3

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, July 23/2012 at 1:06 pm

@Nicole – Jasmine didn’t have a pic at the time of writing this post, but JUST found one from her phone! Please see update above!

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jay
Tuesday, July 24/2012 at 2:18 pm

I would like to see your before and after shot… and know if your real lashes fall off with the fake ones as it’s most commonly known to do so

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jay
Tuesday, July 24/2012 at 2:19 pm

oh I see the before and after… lol!

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Jasmine
Tuesday, July 24/2012 at 9:07 pm

@jay — Yup, as my real lashes started to fall out due to their natural growth cycle, the individual false lashes would fall off as well since they were glued to the real ones. It was a gradual process (it wasn’t a chunk of eyelashes falling off at once — more like 3-5 a day, I’d say) so I only started noticing they were becoming more sparse around 3.5-4 weeks in.

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Maria
Wednesday, August 8/2012 at 10:21 pm

There’s the generic brand of Latisse available that you can order online called Careprost. It’s about $10 and definitely worth looking into!

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jamie
Thursday, January 17/2013 at 11:06 am

I have been doing some research, and i think i’m sold… it’s just too bad it’s so expensive! i’ll likely get hooked, and need to do it every month :s

any people who started small and worked their way up? any places specifically that people recommend in toronto?

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Calgary Kat
Friday, March 22/2013 at 2:14 pm

I got my lashes done recently at Danity Lash in Calgary. The service and professionalism was great and my lashes look awesome and more importantly to me, natural looking. Love Love Love them. Definitely A++ on professionalism and quality.

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Bev
Thursday, April 4/2013 at 11:37 am

I just had eyelash extensions for the first time but within a week they all fell out. They did not pull my lashes out, when I looked in a magnifying mirror the extensions seem to be glued half way down my lash and after a few days started to “jack knife” splitting in a different direction then falling off. I ended up with 2 long lashes in a clump on one eye and one on the other looking ridiculous. Is this normal or did I just get unlucky with a bad salon choice? I am getting married in 7 weeks and was hoping to have them done again but now I am put off.

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Jasmine
Thursday, April 4/2013 at 3:03 pm

@Bev: Ah, unfortunately I think you may have just gotten unlucky with a bad salon choice :( Lauren from GGB told me that there are people out there who aren’t trained/licensed to do lash extensions and don’t apply them properly. She said she gets a number of clients whose lash extensions she ends up having to fix.

If your lash extensions seem to be glued halfway down your lash, it’s either they didn’t put them on properly in the first place or your perhaps eyelashes have a really fast growth cycle (maybe the latter, though). Anyways, don’t be put off! Do a bit of research in your area and ask around before getting them done again. They’re definitely great to have and actually last long when done properly!

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Holly
Friday, April 25/2014 at 2:03 pm

You went to a bad place! I had them done at a good place and within three days they all fell out!!! They were trying out a new glue. They redid them for free and they have lasted for about two weeks now. Today infact I ended up pulling them all out, I do not like the synthetic ones! I would try the mink, that is what I am doing next. The synthetic look good and give your eyes a deep full look but they are heavy and they hurt bad if one gets in your eye. It is like a a really fine price tag type plastic. Try another salon and get the mink it is worth it. Plus the mink last longer because they are lighter in weight.

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Rere
Tuesday, April 23/2013 at 11:48 pm

I think I am suffering from Lush-lash- withdrawal, LOL. I had my did in Houston Tx about 4 weeks ago, and now I am back at home in Jackson, Ms. In Houston they were 40$!(had to go to the hood though, but it wasn’t that bad). They lasted 4 weeks and some are still there because I can’t stand to see myself without them. Jackson is so slow on everything so the eyelash etension here are still 250$, so I am gonna travel to Memphis or the Coast for cheaper prices and better lashes

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Tonya
Saturday, June 8/2013 at 3:05 pm

Are some adhesives better or have nutrients for lash growth? Are some adhesives made of cheap ingredients and cause lash breakage? My lashes are very short and fine/weak now. I’ve worn individual lashes for 8 months now.

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felicia
Thursday, December 26/2013 at 4:55 am

I’ve had the extentions done a few times and they look great but I don’t like feeling like I have to be careful washing my face . And the glue gets a bit annoying after a few days I end up playing and picking them until I’m making some fall out. I can’t seem to make them last much longer than a week… Sighh they do look great tho I’m sure I’ll get them again next week.

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