“Many of my clients, friends and acquaintances have shared concerns about eyelash extensions. I’m here to tell you the truth, the do’s and don’ts, calm your worries and bust those myths!”
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
My name is Alexa Barron and I am a certified Eyelash Technician, Permanent Makeup Tattoo Artist and Nail Technician with several years’ experience working in salon studios and independently. I love podcasts, cats and am a wine aficionado. I work with Barbarella Spa in Montreal and my team describes me as “quiet at first but bursting at the seams with energy and the inner confidence of a queen.” My ultimate passion is to enhance people’s natural beauty and to help them feel happy and confident in their skin. I’m so pleased to be sharing everything I know about lashes. Happy reading!
Eyelash extensions are made from fibres, most commonly synthetic, silk and mink, which are professionally applied to each individual natural lash with semi-permanent hypoallergenic glue. They are available in a variety of thickness, flexibility, length and curl. Styles can vary from very natural to extremely dramatic, based on the type and length of lashes used. The condition (length and strength) of your natural lashes is very important, therefore, your Eyelash Technician (AKA Lash Tech) will thoroughly analyze this, to be sure that what’s being applied will hold well and not damage them.
An initial full set of eyelash extensions takes anywhere between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the quantity and condition of your natural lashes as well as the look you are going for. Refills take less time (approx. 1 - 1 1/2 hours) which will depend on your natural lash cycle (typically 6-8 weeks), how well you treat & condition them and how many weeks you wait between refills (recommended every 2-3).
Be sure that the glue used is formaldehyde-free, it’s the safest option. Your eyes are closed during the entire application process, so don’t worry about getting glue in them. Eyes are delicate and can be sensitive, therefore, it’s completely normal to experience a slight burning sensation during application. Be sure to let your Lash Tech know if this sensation becomes in any way uncomfortable.
DO’S & DON’TS
- Talk to your Lash Tech about your concerns and/or special wishes. If you want a specific look and/or to correct & enhance your eye shape (i.e cat / doll), she/he can certainly personalize and design a style for you.
- Ask your Lash Tech when you can wet your lashes, following application (every brand has specific usage guidelines).
- Do not pick or pull at your lash extensions.
- Do not sleep on your face.
- Do not use an eyelash curler.
- Do not apply mascara to your lash extensions.
- Do not use face or eye cleansers that contain oil.
- Gently wash your lashes, with an approved cleanser, at least every second day.
- Apply a lash serum (morning & evening) as recommended by your Lash Tech.
- Be cautious when using eye serum, cream and lotion to keep an appropriate distance from your lashes.
- Avoid saunas, steam rooms and hot yoga (particularly 48 hours after application). These types of environments can affect lash retention. If you have a spa (hot tub), go wild #enjoy.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
As with every aesthetic service, there are the inevitable horror stories and unfortunately, I’ve seen a few up-close and personal. However, the good news is that there are more positives than negatives - hence this growing beauty trend. Prior to committing and investing, please consider and evaluate the following important criteria :
- Research and select a certified and experienced Lash Tech and verify her/his reviews (referrals and/or testimonials).
- Look where she/he works and evaluate the business reputation.
- Do not choose this service based on price or getting a great deal. Remember, you are dealing with your eyes, a very important and sensitive area of your body. You want your Lash Tech to be educated and use high-quality products that are safe and Health Canada authorized.
TOP MYTHS EXPLAINED
1 - EYELASH EXTENSIONS HURT
The furthest thing from the truth. In fact, this is quite disturbing as it suggests that the Lash Tech is not doing a proper job. The application of eyelash extensions should never be painful, quite the opposite - it should be relaxing. Many clients fall asleep during the application process. If you experience pain caused by application, it's probably a sign to find someone new.
2 - NATURAL EYELASHES WILL FALL OUT BECAUSE OF EXTENSIONS
Lash extensions do not cause your natural eyelashes to fall out, nor do they cause you to lose lashes more often or more quickly. Like the hair, we lose eyelashes regularly everyday and we are constantly growing new ones. If you have ever had lash extensions and notice a few on your face in the morning or you feel one getting oddly stuck in your eye… this is because they are “naturally” falling out, with new ones growing in.
3 - NATURAL EYELASHES WILL NEVER GROW BACK
Eyelashes always grow back with a natural cycle of losing and growing new ones. Logically, this is the reason for eyelash extension refills, every few weeks. It’s important to note that everyone's eyelash cycle and retention is different, which means that they fall out and grow at different rates. This is why some require a refill every two weeks, while others will only need it every three weeks.
4 - NATURAL EYELASHES WILL BE THINNER AND SHORTER
As long as the Lash Tech is respecting your natural lashes (not too heavy or too long) with high-quality products, your lashes will not suffer at all. You can stop at any time, by allowing them to grow out naturally or having them professionally removed #noworries. You can go back to your regular mascara routine (or not lol), however, be warned that once you start having professional eyelash extensions it’s hard to live without them.
5 - YOU NEED TO TAKE BREAKS
A personal favourite: “my lashes need to breathe, so I need to take a break”. Again, this is completely untrue because your eyelashes don’t breathe (nor do your nails and hair) #eyeroll. Again, this goes back to choosing a certified and experienced Lash Tech who respects your natural lashes and uses high-quality products that respect the sensitive and delicate eye area.
6 - YOU CAN’T WET YOUR LASH EXTENSIONS
If you have lash extensions you can wet, wash and swim with them. In fact, it’s highly recommended to wash them regularly. By doing so, it maintains their health and appearance (fuller and fluffier). Be sure to use an approved oil-free cleanser, otherwise it will affect and reduce the eyelash longevity (oil breaks down the adhesive which holds the extension to your natural eyelash). You will absolutely love eyelash extensions on vacation, so let the waves smack you in the face.
My personal take-away… your lashes are (will be) your new BFF. But, I think my mom says it best “lashes are the new boobs”!