Lash Extension FAQs
A few years ago, I attended a beauty trend forecast event during which a magazine editor stated that lash extensions would soon be as ubiquitous as teeth whitening. In the last couple years, I’ve seen a major shift in the procedure’s popularity and questions have morphed from “What mascara is that?” to “Who does your lash extensions?” Accordingly, lash boutiques have spontaneously generated all over New York City and beyond the past few years, expanding from its former life as a costly service you could only get at the highest end of salons. As a four-year devotee, I can tell you that the pricey yet magical service, while lengthy in one shot, will save you an abundance of time in the morning putting on mascara and liner. Imagine a world where you WAKE UP Starbucks ready. It can make you feel as if returning to mascara would be the technological equivalent of eschewing email in favor of carrier pigeons. However, be prepared to be on the receiving end of a metric ton of questions about your lash extensions. There seems to be much mystery as to how it all works, so I’ve compiled a list of LEFAQs (Lash Extension Frequently Asked Questions). Here they are.
1. What kind of mascara are you wearing?
This is not mascara. These are lash extensions.
2. Do you do it yourself every morning? How long does the treatment take?
No, I go once every 4-6 weeks to a lash technician to get them applied. The process takes one to two hours. Your lashes are taped down and a lash tech glues an individual lash to each of your eyelashes so they look thicker, darker, longer and more dense. It yields the effect of liner and mascara.
3. How long does it last?
About 3-6 weeks, depending on where you go. Most places charge less the more often you get touched up.
4. Does it hurt?
It doesn’t hurt, but if your eyes are sensitive, the glue may bother you a bit. Also, it takes about a day to get used to seeing the lashes in your peripheral vision (just a tiny bit), but you get used it.
5. Is there a break-in period? Or can you go do dinner afterwards looking great?
Nope, unless your eyes are sensitive, you can do whatever you need to do right after. One thing to note per Courtney Akai of Courtney Akai Lash Boutique in New York City is that the first few nights when the glue is setting, it’s better to sleep on your back. But be prepared: You’ll be obsessed with checking yourself out in the mirror.
6. Are there different styles of lashes?
Yes, there are “C” curls and “J” curls. The former will yield a more awake, curled lash look. Also, they come in different lengths–I always opt for “11s with 12s on the ends.” This produces a ’60s effect that’s dramatic, but not too drag queeny. I have friends who get “13s” and “14s,” but even that’s a bit much for me–despite my flaming inner gay man.
7. Where do you go?
I go to the aforementioned Courtney Akai,. She’s amazing, but a little pricey. Her prices range from $250-$500, depending on which technician you see. I used to go to JJ Eyelashes (starting at about $120 for a full set) and while they’re decent, Courtney’s quality is MUCH more impressive and her lashes last about twice as long.
8. How much does it cost?
9. What’s happening underneath? Does it break off all your lashes?
If you have your lash extensions reapplied every 4-6 weeks but let them run down to almost nothing, your lashes will be just slightly weaker, but will be back to their full natural glory within a month or so, faster if you use lash serums that promote growth like RapidLash. Says Akai, “As long as you don’t tamper with them (rub, pull, pick or play with them), you’re natural lashes won’t be shorter or weaker. ” Lastly, Akai advises rubbing a small amount of baby oil onto your lashes every few days to keep them looking great for a longer period of time.
10. What’s involved in the procedure? Is it a single strip?
No, they’re individual synthetic lashes (some lash boutiques have mink ones, as well) that are glued carefully to each of your natural lashes, individually.
11. Can you wear mascara? What about shadow and liner?
You can wear mascara, but it’s difficult to remove. Besides, why would you want to when your lashes are already dark, thick and long (the entire point of mascara)? Shadow and liner are fine to wear with extensions–just take it off with Q-tips and eye makeup remover instead of your regularly scheduled wash.
12. What kind of remover should I use?
You want to ensure it doesn’t contain glycol, which, unfortunately, many removers do. Opt for Novalash Glycol-Free Nighttime Conditioner/Cleanser Pads.
Have you tried lash extensions? Do you want to?