Eyelash extensions are a beauty service that is definitely here to stay. This lash enhancing procedure guarantees gorgeous, long lashes that even pass for falsies, and save you the need for mascara.
It is unsurprising that lash extensions are so popular! Long lashes are a common sign of femininity – after all, all it takes to turn a smiley face into a “girl” emoji is a set of eyelashes. The eyes look larger and sultrier when surrounded by long, lush eyelashes.
Are you interested in taking the plunge, and trying out eyelash extensions? It’s probably good to start the process by learning about all of the things involved, from how the procedure is done, to how to choose your own unique eyelash extension style, and to finding the perfect salon and eyelash stylist for you.
Eyelash Extensions Guide: Contents
What Are Eyelash Extensions, Exactly, and How Is It Done?
Eyelash extensions are a procedure, in which tiny strands of hair are attached to one’s natural lashes, making them appear longer, thicker, and much more defined.
Like with any excellent beauty service, this procedure starts with a consultation. The aesthetician or makeup artist will quickly discuss with you how you would like your eyelash extensions to look – you’ll be surprised by how many options there are! What’s you’ve settled on a look, the procedure will start.
Your lash extensions technician will begin by having you lie down. Your lashes and eye area will be cleaned with a special liquid, especially to remove oils. Under-eye pads or stickers will be applied just below your eyes, to protect the under-eye area from glue.
Your lash stylist may also apply a primer to your lashes, to ensure the eyelash extensions adhere well. Then, with a pair of tweezers and a delicate touch, your lash stylist will choose a false eyelash strand, dip it into the glue, and then lay it down on top of your natural eyelashes, as close to the lash line as possible without actually touching the skin.
The lash technician will continue applying lashes of different sizes until the desired look is achieved, and then repeat the process on the other eye.
The complete lash extensions procedure, which is often called a “full set” normally takes between one and two hours. The procedure is not painful at all, and is actually quite pleasant and relaxing. Since the person having their eyelashes extended has to keep their eyes closed for the whole time, it is not uncommon to fall asleep.
At the end, you should wake up with perfectly long and gorgeous eyelashes, and ideally no discomfort or pain.
Types of Eyelash Extension Lashes
There are so many styles of lash extension options you can go for, each coming in a different shape, material, width and length so that everyone finds their perfect match.
Material of Eyelash Extensions
The lashes used for eyelash extensions are usually made of either mink, silk, human hair, or a synthetic material (usually acrylic or polyester).
• Mink and human hair lashes look the most natural, and feel the lightest, but they also happen to be the most expensive choices ($200-$500 for a full set). Much like natural lashes, they tend to lose their curl quickly (especially if they become wet) so they require more styling.
• Faux mink lashes look almost as good as mink eyelash extensions, but they generally cost much less ($150 for a full set), and they hold their curl better.
• Silk eyelash extensions are just one step down from mink and faux-mink lashes. They have a lovely sheen, and are ultra lightweight. Price-wise, they cost less than mink and faux-mink lashes ($100 for a full set), but are more expensive than straight-up synthetic lashes.
They are a great choice if this is your first time having eyelash extensions done, because they won’t break the bank, won’t weigh you down, and they will look fairly natural.
• On the other hand, you should consider the synthetic route if you are going for an extreme look. Synthetic eyelash extensions are thicker and darker than all other options, and they seriously stand out. They are also the cheapest option ($70 for a full set).
The drawback of synthetic lashes is that they tend to be heavy, which does not work for people with little experience with false eyelashes, or sensitive eyes.
Shape of Eyelash Extensions
Eyelash extension lashes are also differentiated by their curl. The false lashes can go from super straight to super curly. The most commonly used way to refer to the curl false lashes have is based on the alphabet, but in an odd way. From least curly to most curly, the letters used are: J, B, C, CC, and D.
L is used to talk about lashes that have an L-shaped lift, rather than a rounded curl. C lashes are by far the most popular choice, because they open up the eye beautifully, without having too extreme of a curl. J and B curls tend to look more natural, while the CC and D curls are more extreme.
Eyelash Extension Length and Width
I think it is easy to assume that the thicker and longer your eyelash extensions are, the more extreme and glamorous they would look, while thinner and shorter lashes look more natural. Shorter and thinner lashes also tend to be more comfortable, because they don’t weigh down on your lid or your natural lashes as much as thick and long ones would.
Eyelash extensions usually range in thickness from 0.10 mm to 0.30 mm. 0.10 lashes are extremely natural, while 0.30 mm lashes really stand out. The sweet spot is usually around a 0.15 mm and 0.25 mm, where the eyelash extensions effect is there without looking over-the-top.
The lengths used for eyelash extensions are between 5 mm and 15 mm. The length that would suit you best totally depends on how large your eyes are, and how much lid space you have. For someone who has eyebrows that naturally sit very low, a shorter lash is better, while if your eyebrows sit very high you can get away with a longer eyelash.
Usually, eyelash stylists will use a few different lengths of false eyelashes to create a more natural, dispersed look. Near the inner corner of the eye, it is always best to keep the lashes the shortest. Different lengths of lashes can be combined in different ways to achieve different effects.
Types of Eyelash Extension Styles
So since there are so many different types of extension lashes to choose from, there are also a ton of different effects that eyelash extensions can create. That is why a consultation with your eyelash stylist is so important – you want to achieve the perfect eyelash look, but you first have to figure out what that means for you.
The most popular looks achieved with eyelash extensions are the following:
Natural Eyelash Extensions
For a natural look, the eyelash extensions technician will not use too many lashes. The lashes will have a medium curve (either J or B lashes), and will likely not be longer than 10mm.
The lashes closer to the tear duct will be the shortest, while along the rest of the lash line they will be a uniform mixture of two lengths. By using lashes of two different lengths all along the lash line, the eyelash extensions will look naturally random. It’ll give your eyes just a bit of a boost, without seeming obvious.
Open Eye Eyelash Extensions
Eye-rounding eyelash extensions can be taken to the extreme, with very long lashes with a C curl, or it can be subtler with shorter lashes and a B curl. Either way, this style is perfect for anyone who wants eyes that look larger and rounder, and an overall cuter look.
The rounded shape is achieved by the stylist using shorter lashes on both ends of the lash line, and longer lashes closer to the center of the lash line. This sort of fan shape of the eyelash extensions makes the eyes appear more rounded.
Bombshell Eyelash Extensions
The classic bombshell eye will make the eyes appear both larger and slightly longer. It is a look that will suit just about anyone.
The bombshell eyelash extensions look is achieved with C or B curl lashes, usually on the longer end, that are applied to the eye in a subtle gradient of short to long. The shortest lashes, as always, are near the tear duct, and they become gradually longer until they reach the outer corner of the eye.
Cat Eye Eyelash Extensions
Cat eye lash extensions are, in a way, a variant on the bombshell look. This look seriously elongates the eye, and gives a sultry effect.
Using B or C curl lashes, the lashes become dramatically longer along the outer half of the lash line, creating a lusty, half-lidded look.
Eyelash Extensions Aftercare
Good aftercare makes the difference between eyelash extensions that last 2 weeks and eyelash extensions that last 6 weeks. With this beauty service, being careful and paying attention is well worth it.
• For the first two hours after getting lash extensions done, do not get your face wet.
• Avoid the pool, sauna, or spa for the first 24 hours after you get your lashes done.
• Always avoid rubbing your eyes or pulling on your lashes.
• If you wear eye makeup, be extremely gentle when removing it. Only use oil-free eye makeup removers.
• If your lashes get tangled, use a spoolie to lightly brush them back into place.
• It is best to avoid mascara, but if you must, use a mascara safe for lash extensions.
• When you do apply mascara, only apply it to the top half of the lash, so as not to disrupt the glue.
• When applying moisturizer or eye cream, be careful not to let it get too close to the lash line.
Costs for a Full Set of Eyelash Extensions and Touch-Ups
As with any beauty service, the costs of eyelash extensions will vary based on how skilled your eyelash stylist is, where their salon is located, and how many individual lashes you would like to have applied. The material you choose for your lashes also has…