About a year ago, I asked my Twitter followers to tell me whether or not lash extensions were worth it. The Poll landed at about 60/40, with most people telling me that extensions were not worth the hassle; even yet, here I am, giving you my thoughts on my experience with eyelash extensions.
My lashes aren’t the worst lashes you’ve ever seen, but they’re definitely not the best. They’re pretty short, not very full, and they have no curve (and even slant downward a little bit). As the summer approached, I thought it would save me a lot of headache to just get extensions instead of having to coat and coat [and coat] mascara on every morning. My eyelashes are very light in color, so to me, I look like a little 9-year-old boy if I leave the house without mascara.
Spoiler alert: now I look 7.
Let’s start with where I went and the price-point we’re looking at.
I work in downtown Savannah, Georgia. If you’re in the area, there are two spas downtown that offer lash services: Milan Day Spa would do a full set of extensions for $225 and would only do fill-ins up to 3 weeks from the full set application date; Spa Bleu, however, priced a full set at $185 and would do fill-ins for up to 6 weeks from the full set application date. I went with Spa Bleu, and by all means, I absolutely loved the experience, all the way from the phone call to schedule it to the free fill-in I received a few days later because their lashes are guaranteed for 7 days. Spa Bleu uses NovaLash extensions, which are the only lash extensions that are water and oil resistant. That’s important, so keep that in your back pocket as we move along.
Upon looking at my natural lashes, the extension specialist recommended that because my lashes were short and more on the sparse side, I would do well with the next the last in both volume and length categories, and frankly, I didn’t even think my lashes would be able to handle that much so I was fine with it.
The full set requires about 2 hours of work. So you lay down on a bed, they play soft music, and they hope that you go to sleep while there’s a giant light and tweezers two inches from your eyeballs. [Not going to happen, but I love the aesthetic.] Over those two hours, they take little pieces of lashes (like one…at a time) and dip it into a tiny little pot of glue and attach the fake strand to one of your natural lash strands, and usually average around 100 per each eye. Around the time I was thinking, “okay I wonder if she’d let me play Netflix on my phone or something…” the esthetician told me she was done.
Before and After Photos:
I absolutely LIVED, BREATHED, DIED, SNEEZED over these lashes. They were EVERYTHING to me. I had never had false lash strips come anywhere close to looking so good on me. I immediately started receiving complements, and I immediately started yanking them off.
It’s not you, it’s me…
I don’t know about you guys, but when you can feel something that isn’t right, you want to remove it – whether it be a hang nail, a zit, whatever. You know what I mean? Eyelash extensions are no different. The little speck of glue isn’t supposed to touch your actual eyelid, so the fake lash is glued a little “up” on the shaft of your natural lash. Therefore, especially if you have weak little lashes like me, they get weighed down. Ultimately, you’re going to have lashes turning, and they’ll requiring a brushing (i.e. taking a bare mascara wand and combing them from the inside) to smooth them all out and make them seamless. However, it seems that no matter how much I combed, blinked, moved, breathed, my lashes wanted to turn upside down and go INTO my eye. Now I spend a lot of time in the car you guys, and on a four-hour trip to see your boyfriend, the last thing you want to do is pull over a random exit and sit in the Wendy’s parking lot for 30 minutes trying to pull out a fake lash while trying to salvage your contact lens with a little spooley. It’s not a good look.
About a week after my first full-set application, there were a few sparse areas (picture below for reference), and I was going on a fun weekend trip so I wanted them to be freshened up. Like I mentioned, I did get a free fill in, which only took about 20 minutes, and they looked good as new. But again, I felt them.
Another week went by, and more lashes fell out throughout the process of everyday life (more on that later…) but this is where things go downhill. Imagine me, mid-week, at my desk. I’m already frustrated with the day, and then I feel an eyelash flip into my eye. I pull out my mirror, get the lash out, and in the process, pluck off my lash extension and my actual lash. So I now have a sparse area in the middle of my right eye. Now I don’t have the time, energy, or will-power to run down to the spa to get a fill in every single week. I officially had to have the “it’s not you, it’s me” talk with the lash extensions, and I pulled every single lash extension off, which in turn, took out every eyelash that it was attached to. (Do not try this at home, kids.) Here’s a picture of what my lashes look like now after this little escapade, and as you’ll see, I’m working with a lot less than I had before.
While that’s not the way to remove eyelash extensions, I know that I am not the type of girl for long heavy fake lashes, and in addition to the reasons above, here’s some of the issues I have with them:
- You cannot control what you do in your sleep. Inevitably, you will roll your face into your pillow. You will crunch your lashes up, and they will turn, and you will wake up with lashes on your pillow and/or on your cheeks. Silk pillow cases will help with this a little bit, but there’s another $20 to your bill.
- Showering/washing your face. You can’t do it. In the shower, you have the dodge the water. Washing your face at the sink? Good luck. You better hope that washcloth of soap doesn’t push a lash into your eye, because you’re in no kind of condition to get it out of there at that point. While the water and oil from cleansers or face serum do not damage NovaLash extensions, the application of products can move them into positions that will cause them to fall out (and potentially take your lash with them).
- Maintenance: you’re going to get sparse areas, and if you’re like me, you’re going to want to get them fixed immediately, and that’s not always available at a quick notice. Even when it is available, if your salon doesn’t guarantee their lashes like Spa Bleu, those fill-in charges are going to add up.
Now I’ve said enough about my awful experience, but if you are going to give them a try, here are a few notes:
- Don’t get them to try to look flawless on your summer vacation. As mentioned above, lash extensions + activity…it just doesn’t work out. I couldn’t even imagine walking into the ocean with them.
- If you’re thinking of getting them for your wedding, I think that’s completely fine. They look amazing in pictures, and won’t have any “adherence” issues like false lashes would. Just be ready for the aftermath of having them removed/taking them off.
- The lash extensions are NOT damaging in and of themselves, but sleeping, showering, pulling, tugging at them IS damaging, so just be mindful of what you’re doing when you have them, so as to not ruin your healthy little lashes underneath.
- DO NOT BUY LASH DEALS ON GROUPON. Lash “clusters” are not the same thing, and they are NOT GOOD FOR YOUR LASHES. Do your research, and if the deal is too good to be true, it is.
- Upon removal, or if you’re like me and you’re dealing with the fact that you now look like a small boy, give your lashes a break and help them. I do the following in order to help my lashes grow back strong: hair, skin, nail vitamins (I average about 5,000 mg of biotin a day); RapidLash lash serum; castor oil; drink a lot of water.
So at the end of it all, I should have listened to my Twitter Poll, but between social media and the increased push to look perfect, lash extensions are everywhere. But ladies, IMO, it’s not worth it. A good mascara and a good face serum can do more work than 200+ fake lash strands ever could. I hope this post gave you guys some helpful tips, whether you’re going forward with the process of extensions or not, and as always, if you have any questions, let me know!