I’m a bit obsessed with eyelashes (I once told my husband they were one of his best features!). I’m always commenting on other people’s (in a non-creepy way… that’s totally possible, right?!) To explain the slightly strange behaviour, I have very deep set eyes and that means I really need a good coat (or three) of mascara to make me look alive and not like a zombie, hence why I often ask others about their mascara choices. So when my friend Sarah told me she was training to start her own beauticians and needed guinea pigs (ahem, test subjects) to complete her eyelash extension course I jumped at the chance to offer up my lashes as it had always been something I’d considered trying but not got round to doing.
The process took just over two hours and I found it relatively relaxing, although not as much so as one of Sarah’s other friends who fell asleep during her treatment! Sarah told me to make sure that all of my eye makeup was removed before I got to my appointment but she also had a final go when I arrived to make sure that there was absolutely no trace of makeup as any residue can mean that the eyelashes don’t fully bond to your own. I lay down, Sarah switched on some chill out music and she explained how she was selecting the eyelashes to apply (you shouldn’t extend more than three millimetres longer than your natural lash or you may damage them). She put these weird sticky pads on under my eyes, drew sections on the pads of exactly where the different lengths of lashes were going and we were off.
The hardest part for me was keeping my eyes closed under the light, I had one rogue eyelid which kept on flickering and a result the fumes of the glue stung a little at times. A flickery eye is normal and you get used to keeping it closed but it’s funny how easy it sounds to close your eyes but in reality, I didn’t find it that easy! That’s just how my rebel eyelid rolls. I was worried that my new eyelashes would feel heavy or get in the way of my vision (I find both of these things happens when I wear falsies) but once the sticky pads came off and I sat up I couldn’t feel a thing. My eyelashes looked long and natural, as if I was born this way, or had used a really good mascara. And that’s how I’ve looked every morning since, zombified no more!
Here’s my before and after pictures (the first one is before and the second two are after). As you can see there’s nothing too scary, you don’t look like you’re wearing false lashes, they just look better and longer than your own ones.
So would I recommend them? The short answer is yes I would but as with every beauty treatment there’s a few things to consider which it would remiss of me not to mention:
Firstly, there’s the price. There’s plenty of offers on Groupon and other similar sites offering cheap deals but I would always suggest seeing a therapist who you know or who has been recommended to you. It’s a very tricky procedure, you need someone with a steady hand and great attention to detail and if it goes wrong then you risk ruining your natural eyelashes. And you’re letting someone get really close to your eyes so you want to trust them! Eyelash extensions usually cost between £50-100 and they’ll need infills that cost between £30-45 every few weeks in between getting a new set entirely so it’s not a cheap commitment. For a lot of people once they start they won’t be able to stop because the end result is so good. However, for those on a budget, price is definitely something to bear in mind.
Secondly, as with most things there’s some maintenance. When you first have the extensions done you can’t get your eyelashes wet for the next forty eight hours. I actually thought about buying goggles to shower in but I managed without them! Twice a day every day you need to put on a sealant (like a clear mascara) and brush your lashes because they have a tendency to get tangled. For that all you need is a clean dry mascara brush and your therapist will provide this for you too. What has taken me longer is removing my makeup because I usually use an oil based makeup remover and that is a no no. Oil can break down the eyelash glue so the one big thing to remember is to buy a micellular water/remover that is oil free. I also find that the lint in cotton buds/pads can stick to the lashes so I have to be really careful dabbing off any eyeliner close to the lash line and it can take a while to remove it entirely. I could just be being overly cautious and it’s natural to lose up to five lashes a day but I’m trying to be as gentle as possible and that requires a bit more time than I would usually spend on makeup removal.
This leads me on to my third and final point. Do you like to wear a lot of eye makeup? For most people I know I’d say that was a no, I don’t see many people rocking a smokey eye on a daily basis. However, I do, I go pretty heavy on the eye makeup even for work, it’s my thing – we’re talking four different eyeshadows, liquid liner etc. And although your eyelashes aren’t stopping you it’s much harder to fully remove (gel liner is the hardest).
So, for that reason I probably won’t continue to have eyelash extensions as a regular habit. I will miss them so much, I don’t feel like I need to wear any makeup anymore because my lashes make me look so much better. And for me to say that is quite something. However, just because I don’t need to wear makeup doesn’t mean I don’t want to. I’m slightly addicted to my eye makeup and I have so much of it to play with that I think on a regular basis I would miss the freedom of wearing whatever makeup I fancy and not having to be overly gentle in the removal of it. For me it’s a must when I next go on holiday to give that beach babe face without having to do much else. And until then I think I’ll try a lash lift and tint, something I hope might be my holy grail of eyelashes. But for almost everyone else I’d say it’s one of the best treatments they could have. It has made a big difference to my confidence so if you’re curious and haven’t given it a go yet then definitely try it sometime.
* My extensions were free but everything written here is my honest opinion. Sarah’s company is called Sarah Anker and she is planning to offer a whole host of beauty treatments. I’d really recommend her and so if you’re interested in lash extensions or something else then please drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .