Mascara works wonders for making you look more awake and bright, but can your favorite formula give you a 16-18mm wispy cat eye? Exactly. Whether you’re tired of swiping mascara through your lashes every day or haven’t quite mastered the art of applying falsies, chances are you’ve toyed with the idea of booking an appointment for lash extensions.
Lash extensions best serve those who love a subtle, dolled-up look for a longer period of time sans any actual effort. While mascaras and false lash strips offer temporary enhancements that can easily be washed off at the end of the day, lash extensions stick around a little longer. They are a lot less time-consuming, especially when you’re in a time crunch. Still, they do require some attention and care. Before you put your delicate eyes in the hands of a stranger, we asked lash expert and founder of Pro Lash, Haley Chipman, all the important questions to cover all bases.
What are eyelash extensions?
Lash extensions are tiny, thin semi-permanent synthetic fibers that are adhered to each of your natural lashes using glue. “There are two main categories of lashes: professional extensions and daily-wear strip lashes. Professional lash extensions take hours to apply and last about two to three weeks. They are beautiful, professionally styled, and look amazing,” Chipman says. “On the other end of the lash spectrum is the daily-wear strip lashes. These take about 10-15 minutes to apply and come off each day. They will work in a pinch but don’t offer the most fun experience for consumers.”
More From ELLE
The fibers used for lash extensions come in varying lengths that are as small as 5mm and can go beyond 18mm for those who desire a more dramatic, voluminous flutter.
Pro Lash offers a collection of DIY lash kits for those looking for an at-home option that “have brought the best parts of the professional lash world and brought it home to beauty lovers everywhere” and can last up to 10 days. “Unlike typical lash extensions, Pro Lash kits use our Pro Lock™ Adhesive system to achieve that 10-plus day wear without any of the negative side effects,” she notes,
What are the benefits of lash extensions?
The best part of getting lash extensions is waking up looking and feeling like a million bucks. “The best part is that you wake up each morning feeling put together and ready to go. I feel like I look 5 years younger when I wear them and just look overall better,” Chipman adds. Plus, having lash extensions means you have more time to focus on other areas of your beauty routine.
What are the common types of lash extension styles and how do you know which one is best for you?
You’ll notice a menu of different lengths and lash styles when booking your appointment. If you’re a beginner, you should opt for a more natural style to get used to the extensions before upgrading to more dramatic styles. “There are different densities that you can choose from ranging from natural (classic) to dramatic (mega volume). Volume lashes are in the middle of the road and are usually the most popular,” Chipman explains. Natural, mascara-style lash lengths typically go up to 12mm, while volume or dramatic lengths can go as high as 18 or 20mm for a falsie look.
What are the side effects?
“If you’ve never experienced eyelash extensions, there’s a slight learning curve in getting used to something on your eyes all the time. When they are applied properly, you shouldn’t feel them at all, as many products on the market today provide flexibility and comfort,” Chipman adds.
How long do they typically last?
Professional lashes can last up to four to six weeks before it’s time for a fill-in. Since your lash extensions will shed as your natural lashes do, refills help to extend the life of the lash extensions.
What does post-care look like?
Since lash extensions adhere with stronger glue than strips, aftercare isn’t too tedious. “When you get them wet make sure that you dry them thoroughly after. Keep oils away from them,” Chipman shares. If you get them wet or want to fluff them out, purchase disposable spoolies to keep your investment as fresh as possible until the next appointment.
What are the typical costs for lash extensions?
The price for lash extensions depends on the professional, the lengths chosen, and any other special add-ons.
Beauty Commerce Editor
Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music). She has a penchant for sneakers and nude lip glosses, and spends way too much time re-watching 90s sitcoms.