Above: result after my second experience getting the eyelashes done.
What are they?
Eyelash extensions basically involve grafting the extension or “fake eyelash” onto each individual eyelash. Whilst traditional strip-falsies sit on top of your eyelashes and are glued on to the base of your eyelid and not the hair itself, eyelash extensions are bonded to the actual eyelashes.
How long do they last?
These are generally designed to last 4-8 weeks, depending on your day-to-day activities and how well they are maintained. Everyone’s eyelashes follow a natural life-cycle and are prone to falling off eventually and growing back. As the extensions are glued to your eyelashes, they will come off with them when your eyelashes naturally fall off. I didn’t experience any eyelash extensions falling out on their own, nor did I find that they made my eyelashes fall out more than usual.
In the first two to two-and-a-half weeks of getting them done, I was travelling around in the U.S. in their Winter, and they managed to survive pretty well through the gusty winds of San Francisco! The following two weeks I was in Japan and Hong Kong, and it was only around the 4-week mark did I start to notice some gaps here and there. I think it was only after 6 weeks that the “bald spots” were getting much more noticeable and I wanted to actually start pulling them out so I wouldn’t have a few random long eyelashes here and there. It was a lot harder to pull out than I thought, and I ended up just giving up because I didn’t want to pull out my actual eyelash. At this stage, I went back to using mascara and my eyelash curler as I wasn’t too worried about being careful with them.
If you decide on going back after 4-6 weeks to get them redone, rather than just filling in the gaps, they will actually remove the ones you currently have and start over. This is because those that are still in are likely to fall off within the next couple of weeks.
Does it hurt?
So, I’m a big baby and the whole process was rather unexpected and slightly daunting during my first experience as I hadn’t done any research on this. My mum sort of just told me about it and I thought it was cool and decided to get it done with her.
The first step is to clean the eye area and remove any makeup (much easier and quicker if you go bare-faced). The second step freaked me out. In order to see your eyelashes for more accurate grafting of the extensions, tape is placed right under your eyes, pretty much as close to the base of your bottom eyelashes. I can’t stand having things go near my eyes, which is why I can’t use eye drops and will probably never wear contacts. I had to keep my eyes open and looking up while she placed the tape under my eyes and all I could focus on was how terrified I probably looked and how watery my eyes were getting. Of course, if you have no issues with all this, this is probably nothing to you and you’re probably laughing at me right now. The last step is basically to close your eyes and let the beautician work their magic. This process takes about 1-2 hours depending, so bring some music to listen to. Fairly sure I fell asleep for about half of it. The only part that hurt here was when the end of the extension started poking my eyelid as she was trying to get it as close to the base as she could. Because it’s so fine at the end, it kind of feels like mini needles pricking your eyelids.
The eyelash extensions themselves don’t hurt once they are on, and if done properly, you shouldn’t be able to see or feel them.
Above: New York bagel nomming last year after I got them done for the first time.
They save a lot of time! If you’re like me and find yourself rushing to get ready every morning, you will be thankful for these. Eyelash extensions eliminate the need for mascara and curling and still help you look put-together without anything else on. This was amazing for when I was travelling! They also work out to be cheaper on a per-day basis than if you were to wear falsies a lot. The best thing about them is that they can look super natural, making it appropriate for all types of events.
It’s not exactly inexpensive to get them done, but it really depends if you feel that the value is worth it. If you worry about time/convenience, or if you wear falsies a lot, or if you tend to splurge on high-end mascaras, I’d recommend giving this a try. One thing to note, is that you have to be vary careful when removing any eye makeup. It is also very easy to forget when you first get them done to not rub your eyes.
Where can I get them done?
There’s many places you can go that offer this service and there’s a fair few that come up easily on Google. I have got them done twice now at my usual hairdressers, as it is more convenient whilst you’re there or if you have to time to kill waiting for your hair to be done.