Statistics by Grand View Research show that by the year 2025, the eyelash extension industry will have a growth rate of about 5.2%. The growth is expected since eyelash extensions are becoming popular among women. Below is the ultimate guide to eyelash extensions and how to make the best out of them.
What are Eyelash Extensions?
Eyelash extensions are silk, mink, or lightweight synthetic lashes applied directly on natural lashes. The extensions are applied using a semi-permanent adhesive by a professional lash artist.
Additionally, the extensions are mostly applied on the top lash line, and they are applied either in “clusters” or “fans” or individually.
When using lash extensions, especially if it’s the first time, you might fear having unnatural results or allergic reactions. This is why it is necessary to consider all the factors before using eyelash extensions to get your desired look.
How Do You Choose The Right Eyelash Extensions?
Eyelash extensions are available in different materials, lengths, volumes, and curls. As mentioned above, it is necessary to pay attention to each of these factors to get the best results.
Mostly, the materials used to make eyelash extensions are silk, mink, synthetic and faux mink.
Your eyelash artist will discuss each of these materials with you and come up with the lashes that are perfectly customized for you.
Other issues that you would need to discuss with the lash artist before the application of extensions are:
Eyelash Extension Length
The lashes could also be too heavy, thus preventing lash follicles from growing healthy lashes. Therefore, when choosing eyelash extensions, the rule of thumb is that the extensions should be at 3mm-5mm longer than your natural lashes.
Moreover, the diameter of the extensions should be as close as possible to the diameter of your natural lashes. The thicker the diameter is than that of your natural lashes, the more drastic the change will be.
So if you want to achieve a dramatic look with long eyelash extensions, go for a thin diameter. This way, you can reduce the weight and achieve balance.
At Lash Lovers, we keep 7mm to 17mm in most curls, with the occasional 5mm to 6mm. We also keep diameter variants between 0.05, 0.07 and 0.15 with the occasional 0.03 and 0.20.
Eyelash Extension Volume
However, every extension is made lighter and thinner than the previous one. The lashes used in this case are extremely lightweight. Therefore, they give darker and softer results without damaging the natural lashes.
Volume lashes are defined by the number of individual lash extensions that are clustered together into a “fan”. Most artists use a Number plus the letter D to show how many lashes are in a fan. 3D for instance would be three individual lashes clustered together to make a fan. 2D-4D give a lighter more natural looking Volume style. 4D to 8D are used when to create a more voluminous and dramatic look. Additionally, they are ideal if you have naturally strong lashes.
At Lash Lovers, our Hybrid and Volume fans are anywhere from 3D to 8D. Our Mega Volumes are 10D to 20D. Naturally the number of lashes you receive is based on the health and length of your natural lashes, and your eye shape. Your stylist will advise on the best choice.
Eyelash Extension Curl Type
The B-curl is the most natural-looking curl. It is mainly suitable if you have straight lashes and requires a little lifting.
The C-curl fits almost all eye types and is thus the most popular curl. If you have thin natural lashes but would love them to appear more open and fuller, go for the C-curl.
D-curl is perfect when you want to achieve a dramatic look. Additionally, it is best if you have naturally curly lashes since it resembles a semicircle.
Finally, the L and L+ curl a flat base and then lifts upwards. Choose this curl if you have single eyelids, hooded eyes, and lashes pointing downward and straight.
At Lash Lovers, we keep B, C and D Curls in stock at all times. CC curls we find are too much for most eye shapes and there is very little demand for the L lashes so we do not stock either of those.
What Factors Should Guide You to Pick the Right Lashes?
It is safe to say that picking the right eyelash extensions among the many available in the market is easier said than done. This is the main reason you should work with an experienced Lash Artist or Lash Stylist. They can help guide you on your lash journey. Other considerations that you need to have in mind for you to choose the perfect eyelash extensions include:
What is Best for Your Eyes?
Therefore, for a stunning and natural look, you’ll need to find out what lash extensions are best for your eyes. These are the things you should consider about your eyes.
The size of your eyes – Are your eyes small, large, or medium?
Orientation of your eyes – They may be wide-set, close-set, or deep-set.
Allergies or sensitivities that you could have on certain materials
Your tolerance for upkeep.
The color of your eye.
Your eye shape – Your eyes could be round, almond, protruding, or downturned.
Your natural lashes – Their length, curl, volume, and color.
The type of your eyelids – Hooded and monolid eyelids will need more consideration than other types of eyelids.
How Dramatic Do You Want to Be?
For example, you may choose to go for the lashes that some movie stars have, which are long and thick. They give you the kind of look that you could never achieve using your natural eyelashes.
On the other hand, you can choose lash extensions that are discreet and blend well with your natural eyelashes. Your friends and family may notice that you are attractive, but it may be hard for them to spot the extensions.
On top of this, your Lash Stylist can guide you to the best lash extension shape for your eyes too. These range from the traditional Round or Natural style to the more custom shapes like Cat-eye or Doll-eye as shown above.
It is always best to listen to your stylist when it comes to deciding your lash style and level of fullness and drama. They want you to be happy and will know from experience how to ensure you leave satisfied. After all, they want you to return for your refill so it is in their best interest to ensure you are very happy with your lashes!
Do You Have Time and Money for Lash Refills?
Natural eyelashes like hairs on your head are shed and re-grown on a regular basis. Your eyelash extensions therefore are only as permanent as your natural lashes. Everyone has different individual lash growth cycles but generally a person can shed 1 to 5 lashes each day or around 20% of a persons natural lashes shed every two weeks. New eyelashes continually grow to replace lashes that fall out and for most of the time, we do not notice the shedding.
When cared for properly, your eyelash extension can last the full length of your natural lash cycle. However, because your individual natural lashes are shed at different times, you will require a refill every two to three weeks ideally to maintain a full appearance.
Therefore, if you cannot do regular maintenance, skip the dramatic eyelash extensions. Nevertheless, regardless of the size of extensions that you pick, you will still need to go for a refill.
How Do You Take Care of Eyelash Extensions?
Considering that eyelash extensions make you pop, it is crucial to take good care of them to make them last longer and get the value of your money.
Aftercare is important for the first 48 hours after the application to allow the glue to cure. Watch out for any sensitivity and itching within the first 24 hours.
In case you experience these signs, you may be allergic to the glue used to set the extensions. Visit your lash professional immediately. Other ways to take care of the eyelash extensions and your natural lashes are:
Avoid Water, Sweat, and Hot Tubs Within the First 48 Hours
Avoiding water, sweat, and hot tubs helps the glue to set perfectly around the extensions. Waiting for this time allows the lashes to last longer.
You can wash the rest of your face but avoid water coming into contact with the eye area. Additionally, avoid steaming your face, washing your hair, and yoga during this time since it is impossible to carry out these activities without interfering with the extension glue.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
This rule applies during the first 48 hours when the glue has not yet set. Rubbing your eyes could also transfer germs to lashes, leading to infections of your eyes.
After 48 hours, it is safe to touch or rub your eyes. However, as long as you have the eyelash extensions on, you should avoid rubbing your eyes as much as possible to help keep the extensions in place.
Avoid Eye Makeup
Using eye makeup in the first 48 hours after application is not advised.
After 48 hours, as the eyelash extensions make your eyes pop, you can skip the eye makeup altogether. But if you must use eye products, go for oil-free makeup and apply light strokes to prevent the lashes from falling off.
Protect Your Lashes in The Shower
Eyelash extensions should not disrupt your shower routine, especially after the first 48 hours.
Unfortunately, if you are not careful, it is possible to ruin the extensions with water. Consider purchasing a Lashbrella Shower Shield from Amazon, which will help avoid water running into your lashes when you shower.
Using a Spoolie Brush
A lash brush or spoolie is a small comb that you use to brush your lashes. You will use it especially in the morning since this is the time when the lashes could be tangled. It is always advisable that you use a spoolie instead of your fingers to help maintain the shape and look of your extensions.
Use of Makeup
As mentioned earlier, stay away from eye products for the first 48 hours after lash application. After this you are free to use any eye makeup, mascara included.
Your makeup should be eyelash extension-friendly and oil-free. Oil can weaken the adhesive bonds holding the extension in place. For example, although mascara is allowed, keep off waterproof mascara. The mascara is stubborn to remove and may weaken the lashes when you’re trying to get them off.
Additionally, it is also advisable that you avoid eyeliner pencil. Most pencils contain oil, and drawing along the lash line may create tension that is likely to weaken the extension glue.
Your lash studio and artist is likely to sell oil-free mascaras and eyeliners so ask your professional for some advice.
How to Clean Your Eyelash Extensions
As advised above, you should avoid cleaning around the lashes for the first 48 hours.
After the glue has cured, proper cleaning of the extensions will help extend their lifetime and prevent possible eye problems.
First, never go to bed with your eye makeup on. Going to bed with your eye makeup puts you at risk of blepharitis. This is a condition caused by the building up of bacteria on your skin.
Since the goal is to keep oil away from the extensions, you should get oil-free removers to get rid of the eye makeup.
You are also advised not to use cotton balls, makeup wipes, or cotton pads to clean the extensions since they can damage them.
Instead, use specifically designed lash extension cleansers that have antimicrobial properties to eliminate the bacteria around the eyes.
There is also a gel-based shampoo that you can use to clean the lashes without rubbing, pulling, or tugging them. Lash experts also recommend it to remove any other residual eye makeup.
What are Eyelash Extension Mites?
The mention of eyelash extension mites is likely to scare you. Unfortunately, more than half the people using eyelash extensions have extension mites.
These are debris that feeds on the oils and debris found around the lash line and lash follicles. The mites are likely to affect you when you go to bed without washing your eye makeup.
After the lash mite gets into the eye follicle, it does not get out. Instead, they multiply in the follicles. When the mites multiply, they might lead to eye problems such as itching, eye redness, swelling, eye infections, and loss of your natural eyelashes.
In addition, if left untreated, the eyelash extension mites can cause other serious eye problems and may affect your sight.
Signs That You Have Eyelash Extension Mites
Constantly feeling like you have something in your eye
Feeling itchy at the lash root, especially when you get out of bed
Chronic redness around the lash area
High natural eyelash loss
Dandruff or the presence of a crust attached to the eyelid
How Can You Prevent Eyelash Extension Mites?
The most common cause for extension mites is failure to remove makeup before bed. Also, others remove the makeup but do not do it thoroughly.
Therefore, set a home care routine to carefully cleanse your eyelashes and remove all eye makeup every night. The routine will help prevent extension mites and eye infections.
Avoid sharing makeup and makeup brushes. Not only does sharing makeup brushes transfer bacteria and impurities to your skin, but it could also cause lash extension mites.
Therefore, always carry with you the brushes and makeup that you may need, and make sure to clean the brushes regularly.
Keep your towels, sheets, and pillowcases clean. Regularly wash them in hot water at least thrice a week.
If you come into contact with someone with the extension mites, avoid sharing bedding with them.
In a gist, always ensure that your eyelash extensions are clean. You will never have to deal with eyelash extension mites.
Do Eyelash Extensions Damage Your Natural Lashes?
Ideally, eyelash extensions are meant to boost the look of your natural lashes. Unfortunately, some wrong eyelash extension practices can make you damage your natural lashes.
Therefore, to protect your natural lashes, consider hiring a Certified Lash Stylist/Technician to professionally apply the extensions. Some of the common mistakes that can lead to the damage of your natural lashes are:
Using Extra-Long Lashes
A professional will advise you that the extensions should not be more than 1 ½ the length of your natural lashes.
If the extensions are heavier than that, they might ruin the roots of your lashes.
Your natural lashes will then start having signs of damage, such as falling out. Heavy extensions will likely cause more harm than good. Instead, choose the super lightweight extensions that help you achieve a dramatic and fuller look while not causing stress on your real eyelashes.
Using Too Much Glue
When too much glue is used it causes more than one natural lash to bond with one eyelash extension.
When this happens, the natural lashes that grows faster will pull out the slow-growing lashes since they are joined together. Before you know it, you are missing some of your natural lashes.
Pulling Out the Eyelash Extensions
The glue works by bonding the eyelash extensions on the natural lashes. This means, if you try to pull out the extensions, you pull out the natural lashes as well.
Therefore, if you no longer want the extensions on your eyes, go to a professional so that they can professionally remove them without damaging the natural lashes.
Do Eyelash Extensions Hurt?
This is a common question when it is your first time to get lash extensions. The application process of the lash extensions determines whether they will hurt.
Additionally, it also matters whether a professional is performing the lash application. Some of the factors that can cause the eyelash extensions to hurt are:
The Eyelash Extensions Touch Your Eyelid
When done correctly, the extensions should not touch your eyelid. However, when they are placed directly against the eyelid, they will poke the eyelid, which will hurt.
In case there is discomfort after application, do not pull out the extensions; it will cause more pain. It is, therefore, advisable that you get a professional to do your extensions and avoid such problems.
Some Glues Have More Fumes Than Others
Some of the chemicals in the glues may affect your eyes. Therefore, let your professional know if you are allergic to any products. Thus, they can choose adhesives that are safe for you.
An Extension Falls in Your Eye
Although this rarely happens, it is a possibility if the person handling your extensions is unqualified.
It is also advisable to avoid rubbing your eyes when you have extensions or sleeping on your face to avoid extensions getting into your eyes.
How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?
If you leave your lash extensions to fall out with your natural lashes, they will last for about eight weeks. However, since the natural lashes do not grow at the same rate, you are likely to have gaps in your eyes after the extensions start falling out.
Therefore, to keep your eyes looking good, go for a lash refill after every two to three weeks.
This will also help the lash artist to examine your eyelash extensions and rule out possible problems. Additionally, it is less time-consuming and less expensive to get a refill than needing to book in for a new full set as you have lost too many lashes to be refilled in the normal 60 to 75 min refill appointments.
Can You Swim with Eyelash Extensions?
It is okay to swim when you have eyelash extensions after the time given to allow the glue to set is over.
However, even after 48 hours, swimming and other sporting activities will naturally take a harder toll on your lashes and you may need more frequent refills.
How Much Do Eyelash Extensions Cost?
The cost of a full set of eyelash extensions ranges can range from $100 to $350 and Lash Refill costs range between $50 and $150 per 60 to 75 minutes. Some of the factors determining the cost are:
Your chosen lash style. Classic Style is cheaper than Volume for instance
The number of lashes used to create certain styles e.g. level of volume
A Lash Artist’s skill level
The salon you visit for your lash application e.g professional salon, a style suite or at-home stylist
Research widely, check out reviews and get the extensions that are within your budget and worth your investment.
Also, many professional salons offer discounted full sets for First-Time Guests and Refill Plans and Memberships that can discount your refills based on you committing to a number of refills per month.
Investing in eyelash extensions will help you achieve classic, natural, dramatic, or fuller lashes effortlessly.
Besides, it saves you time that you spend applying eye makeup. When done correctly, it is possible to keep the extensions looking great for long without damaging your natural lashes.
Visit a certified lash expert and follow the simple care tips for eyelash extensions. You will have a fresh and beautiful look that most eye makeup products will not give.