It’s long been a celebrity secret. Super long, flirty lashes that defy the boundaries of mascara. But the secret is out of the makeup bag, and semi-permanent eyelash extensions are making a glamorous sweep across the Valley. What do you need to know before you go? Here’s the long and short of it.
Just the Facts
Materials and varieties. Eyelash extensions are made of a pliable synthetic material designed with a natural curve and available in various thicknesses and lengths. Your eyelash specialist will likely choose the size and thickness most appropriate for your facial structure unless you request otherwise. Formaldehyde-free glue is used to adhere each synthetic lash to your own natural lash.
Application process. As the client, your part is easy. Individual extensions are applied to your own clean lashes while you recline on a massage or aesthetics table. The initial application of a full set takes 90 minutes to 2 hours. Touch-ups take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
Wear-time and maintenance. Extensions last 4 to 6 weeks depending on the life cycle of your natural lashes and how well you take care of them. Rubbing your eyes is a no-no as are oily makeup remover, waterproof mascara and glycolic cleansers and eye creams. Use of water-soluble mascara is acceptable and a gentle solution of one part baby shampoo to one part water is recommended to remove eye makeup. Because the average cycle of a natural lash is 90 to 100 days, touch ups are recommended every 2 to 3 weeks to fill in lost lashes.
Important tips. Though extremely safe if properly applied, extensions are not to be taken lightly and must be applied by a trained and certified specialist. When researching where to go, ask your technician what lash product they use and then find out the what training and certifications are required by the company. Lavish Lashes, NovaLash and Xtreme Lashes – popular choices among Valley lash techs – all require that professionals are properly trained before they will sell the products to them. Also, professionals must be licensed by the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology so have no qualms about asking to see a license.
Cost. In the Valley area, full sets average between $200 and $350 depending on where you go and built-in extras like complimentary touch-ups and homecare products. Most places offer package discounts for touch-ups, which run between $65 and $75.
- Be sure your lash technician is properly trained, certified and experienced with the lash products that he or she is using. While most lash manufacturers offer extensive professional training, only a few companies (Lavish Lashes and Xtreme Lashes among them) sell only to professionals who have completed a hands-on training course. Visit the manufacturer Web sites, do your homework and, if you can, get word-of-mouth recommendations before going under the tweezers.
- Wait at least 12 hours (24 hours if you can) after getting your lashes before getting water on them.
- Steer clear of glycolic cleansers and heavy duty eye creams.
- If you must use mascara (most people don’t), stay away from waterproof varieties and oil-based eye-makeup remover. Use water-soluble mascara only on tips and use a gentle, non-oily solution or gel-based cleanser to remove it. Avoid cotton balls and use fingertips instead.
- Treat your lashes gently. Try not to rub your eyes or tug on your lashes. Never use an eyelash curler with lash extensions.
- Limit your time in steam rooms and saunas to short spurts.
- If you decide that eyelash extensions are not for you, have them professionally removed. Most places do not charge for extension removal.