Most women don’t have the time or patience to apply fake eyelashes every day. (We barely have enough time to use an eyelash curler!) So it’s no surprise that lash extensions have become increasingly popular in recent years.
But to what lengths are you willing to go for a sexy flutter like Adele or Katy Perry? Actress Kristin Chenoweth had an allergic reaction to lash glue containing formaldehyde, and she ended up with “eyelid lips.” Ouch!
Feeling a bit apprehensive about trying this beauty treatment? We asked lash expert Courtney Akai to debunk the myths of lash extensions.
What are the most common types of lash extensions?
There are three types of lash extensions: synthetic, silk and mink. Size availability ranges from 6mm to 17mm. Once selected, the lashes are applied one at a time using a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate the eye nor damage the natural lash. However, since allergic reactions are possible, there are different types of glue based on one’s sensitivity.
How long does it take to apply lash extensions?
Applying a full set of lashes takes about two hours, and can be maintained year-round with touch-ups recommended every three to four weeks. A half set of lashes are an economical alternative to achieve a similarly dramatic effect, applied as filler to thicken natural lashes, or applied outward from the eye for a specialized look.
Everyone has different lashes, and depending on the condition of your own natural lashes, lash experts can only go a certain length or thickness. (This is to ensure that your own lashes remain healthy.) For example, if your natural lashes are on the shorter, thinner side, you won’t be able to get a crazy, dramatic Kim Kardashian look, because it won’t last. It’s better to start out with a half set (50 to 60 percent of your top lashes) if you aren’t sure or it’s your first time. It’s easier to add more than to remove lashes!
What happens if glue gets in your eyes?
Since your eyes are shut the whole time lash extensions are being applied, no glue will ever get into your eye. To avoid any irritation, however, the first safety precaution you can take is to be sure that the glue is safe for your eyes and doesn’t contain anything that can harm them, like formaldehyde. Shipping glues across the world often leads to a buildup of formaldehyde by the time they reach the salon.
Additionally, it’s important to understand the difference between an allergic reaction and an infection. A licensed and experienced lash technician will not let an infection occur, but if you’re allergic to the glue, you’re still going to be allergic — this doesn’t mean the glue is inherently harmful.
Can you go blind?
No. Your technician should be trained properly to apply the adhesive and lashes in a way that is completely harmless. Your eyes are closed the entire time of the procedure. No matter how bad an allergic reaction may get, you will never go blind. The worse case scenario is that you need to go to the eye doctor to get specific eye drops to treat an allergic reaction.
What happens when you cry?
If you experience any burning or discomfort during the procedure, causing your eyes to tear or making you cry, this is a huge red flag and you should certainly speak up. You may need to have your technician change the glue. Getting lash extensions should be a completely pain-free experience.
Keep scrolling down for more lash extensions tips.
What are the pros and cons of wearing mink lashes like Beyoncé?
People want all different kinds of looks — some people go for drama, and some opt for something more natural. The benefits of mink lash extensions are that they are more feathery looking and lighter in general, so they put less pressure on your lashes. Mink lashes also come at a higher cost.
How often do you need to get lash extensions redone?
Lash extensions last through a full growth cycle of natural eyelashes, typically six to eight weeks. That said, because each person’s lash growth is somewhat variable (just hair growth), I suggest light lash maintenance every three to four weeks to maintain a full look.