What if there was a beauty trick that made you look and feel pretty even when you’re bloated, hungover, sleep-deprived, and winter white?
And I don’t mean wearing a Beyonce mask. (PS, do they make those?)
I’m talking about lash extensions, which I truly believe is the #1 beauty splurge every woman should try at least once. And if you have naturally long, thick lashes that everyone thinks are fake, please stop reading this, slap yourself for me, and go back to taking selfies.
I get my lashes done at White Salon and Spa, and while they’re long and thick, they still look like they could be natural. And it’s incredible to wake up in the morning and feel feminine and flirty without an ounce of makeup on. Not that I actually am feminine and flirty in the morning (I’m usually a mute/bitch until I get coffee), but I look the part (ish). But by far, the best benefit is NOT WEARING MASCARA. And that means NO TAKING MASCARA OFF, which we all know is the armpit of face cleansing.
Before I get down to the nitty gritty, here’s a before and after shot of my peeper region (and nose sun damage):
(If you prefer video, this gem was shortly after getting a full refill.)
And now, your burning questions…
What the F are lash extensions?
They are individual lashes made from mink, silk, or a synthetic material that attach to each of your lashes with an eye-safe glue. They come in various lengths (and curls!), and you’ll usually get around 80-150 per eye, depending on how many natural lashes you have.
How long does the process last?
A full set takes about two hours. Refills are an hour, give or take. At White, you lay down on a comfy spa bed under fluffy blankets and listen to relaxing tunes (bubbly by request). They have to force me to leave.
How long do they last?
If you take good care of them, the full set should last you a month to six weeks, but you might want to get a refill after three (I get refills every 2.5-3 weeks). They will fall out (still attached) when your natural lashes shed.
How do you take good care of them?
It’s not rocket science; just be conscious of them. Don’t scrub your eyes when you take makeup off—use a Q-tip or cotton pad around that area. But do gently wash the lashes regularly with cleanser so they don’t get gunky (EW!). And you can wear mascara over them, but doing so (and the dreaded mascara removal) is going to cause them to fall out faster. Also, avoid oil in the eye area as that will un-sticky the glue. And honestly, if you’re a chronic eye rubber, lashes may not be your cup of
What do they feel like?
They should feel weightless, like your own lashes. If they don’t, that’s a problem (more on that below).
My eyes are sensitive? Will this turn me blind?
You won’t go blind unless you’re masturbating in a Catholic church whilst getting lash extensions. What? If you’re sensitive, mention that to your technician. The lashes themselves won’t harm sensitive eyes, but sometimes (very rarely), people can be allergic to the glue or the pads that go under your eyes during the process. I have sensitive skin and have never had a problem.
What about swimming/showering/sweating?
You’re advised not to get sweat/water/makeup/semen near the eyes for 24 hours after application. If you need to wear makeup, no biggie—just don’t wear eyeshadow or eyeliner on your lid and remove makeup with a wipe. And actually, I wouldn’t ever get male bodily fluids near lash extensions (we all know what it does to spray tans).
How do I remove them?
Why would you want to!? However, if you’re nearing the end of the road, don’t want to get another refill, and need to nix the stragglers, either go to the salon or use an (eye-safe) oil on your fingertips and lightly twist the lash—it should de-attach without taking your real one off. I don’t know that a lash tech would recommend this, but I did it once and it worked like a charm. For the love of God, don’t take scissors to the area.
Why not Latisse?
I have used a lash growth serum and liked it. But keep in mind, they only lengthen instead of thicken and I have seen girls using Latisse with long-ass, scraggly-thin lashes. Not a good look. (Is scraggly a word?)
Ok, now I’m sold. how much does this shit cost?
For a full, quality set, you’re typically going to pay $200-$500 with refills at $80 and up. White’s prices are listed here, BUT if you book an appointment THIS MONTH (the appointment can be through March), you can snag a full set for $250. Just mention Witty + Pretty. If you think that’s crazy, then they’re obviously not for you, which is fine (and may I recommend this article on the best mascaras?).
And now, five tips to help you BEWARE OF BAD LASHES:
1. If you’re paying $100 or less for a full set, then the lashes, technician, or both are probably shit.
2. If the technician doesn’t prep your eye area first (pads under eyes at least), she doesn’t know what she’s doing.
3. If they take 30 minutes to apply, you got screwed.
4. They should not itch, pull, or feel like they’re sticking together. For reference, these are bad lashes:
5. If it hurts, burns, or you feel something going INTO your eye(s), get the fuck out of there.
For a more in-depth look, check out this video, and feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below. And I can’t stress enough how important it is to go to someone who specializes in lashes, as it’s such a meticulous process that requires a lot of training and experience. So many salons offer the service nowadays, but are doing it with cheap lashes, glues, and inexperienced technicians. If you’re looking for lashes, ask around, read online reviews, make sure the salon is licensed and lash certified, and grill the technician when you get there–someone who’s going to be all up in your eyes for two hours should be able to put you at ease.
All my lash love,
*The top photo shows lashes done by a former White Salon lash tech, Rika Anamayatana of Lash Devil. The middle photo is by Tracy, White’s current lash gal.