What if there was a beauty trick that made you look and feel pretty even when you’re bloated, hungover, sleep-deprived, and pale AF (because #WinterIsComing)?
And I don’t mean wearing a Beyoncé 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 and go back to taking selfies.
I recently got my lashes done at Buckhead Lash 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 pretty and/or ready for the day (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 facial cleansing.
Before I get down to the nitty gritty, here’s a before and after shot of my peeper region (and nose sun damage FML):
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 80-100+ per eye, depending on how many natural lashes you have.
How long does the process last?
A full set takes about two hours. A relash (or refill) is an hour, give or take. At Buckhead Lash, you lay down on a Tempurpedic bed tucked into a Barefoot Dreams blanket with an (optional) warm neck wrap and listening to relaxing tunes. It’s hands-down the best nap I’ve ever had.
How long do they last?
If you take good care of them, the full set will last you a month, but you will probably want to get a refill after two or three weeks (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. 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/bodily fluids near the eyes for 3 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, the best practice is to go to the salon. But between us (sshh), one time I removed stragglers by putting cleansing oil on my fingertips and lightly twisting the lashes (they de-attached without taking my real lashes off). For the record, lash technicians do NOT recommend this, but it worked for me. For the love of God, never 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 is this gonna cost me?
For a full, quality set, you’re typically going to pay $200-$500 with refills at $80 and up. Buckhead Lash’s prices are listed here, BUT you can get $20 off a full set if you mention me/Witty + Pretty.
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:
And if you watched the last season of Bachelor in Paradise, you saw the worst lash extensions in Bachelor history.
I still have nightmares.
5. If it hurts, burns, or you feel something going INTO your eye(s), get the fuck out of there.
Bottom line, 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,