12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Eyelash Extensions (2024)

A consultation will also help you determine what to choose for material (most common are silk and faux mink; silk is bit more shiny and pops more, whereas mink is most fluttery and natural), length, and curl type (J is the slightest curve but ends up looking longer; C and D are the most flipped up), as well as how many lashes should be applied. A great lash artist will also mix lengths to give lashes a naturally wispy vibe, Shirai says. “At Blinkbar we use a minimum of four different lengths for every style we offer.”

Stay away from cluster lashes.

If your lashes are sparse, some salons may suggest 3-D lashes, or clusters, which are three hairs glued together, to give your eyes a more voluminous look. Avoid them—they’ll only weigh down your natural lashes and lead to breakage. “You should always have one extension applied to one natural lash, there should be no visible glue, and the extensions should not be touching your lid in any way,” Shirai says. Basically, if they look like falsies, they'll be way too heavy.

You can get more colors than black.

Nowadays, there's tons of different options for eyelash extensions—including pink, green, orange, and blue wisps that won't only elevate your natural eyelashes, but add a fun pop of color to your everyday glam. The possibilities are endless.

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They will feel weird at first.

It takes a day or two to get used to the feeling of wearing extensions, but I found them to be much more comfortable than strip lashes. They'll also mess with the way you normally sleep (unless you're already a back sleeper). “If you sleep on your side and stomach you’re going to crush them and they won’t last as long,” Shin says. “Try using a travel pillow or something that helps to elevate and keep you on your back.”

You might need to adjust your skin care routine…

The general rule of thumb is to avoid anything too oily. I love nothing more than rich face oils, but had to give them up while I had extensions. And if you’re going to apply eye cream, Shin recommends using it in the morning instead of at night so it doesn’t travel into your lashes (skip greasy ones that are packed with mineral oil, Shirai says). Stick to nonoily makeup removers as well: Shin recommends using micellar water with a cotton swab to remove makeup around your eyes (with cotton pads, fibers will stick to your lashes), whereas Shirai prefers presoaked oil-free makeup-removing pads.

…and the way you do your makeup.

While there are some “extension-safe’ mascaras out there, Shin recommends avoiding mascara completely. You just splurged on lashes—don’t jeopardize them! Also stay away from waterproof eye makeup; removing it will take a toll on your eyes and can soften the glue. Shin also recommends avoiding loose powder or glittery eye shadows, which can build up on the roots of your lashes, eventually weakening them and leading to breakage. And if you’re devoted to liner (though you may find you no longer want it), stick to gel and liquid formulas that won’t tug at your roots.

You’ll have to relearn how to wash your face.

There is nothing as jarring as leaning into a sink, washing your face, and accidentally bumping your extensions. It feels incredibly strange and I’ve lost more than a few lashes this way (RIP, lashes!). Here’s the technique that worked for me: Get as low as possible to the sink—I basically stick my head into the bowl—and gently splash water on the bottom of your face and forehead. Then carefully suds up the lower half of your face and forehead, rinsing it clean by lightly dabbing and doing a light, outward pulling motion. After that, I use my ring fingers to wet around my eyes with any leftover cleanser, following with water. No scrubbing.

And give your eyes extra attention.

This is gross, but because you’re not washing your eye area as thoroughly as usual, you can and will get residue buildup, particularly at the lash line. “Even if you don’t put eye makeup on, there’s still outside impurities and dust [that can get trapped],” Shin says. “I mix distilled water with a little bit of tear-free baby shampoo and use the mixture to thoroughly clean my top lids and the bottom of my eyes.”

Like your hair, lashes need to be brushed.

My lashes would get a little wacky when I woke up or after showering. That’s why Shin ends every appointment by handing you a soft pink spoolie and demonstrating how to comb your lashes daily. Here’s how she does it: Looking down, support underneath your lashes with your pointer finger. Then gently twirl the spoolie on the top side of your lashes (the opposite of how you’d apply mascara; brushing that way will tug at the hair). “It takes five seconds out of your day and it goes a long way,” Shin says.

Never—ever!—pick at them.

The only way to remove eyelashes is with a pro—seriously. You’ll end up tearing out or breaking your lashes if you try it yourself, and it’s not worth it. “That doesn't mean you have to remove them; you can also just wear them until they all cycle off,” Shirai says. Typically they last around three to four weeks, but don't be surprised if you find yourself back for refills before then. I told you, they're addicting.

12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Eyelash Extensions (2024)
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