Eyelashes are getting a lot of attention these days, aren’t they? Not only do we have false lashes (strip, individuals), we can add an extension, tint, and even curl our natural lashes. When you think about how small an eyelash actually is, it’s impressive that something so small can be manipulated or altered in so many ways. This post is strictly my opinion and experiences only with eyelash extensions, and it is in no way intended to offend or upset anyone. Please keep in mind that everyone’s personal experiences will vary.
The first time I found out what eyelash extensions were, and was completely blown away. In 2011, I was working on models for a styled shoot for a Milwaukee magazine geared towards brides. I was doing makeup for a spread and the cover, but the models were all set with lash extensions from a local spa the day before. One glance and I was instantly jealous of their fabulousness. The lash technicians even came into the salon I was working at at the time to do touch-ups. They were getting credit for these lashes so I learned that each model had each gotten 3 hours worth of lashes applied the day before. I talked to the spa owner who came in and she mentioned she would even offer an industry discount (10%). The price point was $350 for a full set, and fills were only needed every month. Awesome, I couldn’t wait and went in for my own set of long, fluffy lashes. No shade to the spa (which has been closed for years), but I was definitely led to believe I could get the same result I saw on the models, as I had stated that that is exactly what I wanted, and that is not what I got, for my $300+. The same tech/spa owner spent about half the amount of time on my lashes, and they were very pretty, but I remember the tinge of disappointment I felt. That disappointment became frustration when I realized that there was no chance I’d be able to go 4 weeks without a fill, as I had been told before my appointment. I actually couldn’t go more than 2 weeks. I was working 2 jobs and just barely out of beauty school, so needless to say I couldn’t afford it for very long. At that time, I was paying close to $200 for a fill. That first set was my favorite of all of them but never met my expectations & drained my bank account.
Even after that, I tried it two more times with two different lash artists and never felt any differently about my results. Especially working as a makeup artist, any time someone sits in my chair with eyelash extensions on my heart sinks. I love eyelashes and particularly STRIP eyelashes. When you have extensions that are not dimensional and just look extremely heavy on the eyes. I have yet to see a set of lash extensions that compares to those models I worked on so many years ago. I was looking for a way to not have to apply strip lashes every day. But I felt that the lash extensions always looked too curled and were all the same length, and completely unnatural looking. I have friends who are trained in lash extensions, and I even took a class on it myself. I was excited to do it, but quickly realized how expensive the kit would be and I was not sure I could make it worth my while. It had become slightly less expensive, but was still a significant investment. I decided (finally) that they were not for me and my strips gave me a better result for less money and very little time. For me, the cons outweigh the pros and by quite a lot. So what are the cons of eyelash extensions (that no one tells you)?
-you cannot wear mascara (you really shouldn’t need it all things considered)
-you cannot rub your eyes. this won’t seem like a big deal until you feel the itch..
-be ready to wake up with some of the lash extensions turn/twist upside down
-you have to protect them when showering/washing your face. sometimes it may be suggested that you wear goggles while showering (!)
-natural lashes shed faster than you think which means the extensions will go with them
-once enough of your natural lashes have shed, your lashes will look noticeably uneven
-due to the nature of the service, the area is extremely sensitive and allergic reactions are common (redness, swelling). I know many who have dealt with these types of reactions.
-the maintenance factor is high
-longer, darker, thicker lashes than what you may have been blessed with
-when applied properly, there could be minimal damage to your natural lashes
-great for special occasions
-an alternative to just mascara that you don’t need to learn
I would start by asking yourself how much you can afford to spend (time & money) on your lashes. Are you prepared to go spend 45-60 minutes getting them filled every 2-3 weeks? Are you ready for the adjustments in your routine, meaning actually having to think about your eyelashes? What is your goal in getting them to begin with? Just because my experiences with eyelash extensions have not been desirable does not mean yours won’t be. It is important to do your research, and make sure the person is a licensed practitioner (cosmetologist or esthetician)! Request to see photos of their work, not stock photos which often are strip lashes, check social media to see if they have photos posted, and reviews from other clients. Ask people you know if they have ever gotten them, and most importantly ask the lash technician all the questions you can think of before the service begins.
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