Imagine waking up with lashes that looked as if you’d already applied mascara? Except, there’d be no flaking, no running and, best of all, no precious time wasted on removal before bed? Well, for you lash-obsessed chicas, we’ve found the solution. The eyelash extension trend that started up about ten years ago is now everywhere you turn, from celebrities to brides to anyone in between. But, like most beauty treatments, it’s best to have all the information before experimenting so we went to a pro for the full scoop. Here, Francisco Catedral, makeup/lash artist and master trainer for JB Lashes, answers a few key questions.
What are eyelash extensions?
Not to be confused with false lashes or cluster lashes, lash extensions are synthetic pieces that are applied to a client’s natural eyelashes, lash by lash. They are used to create the illusion that they are longer, fuller and thicker—without mascara! The extensions come in different lengths, thicknesses and curls so each client’s service can be customized depending on their lifestyle and personality. Some don’t want to draw a lot of attention to themselves and some can’t get enough.
What can we expect during the application process?
First, I have an initial consultation with the client to discuss what they are looking for in their lashes. Are they looking for ful- on drama? To enhance their eye shape? Or are they just tired of daily mascara application. I also make it clear that the process can take anywhere between 90 minutes to two hours during which they would be required to keep their eyes closed and head still. In fact, 90% of my clients actually find it relaxing and doze off. Before starting, I thoroughly cleanse lashes of oil and dirt as these can interfere with the lash adhesive. I use a lint-free eye patch and bit of surgical tape to keep lower lashes out of the way. Finally, I begin the process of adhering a lash extension to each individual eyelash. You’ll have to come in for fill-ins every two to four weeks depending on your lashes’ hair cycle since the extensions should only fall off as your natural lash sheds. These follow-up appointments should take about 45 minutes. The price varies depending on where you go but the service typically costs $200 for the initial application and around $75 for fill-ins.
How close to a big event should they be applied?
For events, like weddings, I highly suggest the client come in a few days in advance. She needs to make sure there’s no allergic reaction and she should take some time to get used to wearing them. There’s no heaviness involved with extensions, unlike false lash strips that can sometimes feel awkward on your lid. And since you shouldn’t get the eye area wet for 24 hours after they are applied, getting it done a couple days in advance means she can wash her face the day of the event.
Is there any damage to the natural lash?
No, the extensions should not harm your eyelashes. It’s all about making sure your stylist is properly trained through a reputable brand and he or she is a licensed aesthetician. Never trust anyone who got their “training” from YouTube. You need very specific instructions—definitely nothing that can be taught via YouTube. It’s heavily edited and you can miss out on important steps especially when it comes to being clean and sanitary. Aside from making sure you are in a clean environment where cross-contamination isn’t an issue, you should also be aware that extensions shouldn’t be too long or adhered to baby lashes. This places too much strain on them and could lead to damage or premature shedding of natural lashes.
How should we care for our extensions?
Stay away from anything that has heavy oils in them, like makeup with mineral oils, and regular mascara. Since extensions create the illusion that you have mascara on, skipping it shouldn’t be a problem. For clients who feel awkward without mascara or want extra drama, use one that’s made by the lash extension brand. Apply a few swipes to the tips of extensions only, never at the base. And be sure to use oil-free makeup remover. For the first 24 hours, to allow the adhesive to cure properly, don’t do anything that will cause you to perspire: no gym, no sweat, and no hot steam baths. After that, you can do everything as normal
For more information on lash extensions or to email Francisco directly, go to Thelashandbeautystudio.com or follow him on Instagram, @franciscocatedral.