Sadly, only a few of us seem to be blessed with thick, luxurious eyelashes – and irritatingly, many of those who do, seem to be men (Zayn Malik, anyone)!
So what are your options if you’d like a bit more volume in the eyelash department?
Well you can invest in a ‘wonder’ mascara, or put on a set of false lashes whenever you venture outside your front door. Or you can look into eyelash extensions.
What Are Eyelash Extensions?
Eyelash extensions are individual eyelashes which are glued on top of your natural eyelashes as opposed to a strip of lashes that are attached to your skin in some way.
They are glued onto your existing eyelashes by hand, which makes them semi-permanent as they will last as long as your natural lashes do.
How Are Eyelash Extensions Applied?
Each individual fake eyelash extension is hand glued onto one of the client’s existing eyelashes.
And yes, it can be a long and boring process!
If you’d like to see the process in action, take a look at this clip.
How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Take?
A full set of eyelash extensions will probably take between 1-3 hours to apply.
There is a bit of leeway depending on how thick your natural lashes are and the finished look that you’re aiming for.
If you decide to have regular maintenance and opt for regular eyelash refills, this will mean shorter, but more frequent, trips to the eyelash salon.
What Are Eyelash Extensions Made Of?
The 3 main materials are mink, silk and synthetic.
Mink Eyelash Extensions
Let me say right off the bat that many so-called mink eyelashes are actually made from synthetic materials as people are (rightly, in my view) far more aware of animal cruelty issues than they once were.
Having said that, back in the day, mink lashes were extremely popular and were harvested from Chinese or Siberian Mink’s tails.
You can still buy them today, but there are plenty of ethical eyelashes on the market should you want the mink effect without the animal welfare concerns. Look for faux mink eyelash extensions if you want the mink-look without the guilty conscience.
Silk Eyelash Extensions
Whilst the packaging may say silk, the chances of your lash extension being natural silk is pretty low. Most silk lash extensions are made from a synthetic silk-like fibre, as genuine silk is too soft to hold that desirable curl that we covet.
Synthetic Eyelash Extensions
As I pointed out above, most mink and silk eyelash extensions are actually synthetic and these days, you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference between synthetic silk or mink eyelashes and real ones, except in terms of them being (arguably) better and coming with less ethical baggage.
How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?
Each eyelash extension is glued directly onto one of your natural eyelashes, so each lash extension will last as long as your natural eyelash.
The natural lifespan of an eyelash is about 6-8 weeks, so that’s how long your extensions can be expected to hang on for.
How Often Do You Need Eyelash Extension Refills?
One solution to your eyelash extensions falling out over time is to keep them topped up with eyelash extension refills.
Most of us don’t suddenly wake up one morning to find all our lash extensions have fallen out overnight. It happens randomly, as our natural lashes complete their growth cycle and are shed.
To stop your lashes from becoming patchy, getting eyelash refills (sometimes called eyelash extension infills) every 2-3 weeks is a great idea.
And booking in for a little light maintenance every few weeks is far more effective (and less arduous) than sitting down with an eyelash technician for hours to get a complete set of lash extensions done!
Do Eyelash Extensions Ruin Your Eyelashes?
There isn’t much research on the effect of lash extensions on the growth and thickness of your natural lashes.
That aside, if you get the procedure done at a reputable eyelash extension salon and your eyelash technician knows what they are doing and uses safe, good quality lashes and glue, then there should be no problems.
Issues that may occur could arise from allergies to the materials used, or the special glue getting on your skin, rather than your lashes – and this shouldn’t happen with an experienced lash technician.
Are Getting Eyelash Extensions Worth It?
If you’re not happy with your own eyelashes, then yes. It is definitely worth trying eyelash extensions.
The modern eyelash extension looks totally natural and because each one is attached straight onto existing lashes, you can have them tailored exactly to your preferences.
In fact, this ability to customise your lash extensions is one of the procedure’s biggest drawcards. Strip eyelashes don’t allow for the patchiness that many people have in their lashes – it’s a one size solves a multitude of problems kind of solution. With lash extensions, you can build up areas where your lashes are more sparse.
How To Remove Eyelash Extensions?
The best way is to go back to the eyelash salon where you had them put on and ask them to remove them professionally.
Remember, they have probably been attached to your lashes with surgical-grade glue, so getting them off can be a challenge.
How To Remove Eyelash Extensions At Home?
If heading back to the eyelash technician isn’t possible there are a number of ways to remove them.
Coconut oil and oil-based cleansers get a good write up.
You can also buy special eyelash extensions remover gel or cream. These work by dissolving the glue that attaches the fake eyelash to your real one.
For more detailed information on how to remove eyelash extensions at home, please see our dedicated article.
How Much Do Eyelash Extensions Cost?
I’ve done a bit of shopping around and have found refills for as little of $59.00. That said, the average price range seems to be from $150-$300 for a complete set of eyelash extensions, applied from scratch.
Of course, it depends on what you want done. If you want volume eyelash extensions you’ll pay more than you would for classic eyelash extensions. Salons may also charge different prices depending on the type of eyelash extension used – silk, faux mink or synthetic.
You can often find good introductory offers on some of the numerous ‘deals’ websites.
Our tip here at eyelash.com.au is to do your research and go somewhere with plenty of independent recommendations. Or see an eyelash professional personally recommended by a friend with great eyelash extensions!