Archive for February 2011

Mascara, false eyelashes — who needs them now that eyelash extensions are available?  I decided to find out.

I admit to being addicted to mascara — it’s definitely one makeup product I can’t live without — so I’ve been curious for some time about what it might be like to have the look of long, dark lashes without needing to apply a mascara product every day.

Eyelash extensions are synthetic, individual “lashes” that are applied to each lash to add length and thickness.  Available in black, brown, and sometimes even fun colors, the lashes come in various sizes to create as dramatic or as natural a look as you desire. Costs for application vary, but for an initial application you should plan to drop between $75-200, with a lower rate for touch-ups.  The extensions, if taken care of, should last as long as a full natural lash cycle, approximately 90 days.  You can swim, shower and sweat in eyelash extensions and they will not move, run, flake, or smudge.

When fellow Chicago makeup artist Kim King offered eyelash extensions, I had to try them.  First, she removed any traces of makeup — any oils or makeup can interfere with the efficacy of the extension glue.  The lower lashes are not given extensions, so to prevent any glue from getting on them, she placed first tape and then a pad on the lower lid.   After having me lie down, she got to work applying the individual lash extensions.  I admit to dozing off while she worked!   The entire process took about an hour.

Care must be taken when eyelashes are first applied — it takes several hours for the glue to dry completely.  Best advice is no makeup, and cleanse your face with towelettes without touching your lids.   Be careful when go to bed that you don’t sleep “on” the lashes by sleeping on your stomach, and don’t rub your eyes.   Within 24 hours after application, you can go back to your normal routine, but there are a few guidelines to keep your lash extensions long-lasting:  if you feel you must use mascara, don’t use an oil-based mascara on the extensions as it will dissolve the glue (I have found that blinc mascara with its polymer “tube” technology doesn’t seem to have a negative effect on the extensions or the glue), and when you remove makeup, use a Q-tip to remove eyeliner with a gentle makeup remover.  Rubbing your eyes/lids are definitely a no-no if you want to keep those extensions looking good for 90 days.

I asked for a more dramatic look for my lashes because I wanted to make sure that it showed up in a photo, which you can see here.  With these extra-long flares I definitely have to wear mascara on my lower lids for balance.  The extensions are light and easy to wear — you don’t even notice or feel them!  I had no problems with irritation during application or since.  Because my natural lashes are blond, the extensions do look a bit “fake” on me when I’m not wearing makeup.  Another comment I must make is that since the extensions are synthetic, they are not as soft as natural lashes, but they don’t feel any stiffer than natural lashes with a couple good coats of mascara on them.

Extensions are great for people with short lashes wanting to add length, or anyone who wants to add some drama to their natural lashes!  Don’t hesitate to try them!!




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  • lilmakeuptips: Thanks for your comment! I got your note on the smoky eye and will do a post on the topic soon!
  • Wicked Red: You look REALLY good in those Lil. Thanks for sharing.
  • lilmakeuptips: Thank you so much Emil! I hope to have a New Year's makeup blog entry posted tomorrow ... maybe even a webcam if I can get it done ...