August 21, 2015

Lash Extensions: Lessons Learned

My lash extension curiosity piqued about a year and a half ago when I first arrived in Houston, TX. Coming from the northeast, I was used to seeing nail salons in every strip mall, but in Houston, nail salons were replaced with lash studios everywhere you could swipe a credit card. Initially, I was really confused and assumed that all women in Houston must be rocking Everything’s-Bigger-In-Texas lashes, but I soon discovered that the lash extension market was booming here due to the extreme heat and humidity – which makes 99% of mascaras useless and lash extensions the best solution to look fresh-faced and pulled together in this climate. Let’s get into my lash extensions experience – pros and cons, and would I do it again?

Lash Extensions Experience Pros and Cons

Photo:  @KYLIEJENNER / Instagram.com

Lash Extensions Experience Pros and Cons

Many lash extension wearers say their morning routine is drastically cut down and they often don’t need to wear any makeup because the lashes provide a wide-awake and pretty effect on their own. After the initial application, wearers go for ‘fills’ every 2-4 weeks to maintain the look. In theory, this sounds appealing, so I researched a fairly priced, highly rated professional to apply my extensions three weeks ago.

After three weeks of wearing my extensions, I have experienced the highs and lows of lashes and learned five important lessons.

  1. I really enjoy putting on my makeup. 
    As appealing as ‘get up and go’ sounds, I realize how much I enjoy the ‘ritual’ of applying my makeup in the morning. Wearing extensions means I am wearing less eye makeup.
  2. The time I save in the morning is compensated for at night with the tedious makeup removal process.
    This is the most annoying part of lash extensions. At night, I couldn’t just use my oil makeup remover all overmy face and follow-up with a cleanser.

    1. First, I use a makeup wipe to clean my face (avoiding my eyes).
    2. Then I took a small eye makeup remover pad around my eye if I wore any shadow or got foundation around the area.
    3. If I applied waterproof mascara on the bottom lashes (which I usually do), I take a q-tip soaked in remover and gently swipe my lower lash line until the mascara is removed.
    4. Lastly, I take a damp washcloth with a bit of cleanser and wipe my face down – carefully avoiding the lashes.Instead of taking five minutes to remove makeup, this process can take 10-15 minutes.
  3. Showering is complicated.
    Keep a hand towel in the shower to pat your eyes dry. I made the mistake of letting water rinse over my face and the heaviness of the wet lashes was uncomfortable; I could barely open my eyes. I felt like Mr. Snufflupagus. My lashes are not super thick or extreme – the stylist picked a classic look for my initial application – so I can’t imagine wearing thicker or longer extensions. After showering, it’s recommended to blow dry the lashes to help reshape them. Taking a small spoolie brush (provided by my stylist), set the hair dryer on low heat and low-speed and lightly brush through the lashes until dry. Entering week three, enough of the extensions have fallen out and getting my face wet no longer gives that awkward sensation.
  4. Sleeping requires an adjustment.
    It’s recommended to sleep on your back when wearing extensions, which is my idea of hell. I am a stomach sleeper through and through, so this was a challenge. I noticed that in the middle of the night, I roll onto my stomach and now one eye has less extensions than the other (from being squished by the pillow).
  5. Lashes are high maintenance but ideal for low maintenance ladies (or gentlemen).
    After wearing extensions, I think of my friends who don’t wear full faces of makeup, don’t want to sacrifice the extra sleep, but want to feel like they ‘tried.’ Extensions are great for moms on the go, as well, who are struggling with getting any rest. Waking up in the morning and seeing myself sans makeup but with beautifully defined lashes is very feminine.

I don’t see myself getting lash extensions again, but I am glad I learned these lessons and can understand the pros and cons for myself. I hope my experience helps you decide if lash extensions are for you!

-Steffanie

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