Eyelash Extensions 101: What to Expect at the Salon
If you’ve ever imagined appearing well-rested after a night of not-nearly-enough Zzzs, finishing your makeup routine a couple minutes earlier than usual, or simply achieving a more-glam look, you may want to open your eyes to the beauty of lash extensions. Some may argue that lash extensions can be a pricey investment, but we say it’s worth it to look more refreshed and be able to skip the mascara (especially before a big event!). Urla Duncan, president of Winks Eyelash Boutique in Toronto, shared tips in a Q&A format about what to expect before heading to the salon.
Us: How long will my lash extension appointment take?
Urla: Depending on the quantity of lashes applied, an appointment can take anywhere from one hour to two-and-a-half hours.
Us: What are the different types of lashes to choose from, and how do I know which type will suit me best?
Urla: At Winks we carry three different types of lashes: mink (most popular), silk, and polished. Our lashes are listed in the order of shine and softness; our mink lashes have the least amount of shine and are the softest. Individual lashes also come in different lengths, thickness, and curls. The type of lash used for a client will be determined by the quality of the natural lash, i.e., length and thickness. The lash technician will chose the extension that the client’s natural lash can support, as well as analyze the shape of the eyes and face to achieve the desired look. The curl, length, layout, and amount of lashes used all come into play to create the finished set.
Us: Can you share a quick, step-by-step guide of the lash extension process?
Urla: After the consultation and the analyzing of the client’s lashes, this is how the lashes are applied.
1. As client is comfortably lying on [her/his] back, the lashes are brushed and cleaned to remove all makeup residue.
2. The client’s lower lashes are covered with either a medical tape or a gel patch. This is done to prevent the lower lashes from getting in the way of the application and to avoid the lower lashes from sticking to the upper lashes with the adhesive. The upper lid is also taped to immobilize the eyelid and to assist in exposing each individual eyelash.
3. Using special tweezers, the lashes are separated to expose an individual lash extension.
4. The individual lash extension is then swiped through the adhesive.
5. The lash with the adhesive is then gently attached to the natural lash in the desired position.
6. This process is repeated on both eyes to complete the set.
Us: Is the process painful?
Urla: The application is not painful at all. In fact, many clients nap during their service.
Us: What if I wear contact lenses—do I take them out before my appointment?
Urla: Yes, contact lenses should be removed before starting the service. We always have solution and contact lenses cases just in case the client doesn’t have [hers/his].
Us: How long do lash extensions last?
Urla: The extensions can last anywhere from six to eight weeks. As the extensions fall out when your eyelash naturally sheds as part of a hair life cycle, there may be a slight change to how long the extensions last. Different adhesives also have different holds, some are for four weeks to eight weeks, before they break down—this is an important as well in determining how long eyelash extensions last.
Us: Any tips on what I should do to maintain them following the appointment?
Urla: Eyelash extensions are quite low maintenance. We do recommend that the lashes are not touched directly after they are applied. Lashes should also stay dry for 48 hours to ensure the adhesive is completely dry. Direct heat should also be kept away, such as steam rooms and saunas for the first 48 hours. Keep oil away from the lashes, i.e., makeup remover, lotions, etc.
Us: Any other helpful advice you’d like to share or tips to know before heading to the appointment?
Urla: Before coming to an appointment we ask that you do not wear eye makeup, especially waterproof mascara or curl your lashes.