I've heard so many horror stories when it comes to eyelash extensions and I feel like I am constantly trying to explain what is normal vs. what is not. So today I would like to set the record straight when it comes to lash extensions and what you can expect if you choose to wear them. Let's be honest, mask life isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so I feel like there has never been a better time to start wearing them. I will explain why when you do your research on where you get them done, that you can feel great about wearing them as well!
Receiving eyelash extensions is a great way to care for yourself on so many levels! For one thing, you are taking a couple of hours out of your busy schedule every 2-3 weeks to prioritize yourself. I love that! Plus, you get to lay down on a comfy lash bed and rest your eyes. Many of my clients enjoy a blissful lash nap while they are having their fills done or if you like to be productive at the same time (like me when I get my fills) then listening to a podcast is also a great way to pass the time. At the end of your session, you can sit up and check yourself out in the mirror, feel confident and look put together with minimal effort for the next several weeks!
Read on for my list of top 5 things you should never experience when wearing eyelash extensions!
5. Your eyes burn when you open them after your appointment
It is not normal for your eyes to burn after receiving lash extensions because it is most likely a simple matter of the lash glue not being fully dry yet. The fumes from the lash glue are still lingering near the eyes and so naturally when you open your eyes, you may feel stinging or burning. The way that this can be easily avoided is by your eyelashes being dried for 1-2 minutes with a fan by your lash technician before opening your eyes. For those people with extremely sensitive eyes there are other measures which can also be implemented to ensure a comfortable lashing experience too. For example, there is a device called a nano-mister which sprays an extremely fine mist of water on the lashes which may help further reduce any irritation to the eyes. Some glues, like the one I choose to work with, can also be washed immediately after working with it. That's right! It is not necessary with every single glue on the market these days to need to wait 24 hours to wet your lashes anymore! This is not the case with every lash glue though and you must follow the directions from your lash tech.
A secondary reason for your eyes burning post lash session could be that the lights are too bright for you after you've opened your eyes! Simply turning the light off may help your eyes to feel better quickly.
Disclaimer: Now for every rule of thumb, there is always another side to the story! If your lash tech has done their due diligence and blow dried your lashes for 1-2 minutes after your treatment and you open your eyes and they still burn, then that is unfortunate of course but additional fanning and turning off the light should help the irritation to quickly subside. Also, it is ALWAYS possible to suddenly become allergic to something. This is a rare occurrence but it is still possible that you may be having an actual allergic reaction and that could be causing the burning on the eyes. If this is the case you would no longer be a candidate for lash extensions and it may be necessary to consult your doctor depending on the severity of the reaction. In this case, you may want to try a Yumi Lash tint and lift as an alternative.
4. You received no aftercare instructions from your lash technician
It still amazes me how many lash techs are not informing their clients about how to take care of their eyelash extensions. I have come across everything from clients who don't know they are supposed to wash their lash extensions to people who think they can't go swimming on their vacation for fear of wetting their lashes, to those who think their extensions are supposed to 'look good' for a couple of months straight. This is not the fault of the client, but that of the technician, for not providing enough information to their client.
Lash extensions are an investment so you really do need to have all of the information when it comes to maintaining them as well as possible. If you receive no information after your first service with a lash technician I would see this as a red flag for other important details being missed.
With this being said, us lash techs are not perfect! We all have busy days where we may have something slip our minds, so please give the benefit of the doubt and ask if you are not sure about how to care for them. Or check out my top maintenance tips for lash extensions!
3. Lashes that are done within one hour (with exceptions)
Now this is a delicate and maybe debatable point and I will explain both sides as best as I can. Typically, receiving a new set of lash extensions within one hour sounds like a major red flag to me. In my professional opinion, someone who is creating a brand new set of lashes for a client in this time frame is likely to be missing a few important steps and is more focused on quantity and speed over precision and results. For example, when I see a new client for the first time, I have them complete a waiver and then I discuss what style of lashes and look they are hoping to achieve. Then, I prep their lashes by washing and drying them, setting up their eyes with under eye pads and mapping out how I am going to create a design that will best suit them. These first steps before I have even applied ONE single lash extension take around 15 minutes.
If we are talking about a lash fill at 2-3 weeks, the process is quicker for sure. However, there is still the prep of cleansing the eyes, setting up the pads and now the step of removing the extensions which have grown out along the natural lashes which must be removed. Again, these steps alone take around 15 minutes leaving roughly 45 minutes to complete a fill of approximately 50% of the extensions. Doable, but only for someone very experienced.
So, when we are talking about creating clean, accurate, artfully designed lash extensions to someone's eyes whether it is a new set or a fill, getting it done within one hour is an extreme time crunch. The industry standard for lash extension application time is around 1.5 - 3 hours depending on the type of extensions you are receiving (classic, hybrid, volume or mega volume).
Why is speed lashing a potential problem? Well, speed lashing may lead to sloppy work which could in turn end up damaging your lashes or even hurting your eyes. The application of eyelash extensions requires attention to detail because each individual natural lash needs to have an extension applied in a way that works best for it. There are different stages of lash growth and depending on the stage of each lash, this will determine how much weight it can bear with an extension. There are also things like how much glue is being applied? Are the extension bases clean so that they won't cause tugging or pulling when you brush them? Is the extension being applied a safe distance away from the skin? etc. Speed lashing can be a huge problem as it may overall compromise the health and safety of the clients eyes.
Disclaimer: I promised to discuss both sides and I absolutely will acknowledge that there are some highly trained, very experienced lash techs out there who can probably complete a very clean, stunning set of extensions in around one hour. I have to give credit to them where it is due because it is something that I think every lash tech would love to be able to achieve eventually in our careers. Note, someone who is this fast and this good will likely be charging a PREMIUM for their work.
So how do you know if your lash tech is straight fire or if this is sloppy speed lashing? I would say, have a good look at their portfolio of work online to see how neat and well done their work looks. After your appointment, take note of how your eyes feel. Do they hurt at all? Do you ever have more than one natural lash get brushed out with an extension stuck to it? Are you able to comb through your extensions without any pulling or the brush getting stuck? Did you receive aftercare instructions? Do your extensions look nice for 2-3 weeks in between your fills? These questions as well as their price point can be good determining factors in what level of workmanship they are providing.
2. Lashes that look WAY too dramatic
It is true that sometimes there is a bit of trial and error when it comes to achieving a style of lash extensions that you really, really love on your eyes. There is no one method or style that will always look good on every person and this is personally why I LOVE doing lash extensions. I am able to customize a look for someone based on their eye shape, how long or thick their natural eyelashes are, the look they are desiring etc. It is truly such an art!
So it is unfortunate that lash extensions get a bad rep sometimes because they can look really dramatic and over the top to some. But remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Trust me when I say that there is an ideal lash extension style out there for everyone who wants to wear them. If you are afraid of having 'crazy' looking lashes applied then please, please make sure you are doing your research first and have thoroughly looked through your lash techs photos to determine that their style is something that suits you. When you arrive for your appointment, be sure to clearly communicate your desired effect and show them pictures (preferably of their work) so they have an idea of what you are wanting but also understand that it may take one or two appointments to completely nail the look you're going for. If you're quite conservative and afraid of having 'too much' then ask them to keep the extensions on the shorter side so that you can build upwards from there.
1. Your lashes have been damaged from wearing lash extensions
Hands down, the worst thing I hear from people who have worn lash extensions is that they have damaged or sometimes even destroyed their natural eyelashes. I'm cringing about it as I write this right now!! This is absolutely devastating to hear, especially as a lash tech who goes above and beyond to ensure the health of my clients lashes and eyes. Under no circumstances should you be experiencing major lash damage and loss from wearing eyelash extensions. When lash extensions are applied carefully by a highly trained technician, lashes should be able to be worn safely and without damage for extended periods of time.
I can say from personal experience that I have been on both sides of this! I had received a very poorly set of lash extensions from someone before I trained as a tech myself. My lashes were glued together in globs and clumps and every single time I blinked my eyes I could feel my lashes being pulled and poking me in my lash line. It was so uncomfortable and painful that I actually ended up pulling out some of my natural lashes just to get it to stop being so irritated! The only reason I did that is because I was traveling and had NO way of going to see someone to have them properly removed. Eventually, I was able to get in to have them removed and it took them hours to remove the layers of thick glue that were all over my lashes. When it was finally all removed, I literally had barely any eyelashes left. There was actually nothing to even put mascara on for months. So believe me, I understand the horror stories out there and I feel your pain if you have experienced anything remotely similar. Good news this is NOT the way it usually goes!
On the complete flip side, I have now been wearing eyelash extensions for three years consistently with a few short breaks here and there, most recently during lockdown for covid-19, with absolutely no damage to my natural lashes. This is the way it SHOULD be folks! Carefully applied lash extensions which are appropriate in weight and length for your natural lashes and when cared for properly should incur no damage to your eyelashes. Extensions are applied to the natural lash, the lash grows with the extension attached to it and falls out when it is ready to shed, a new lash grows in its place and the cycle is repeated every few weeks.
DISCLAIMER: This is a major disclaimer because sometimes lash damage has NOTHING to do with the work your lash tech has done for you. Some people are simply not suited to wearing eyelash extensions and may end up causing a ton of damage by not treating them carefully.
You are probably not an ideal candidate for eyelash extensions if:
- You cannot see yourself upkeeping the daily cleansing and brushing needed to maintain the extensions.
- You are rough on your eyes. Ie. You rub them a lot, like to wash them pretty hard in the shower, you sleep on your face or have very irritated eyes that you are constantly touching.
- You wear a lot of eye makeup. Makeup is a sure fire way to destroy your lash extensions. Sometimes it is not possible to properly remove all the makeup from your extensions which could eventually cause a buildup around the base of your extensions where bacteria can grow. This can cause irritation, lash mites, infection and potentially lash loss.
- Your expectations are too great. If you are desiring a very dramatic, long and thick set of extensions on very sparse natural lashes then eventually you will end up destroying your natural lashes because they won't be able to sustain the weight of the extensions long term which can damage the growth of new lashes.
So there you have it! My top 5 list of thing you should never experience while wearing lash extensions. I hope this was enlightening for you and either helps you feel more comfortable to try lash extensions for the first time or to try them again even if you have experienced one of the above situations in the past. Never fear, there are many incredible lash techs out here!
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