For those of us less-endowed in the lash department (hi, me), extensions are the perfect addition for length and volume. Since we’re the ones in the know (beauty, treatments, memorised food menus), we’re here to answer all your extension queries. After all, it’s nice to know what to expect before heading for an appointment. From taking your lashes on holiday, to finally understanding what a spoolie is, here’s everything you need to know about eyelash extensions.
By Rachel Spedding
1 Can I swim with eyelash extensions?
Sure you can. They’re a much better option than waterproof mascara (flakey, itchy, down right annoying). Your lash extensions are locked in place with a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue. Wave repellant.
2 Can I still wear mascara?
You can wear mascara, but you probably won’t want to – the extensions are pretty fab on their own. If you’re an eyemakeup fiend, or want to add more volume, make sure to use a water-based formula. Be warned – waterproof mascara will cling to your extensions like a needy ex, so will be tricky to remove without sacrificing your falsies. This one’s a goodie if you really want to wear it.
3 What are lash infills?
‘Touch-ups’, applied to keep lashes looking full. As your natural lashes fall out (nothing to fear, it’s their natural cycle), infills will close those gaps. How often you’ll head for a touch up depends on your lash cycle, but typically, every 2-3 weeks. Or wait, and go for a full set around 4-6 weeks.
4 Does the application hurt?
Absolutely not. Properly applied, extensions sit on your natural lashes, not the skin. You’ll barely feel it in fact. Around 90 minutes, lying on a table, eyes closed, soothing music. Sounds like the ultimate evening activity to me.
5 How do I look after them?
Got to look after those lashes to increase longevity. Comb them out regularly; an evening brush-through with a clean spoolie is strangely satisfying, and will keep lashes defined. Be gentle; when removing eye makeup, soak a cotton pad in makeup remover, and lightly press on the eye. Make sure it’s oil-free to avoid breaking down the adhesive (see our pick of the bunch right here).
6 Will they ruin my natural lashes?
If you pull at the extensions (fidgeters, looking at you), then yep, they could potentially break your natural lashes. With proper application, and the right TLC, your extensions will fall out naturally, in cycle with your own lashes. No harm at all. Be warned: extended misuse (e.g. not heading to a professional) can damage lash growth.
7 Can I get a half set? What about the bottom lashes?
Of course you can. Your beautician can apply a lesser number of lashes within your natural lashline for thickness, or just keep the half set to the outer edge of the eye for that cat-eye kinda’ look. As for the lower lashes, it depends on the venue. The process is pretty tricky, so check in advance. Or just go for mascara on the bottom – easy.
8 Can I go on holiday with lash extensions?
Crack the lilo out, because yes you can. Excessive exposure to heat and humidity may lessen the lifespan of your lashes (as it can weaken the adhesive), but only minorly. Also, sun cream is the enemy of extensions – oil is a no-go, and might interfere with the lash glue – so keep it far from your lashes.
9 Can I sleep on them?
Try to sleep on your back, if you can. Lying face-down can mishape the extensions or even tug at the lash line (if you’re a really restless sleeper). Your side is fine, your back is best, but face-down is a no no. No matter how much you enjoy the smell of your deep sleep pillow spray.
10 I wear contact lenses, is that alright?
Yep. You’ll need to take them out to have your extensions applied and removed, but you’re good to go once they’re on! If an extension falls out, and makes its way under your lens (cheeky chop), treat it as you would with a natural lash: take the lens out, remove the extension, clean your lens and pop it back in. Simple.