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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

From Ariana Grande to Kylie Jenner, many stylish celebs have been sporting eyelash extensions all over Hollywood. They have become super popular in the past five-ish years and for good reason! You can ask for super glam and dramatic lashes or super natural and light ones. They’re so much more convenient than DIY strip lashes and they’re easy to maintain! For those of you that might be considering your first foray into the world of eyelash extensions, you probably have a ton of questions. Hopefully, I can help you find some answers! Here we go!

What are they?

First of all, eyelash extensions are just that. Extensions. They are not implants or lash replacements if that kind of thing even exists and they are most definitely NOT glued to your eyelid. This means that you need to have naturally existing eyelashes in order to be eligible for this treatment. If you have naturally sparse lashes, extensions may be able to give you more volume and length, but you won’t be able to create new lashes where you don’t already have them.

This is a semi-permanent procedure. The extensions are meant to stay on once they have been applied and there’s no need to remove them in order to get them done again. They will grow out with your real lashes and fall out when your eyelash sheds naturally. However, extensions can also be removed, usually for a fee that can cost up to half of what you paid to apply them.

A licensed technician will select a lash, dip it in glue, and apply it to an individual eyelash. Some less reputable beauticians might do “stacking” which means they apply several false lashes to one single natural lash in order to save time. However, this is not a good practice and will actually cause the extensions to fall out more rapidly. In any case, the process of gluing false lashes to real ones is repeated until your eyelashes look nice and full. This could take up to two hours.

Depending on where you go, some salons will have different types of lashes available. You may be able to customize the material of the false lashes, their curve, the volume, or the length. In this case, I would suggest you do your own research as to what kind of look you prefer and let your technician know before they get started.

Why get them at all?

The number one reason that most people opt for extensions is the convenience. Because they are semi-permanent and don’t need to be bothered with at the end of each day, they can save you a truckload of time and energy! You’ll never have to struggle with a strip lash that keeps falling off or a mascara that smudges EVER AGAIN. They are especially good for situations in which mascara or strip lashes just don’t cut it, such as tropical vacations and camping. In these kinds of situations, you wouldn’t necessarily want to apply makeup, but you might still want to look awake and not be completely bare-faced. Speaking for myself, all the times I have gotten them done previously were for vacations where I knew I’d be frequently swimming and sweating in the heat. I also love the feeling of waking up and knowing that I don’t have to spend an hour doing my makeup in order to be ready for going out.

How long do they last?

If they have been properly applied and you aren’t too rough with them, they can last for up to five weeks but that’s pushing it. Around the three and a half to four week mark, you will probably want to get a fill to maintain the look. But you could also choose to let all of them fall out naturally; there is no obligation to keep getting them done if you only needed them for a one-time event. If you opt for a fill, make sure you go back to the salon with at least half the lashes remaining. Many salons will charge you for a full set if too many lashes have fallen out by the time you re-visit.

How much do they cost?

They can cost anywhere from $60 to upwards of $140 depending on the salon and style of extensions. Of course, like any other cosmetic procedure, you are paying for the quality of service and product you receive. Upscale salons with quality materials will definitely charge you more than someone who does it as a side business out of their home. You should definitely do your own research and go to whoever you feel comfortable with.

Is it painful?

This should be a completely painless process. An experienced beautician will never poke your eye or get glue all over the place. The only times I’ve ever had discomfort is when the protective pads on the under eyes were placed too high and the edge of the pad touched my actual eye. I’ve also had top lashes get stuck to bottom lashes but your technician should be able to separate these without any major issues.

Does it damage your natural lashes?

This is quite possibly the most frequently asked question about eyelash extensions and I have to say that they do not. If you go to an experienced technician and refrain from pulling and rubbing your lashes, there is no reason for you to sustain any permanent damage to your natural lashes just because of the extensions. However, if you are really worried or see some adverse reaction, I would suggest only getting them done every once in a while to give your lashes a break.  

How should you take care of them?

The cardinal rule that most people seem to obey is “Do not get your freshly applied extensions wet for at least 12 hours.” For me, I like to go 24 hours before I submerge them in water to be extra safe. The best case scenario would be where you wash your face before the application, then use a small towel to wash your face the next morning, carefully avoiding the eye area. Your beautician should give you spoolie to take home after the application is finished. You can use this to brush out your extensions since they may get stuck together when wet. Depending on how voluminous the false lashes are, you may even feel the need to brush and blow dry them to help them keep their shape. It is also important to take care when you are applying makeup or sleeping, since you could damage them with an accidental rubbing motion. When sleeping, using an eye mask can help to keep your extensions in tip top shape. While all this might seem like a hassle, being careful doesn’t take that much more effort and it’s a small price to pay when you get to forget about wearing mascara for a month straight.

I hope this answered some of your burning questions about eyelash extensions and now, you get to decide if they are right for you! Please do your own research if you are unsure about any part of the process and speak up if you believe you could be allergic to any of the materials used by your technician. With all that being said, here’s to amazing effortless lashes! Good Luck!


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Cheryl Ng

U Ottawa '20

Cheryl is a third year student at the University of Ottawa studying Political Science and Communication. She is passionate about all kinds of art, but mostly writing and photography. She is an avid traveler and hopes to one day have a career that enables her adventurous spirit! Cheryl est une étudiante en troisième année à l’Université d’Ottawa. Elle étudie la science politique et la communication. Elle aime beaucoup les arts, les écrits et la photographie en particulier. Elle est une voyageuse et voudrait avoir un emploi qui comprend des occasions à voyager tout autour du monde!
Fourth year Criminology student at the University of Ottawa, Leafs fan, makeup lover and Harry Potter enthusiast.