One of my new years resolutions (and life resolutions really) is to always be trying new things! Whether that new thing is something huge or something little, I always want to be challenging and educating myself through new life experiences. I know that as an introvert and a homebody, it can be only too easy for me to stick with what I know and what’s comfortable, so I'm challenging myself to try something new each month. Whether it's beauty, fashion, food, volunteering, work-related, or really just anything in life - it's always fun to try something new!
This month, I am so excited to share my experience with eyelash extensions! I’ve been wanting to try these for quite some time after hearing a lot about them through social media, I finally decided to take the plunge last month before we went on vacation!
Like most asian girls out there, I have stubbornly short, stick-straight lashes. I’ve tried tons of mascaras, lash curlers, and even growth serums but nothing has really worked well enough to make it into my regular make-up routine. I also have monolids (which means that I don’t have a crease in my eyelid) and this causes my eyelids to weigh down my lashes so that they typically point straight down in front of my eyes. As you can imagine, this causes all sorts of make-up headaches with mascara getting into my eyes, not being able to see through my lashes, and smudges all over the place. My current make-up routine pretty much ignores my eyelashes altogether because frankly - they’re just not the worth the trouble!
Enter eyelash extensions. Eyelash extensions are a professional service done by lash technicians where an individual extension is placed on each of your natural lashes to create long, fluttery lashes! Most places say that they last between 4-8 weeks if you take good care of them. From my research online, I’d heard that eyelash extensions were great for vacations and travel, so since we were on our way to the Caribbean, I figured it would be the perfect time to put eyelash extensions to the test. In order to get the full experience, I received a full set of lashes and then went in for a lash fill 4 weeks later.
For my first full set of lashes, the entire process took about an hour. Since it was my first time trying out eyelash extensions, my lash technician chose to go with shorter, more natural looking extensions. In order to keep your bottom lashes out of the way and to help the technician see your lashes better, they place a white sticker-type thing underneath your eyes. The only part of the process that was a little painful was when my lash technician removed the sticker from under my eyes at the end! Other than that, I only felt a little bit of pulling and tugging here and there. It’s definitely a long process and since you have to keep your eyes closed the entire time, it can be easy to fall asleep (guilty)! My 4 week lash fill was a shorter process and took ~45 minutes instead of the full hour. Overall, the process of putting the eyelash extensions in place was pretty non-memorable.
Look: The look of the lashes was definitely what I was most excited about! The first set of lashes I received were almost invisible since they were so hidden by my heavy eyelids. Since the first set of lashes weren’t very noticeable under my lids, I kept make-up super light and wore double eyelid tape to help pull my lids up. This way, the lashes were much more visible. At my 4 week lash fill, I asked for longer extensions and was really impressed by how much the longer lashes opened up my eyes! I didn’t feel like I needed to wear too much additional makeup since the lashes were already adding so much extra dimension to my eyes.
Comfort: This is probably my biggest complaint about the extensions I received. As I mentioned previously, I have monolids and as a result my heavy upper eyelid kept pushing the eyelash extensions down over my eyes. This not only prevented me from being able to see clearly, but also caused several of the eyelashes to stick and lay flat against my eyeball. I also wear contacts so having a giant eyelash glued to my eyeball and my contact lenses? NOT FUN. As I mentioned before, I wore double eyelid tape to help make the eyelashes more visible, but this also helped pull the lashes up out of my eyes!
Durability: Most lash technicians say that the extensions last between 4-6 weeks with good care. Although there is nothing that says you can’t wear makeup with lash extensions, you do have to avoid oil based makeup removers and be much gentler when taking off makeup around the eye area. In my experience, the eyelash extensions only lasted 2 maybe 3 weeks. For both sets of extensions I received, there were only a couple of eyelashes hanging on for dear life by the end of week 2. I wore very limited eye makeup (usually just eyeshadow) with the extensions and tried my best to be careful with removing makeup and drying the lashes but it still wasn’t enough!
My lashes cost $75 for a full set and $55 for the 4 week fill. From what I’ve gathered, this is definitely on the cheaper end as far as eyelash extensions go. The prices vary quite a bit depending on where you get them done and where I’m from, a full set can cost you up to $300!
Overall, my experience was mixed. I think extensions would be perfect for vacations or the summers when you don’t want to worry too much about applying and reapplying makeup in hot weather, but as an everyday thing, I think the cost and maintenance of the lashes is just too much for me. If the lashes really lasted 4-6 weeks at a time, I think I would feel differently but either the lashes I received or simply the shape of my lids really made it so that the lashes only truly lasted 2 weeks. I loved the eyelashes during that 2 week period, but a $75 cost for only 2 weeks of lashes doesn’t really seem worth it to me.
With that being said, a lot of the issues I experienced seemed to be related to the fact that I have monolids. I don’t think everyone will have the same experience since eye shapes and sizes vary quite a bit - but if you have monolids like myself - it’s worth considering whether you want to deal with all of the trouble they can cause!
Have you tried eyelash extensions? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear your thoughts!