Getting Eyelash Extensions? What You Should Know

Shannon R., SELF magazine

Women spend millions of dollars each year trying to get longer, lusher, fuller lashes. While mascara may be enough for many, some women just didn't score the genetic jackpot when it comes to long lashes. Eyelash extensions are a viable alternative for getting long lashes, but here some things to know before you go!

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How do eyelash extensions work?

Individual lashes are dipped into a medical-grade adhesive and bonded to your natural eyelash. This process is done one lash at a time, so it can take a while. The adhesive can last about 4-6 weeks depending on how careful you are (the more you rub your eyes, wash your face, etc. the quicker the adhesive will wear off). If you get regular touch-ups (re-application of adhesive) the lashes can last longer. One pretty cool thing about eyelash extensions is that it can be custom to you. You can pick the color, texture and length of the lash, so whether you want a more natural look or an ultra-glam look there is a lash for you!

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What are the downsides?

While this process is generally considered safe, there are some things you should be aware of before you decide to commit to lash extensions.

Cost
- This process is not cheap! You can spend anywhere from $120 to $500 for a set of lashes (I even heard of silk eyelashes for $700 - wow!). You also have to consider the cost of touch-ups (or fills) which can be $40 or $50 per visit.

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Side Effects
- The two main concerns when getting eyelash extensions are reaction to the adhesive and breakage. Some women may experience an allergic reaction or sensitivity to the adhesive used for attaching the lashes, particularly in the eye region which is sensitive to begin with. Be sure to let the aesthetician know in advance if you have concerns about allergies--you may want to request a patch test prior to getting the extensions. Also, frequent extensions could lead to hair breakage (excessive pulling or tugging can damage hair follicles and potentially lead to hair loss).

Other Things to Consider
- How long the adhesive lasts is really dependent on how careful you are with the extensions. Excessive eye rubbing, washing of the face, oil-based makeup removers and mascara can all wear down the adhesive, causing the lashes to fall out more often and requiring more touch-ups.

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Bottom Line

I have to admit that eyelash extensions look great, which is why they are so popular among celebrities! However, given the prohibitive cost they are not a realistic option for everyone. Honestly, you can get some pretty fantastic false lashes these days and with a little practice you can get long, full lashes anytime you want (Of course false lashes only last a day or two!). If you want something more permanent, then you should give eyelash extensions a try. Just be sure to go to a professional and understand the cost and maintenance upfront so know what to expect. Then go ahead and flaunt those fab lashes!


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