How to Get Lash Extension

WWD/Steve EichnerWWD/Steve EichnerSophia Panych, Allure magazine

An interview with Courtney Akai, the owner of Courtney Akai Lash Boutique in New York City.

Extensions enhance the thickness and length of your lashes and create the illusion that you're wearing eyeliner. You just can't get the same effect with mascara-and let's face it, you need to be a semipro to apply fake lashes. Here's what you need to know.

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Check the menu. There are several different kinds: mink, which are the most natural looking and also the most expensive; synthetic, which are less expensive; and silk, the newest material, which is soft and lightweight. Tell your technician the look you're after: Length, thickness, and curl are all adjustable.

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Get ready. A lot of people think the extensions are attached between the lashes, but they are actually glued to your own lashes-top only-one by one and placed as close to the root as possible. The appointment can take up to two hours, and you'll need the time. I've had people fall asleep.

Take care. The lashes can bend or get tangled when you sleep on them or rub your eyes, so I show my clients how to comb them with a spooley brush. And ask your technician what products to avoid-certain glues come loose if you use oil-based makeup remover or cleansers.

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Let it be. The extensions fall out one by one as your lashes fall out, which happens naturally every 30 to 60 days. That means your extensions will last for about two months, but you'll need a touch-up every three or four weeks if you want to maintain the look. Sometimes when your lashes grow out, the extensions grow with them, and you have to trim them. Mascara can fill in any sparse areas.

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