Lash Extensions

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My Secret Beauty Weapon: Lash Extensions

OK, here is a confession: I want to look my best at all times with the least amount of effort on my part. I am a lazy beauty girl. I know I am not alone in this sentiment; we all have busy lives; jobs, careers, kids, gluten-free food planning…ugh it can all just be too much.

Enter Lash Extensions.

The first time I saw them on a friend, I flipped. I never thought in a million years I would become a lash extension artist, but I KNEW I would rock a pair of those babies on my eyes. I have to say, when I got my first set of lash extensions, I fell in love. My eyes looked bigger, prettier, and I got my morning beauty routine done as quickly as you can say, “pony tail, lip gloss and SPF.” Yet they made me look polished and pulled together.

Now, after doing lash extensions in Studio City on my clients for over seven years, I have mastered it and have a deep love for the transformative power lashes create. Lashes just make you feel prettier. And prettier equals more energy. Women are just wired this way.

As a lash artist, there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a first-time wearer seeing her new lash extensions for the first time. “Wow, how did I live without them?” And a new lash addict is born.

The idea of waking up with beautifully made-up eyes, no more having to waste time with mascara, which means no more raccoon eyes, is seductive.  Warning though: lashes are not cheap. So here are my tips to finding, getting and loving your lashes:

DO YOUR RESEARCH TO FIND A GOOD ARTIST

I always ask my clients how they heard about me and they say that they googled lash extensions in studio city or found me on yelp. They read the reviews and liked what other people said about my work. Ask, when you see someone’s lashes that you like.

Secondly, have an idea of what you want. Are you looking for a Kim K. look or a soft, natural look? There are different styles of lashes. (The field has exploded and for this article, I am referring to ‘Classic Lashes,” which are a 1:1 lash ratio. That means that one faux lash is glued on top of one natural lash to create a beautiful and full set of lashes.)

Lashes come in three different variables: curl, diameter and length. Just like mascaras focus on different things: volumizing, lengthening and thickening; lash extensions should enhance your face and eye shape. The two most common lash extension shapes are doll and cat eye. Doll shape is a concentration of longer lashes in the center of the eye; making the eye look rounder and bigger. Cat eye is placing the longest lashes places at edge of eye for a sexier, edgier look. Either way, your lash artist should consult with you prior to application so that you achieve the look you want. Ask to see pictures of her work and if possible, bring a picture of what you want.

Applying lash extensions is labor-intensive work. If a lash artist is worth her salt then she is: a licensed Esthetician (important so she knows about proper sanitation and such), has integrity in her application so that she does not damage your natural lashes and applies the lashes correctly, has been properly trained, uses good lashes and glue, and teaches you how to care for your lashes.

Ask around. See who your friends are going to, and what their experience was like. If you go to a “chop shop” or an inexperienced lash stylist, chances are, you’re going to end up with uneven, possibly damaged lashes. Poor lash technique can easily tear out your real lashes, which often times deadens the root and prevents regrowth.

Cost: be prepared to part with some dough. Lashes are not cheap. Let me rephrase that: good lashes are not cheap. And cheap lashes are not good. You get what you pay for. I’m not saying to avoid the coupon deals like Groupon, but be forewarned. If it sounds like a deal that is too good to be, it probably is.

Wait. What are Lash Extensions?

Lash extensions are imitation singular eyelashes, made out of silk, a synthetic mix, faux mink or sable, that are dipped in glue and adhered to your individual lashes one by one.  Silk and mink might sound very luxurious, but all lashes are “synthetic” to some degree. Synthetic extensions are your best bet if you’re a first timer. They hold their shape nicely and are virtually indestructible.

Application of lashes takes me approximately an hour and a half, but I like to book out a whole two hours just to be safe. It is advised not to get jacked up on coffee prior to the service. Most of my clients take a “lash nap” and find the whole process to be very relaxing.

The most important home care tip I can give is to keep your lashes clean! This means that makeup and liner is washed off with a gentle cleanser; (I give all my new clients a goodie bag with a lash cleanser, mascara wand and instructions on home care). Clean lashes will protect your natural lashes and your faux lashes longevity. After cleaning them, dry them with a hair dryer set on low and using cool air.

Stay away from any oil-based products, as they can break down the adhesive. No waterproof mascara, because it’s harder to remove and can easily pull the extensions off and harm your natural lash. Truthfully, you’re not going to need mascara, but if you want to use mascara get one that is specially made for extensions and focus on the tips of the lashes, staying away from the lash line, near where your lashes are glued.

The lash glue adheres the extensions to your lashes permanently, so they shed with the natural growth cycle of your eyelashes, which is about 6-8 weeks. All of your lashes are on a different growth cycle, and everyone sheds differently depending on their lifestyle. It is usually recommended to get your lashes filled every 2-4 weeks.

It’s also recommended that you sleep on your back, to prevent premature lash loss that would come with laying on your side and rubbing your lashes on your pillow. This can be especially challenging but your lashes are worth it.

Overall, you should be careful with your lashes, but learning to be gentle with them will promote a long lash life. I love seeing the smiling faces of my clients when they leave my salon.