Nowadays, it’s more likely than not that the long, lush lashes you’re noticing on gals everywhere are not the real deal. Sorry to spill the beans! Lash extensions have gained massive popularity in the beauty world recently and so, of course, our curiosity on the topic kicked in. We reached out to LA-based professional lash artist Allison O’Connor to give us the scoop on eyelash extensions. So put down the mascara and listen up!
Makeup.com: What exactly are lash extensions?
Allison O’Connor: Lash extensions are applied one by one to your natural lashes to extend, darken and add volume. They will look very similar to your natural lashes, but better!
Makeup.com: What steps should you take before and after having them applied?
O’Connor: Actually, you don't have to do anything! We prefer for you to come to your lash appointment makeup free, and ready to relax. That's about it!
Makeup.com: What’s the difference between full and partial sets? What is the most popular application?
O’Connor: A full set consists of adding an extension to each one of your natural lashes and takes about two hours to apply. A partial set is for those who want a more subtle look or for those who only want lashes on the outer corners of their eyes. This can take an hour or less to apply. The cat eye is quite popular for a polished and chic look!
Makeup.com: What's the difference between silk and mink?
O’Connor: Silk is used for a more dramatic look. The silk lash has a beautiful shine, with a more lightweight feel and darker shading. Mink lashes are actually hollow hairs, so they are the lightest and softest extensions available. They make the lash appear lush and flirty!
Makeup.com: How long do they last?
O’Connor: Medical grade, formaldehyde-free extension glue is meant to last four-to-six weeks. Typically, the natural lash will grow out and shed the extension before the glue gives out. We like to see clients every two-to-three weeks to reapply lashes that have grown out and give the lash line a thorough cleaning.
Makeup.com: Can you wear mascara or eye makeup while you have lash extensions? If so, can you use makeup remover?
O’Connor: You can, but less is best. Mascara that is specifically formulated for lash extensions can be applied to the tips of the extensions. Oil-free eye makeup remover should be used to remove any makeup. Eye shadow and eyeliner can also be applied as long as it is oil-free and removed daily.
Makeup.com: Can you use a lash curler?
O’Connor: No need! The extensions curl on their own.
Makeup.com: Can you do things like go swimming, take a shower or go to the gym?
O’Connor: Yes, you can do all these things, but proceed with caution. It is recommended you wait 24-hours after application before you get the lashes wet, and 48-hours before exposing them to steam or saunas.
Makeup.com: Can extensions cause damage to your natural lashes?
O’Connor: Damage only occurs if the lashes are not applied properly or you pull or tug them out yourself. It's important that you have them applied by a reputable lash artist.
Makeup.com: What are the do’s and don’ts while wearing them?
O’Connor: Only use oil-free products; avoid pulling or tugging; keep the lashes clean and gently comb through them with a spoolie if they crisscross at all. And no waterproof makeup around the eye area!
Makeup.com: How are extensions removed?
O’Connor: They grow out naturally and gradually, but if you decide that you don't want the remaining lashes, see your lash artist for a removal. We will take them off easily without damaging your lashes!
About the Author: Diana creates on-trend beauty content for Makeup.com readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.