The majority of women don’t have the time, patience or indeed skill to apply strip lashes every day so its little surprise that individual lash extensions have become increasingly popular in recent years. But to what lengths are you willing to go to for a sexy flutter like Adele or Katy Perry? Allergic reactions to formaldehyde found in some lash glues can occur which can be painful and cause swelling to the eyelids. The eyes are also a perfect entry point for chemicals, due to the mucous membranes, to be passed around the body so its imperative that you do your research to find a reputable salon before booking your lash appointment. Feeling a bit apprehensive about trying this beauty treatment? Here is my advice and a bit of a FAQ session.
What are the most common types of individual lash extensions?
There are three types of individual lashes: synthetic, silk and mink. Sizes range from 6mm to 18mm. Once selected, the lashes are applied one at a time using a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate the eye nor damage the natural lash. However, since allergic reactions are possible, there are different types of glue based on one’s sensitivity. My advice find a salon or professional who insists on a patch test 48 hours in advance to rule out the possibility of a nasty reaction. After all, no one wants to look like they have done ten rounds with Mike Tyson!
How long does it take to apply lash extensions?
Applying a full set of lashes takes about two hours, sometimes longer depending on the effect required and can be maintained year-round with in-fills recommended every three to four weeks. A half set of lashes are an economical alternative to achieve a similarly dramatic effect, applied as filler to thicken natural lashes, or applied from the outer corner towards the middle of the eye for an eye opening and flirty look.
Everyone's lashes are different, and depending on the condition of your own natural lashes, lash experts can only go a certain length or thickness. Generally, this is one third longer than your natural lash. (This is to ensure that your own lashes remain healthy.) For example, if your natural lashes are on the shorter, thinner side, you won’t be able to get a dramatic Katie Price look because it won’t last. It’s better to start out with a half set (50 to 60 percent of your top lashes) particularly if you aren’t sure or it’s your first time. It’s easier to add more than to remove lashes!
What happens if glue gets in your eyes?
As your eyes are closed for the whole application time, it is highly unlikely glue will get into your eye. To avoid any irritation, however, the first safety precaution you can take is to be sure that the glue is safe for your eyes and doesn’t contain anything that can harm them, like formaldehyde. Hollywood Lashes licensed lash technicians use a formaldehyde free glue that is a medical grade formulation and therefore supremely safe.
In addition, it’s important to understand the difference between an allergic reaction and an infection. A licensed and experienced lash technician will prevent infection by working in a clean and safe way (confirming to health and safety regulations) but if you are allergic to other adhesives, you will still likely be allergic.
Can you go blind?
Not at all provided your technician is trained properly and holds an accredited certificate in lash application. Your eyes are closed throughout the lash application treatment an no matter how bad an allergic reaction may develop, you will not go blind. The worse case scenario being that you may need to go to a doctor to get specific eye drops to treat the allergic reaction.
What happens when your eyes water?
If you experience any burning or discomfort during the procedure, causing your eyes to tear up, consider this a red flag, making sure that you let your therapist know straightaway. However, if you have had a patch test 48 hours before your appointment (and you really should be doing this!) it is highly unlikely that the glue will cause any watering of the eyes. Getting lash extensions should be a completely pain-free beauty treatment. In my experience, as a lash technician, there will always be one person who has naturally watery eyes and for these individuals lash extensions will be almost impossible to apply as water (ie tears) will prevent the lash bonding process. So do mention this to your therapist before booking if you have eyes that tear up easily and that don't like being fiddled with.
What are the pros and cons of wearing Mink or Hollywood lashes?
Different people want different kinds of looks. Some will opt for drama, and some for something more natural. The benefits of Mink and Hollywood lash extensions are that they are more feathery looking and lighter in general, so they put less pressure on your lashes and are easy to wear. Both brands of lashes do tend to be a little more expensive due to the quality and product development.
How often do you need to get lash extensions redone?
Lash extensions last through a full growth cycle of natural eyelashes, typically six to eight weeks. That said, because each person’s lash growth is somewhat variable, I would recommend lash maintenance to be undertaken every three to four weeks to maintain a full look.
Do lash extensions fall out over a certain period of time?
Since each lash extension is attached to a single eyelash, they will fall out naturally along with the natural growth cycle of each lash. I recommend in-fills be done every three to four weeks. When an inexperienced or unqualified technician applies lashes, he or she often applies one synthetic lash to three to four natural lashes, causing clumps or the lash to break and fall out. In addition, your lashes might fall out if you pick at them or try to pull them out yourself, which is a big no-no. But if you avoid playing with them, your lashes should remain in place.
Can you shower or swim right away? Are there products you should absolutely avoid?
Keep water away from your lashes for the first 24-48 hours after application or touch-ups. Water can weaken the adhesive before it is set and cause lashes to fall off. The after-care varies depending on the glue used but for Hollywood Lashes the setting time is 48 hours and an after care leaflet will be offered at your first lash appointment to guide you through the first two days lash care. Oil-based products or make up removers around the eye area are not recommended. Using waterproof mascara on the extensions is also not recommended, as it is hard to remove and can actually pull off the lashes prematurely when trying to take it off. As most waterproof mascaras also require an oily remover it is best avoided.
Is it okay to also wear mascara?
If you are planning to wear mascara in addition to the extensions, only use it on the tips of the extensions and with a very light hand. This will be enough to give your eyes that “pop” along with the extensions. Using mascara at the base of the extensions will cause clumping, and you won't want that. In any case, your enhanced lashes should render mascara to a thing of the past... Happy days!
Will your natural lashes get harmed or damaged?
The biggest myth is that lash extensions ruin your own lashes. They do not. If applied correctly and properly, they are safe and do not ruin the health of your natural lashes. Be sure not to rub your eyes or tug or pull on the extensions because this can cause lash loss and damage your natural lashes.
What questions should you ask when searching for a reputable salon or professional?
Because of the sensitive nature of the lashes and the surrounding area, finding someone who is certified to apply the lashes is definitely a must. Professionals use professional products and have been properly trained to apply the lashes without damaging your natural lashes or more importantly, your eyes.
Just like you would with a hairstylist, research who you want to go to and how long they have been working as a technician. Look at before-and-after photos, read reviews and always make sure they are licensed and lash-certified. Hollywood Lashes send out mystery shoppers to salons to ensure that technicians are using the right products and are offering a safe and healthy service. If technicians are found to be falling short their practitioners license will be revoked. Great news for clients looking for a pro-active and health conscious lash technician as you can book with confidence at a Hollwood Lashes Certified Salon.