Want Lash Extensions? 5 Things to Know Before Booking an Appointment

I've always dreamed of having long, voluminous lashes. The kind that could be seen from 10 feet away and could cause a slight breeze if batted too quickly. Of course, I was born with the complete opposite kind: Lashes so microscopic I am sometimes unsure that I actually have any. For years, I toyed with fake lashes, but I could never figure out how to keep them on for longer than a few hours. They would inevitably just fall off and glue themselves to my neck or some random body part (which I'd only discover when my dates pointed them out).

So last Friday, I made the plunge. I entered the world of lash extensions. And truthfully, I don't know if I'm ever coming back. I had heard of the wonders of the beauty procedure before, when my friends and sisters raved about how life-changing it was. Still, I wasn't convinced that I could pull lash extensions off or make them look like they were really mine. I didn't want to look like that girl at the gym who put mascara on for her spin class. (You know who I'm talking about.) But almost immediately after getting them on, they felt and looked completely natural. I was smitten.

For those who are lash-handicapped like me, I highly suggest trying lash extensions. But before you do, there are some things you should know before heading to the salon.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

I can't stress how important this is. After all, these are eyes we're talking about! Find a trustworthy salon that's received stellar reviews. Though lash extensions are growing in popularity, it doesn't necessarily mean just anyone can perform the procedure. Find a formally trained beauty aesthetician. Check Yelp reviews and see what others are saying about the technicians. Were they happy with their lashes? Did they experience any allergic reactions? Do some digging before you commit.

IT TAKES TWO HOURS

This isn't a beauty appointment you can just squeeze in at lunch. Getting a full set of lashes can take up to two hours. It's not something that can be rushed — technicians are attaching your lashes individually, one by one, on each eye. Make sure to plan ahead so you have enough time. Additionally, you'll have your eyes shut for the entirety of the procedure. Contact wearers, bring glasses.

KEEP OILS AWAY FROM YOUR EYES

After you have your lashes put on, your aesthetician will tell you to keep all oils away from your eyes. This includes moisturizers, eye creams, and waterproof makeup products (most of them have oil). The oil can fall onto your lashes, causing buildup and lessening the overall life of your extensions. That said, if one of your creams has accidentally fallen onto your lashes, you can easily clean them with a lash brush. Use a gentle cleanser, like baby shampoo and a little bit of water. Using the brush, gently stroke upwards to remove any residue or buildup.

SKIP THE EYELINER AND MASCARA

You may be an eyeliner and mascara fiend, but with lash extensions, you really don't need either. Even the most natural of looks will be dramatic enough. If you are going somewhere special or feel like putting on a little extra makeup, use an eyeliner on the edges of your eyes to accentuate your lashes. If you really feel like your lashes need more volume (even though they probably don't), just use a touch on the tips. The less makeup you use on or around your lashes, the longer they will last.

GET A FILL EVERY 2-4 WEEKS

Over time, you'll find that your lashes will off, no matter how good you are at upkeep. Just like natural lashes! If you want to maintain a full set of lashes, visit your salon every two to four weeks for fills. These appointments won't take nearly as long as your first. And now that you've familiarized yourself with your extensions, you can get more dramatic or more natural next time.

Have you gotten lash extensions before? Are you considering them now? Tell us!