3 Pro Tips For Applying Lash Extensions At Home

There’s a learning curve, but this expert advice will help.

by Hilary Shepherd
Originally Published: 
It's hard to apply eyelash extensions at home, but these pro tips (including curling your eyelashes ...
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When it comes to sky-high eyelashes, extensions are often the way to go. They’re thick, fluttery, and can last for several weeks — or even months — depending on how you care for them. While false eyelashes (and your favorite lengthening mascaras) are great, eyelash extensions typically look more natural and last for a longer period of time. Plus, it’s pretty nice to be able to just roll out of bed with effortlessly full, voluminous lashes.

Meredith Baraf — makeup artist to celebrities like Lea Michele, Brooke Shields, and Doutzen Kroes — tells Bustle that “extensions are applied to the actual hairs as opposed to the lash line, which makes for a seamless blend. They usually [come as] single hairs or very fine clusters, which lends to a gorgeous, flawless lash.” The best part? “You can tailor the level of drama you want to achieve by choosing different lengths, the level of curl, and the quantities of hairs.”

At $200 to $300 per session, professionally-applied eyelash extensions aren’t exactly a bargain — but in some cases, you get what you pay for, so be weary of salons with super low prices that seem too good to be true. If you have the ability to go to a good lash tech, go for it, Baraf says. They’ll apply the extensions safely and meticulously — and you can even take a relaxing snooze during the process.

Wondering if you can save some cash and apply eyelash extensions at home? The unofficial answer is...kind of. They likely won’t last as long as professionally-applied ones, and you’ll need the proper tools, precision, and some serious know-how, but it is possible. Below, Baraf and celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney (the force behind some of Megan Fox and Ashley Graham’s most memorable red carpet beauty looks) share their tips and tricks for DIY eyelash extensions.

1. Prep Your Eyelashes

To start, you’ll want to make sure your lashes are clean and dry. Wet a cotton pad with a gentle cleaning solution (Henney recommends Lashify Pre-Cleanse) and softly wipe along the lash line to remove any oils or residual mascara. Wait for them to dry completely. You can then apply a “bond” or adhesive to your lashes, which will act “as the cushion between your eyelashes and the extensions,” says Henney. (Just make sure to let the bond dry until it becomes tacky before moving on to the next step, since lashes tend to slide right off of wet adhesive.) If you have extra time for the prep step, Baraf also suggests doing a “good 20-second lash curl right in the beginning.”

2. Apply The Eyelash Extensions

The application process will depend on the eyelash extension kit you choose (make sure to follow the instructions closely), but generally, you’ll use a tweezer-like tool to apply the extensions underneath your actual eyelashes with a bond or glue-like adhesive. Henney points to the extensions from Lashify, which can be applied using the brand’s Fuse Control Wand. “Honestly, this tool makes the application super easy,” she says. “Simply pick the lashes up from the root and they’ll stick to the bond you previously applied.” That part might take a few tries, but once all the lashes are applied to your liking, she recommends fusing them together (you can use the application tool for this) and applying pressure to secure them.

3. Maintain Your Lashes

Now for the really important part: upkeep. To prolong the lifespan of your new eyelash extensions, Baraf suggests gently and carefully washing your face with a soft, reusable cloth (she likes Face Halo’s makeup removers). “Avoid submerging your face under the shower head or splashing your face with water,” she says. When cleansing, opt for oil-free face wash and makeup remover “as oil-based [ones] will break down the lash glue.”

Have a spoolie on hand to give your new lashes the occasional brush, Baraf adds. “I like to brush [in] the morning, before bed, and here and there throughout the day.” (This is especially helpful if you have a tendency to fuss with your lash extensions.)

You probably won’t need it anyway, but avoid waterproof mascara, as removing it will damage the extensions. And ditch the eyelash curler, too, as it’ll cause extra stress and possibly over-bend them, warns Baraf. “But if you must give yourself a curl, I recommend using a heated [one] that doesn’t clamp.”

Lastly, try to sleep on your back and use a pillowcase made of a delicate fabric like silk or satin, as those will provide a little extra TLC.

Your DIY lashes should last anywhere from a few days to a week. When you’re ready to remove them, follow this guide to ensure the process is safe and effective.

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