I know that before I got married, I happily did everything possible to make sure that I felt and looked my best on my wedding day. We all just want to be the best version of ourselves, and giving myself weekly facials and manicures was always a fun part of my wedding day prep routine! Most of my beauty regimen was DIY, but I did choose to undergo one special "Procedure" for my wedding day - eyelash extensions. I heard that the longer lashes had a dramatic effect, but they aren't usually so obvious that people notice them right away; that's what makes for a great beauty trick right? ;) I have super short lashes; seriously, my husband has longer ones than I do! So I decided to try them out before my wedding day.
Before trying the eyelash extensions for the first time, I was sure to do my research. I am still sort of freaked out by that eyelash growing stuff that you can buy and apply on your eyes like mascara, ever since I read that it can permanently discolor your eyelids. Three words: Not worth it. So I wasn't about to try the eyelash extensions if there was a risk of me permanently losing all of my real ones or anything like that! Luckily, the entire eyelash extensions experience was a pretty positive one for me.
Synthetic Eye Lash Extensions
Without realizing it, I actually had two different types of eyelashes applied, the only two times that I had them applied. The first time I had eyelash extensions, I had all faux mink (yes, fur) synthetic lashes applied to my real lashes. If I remember correctly, it originally cost $100 for the initial application, but I only paid $50 with the deal I had originally purchased from Gilt Los Angeles. As a rule, the synthetic lashes are almost always going to be cheaper than the real thing. When I arrived, the aesthetician asked me how dramatic of a look I wanted. I told her that I didn't want to look like I was going out to a club, but I wanted them to be dramatic enough where they were still noticable and out of the ordinary. I laid down on the cot/bed with my eyes shut, and the lady sat on a chair at my head, applying the lashes individually to each one of my real eyelashes. The aesthetician who applied this set only took about 45 minutes or an hour to apply the extensions to both eyes. Yes, it's a bit of a long process, but you just lay there with your eyes shut and relax! Once she was done, she talked me into purchasing a special eye makeup/face wash, and then I walked out with lashes that were longer and much darker (mine are a light brown, the mink lashes are always a darker brown/pretty much black color).
In this instance, the application seemed pretty straight forward. The extensions looked a lot like the packages of individual fake lashes you get at the store, only thicker and they lasted much, much longer! I could definitely feel them on my eyes after they were applied. They felt like any fake lashes do, but these ones stay on much longer, so you eventually get used to them and forget that they're there! I was told that they would last up to two months, but they'd start slowing falling off after one. The salon that I went to the first time offered monthly "Touch-ups" for $50, but since I was just trying the extensions out for the first time, I figured I'd let them fall out when they were ready. Ultimately, the lashes did start falling out around the 3-week mark, and they were completely gone by the 1.5 to 2 month-mark. These ones actually took a while to fall off; it got a little ugly toward the end when I only had a few eyelash extensions on each eye...you can technically pull them off it you want, but that usually takes your real lashes right along with it! Since this was before my wedding, I was especially cautious of this, so I just let them all fall out naturally, which is why I saw it took up to 2 months. It took a while, but eventually, they all came off, and my regular lashes underneath were all fine!
Mixed Mink Eyelash Extensions
My second experience with eyelash extensions was a bit different. I splurged on this set, after finding a deal through a pretty noteworthy salon in Los Angeles; it was $200 for a "Mixed Mink" application, originally priced at $300. I later found out that this meant that the eyelash expert would apply a mix of both synthetic (like I had before) and real mink lashes to my eyes. The application process was somewhat similar to my first experience, except the application process took way longer this time - two hours, with a short break in the middle to allow for drying (I was able to sit up and move around, but was told to keep my eyes shut). I wasn't sure why the appointment took so long at first, but I soon came to realize that I was getting way more lashes than I did the first time. She also spent more time to mix and place the lashes (synthetics were used for the shorter lashes on the inner part of the eye; and longer real mink lashes were saved to line the outer part of the lid), and trimmed each lash individually as she went along.
I walked out this time with lashes that were not only longer, but fuller! I couldn't really pin point what was different this time around, I just knew that they were more impactful than the first set. I was really happy with the end result; they looked long, full and pretty, but they looked WAY more natural than if I had just had fake lashes applied on my wedding day. In fact, that morning, after my makeup artist was done working on my eyes, both him and his assistant complimented me on my "Amazing" lashes, without even realizing that they were extensions!
The real difference between this more recent set and my last one became apparent later on when the lashes started falling out. I had my eyelash extensions applied two weeks before my wedding day, and unlike my first set, I never worried about them falling out. They didn't fall out at all for what seemed like the first month, in fact! They seemed more secure, and ultimately, they lasted much longer. I think I hit the three month mark when I noticed that I only had a handful of stray lashes on each eye, and I looked kind of funny! At that point, I tried removing the extensions using my regular oil-based makeup remover, and many of them came off that way. The few that still wouldn't come off started to look so weird, that I finally decided to just pull the stray lashes off using tweezers. Unfortunately, these extensions were so secure that my real eyelashes came off or broke off with them! Not fun. After all of my eyelash extensions were removed, I definitely had what I called, "Stubby" eyelashes for about a month after that. No one seemed to notice, but I certainly did whenever I applied mascara in the morning. My lashes were less than a quarter inch long! It was crazy! I definitely wasn't happy that month, but they grew back, and I had my regular eyelashes back in no time.
Looking back, I was happy that I got the eyelash extensions for my wedding day, and I was even happier that I spent the extra money on the second, fuller and more long-lasting set! I don't think I would get them done regularly; the $300 price tag and temporary stubby lashes weren't the greatest, but I would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants to do something a little special on her wedding day or another very special occasion. I didn't experience any negative, long term effects, and they definitely made me feel prettier on my wedding day! Here's a photo of how mine turned out...
Here are some tips if you're thinking about getting eyelash extensions:
- I recommend signing up to receive daily deals from websites like Gilt City, LivingSocial and Groupon ASAP. I actually purchased deals on both sets of eyelash extensions just by keeping an eye out way ahead of time! As always, just be sure to check out Yelp! for reviews on the vendor before you purchase. These are your eyes; don't leave your extensions to a random chick at your nail salon. Go to a salon that specializes in eyelash extensions!
- You never, EVER want to wait to try something for the first time right before your wedding day, and eyelash extensions are no exception. Yes, eyelash extensions can be pricey, but I absolutely recommend getting them applied at least once about 6 months before your wedding day. You'll have enough time to try them out, see how and when they fall off, and you'll see what your eyelashes look like afterward. Your real eyelashes may break or fall out with your fake ones, so you want to make sure that you allow a couple of months for them to grow back out before your wedding day.
- Seeing how I had a destination wedding, and I knew I'd be spending a lot of time at the pool and on the beach, I was sure to ask if I could swim in chlorine, salt water, etc. with my extensions. I could, and I didn't end up having any problems down in Mexico! I was aware of them, but it didn't hinder me or ruin my trip in any way. You do have to be careful, however, not to rub your eyes (i.e. When you dry your face with a towel after a shower) and remember to keep anything oily away from your eyes. Since the eyelash glue is oil-based, any suntan oil, moisturizer, regular eyemakeup remover, and even the natural oils from your fingers can make your lashes fall off if you aren't careful!
- Make sure that you purchase a special eyelash/eye makeup face wash in order to prolong the life of your eyelash extensions. When you have them applied, be sure to ask how to properly care for your lashes, because the glue can wear off if you use the wrong type of face wash. Be sure to ask if mascara is okay...the first time I went, I was told not to wear mascara; the second time, I was told that I could.
- You may be told that you can still wear (non-waterproof) mascara on your eyelash extensions, but I would avoid it, if you can. Even if it's technically okay, it still means that you're going to be touching/rubbing them more often when you apply and remove the mascara from your eyes every day. Frankly, I didn't think that I needed it! They're dark and dramatic enough on their own. Ultimately, I only wore mascara on my wedding day for a little extra impact; I definitely didn't need it on a daily basis.
- Wait as long as you can for your extensions to fall out naturally. Your natural lashes are more likely to stay in-tact that way. When and if you do decide to remove them yourself, try using a cotton ball with oil-based eye makeup remover to gently wipe the lashes away first.