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The Beginner’s Guide to Eyelash Extensions

The Beginner's Guide to Eyelash Extensions

Eyelash Extensions

Reader request! Today I’m sharing the beginner’s guide to eyelash extensions. I’ve been getting eyelash extensions for almost a year at this point and I really love them. There are some common misconceptions about eyelash extensions that I want to clear up. I also want to share what you should expect when you’re getting them. They are definitely a pricey investment, but one I find well worth it.

The Beginner’s Guide to Eyelash Extensions

Find an Expert

Your eyelash extensions need to be done by an expert. Make sure you see examples of your technician’s work before you agree to go to them. Research and read reviews.

If your lash extensions are not done by someone who knows what they’re doing, you can end up with broken lashes. If you use lashes that are too long or too heavy for your natural lash, you can end up with broken lashes. I haven’t had any issues with this because of the skill of my technician and the size of the lashes that I choose.

Some people recommend using a lash growth serum before you start getting lash extensions done so that your lashes are at their healthiest. My friend Christine from 15 Minute Beauty says that Revitalash is the best serum to use.

During Refill

To install lashes, the technician will separate the lashes with tweezers so that 1 single lash is visible, then use another set to carefully glue a synthetic lash to the natural lash.

Initial Installation

For your initial installation, you can expect to be with the technician for at least 2 hours. You need to go in without any makeup on. Your lashes must be very clean. You’ll be laying down on a table with your eyes closed as the lashes are applied, one by one. It’s a painless procedure. I find it very relaxing.

Eyelash extensions are precisely glued with medical grade glue to your individual lashes. I personally get cruelty free synthetic lash extensions only. My length is only slightly longer than my natural lash, so that they last longer and don’t cause damage. If you choose too long or too heavy of a lash, you can damage your natural lash and cause breakage.

The initial installation will typically cost somewhere between $150 – $200 (depending on costs in your area).

After Installation

My technician recommends that you do not get your lashes wet or apply makeup for 48 hours, so that the glue can fully bond the extensions to your natural lash. So avoid steamy hot showers and hot tubs, don’t stick your face directly under the shower head, and don’t put anything on your lashes.

Caring for Your Lash Extensions

If you’re a fan of coconut oil (or almost any oil) for makeup remover, as I was, you have to stop using that on your eyes. Your technician may sell a special cleanser for you to use with your lash extensions, or you can use micellar water. Micellar water is safe to use with your lashes. You need to clean them carefully. Oil-based makeup removers can wear away at the glue, causing the extensions to fall off, so you need to avoid them. I will often use a pointed q-tip with micellar water to remove any makeup from my lash line.

Check out Can You Use Micellar Water with Lash Extensions?

Use a makeup spoolie to brush through your lashes after you’ve applied makeup to style them. I carefully brush upwards to straighten out my lashes. You can also use a fluffy makeup brush to gently wisk through your lashes to remove any eyeshadow that is clinging to them. This prevents fallout from happening on your cheeks.

Make sure to use a non-wateproof mascara on your lashes if you want to add extra oomph to them. I typically don’t do this at all. You don’t need to put the mascara at the roots if you have extensions. I would only do it on the upper half of the lashes. Whether you choose to apply mascara to your lower lashes is up to you. I skip mascara there because I don’t like how it looks on me.

You should be using non-waterproof eyeliner around them, or at least be very careful with waterproof makeup around them. Waterproof makeup is very difficult to remove from the lashes. If you have to scrub them too much, you may end up accidentally removing your lashes before they’re ready to fall out naturally.

I’ve had to modify how I apply eyeliner. I don’t really smudge fiercely through the roots of my lashes these days. I carefully will apply eyeshadow to the roots of the lashes to make them darker, but that’s usually it. I rarely wing it out.

Lash Extension Refills

You will need to get your lashes refilled every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how well you take care of them and your natural lash growth cycle. You will lose lashes when your lashes naturally shed, much like you lose hair when your hair sheds.

The refills typically cost $55 – $65  (depending on costs in your area).

Before Refill

This is what my lashes look like before a refill. A cool gel-like pad is placed along the lower lid to keep the lower lashes out of the way, leaving the upper lashes exposed.

After Refill is finished

Here’s what they look like after one side is finished.

The Beginner's Guide to Eyelash Extensions The Beginner's Guide to Eyelash Extensions

My finished lash extension refill. As you can see, my lashes are very full and long again. Don’t they look great? I’m loving my brows, too.

Want to get the most out of your lash extensions? Check out How to Make Your Eyelash Extensions Last!

Lash Extension Pros

  • I love not having to apply mascara.
  • Lash extensions really help to open up my hooded eyes, so they’re flattering for my eye shape.
  • They make my lashes look perfect all the time.
  • They’re easy for me to take care of.
  • I don’t have to worry about my eyes being watery because of my allergies and my mascara getting all over the place.
  • I wake up feeling like I look good because of my lash extensions.
  • They save me time when getting ready.

Lash Extension Cons

  • They are pricey, so I understand that they don’t fit everyone’s budget.
  • They do require special attention to makeup removal. You can’t just scrub with any old thing on your eyes and you can’t use most oil-based cleansers.
  • You do have to modify how you apply your makeup a bit – no waterproof makeup on them.

Overall, I feel like the pros outweigh the cons for me, because I love my lash extensions and I have no plans on giving them up. I love that if I’m having a great skin day I can literally just swipe on a lipstick and feel like I look pretty. They really help to frame my hooded eyes in a flattering way.

If you’re in the Tampa area, I highly recommend Thisha at Totally Polished. She’s my technician and she does an amazing job with my lashes.

Do you suffer from allergies like I do? Check out the Eyelash Extensions & Allergy Season to see how to survive the worst allergies!


What do you think about Eyelash Extensions? What else would you like to know about them?

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  • I have never had lash extensions – I am way too chicken! But I love them on other people 😀

  • I’m glad that you mention how it’s important to find an expert and to see examples of their work before choosing one for your eyelash extensions. Checking out their website could give you the opportunity to learn about their services and experience. It could also provide you with their address and contact information so you can call or visit the ones you’re interested in order to ask questions and learn more about their eyelash extension services to determine which one to hire.

  • I’ve always wondered about these. I can’t afford them at the moment, but I think yours look really pretty.

  • My friend who had it done didn’t go to the right person. All she talked about to me was the pain of the procedure. She also waited a long time in between fills so often her lashes looked ridiculous. I’m glad to read a positive experience with the lashes.

  • Thanks So Very Much for Sharing this With Me, There are 2 Things that I Have Always Wanted & That’s Collagen in My Poor Thin Lips & Lash Extensions for My Poor Sparse Lashes! I’m So Jealous and That Look Just Fabulous, So Natural Too! I Know it’s a Little Costly but the Refill Isn’t that Costly & Too Me the Time it Takes to Do the Lashes is So Incredibly Worth it! I Showed This Post & the Pictures to My Mom and Now We Both Want to Do it! They are So Different than Falsies b/c Falsies are More Straight Across and You Can Tell Their Fake but These Look Amazing & So Natural! Thanks So Much for Sharing b/c I Have Honestly Wanted to do This but I Didn’t Know About the Process or the Prices or How to Care for or Clean the Lashes! Now I Definitely Want Them! Thanks Again Courtney, Have a Blessed Day! – Jana

  • I was under the assumption that breakage was inevitable with lash extensions, based on what I’d heard from other people who had them done! I haven’t had them done myself, but I’m pretty happy with the results I’ve gotten from lash serum. I think I’d probably only get them done for a vacation/special occasion.

    • No! I haven’t suffered breakage at all and I’ve been doing it for almost a year. However, it’s because I go to a skilled technician, I get lash extensions that are only a little longer than my normal lashes, and I do eat a pretty healthy diet (getting all the nutrients I need). People have breakage when their technician doesn’t know what they’re doing, when they don’t use high quality synthetic lashes / glue, when they put on lashes that are too long / too heavy for their natural lash etc. Your lashes will fall out on a regular cycle, just like with the hair on your head. I can see them being perfect for a special occasion or a vacation 🙂

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