I do public speaking as a part of my work and sometimes get my makeup done before events. It’s fun to get made up by a professional before an event. These days they ask if you’d like fake eyelashes, the kind with nonstick glue that easily comes off that night, and I always say yes. It’s exciting to have new lashes! But mostly, I speak without getting professional makeup, and I started thinking — should I get the more ‘permanent’ lashes, otherwise known as eyelash extensions? Are eyelash extensions worth it? What are the costs? And what about maintenance? If you’re considering eyelash extensions, these are all things to consider before committing!
Some of my friends had them, and they looked great, so I went for it. After 3 weeks, I was ready to pull them all out. The process, the upkeep, the price… I’m already a diva about my hair; I didn’t need another diva habit! And I thought no one noticed. But when my husband and I visited my brother’s family, my sister-in-law and niece noticed and raved about them. Now I’m into my second month with them, and I’ve learned a lot about the 3 Ps in figuring out if eyelash extensions are worth it: products, pricing, and procedure.
You choose between several looks. ‘Classic’ has the least number of new lashes. Then there is ‘Hybrid,’ the middle option, and finally, ‘Volume,’ the most lashes. I chose classic because I wanted a natural look, which was probably why no one noticed them. But being the nonsensical creature I can sometimes (ok, often) be, it was also a reason I wanted to get rid of them initially. Why do all this work if no one notices?
I’ve settled on more of a hybrid look but a little more than classic. I lucked out on getting a technician who has figured out what I’m looking for and won’t tack on extra charges. Experiment, and then ask for exactly what you want. The option you want may not be on any of their printed pieces.
Wherever you go to have the procedure done, they’ll tell you to buy their eyelash cleaner and brush for applying the cleaner. You can not use any oil-based products around your eyelashes, and most cleansing products contain oil. I bought their products, but they made my eyes sting. Since you can use non-oiled based products to clean your lashes, I use Neutrogena wipes now, which my eyes can tolerate. You can also use any cleaning brush. You don’t need to buy theirs if you don’t want to. You’ll need to clean your lashes every night, but once you learn how it can be done in 5 minutes.
Pricing where I go starts at Classic, which is about $175 initially, and Volume is the highest, at $225.Refill pricing will depend upon which category of lash you’ve chosen. For Classic, it’s about $75 for a refill, $90 for Hybrid, and $100 for Volume. Prices will depend on where you live and the salon you go to. In calculating costs, you should also consider other items required for maintenance, like the products you need to clean the lashes. Everyone will have different ideas of how much is too much to pay for eyelash extensions, but these should all be taken into account when figuring out the true cost of eyelash extensions.
Initially, you’ll need 2 hours to have eyelash extensions put on. Be prepared; you lay on your back, with your eyes closed, the whole time they are applied. Many of my friends say they fall asleep during the process. I wish I could, but I just can’t relax enough when someone is rummaging around my eyelids! Sometimes I meditate as she applies them, and I can better tolerate it.
Upkeep happens every two weeks, and the refill procedure normally lasts about one hour. This week I’m going for something they don’t advertise because of my travel schedule, which is a 10-day fill. This will only last 45 minutes and cost less. Ask for all the options, even those not in their materials. They may have something you want but just won’t know about unless you do!
Other Things to Know About Eyelash Extensions
In the category of big surprises, no one had told me that the professionals strongly discourage using any upper eyeliner. I’ve lined my eyes as a part of my eye makeup regimen forever, so I did not know if this would be possible. I talked to my technician about options. She counseled that if I must, to find a liner product with no oil. I use Urban Decay Glide-On Pencil, a non-oil-based liner. However, eyelash extensions have made me bolder, so I can now go out in public without eyeliner. I find a little smoky eye shadow is all I need.
They must tape under your eyes to cover the bottom lashes, so they don’t get tangled when they’re applying the new upper lashes. That can feel wonky at first. But as you get used to it, it becomes a regular part of it.
The place I go to is very cold, and the technician explained this is about maintaining the proper temperate of the glue for the lashes. I always bring a sweater.
Are Eyelash Extensions Worth It?
Only you can decide. You will need to consider the cost and if the maintenance is worth what you will get out of the procedure. Everyone will have different opinions on the matter. At the end of the day, you will know what works best for your lifestyle and budget.
At-Home Lash Options