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A Beginner’s Guide to Eyelash Style and Beauty

Are you thinking about getting eyelash extensions? Have you always wanted to try false eyelashes? With the right extensions, you can really emphasize the “glam” in glamor. The right lashes, whether they are temporary, permanent, or semi-permanent, will make your eyes stand out and provide you with more confidence than mascara could every provide.

Many who go use eyelash extensions don’t think they’ll care about maintaining their look until they see the huge difference a change in their eyelash style and beauty makes. Then there is this intense desire to maintain the look.

Before you get started with the process of changing or improving your lashes, here are some of the key points that you’ll want to think about before you punch in your credit card numbers.

#1. How much are you willing to invest?

Temporary lashes are about the price of a sandwich, but they only let you look fabulous for one day at a time. You glue them to your lash line at home and then remove them before you hit the sack that night.

Semi-permanent eyelash extensions can last anywhere from 1 week to 8 weeks. They are glued to your actual eyelashes and will last as long as your natural lashes stay in place. Unless you work in a professional salon, you’ll need a pro to have these extensions installed.

And the same is true for permanent extensions, which are the costliest of the bunch. These extensions may be tied to your actual lash instead of glued to maintain a more natural look. Even pros need to see other pros for this beauty service.

#2. Extensions must be personalized for best results.

Okay. So you’ve decided that eyelash extensions are right for you. Now you’ve got to personalize the experience. Do you want synthetic lashes? Expensive cruelty-free mink lashes? Something in-between?

Then you need to figure out the density of the lashes that you want. Having more eyelashes creates a denser effect and offers you the chance to have a better slope and curl to your look. You also have length choices to make.

If you want extensions that are longer, then you’ll need to have more lashes. Long eyelashes tend to spread out more as they reach out to the world, which makes them look sparse – even when compared to your natural lashes.

Be sure to check on all of the curl and length options in the helpful infographic provided by Cosmopolitanmagazine.

#3. How much time do you have?

If you need to get out the door in a hurry and you’re not sure what your day has in store for you, then temporary eyelash extensions are going to be your best option. From start to finish, it takes about 15 minutes to place them on your lash line and give yourself the look that you want.

If it’s the weekend or you have more time to prepare, then semi-permanent or permanent eyelash extensions enter into the realm of possibility. Most extensions that are not temporary in nature require at least 12 hours to dry so that they will stay in place. Sometimes you may need to wait 24 hours before returning fully to your daily routine.

This is because the glue that is holding the semi-permanent or permanent extensions in place will not dry properly if it becomes wet. If you plan to have a good cry, then do it before you visit the salon to get your extensions.

You’ll also want to find a nice place that has consistent air conditioning. Any sweat can cause the glue to dissolve and that can cause a lot of irritation to the affected eye.

#4. Think about maintenance time.

Temporary lash extensions are pretty easy to use, but you will be taking extra time to clean your face and your false lashes to maintain the look. Expect to take about 15 minutes in the morning to apply the extensions and then another 30 minutes before bed to take them off properly and clean them and yourself up.

When you’re first getting started with eyelash extensions, you may need to double the time estimates above when using false lashes.

Semi-permanent and permanent lashes require little maintenance on your end, but your salon pro is someone that you’ll get to know very well. These extensions typically need an update every 2-3 weeks to maintain the look, although some can get away with an update every 4 weeks instead. The process can take up to 2 hours, not including any wait time you may have.

Then you have the cost of maintenance to consider. Let’s say you decide to spend $400 on an upscale set of eyelash extensions to give yourself a full look. Every update will then cost you $100-$200 so the look can be maintained. Now this is for mink. If you use synthetics, you could cut the price by 75%, but the look may not be as natural as you want it to be.

#5. How much do you love mascara?

Although you can use mascara on false lashes or eyelash extensions, it really isn’t necessary. This is because with the right set of lashes, it looks like you’re wearing mascara and eyeliner already. If you love creating different looks with your eye makeup, you may find that the best eyelash extensions are not something you’ll love or crave.

You can invest into various fantasy eyelashes to duplicate the makeup looks you can achieve without using a lot of makeup, but this will create a potentially substantial one-time charge for your checking account to absorb. With proper care, however, your new fantasy lashes could save you a little money over your makeup purchases in time.

And of course you can do your fantasy lashes at home.

If you do feel like a more dramatic look is necessary, you may find that trying to apply mascara or eyeliner is virtually impossible to do with the extensions in place. This is because the curl and angle of the new eyelashes is artificial in composition, so it is difficult to see where you need to place that pencil or brush.

You may find that trying to apply makeup can even remove the eyelash extensions with all of the movement and jostling that happens. So if this is your first time with lash extensions, consider giving up the makeup until you get used to them.

#6. Get your tools now instead of later.

You’ve waited 24 hours. You’re ready to take a shower because you feel filthy. The stinging needles feel great and you can feel your body begin to relax. You step out, glance at the mirror, and that’s when the horror begins.

Your brand new eyelash extensions have become all twisted up. They look incredibly messy. It’s like a tiny little cat decided to take a nap on your lashes because of how tousled they are.

Your lashes can pick up the tousled look while you sleep, because it is humid outside, or even when they happen to grab some tiny particle of dust that tried to get into your eye.

To fix this situation, you’ll need to have a lash comb or brush that will gently correct the situation. You can gently brush down from root to tip, straightening out the lashes to bring your look back to being salon fresh.

If they really stay stuck, then try using some baby shampoo that has been diluted with water to detangle them. Use 5 parts water for every 1-part shampoo for best results. Dip your comb or brush into the solution and then gently brush down the lashes.

Do not tug at them while combing or brushing. This will increase the chances of them falling out.

#7. How often do you rub your eyes?

If you rub your eyes a lot for any reason, then you’ll either need to break the habit or wait to purchase your eyelash extensions.

Rubbing at your eyes, picking at your lashes, or playing with them will decrease the overall lifespan of your extensions. If you use false lashes, rubbing your eyes can actually put glue into your eyes, even if the adhesive has dried.

So think about the demands of your current lifestyle. Do you suffer from hay fever or seasonal allergies? Are you the type of person who rubs their eyes when feeling tired? If you are, then work on this habit before you purchase extensions and your experience will be better for it.

#8. Be prepared to deal with some conjunctivitis.

There are many ways your eyes can become red and irritated due to eyelash extensions. A stray lash, a drop of glue, some bacteria from the fingers of your salon pro…

Although salons generally require gloves for most treatments, it is virtually impossible to wear gloves and properly place eyelash extensions. If there are bacteria on the fingers, on the extensions, or any of the equipment at the salon, then an infection called conjunctivitis can occur.

Conjunctivitis feels a lot like pink eye. The whites of the eyes will turn red because of the irritation of the bacteria in the eye. As your body’s immune system begins to fight the infection, there will be pockets of pus that appear in the corners of your eye. This yellowish milky white discharge may even drip from the eye or create a crusty corner that is painful to remove.

And it is ridiculously itchy, but you can’t rub your eyes because of the new eyelash extensions!

If this happens, go see your medical provider. You’ll likely need antibiotic eye drops.

1 in 4 people will come away from a professional eyelash extension experience with at least one minor complication. The best thing you can do is watch your salon pro wash their hands thoroughly before starting on you. Have them wear a mask so germs don’t spread that way either, then ask about their sterilization procedures.

#9. It’s hard to go back to just natural lashes.

Once you get used to the eyelash extensions, it is difficult to go back to your natural lashes. The lift and curl that false lashes provide, even if they are just temporary extensions, creates a different look that boosts your self-esteem and confidence. One look at those natural lashes can be very deflating.

Using eyelash extensions is generally safe, but you will want to make sure that any fragile natural lashes you have are not being overburdened with too many extensions. If you need to have your natural lashes grow a bit, consider using false eyelashes that sit above your lash line for 1-2 weeks before having semi-permanent or permanent lashes installed by your salon pro.

Natural lashes always provide a foundation for your extensions. If they are not healthy, then they will not support the look you want. So if you cannot go back to your natural lashes, take care of those natural lashes so they can help you sport the look you do want.

No one can say for certain that long-term eyelash extension use will damage your natural lashes or your eyes. There is some evidence to suggest that repeated use of eyelash extensions may cause your natural lashes to fall out. As for how your natural lashes grow or what their overall health will be over time, there just isn’t any evidence for or against what eyelash extensions can do.

What is for certain is this: once you start using the best eyelash extensions and false eyelashes, you’ll be addicted to the process. Even with the risks of an infection, irritation, or an allergic reaction in place, many find that the benefits of having quirky, dramatic, or better natural-looking lashes is worth the investment.

Now here’s the good news: you can get your new lashes today for a very affordable price. Take the DIY approach or visit your favorite salon pro to get the look you’ve always wanted and you’ll create a beautiful first impression with your eyes.

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