Adventures in Lash Extensions
By Laine Himmelmann
I’ll never forget the time my girlfriend in college told me about when she went home with a guy after a night out, fell asleep with her falsies on, and woke up to him screaming bloody murder at the site of it on his pillow. My girlfriend admitted that the wayward falsie, clustered in Mascara, did somewhat resemble a black widow…
Anyways, the morale of this story (amongst other things) is that CVS “do-it-yourself” lashes are unpredictable – which is one of the many reasons why semi-permanent lash extensions have become so popular (beyond that they look amazing).
For someone who has a lot of dark hair all over my body (in all the wrong places), my lashes somehow got the short end of the stick. So as much as I love my benefit “They’re Real” mascara, it just doesn’t do the trick when it comes to those special occasions where I’m looking to really razzle dazzle (i.e. Vegas trips, miscellaneous vacations, and the multitude of weddings I’ll be attending solo this summer.)
I’m not one that typically wears a lot of make-up. Some might call me natural, some might call me lazy. Regardless, I first discovered lash extensions when my younger cousin, Tessa, who is much more stylish and more on top of these sorts of things, started doing them professionally and offered to lash me up for my 2014 month-long backpacking trek through Europe. Ever the opportunist, I said YES PLEASE.
Admittedly, I was a little nervous about the entire endeavor. I’ve never worn contacts or had anyone messing around in that area before and had heard some mixed reviews about lash extensions, but it was honestly a breeze and my lashes looked AMAZING. I should also note that throughout my backpacking trip, which included hours of lengthy train rides, swimming in Lake Geneva, and some estrogen-induced bouts of hysterical crying one night in Florence, the lashes lasted throughout the entire five-week endeavor!
This weekend, as I’m headed to Vegas, I called Tessa to see if she could lash me up again in preparation for pool parties and evening shenanigans. Lucky for me, she was free. My lashes, once again, look amazing so I felt the need to share the skinny with my ladies of the grid.
If you’re in the market to step up your lash game for an upcoming vacation or special event (or just life in general), here is the scoop.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
Total estimated time for lash extension: About 30 minutes
Total estimated time your lashes will stay on: 3-5 weeks.
Estimated Cost: Full Sets are $165, fills are $55 every two weeks or $70 every three/four weeks
How to prepare: Before getting your lash game on, make sure you have a fresh face (no make-up) and nothing on your lashes.
What exactly is going to happen: Tessa actually has a mobile business, so she came to me and set up shop in my apartment (which was super convenient). She started by applying a comfortable collagen pad under my eyes to keep the lower lashes protected. Then used tweezers to isolate one natural lash at a time and apply an extension to each individual lash. She then repeated this process until the entire lash line is (in her words) was “full and fabulous”!
FYI – Your eyes will remain closed the entire time and Tessa mentioned that she has had numerous clients actually fall asleep. For me, it wasn’t quite that relaxing, but it was definitely painless, easy, and well worth it.
Tessa gives first time clients a detailed after care sheet to make it easy to remember. But basically, she says, keep it simple. Try not to rub your eyes excessively, no water in or around the eyes for 24 hours after application, and try your best to sleep “pretty” (According to Tessa, this means not smashing your face into the pillow. Though frankly, having been privy to way too many snapchats my friends have taken of me passed out in the evening hour, I’m fairly certain I’m not capable of ever sleeping “pretty”.) The lashes should last anywhere from three to five weeks and will just fall out naturally with your natural lashes.
To clear up a few misconceptions, I also asked Tessa a few questions…
How do I make sure I don’t look like a crazy person? Lashes come in all different lengths. Just like before you get a haircut, make sure to talk to your lash person about the look you’re going for. Though I’ll be wearing mine in Vegas, I also need to wear them to work at my new job prior to my Sin City debauchery, so I went for a more natural look. Also, it’s important to find a lash person whose style, talent, and taste you trust.
Does putting on false lashes damage your real lashes? Says Tessa, “First it’s important to distinguish between cluster lash extensions (commonly applied in nails salons), and individual extensions. I would advise against cluster lashes because they are often too heavy for the natural lash to support and are often applied incorrectly.
Individual lash extensions on the other hand are completely sustainable when applied correctly. A good lash technician will make sure one extension is applied to one lash, will use a good quality glue sparingly, and make sure the extension size is appropriate for the lash underneath. Your lashes should never feel heavy or droop, and should be able to move freely and naturally.”
Basically, what Tessa means is- go to a QUALIFIED person. False lashes can damage your lashes when applied incorrectly because if applied to more than one lash at a time, they can drag out the other lashes when your natural lashes fall out. When applied correctly, however, they are applied to each individual natural lash and fall out with that lash during the natural growth cycle. (Fun fact: With or without extensions, your eyelashes fall out every day as part of their natural growth cycle- who knew?!)
Can I tell I have them on? NO! Unlike when I used to put on CVS falsies, I can’t feel or tell I have the extensions on except when I look in the mirror.
Can I get them wet? YES! This is my favorite part about lash extensions – no more waterproof Mascara or runny eyes. Take it from someone who has worn these in every body of water known to man, showered excessively, and cried in them – these things stay put.
Though it’s not something I would do every day, I give lash extensions two thumbs up!
ABOUT TESSA EVANS
Tessa has been in Los Angeles for the past several years, but recently started splitting her time between So Cal and Sacramento. If YOU are interested in having Tessa Evans fluff up YOUR lashes, you can contact her directly via call, text, or email to schedule an appointment firstname.lastname@example.org, business # is 213-465-9247 (all calls & texts are returned within 48hours).