The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

Are you considering getting lush, movie-star eyelashes? Here's your ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions. Know everything from how long they last, the costs, to risks and more!

Updated on Nov 17, 2022   |  05:10 PM IST  |  452.3K
The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions
The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

Ever dreamt of batting those voluminous star-like eyelashes in slow motion? Now you can officially get perfectly glamorous eyelashes from a lash tech and flaunt endless no-makeup selfies!

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

The beauty industry has undoubtedly advanced over the decade. You no longer have to depend on several temporary and often time-consuming solutions to flaunt your fuller eyelashes. All you need is an eyelash extension treatment from a renowned technician, and voila! Brace yourself because your selfies will definitely be going viral.


However exciting an eyelash extension sounds, we would ALWAYS recommend you to ask all the crucial questions before scheduling an appointment for the same. Confused - worry not, we did the tedious research for you.


There is a lot to consider while you decide (whether or not) to invest in eyelash extensions, like cost, risk, maintenance, if they harm your natural eyelashes, and how long they last. Here's your ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions. Know everything from how long they last, the costs, to risks and more with pros and cons!


Find out if eyelash extensions are the right decision for you. Excited?!


What are eyelash extensions?

According to Clementina Richardson, celebrity lash expert and founder of Envious Lashes in N.Y.C., eyelash extensions are false, semi-permanent lashes generally made out of silk, mink, or synthetic fibers.

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

These lashes are customizable, i.e., you can choose your ideal length, tints, and curl pattern. The best part - these eyelash extensions look completely real and natural!


The lash experts use semi-permanent glue to attach the eyelash extension to your natural eyelash (one at a time). This glue does not harm your natural eyelash (phew).


What is the cost of eyelash extensions?

The final cost of getting eyelash extensions will depend on the technician, the location of your salon, and the result.

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

The longer the lashes, the more the cost. Also, the eyelash will gradually fall out as the time passes, so you will need to get fill-ins if you want to continue having thick eyelashes. It, again, will be an additional cost.


For example, you spend approximately $300 on a typical set of 70-80 lashes per eye (plus a tip averaging 20 percent if you are in New York City). Add another $100 each time you get fill-ins. On average, you might spend somewhere between $500 to $1000 a year on your eyelash extensions.


Another critical point to remember is the gaps between fill-ins - the longer you wait for the refill appointment, the more the technician will need to apply for extensions (even an entirely new set at times). Thus, increasing your overall cost.


What is the application process like?

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

  • Applying a lash extension is a detailed, complex, and patient process.
  • The lash experts use semi-permanent glue specially formulated to apply to the lash. The extensions (approximately 100 per eye) are directly stuck on your natural eyelashes. The entire process lasts up to a couple of hours mostly.
  • The exact process may differ with respect to technicians and the salon. Here we will give you a broad idea of how the process folds.
  • The technician evaluates your skin to understand its texture.
  • Questionnaire - the expert will ask you a series of questions to determine the style, length, curl, and your need.
  • They will make you lie down comfortably and (precautionary) clean the area around your eyes (it's best if you are not wearing makeup).
  • The expert will then apply eye gels and medical-grade tape to secure your lower lashes in place while they work on the upper lash (don't worry, it does not hurt).
  • With the help of tweezers, the technician will carefully start applying the extensions - one at a time - to your natural lash.
  • Once done with the complete set, the expert will ask you to wait for another five to ten minutes for the glue to dry thoroughly.
  • After the glue dries, the eye gels and medical-grade tape will come off.
  • The expert then carefully brushes the extensions to let them flow.


It's time to admire the gorgeousness!!


How long does the process take?

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

The process is intricate and requires a minimum of two hours for the makeover, but it is worth it in the longer run. If you feel this is too time-consuming - ask yourself - would you rather spend hours daily applying multiple makeup products or invest a couple of hours and be ready for a candid selfie showing off your thick lashes anytime?

How long do eyelash extensions last?

The durability of the lash extension commonly ranges between four to six weeks and highly depends on the growth cycle of your natural eyelash.


Since the extension is stuck on your lash itself, it will fall out only when the eyelash sheds.


According to eyelash experts, you can slow down the fall out of your eyelash extension by using eyelash conditioner (gasps - yeah, well). Moreover, avoid rubbing or picking at your eyelash as it damages the natural eyelashes resulting in early shedding of the extensions. Also, try not using too many oily (and dirty) makeup products or tools.


Do not forget timely refills. The more you delay, the more damaged your extensions will turn out to be, resulting in re-doing the entire process.


How to prepare yourself before getting an eyelash extension?

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

Before showing up for your eyelash extension appointment, make sure of the following steps:


  • Do not apply any makeup around your eyes - keep it raw (trust us, nobody is judging you). Merely wash your face, and that's it. No mascara, no curler, no eye shadow, no eyeliner, no water-proof products - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
  • Always get a consultation before booking your appointment - it will help you understand the kind of material you want, the type of glue they use, the kind of length you prefer, etc.
  • Ask your doubts and book an appointment only once you are sure about the process and the expert.
  • Be open about your skin type with your technician - knowing your allergies is always the best way to approach treatments. Talk to your dermatologists for the same.
  • Dress casually and comfortably.
  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, energy drinks, or any similar strong beverage - you need to be calm during the entire process. Drinking will only tend to exaggerate your senses and make you uneasy. It won’t do any good for you and your technician.
  • Also, ensure that you do not intake too much water or heavy food at least an hour prior to your appointment to avoid frequent use of the toilet.
  • Come prepared - you should know EXACTLY what you want. If you are unable to express yourself in words, carry a picture with you. Being crystal clear with the lash expert is the key.
  • If you know that you will feel nervous (sitting with your eyes closed for over two hours is not easy - getting jitters is quite normal), or if you are worried that you may get bored while the technician works their magic, bring along your headphones. Remember to listen to the songs at a low volume so the technician can communicate with you when required.
  • Understand that the process takes time, do not rush yourself or the extension expert into getting things done quickly.
  • Research and compare - there is a big difference between a certified technician and a licensed technician - choose wisely.
  • Confirm about the refills.
  • Do not forget to tip the technician for their expertise and be respectful ALWAYS!


How do you care for lash extensions - aftercare steps?

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

Aftercare of lash extension is a high-maintenance job. The primary point is to understand that it will take a couple of days for the extensions to settle on your face. And, for you, to accept that you woke up like that - with voluptuous eyelashes without an effort!


Now the aftercare steps include a mix of dos and don'ts. There are things that will pop up on those heavy lashes, and then there are things that will ruin your lashes. Make sure you follow these guidelines to the T.


  • Wait for a minimum of 48 hours before using water or steam directly on the extensions.
  • Avoid using oil-based makeup products, cleansers, rich face oils, oil-based serums, or anything remotely similar. Consider it as a thumb rule and stick by it.
  • Re-learn how to wash your face. Do not just heavily splash water on your face; it will definitely tear away the extensions (some if not all). Instead, go lower into the wash bowl and gently put water on your face. Apply a couple of times and lightly clean off the excess water without applying pressure around your eyes.
  • Avoid scrubbing, rubbing, and pulling at your lashes.
  • Do not take long showers by exposing your face directly to the faucet.
  • Remember to brush your lashes every time they get wet. Use a spoolie brush and gently brush them to drain excess water.
  • Mix a couple of drops of baby no-tears shampoo in distilled water. Apply this mixture using a cotton bud stick around your eyelashes (above and below) to thoroughly clean the area of any dust particles or makeup residues. Dab gently with a soft cloth once done.
  • Never go to bed with wet lashes.
  • Sleep on your side or back (rather than on your stomach) to avoid the eyelashes from breaking and falling out.
  • Replace your mechanical eyelash curler with a heated one to slightly uplift your lash curls.
  • Use extension-safe mascaras; best avoid mascaras as they tend to damage the extensions.
  • Use minimal makeup on your face and avoid applying any product too close to the eyelash (why jeopardize those lush lashes).
  • Using glittery eye shadows is not at all recommended. The chances of it getting stuck on the lash extension and ruining them is too high to ignore!
  • Applying eyeliner is a 50-50 thing. You can but make sure to use only gel or liquid-based eyeliners.
  • Consult your dermatologist immediately if you feel the slightest irritation, itching, burn, or redness in the skin surrounding your eyes.


Having said that, taking care of your eyelash extensions may seem hectic, but in reality, you only have to make a couple of tweaks in your daily skincare routine and focus more on your eyes. With a little bit of extra precaution, you can display your extensions ostentatiously!


What are the benefits and drawbacks of getting eyelash extensions?

A beauty treatment always is a balancing act. An eyelash extension treatment is no stranger to this rule. If it suits you, it is one of the best treatments. If it doesn't...well.

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

Below, we share some common pros and cons of getting an eyelash extension (make your choices wisely).


Pros -


  1. It DOES work, and it is entirely safe.
  2. Downright customizable - you can choose your length, curls, volume, and style
  3. Goodbye mascara - the already thick lashes won't require additional mascara; you can flaunt them as they are!
  4. Time-saver - you can save loads of makeup time when you already have lush lashes to show off.
  5. Painless - the process is intricate but totally pain-free. It is only about being patient for a couple of hours.
  6. No burden of removing heavy eye makeup before going to bed
  7. The glue is waterproof and won't come off unless you want to.
  8. You can easily take off the extensions using oil if you decide to.


Cons -


  1. Cost is the primary concern.
  2. Requires post-care and high-maintenance
  3. It may cause itching or irritation near your eyes or eyelids.
  4. You may require to learn new tricks to take care of your face or apply makeup.
  5. The lash extension tends to fall out unevenly, making your eyelashes look weird.
  6. You need to remember the tiniest of details about skin care.
  7. Frequent follow-ups with the lash expert to maintain the lash volume
  8. Although it is exceedingly rare, there are chances of your natural lashes getting ruined.


How to remove lash extensions?

The best way to remove your extensions is to use oils like castor oil and vitamin E oil.


  • Apply the oil on top of the extensions by gently pressing it with your fingertips.
  • Leave the oil overnight. The oil will break the glue overnight.
  • Wash your face in the morning like you usually do. The eyelashes will slowly slide off.
  • If not, gently tug at them and smoothly slide them off your eyes.


Alternatively, going to your lash expert for removal should be your priority. In case; you do not have the time, follow the above steps to remove the extensions easily at home.


What are the alternatives to eyelash extension?

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

If you find yourself disoriented about whether or not to opt for eyelash extension, we have the solution to cheer you up!

With these eyelash extension alternatives, you can still get abundant feathery eyelashes without going in for a treatment. Read on.


1. Glue-on eyelash strips - it will take a little practice, but you can master applying glue-on lashes from the comfort of your home.


2. Serums - lash growth serums are another efficient (and safe) way to enhance your eyelash appearance. It takes around four weeks for the results to start showing.


3. Individual eyelashes - an underrated and easily doable alternative to lash extension


4. Eyelash lift is one of the most popular methods to oomph up your lashes. It requires curler and easy-peasy flattering lashes in seconds!


5. Fiber mascara to your rescue for instant plentiful lashes.


Apart from these, there are numerous types of false lashes available in the market today, like magnetic lashes and metal-free lashes. You can choose any of the following substitutes to elevate your lash game.


Wrapping Up

The ultimate beginner's guide to eyelash extensions

The sole idea of thick, full, stunning inky-black eyelashes at all hours of a day is unquestionably dreamy. Plus, no more extra morning routine = win-win! However, like any beauty treatment, there are some mishaps that are bound to happen. Worse, it just may not suit you!


With this guide, our single intention was to make you understand everything and anything you need to know about eyelash extensions before you take the plunge.

ALSO READ: What is a Lash Lift - Do not miss out on this latest beauty trend


Should I wear makeup to my lash extension appointment?

Are lash extensions worth it?
Yes. If you are looking for hassle-free fluttering eyelashes every day without spending eternity with makeup products - then, yes, it is absolutely worth it.

Do eyelash extensions look natural?
Yes, but fuller and dramatic star-like.

Do eyelash extensions ruin your eyelashes?
No, but remember to take good care of your lashes.

Should I wear mascara with eyelash extensions?
You can (if you want to) but it is NOT required.

About The Author
Anubhuti Mishra
Anubhuti Mishra
Interior Designer & Home Décor Expert

With a marked inclination toward Interiors and a Post Graduation degree in Interior Design from VIFT Bangalore, Anubhuti... Read more

Credits: pexels

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