Lash Enhancements

Woman blue eye with extremely long eyelashesLash extensions seem to be a “must have” right now, but are they for you?  The most common problems with extensions are: allergic reactions to the glue, a poorly applied set of lashes or an ill-informed consumer unable to care for the lashes. Furthermore, if you are an organic purist you should be informed that most lash glues contain formaldehyde. The formaldehyde is typically a byproduct of shipping and shelf life and not a primary ingredient in the glue.

Ask where the lashes and glue were manufactured.  Ask for an ingredients list for the kit, country of origin and expiration date. Ask how long the licensed professional has been lash certified and what type of training he or she received. As a consumer you are entitled to ask as many questions as necessary to feel comfortable with this cosmetic procedure.

The most common types of professionally applied long wear eyelashes are made from a synthetic product, silk and mink.   Sizes range from 6mm to 17mm with each artificial lash glued onto your natural lash. The semi-permanent glue won’t hurt the eye or the natural lash.  Allergic reactions are possible and have been reported.  If you are sensitivity prone, have dry eyes or have experienced problems wearing contact lenses it is advisable to perform a patch test of the glue or to apply a few lashes first to see how they feel.  Everyone responds differently.

Before you go all out on a full set of upper and lower lashes start sparingly.  Try only applying a top lash set or have the outer portions of your eyes filled in with lashes without opting for a full set.  If you are on a budget try applying less lashes to both upper and lower lashes working from the outer portion of the eye with more lash extensions and less as you reach the center of the eye.

The application of lash extensions can take up to two hours for a full set on both eyes.  Lashes should be maintained every 4-6 weeks.  Depending on your lifestyle and the cycle length of your lash growth this can be a period of 3 weeks or as long as 8 weeks. Once applied, the lashes must be cared for properly.  Mascara, if applied at all should only be applied to the tips of the lashes. Applying mascara to the entire lash can lead to clumpy lashes and mascara that is difficult to remove. Wearing mascara that is water soluble and not waterproof is advised. Be aware that cleansing the eye area should be done with a gentle cleanser and not a harsh surfactant or detergent.

Everyone has different lashes, and depending on the condition of your own natural lashes, lash experts can only go a certain length or thickness. (This is to ensure that your own lashes remain healthy.) For example, if your natural lashes are on the shorter, thinner side, you won’t be able to get a crazy, dramatic look, because it won’t last. It’s better to start out with a half set (50 to 60 percent of your top lashes) if you aren’t sure or it’s your first time. You can always add lashes later.

While the glue used is not in and of itself harmful it can be an eye irritant.  Make sure that your eyes are closed during the procedure.  An eye allergic reaction or irritation is much different than an eye infection.  If you are in doubt, pay a visit to your ophthalmologist to assure the health of your eye area. Lash extensions should be a pain free addition to beautify your facial features.

Just like you would with a hairstylist, research who you want to go to and how long they have been working as a technician. Look at before-and-after photos, read reviews and always make sure they are licensed and lash-certified.

If you are beautifying your lashes make sure to check your brow line to ensure that it matches the shape of your eye. Brush eyebrows up and apply a gel or mascara for definition.  Consider having your brows expertly shaped by a professional by threading, tweezing or waxing.