2018 Update: We still think this is a great discussion on lash extensions and the professional woman — but you may also want to check out our more recent discussions of false eyelashes for the office, including my magnetic lashes review.
The hunt for the perfect, clump-free mascara can be trying — are lash extensions the answer? The first person to introduce me to this concept was Amber Katz of Beauty Blogging Junkie — we met at a PR dinner for bloggers and I couldn’t take my eyes off her lashes! Today she’s sharing some of the most common questions she gets (both as a beauty blogger and a girl with fabulous lashes) here with us today. Welcome, Amber! – Kat
I’m so excited to guest post today on Corporette. It’s especially apropos as I’m just “rolling off” an 8-year corporate experience fully to be 100% freelance. After 3 jobs at various financial firms ranging from suit-corporate to business casual, I’m fully versed in the magical world of staid nail polish, patent pumps and wearing hemlines that won’t cause people to call me “that girl who wears the minis” at work. Running a beauty and fashion blog by night and being a financial writer by day often caused wardrobe conundrums–anything I wore that was appropriate for my day job made me look as if I belonged at a nunnery at my post-work event. By the same token, anything I wore that was remotely fashionable and cool for a beauty launch was TOTALLY tarty for work. But one thing that was always appropriate and–dare I use this terminology–a PARADIGM SHIFT? My eyelash extensions. I started getting them in 2009 and I haven’t stopped. I tell you, corporate women of the world–this procedure while lengthy in one shot will save you an abundance of time in the morning putting on mascara and liner. You simply won’t need it for daytime. Imagine a world where you WAKE UP Starbucks ready. It’s amazing and I’m never going back to the clumpy world of mascara. However, be prepared for a metric TON of questions about your lashes. I half-joke that 87% of my conversations are lash-extension related. I’m constantly answering the same few questions from everyone to my former financial side-hustle’s CFO to the woman in front of me at Jamba Juice. Here they are:
1. What kind of mascara are you wearing?
I’m not wearing mascara. These are lash extensions.
2. Do you do it yourself every morning? How long does the treatment take?
No, I go once every 4-6 weeks to a lash technician to get them applied. The process takes about two hours. Your lashes are taped down and a lash tech glues an individual lash to each of your eyelashes so they look thicker, darker, longer and more dense. It yields the effect of liner and mascara.
3. How long does it last?
About 3-6 weeks, depending on where you go. Most places charge less the more often you get touched up.
4. Does it hurt?
It doesn’t hurt, but if your eyes are sensitive, the glue may bother you a bit. Also, it takes about a day to get used to seeing the lashes in your peripheral vision (just a tiny bit), but you get used it.
5. Is there a break-in period? Or can you go do dinner afterwards looking great?
Nope, unless your eyes are sensitive, you can do whatever you need to do right after. But be prepared: You’ll be obsessed with checking yourself out in the mirror.
6. Are there different styles of lashes?
Yes, there are “C” curls and “J” curls. I always go with the former for a more awake, curled lash look. Also, they come in different lengths. I always get “11s” with “12s” on the ends. I have no idea what this means, but it produces a ’60s effect that’s dramatic, but not too drag queeny. I have friends who get “13s” and “14s,” but even that’s a bit much for me–despite my flaming inner gay man.
7. Where do you go?
I go to Courtney Akai, who has her own lash boutique. She’s amazing, but a little pricey. Her prices range from $250-$500, depending on which technician you see. She is the absolute best. I used to go to JJ Eyelashes (about $120 for a full set) and while they’re decent, Courtney’s quality is MUCH more impressive and her lashes last about twice as long.
8. How much does it cost?
9. What’s happening underneath? Does it break off all your lashes?
I actually am not sure, as I have been reapplying them every 4-6 weeks but I do let them run down to almost nothing and I haven’t noticed that my lashes are weaker. Says Courtney, “As long as you don’t tamper with them (rub, pull, pick or play with them), you’re natural lashes won’t be shorter or weaker. ”
10. What’s involved in the procedure? Is it a single strip?
Nope, they’re individual synthetic lashes (some lash boutiques have mink ones, as well) that are glued carefully to each of your natural lashes.
11. Can you wear mascara? What about shadow and liner?
You can wear mascara, but it’s difficult to remove. Besides, why would you want to when your lashes are already dark, thick and long (the entire point of mascara)? Shadow and liner are fine to wear with extensions–just take it off with Q-tips and eye makeup remover instead of your regularly scheduled wash.
Readers, have you ever tried lash extensions? What have your experiences been? (You can also read more about Amber’s experiences with lash extensions here!)
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