I had eyelash extensions done recently (as well as chopped a few inches off my hair, but this blog post isn't about that), and thought I'd share my semi-traumatic experience and lessons learnt.
Now before you start casting judgement, I did do my research and looked at reviews and photos before engaging the lash technician. Admittedly, there weren't many reviews available for her, but I thought I'd give her a go nonetheless. I absolutely hate it when people only want services from someone with experience and do not ever give newbies a go - how is anyone suppose to get experience if noone is willing to give them a go. So I've done my duty in that aspect, and am paying the price.
This was my first time getting eyelash extensions ever. I've wanted them for a while now (I'm talking years here), and finally bit the bullet and got them done. I was mainly concerned about damaging my natural lashes, as well as costly maintenance. After doing some intensive research, eyelash extensions should not damage your natural lashes IF done right. And whilst it is costly to maintain, the idea of having long, luscious lashes 24/7 really appealed to me.
So the process took about 1-1.5 hours to complete. My lash technician (let's call her Sheila - obviously not her real name) asked me what kind of look I was going for. As a virgin at lash extensions, I had no idea. She gave me two options to help me decide - taper the lashes so its cat-eye like and hence elongate the eye or have it all the same length, which will enlarge the eye and make white brighter. Having small beady asian eyes, I would really benefit from both but obviously it's one or the other. I decided to leave the decision to her, considering she's the trained expert. In case you can't tell, she went with the one length application.
In hindsight, I should really have been concerned when it was time to open my eyes, some of my lashes were glued to my bottom ones. But to my defence, I was a newbie and had no idea.
I also experienced blurry vision the next day, but that went away after having a shower 24 hours later (to allow the glue to set). Lastly, I thought that my lashes were slightly uneven. There were more lashes placed on one eye than the other - the right had more on the inner corner, whilst the left had less/none. Other than these "slight" mishaps, I was happy with my lashes (please bear in mind, I have nothing to compare this with so thought she did a fairly good job).
Speaking of showers, I severely took the action of wiping water off your lashes/eyes for granted. It took me about a week to get used to the slight stinging sensation when you open your eyes without wiping away the water. I was extremely conscious about not rubbing my lashes and eyes in general. To dry my lashes after washing my face or a shower, I used a tissue paper to gently sweep the length of the lashes.
I was also meticulous with combing my lashes, and I wanted to avoid clumping. I brushed my lashes twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening after my shower.
Furthermore, I avoided mascara and eyeliner. I felt like I could get away without them. I also avoided eyeshadow. As a result, it took me half the usual time to get ready for work. I was also extremely confident in walking out the door without makeup because eyelash extensions really helped open up my eyes and made me feel good (I guess having not too terrible skin also helped in this regard).
7 days later, I went to get my brows done. I went to a beauty clinic, where a different lash lady works (she charges a fortune but her work is amazing). She advised me that "Sheila" has used lashes that are too thick. I did tell her she applied them two to one - i.e. for every lash, she applied two false ones to give more volume. I was also advised that my lashes are a bit clumpy too but it's not the worst set of lashes she's seen. That's a good thing... right?
Bearing in mind, I was well aware that lashes falling out is normal... in fact, I didn't even freak out when I saw three fall out (different occasions). Although, I was a bit sad and made sure there were no noticeable gaps (there weren't).
Please excuse the blurry picture. I need a new iPhone.
About 10 days later, I noticed my lashes falling out in a weird way. The extensions were falling out but not quite. The middle of the extensions were still attached to one of my natural lashes, so it seems like I haven't brushed my lashes in ages and the weird lashes were just caught up and floating about. Can you see the two weird lashes in the picture above?
I started to get a bit worried when I was removing my makeup with a wipe, and a chunk of three extensions with some natural lashes sticking out fall out. I was like awww man! Ran to the mirror to make sure my lashes didn't look too weird. Thankfully it wasn't too bad. I decided to make an appointment with a different lash technician, whom I've been stalking on facebook for a while, and her work is also amazing (unfortunately, I can't afford the lash lady from the beauty clinic, and she didn't want to touch them until they all fell out).
The lash technician I saw was brilliant, even though she couldn't save my lashes. She tried to remove the clumps and infill them but because my natural lashes were so weak from the thick lashes that was initially glued on, they wouldn't stick to the thinner lash extensions she wanted to put on. She ended up having to remove all the extensions and advised that it would be best to wait for them to naturally fall out and new lashes to grow back. This process would take approximately 4-6 weeks (which is the timeframe of the natural lash cycle).
She showed me what Sheila had done to my lashes. There are quite a number of my natural lashes that were glued on to the extensions, which formed the clumps. Zoom in and see if you can spot any.
She also told me where Sheila went wrong...
1. She didn't isolate my lashes properly.
2. Probably too much glue was applied.
3. The extensions used were far too thick and heavy. She reckons they were 0.25mm, and she used TWO of them "per lash". This lash lady doesn't even use 0.25mm, the thickest she has is 0.2mm but rarely use them. (I really wish someone told me this before I got my extensions done).
As a result, my natural lashes are now really thin and short. They also look really weak. I have to stock up on some hair, skin and nails supplements and pray that they grow back nice and strong quickly.
I can't blame Sheila, and don't hold grudges because she was simply trained incorrectly. However, please for the love of your lashes, learn from my mistake and make sure that your technician is not gluing lashes that are too thick on you!
This experience has not deterred me from getting eyelash extensions. I will get them back again when my lashes are nice and healthy, as I simply love waking up with gorgeous lashes and not having to fiddle around with mascara and eyeliner every morning.