What woman hasn't wished for naturally long, dark, full eyelashes? Lush lashes are a beauty ideal many American women aspire to. In fact, finance website mint.com estimates that the average woman in the United States spends almost $4,000 on mascara in her lifetime -- a product that has its share of cons.
Mascara cannot add more eyelashes and its ability to make existing lashes longer is limited, but it can run, clump and flake off. As an alternative, women sport fake lashes: a temporary solution that requires daily application. So, what's a girl to do? Eyelash extensions, a more permanent fix, are rapidly gaining in popularity.
Eyelash extensions are not the cheapest option, but they do offer many advantages in convenience. Extensions always look beautiful and do not need added mascara, which means no clumping or running.
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The many kinds of eyelash extensions can be customized to your desired thickness and length and require little maintenance in the morning.
Originating in Japan in the early 2000's, eyelash extensions are applied one by one to individual lashes. A special medical grade adhesive is used that doesn't irritate the eye or damage the natural lash.
During the application, you will lie on a comfortable table and the specialist will carefully tape your eyes shut so he or she can easily reach your lashes. The initial set takes an hour and a half to two hours, depending on the type of lash you request, and can cost anywhere from $150-$300.
There are many kinds of lashes that can be used, but your best bet as a newcomer is fake mink. Fake mink lashes provide a completely natural look while also being both lightweight and affordable.
After the first application regular fills are required, a process that takes 30-45 minutes and costs an average of $50-$75. Most women schedule fills every 2-4 weeks.
He or she will also advise you to avoid water for 24 hours as the glue finishes bonding. After that time period you can do everything you would normally, from swimming to working out.
Eyelash extensions are safe when applied by a trained professional, but it is important to do your research prior to making an appointment. Only a few states regulate this industry, so ask to see confirmation that your specialist went through a training course.
Online reviews are your best friend- do not make an appointment with anyone you have not seen several positive reviews for.
Your specialist should be using individual lashes, not cluster lashes. Clusters are groupings of two or more lashes that are glued to one of your lashes.
Clusters weigh your lashes down, cause more of your natural lashes to fall out and do not last as long. If your specialist uses cluster lashes, it is a red flag that he or she may not be professionally trained.
There are a couple last things to keep in mind when you go to get your first set of eyelash extensions. First, remember that eyelashes are like hair in that it is normal for some to fall out during the day.
If your natural lashes are pale, you may not notice it now, but you will start to notice it when you have extensions. Don't worry- it's normal for a few lashes to fall out every couple days.
Finally, it is important to regularly clean your eyelashes. Once the initial 24-hour period is up, water won't harm the extensions; in fact, not cleaning the extensions could cause bacterial growth.
Gently clean your lashes with an oil-free cleanser and enjoy your gorgeous new look!