Those of us with stubby, stick-straight, or super-thin lashes consider eyelash extensions the best beauty invention since, well, mascara. The perfect option for those too impatient for Latisse or too busy conquering the world to carefully swipe on three coats of mascara every morning, an hour-long session with a lash extension specialist will leave you with full, fluttery, sky-scraping lashes (or a more natural-looking effect, depending on what you prefer). But—as with all good things—your (faux) fringe must eventually come to an end. Enter: eyelash extension maintenance—a concept that may sound daunting but is actually completely manageable as long as you have the best expert-approved tips in tow. To get our facts straight, we spoke with lash extension expert, Gina Bisignano, and asked her if there was anything we could do to make our extensions last just a little bit longer between touch-ups. As it turns out, she has lots of tips.
“The thicker the lash [extensions], the heavier they are, and the more they will peel and fall out,” Bisignano says. She recommends always asking your lash specialist for lighter individual lashes around the .07 mm and .05 mm range, which will stay on longer than heavier lashes.
Your super-rich night cream may help you wake up with a plump complexion, but it’s not doing your lash extensions any favors. “Avoid your eye area if you must use heavy night creams,” Bisignano says. “The oils from the cream will break up the glue and cause your lashes to fall out prematurely.”
Applying an eyelash sealer every morning will keep your lashes in place longer. Bisignano recommends this one from Blink, which she says contains both an acrylic and hyaluronic serum to help the extensions adhere and remain healthy and conditioned.
Bad news, stomach sleepers: Sleeping with your face pushed into your pillow can cause your extensions to fall out more quickly. Instead, always try to sleep on your back for ultimate eyelash extension maintenance. This way, lashes will remain untouched and in place while you snooze.
“Always tell your aesthetician to choose extensions that are similar to the shape of your natural lashes,” Bisignano says. “If you get super-curly lashes and your own lashes are straight, they will fall off prematurely.” Straight-lashed girls—there’s still hope. She recommends using a heated eyelash curler on your extensions afterward to amp up the curl.
Though you don’t have to wear mascara once you have extensions, sometimes you might want to add some extra drama to your look. In that case, avoid waterproof formulas at all cost—Bisignano says they’re much harder to remove and all that tugging is bad news for the life span of your lash extensions.
In general, Bisignano says one important key for eyelash extension maintenance is to avoid touching your eye area at all costs. If you must remove your eye makeup, she recommends using a mild, low-alkaline soap and to always, always use an oil-free makeup remover like this pick from Cetaphil. “After your shower, you can blow-dry your lashes on the lightest, coolest setting,” she says. “Then just brush them down and out—very lightly and without too much pressure—which will help them grow in the same direction.”
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Erin Jahns.