Eyelash extensions are a great option for those wanting to elevate an eye look for more than just a night. They last anywhere from six to eight weeks and make it so that you don’t even really need eye makeup. “The eyes are so opened with lash extensions, the clients find themselves wearing less makeup,” says Blink Brow Bar brow and lash extension expert Sabah Feroz.
Upkeep isn’t too taxing either (thank the beauty gods for that), but there are some general rules to keep in mind. We asked Feroz, celebrity makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes, and celebrity lash expert, salon owner, and Envious Lashes brand founder Clementina Richardson about how to keep your faux flutterers in tip-top shape long after you get them done. Keep scrolling for their expert tips on how to take care of eyelash extensions.
Avoid Water for the First 48 Hours
Once your fresh set of extensions are installed, any moisture around the eyes is a no-go. You want the glue to really set in so that your lashes last as long as possible. Feroz tells clients to wash around the eye when cleansing their face and to use an oil-free makeup remover if they have to clean makeup off. To avoid washing the lashes directly within the first 48 hours, keep the eye makeup to a minimum to maximize the extensions.
"Clients should come in mascara-free," advises Richardson, which makes avoiding washing the eye area much easier afterward.
Skip Oil-Based Products
According to Hughes, oil breaks downs the glue that holds up the lashes, so she encourages clients to avoid oil cleansers and makeup removers. Instead, try a gel-based remover, like the NARS Aqua Infused Makeup Removing Water, to avoid dissolving the glue. Micellar water is also a great option to preserve your extensions' adhesion and remove debris from them in general.
Avoid Waterproof Eye Products
Waterproof anything won't come off with just any old face wash—as the name would imply. It usually takes some oil-based cleanser to remove, and we've learned that's a big no-no when it comes to extensions. Both Feroz and Hughes say that you don’t even need mascara or liner when your lash extensions are in; the extensions offer a similar effect to the typical eye-enhancing makeup. (Score one for getting ready faster in the morning.) If you still want to wear a typical eye look, it’s better to go the non-waterproof route so that your eye makeup is easier to remove.
Steer Clear of Mechanical Lash Curlers
We know, we know—our eyelash curler is a holy grail tool in our makeup bags but, with lash extensions, it's best to lay off the mechanical curler. “You might get a bend that won’t go away,” says Hughes.
If you do end up curling your lashes with an eyelash curler, Richardson recommends the kind that heats your lashes like a miniature curling iron, like the Envious Lashes Heated Lash Curler. "Julia Roberts and Mary J. Blige love it," she says. It's hard to argue with that endorsement.
Give Them A Good Brush
No matter how long or where on your body, Hair needs a good detangle every so often. To maintain your fluttery new lashes, make sure to brush them out occasionally. “The rule of thumb is only to brush them out when needed,” says Feroz. Packs of clean spoolies can be found at most drugstores and beauty supply shops.
Thoroughly wash off your mascara wand the next time your tube runs dry, and you'll have your own person lash comb at the ready—no spending required.
Don’t Pick Or Pull Lashes
As tempting as it may seem, Feroz encourages clients to resist that urge to play with their lashes throughout the day or while cleansing. Not only can fiddling with the extensions pull out the false lashes, but it can also end up damaging your natural lashes. "Touch-ups are required every two to three weeks," says Richardson. If you don't have enough extensions left to fill because you were touch-happy, your technician might charge you extra, up to the cost of a brand new set.
Avoid Powerful Showerheads
Richardson warns against ultra-forceful showerheads; the pressure from the water can rip your lashes right out and leave a beauty nightmare scene on the tile floor. Another reason to take it easy while scrubbing up: the steam from hot water temperature can cause freshly-applied glue not to set up properly.
Switch to a Silk or Satin Pillowcase
We've all heard how a silk pillowcase can help reduce frizzy hair and face wrinkles, and guess what? Now we can add lash extension preservation to the list of benefits. "Cotton [pillowcases] can cause drying and snagging," says Richardson, which will lead to premature loss of precious lashes.
Ease Up on the Eye Cream
The reason we love ultra-rich eye creams is the same reason using them with lash extensions isn't the best idea. All those emollients will have a similar effect on the lash glue as the oil cleansers we mentioned earlier, shortening the lifespan of your faux flutter. Investigate some gel alternatives to eye cream while you have extensions.
Quit Rubbing Your Eyes
This is so much easier said than done, but if you're a chronic eye-rubber, you've got to curb your habit if you want to keep on lash extensions. The friction will have them falling like rain, and you'll likely be out another full set fee way before you planned.