Real Women Share What It's Like Wearing Eyelash Extensions for Over 6 Years

Updated 10/10/18
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There are those who dabble in eyelash extensions, perhaps trying them once for a special occasion, like a big vacation or wedding, and then there are those for whom extension fills are commonplace, such as a standing manicure or blowout appointment. Sure, it costs roughly $200 to get your first set and another $60 or so every refill (in Los Angeles, at least), but to some, it's worth it. There are those out there who haven't let the world see their natural lashes for five years or more. And it's these folks, in particular, who likely have the best eyelash extension tips.

What is it really like to have eyelash extensions for years, you ask? Does it ruin your natural lashes? Does it boost your confidence? Why keep up with it for so long? To answer all your most burning questions about eyelash extensions, we found four real people who fall squarely into the devotee camp. Keep scrolling for each of their stories and all of their best eyelash extension tips.

Story No. 1

Imaxtree

Name: Adriana

Age: Pass. Haha!

How many years have you had eyelash extensions?

Six years.

How often do you get them filled?

It depends on the person who does them, but anywhere between 10 days and three weeks.

What makes them worth it to you, time-wise, financially, and in general?

I never really wore that much makeup to begin with, so it hasn't really cut my makeup routine in half or anything. Also, it's an additional service; it isn't a necessary one. But what makes it worth it to me is that it is what I want, and I am happier knowing that I have an amazing full set of lashes. I get compliments on my lashes a lot, and that helps make it worth it to me.

How has having eyelash extensions changed you (confidence, beauty routine, etc.)?

I wake up and never have to worry about putting on makeup. Of course, if I go out, I may have to add some eyeliner and lip gloss, but I don't worry about having raccoon eyes with mascara or my eyelashes falling off with strips. It's definitely boosted my confidence with the fact alone that no matter what, I always have long, full eyelashes that make my eyes pop.

It's definitely boosted my confidence with the fact alone that no matter what, I always have long, full eyelashes that make my eyes pop.

What's your favorite part about them?

I'm Chinese, and … I want bigger eyes. I feel like the dramatic effect the eyelash extensions bring to my eyes makes my eyes always a focal point. I can wake up next to my guy and just bat my eyelashes knowing that I look good!

Have they changed your natural lashes? Have they had any negative impacts on your natural lashes, their growth pattern, etc.?

It really depends on who has done them. I've had some girls that did so many clusters that I lost chunks of my eyelashes and would pray, Oh god, please let them grow back! When I go to the right people, I don't notice anything negative.

Forever might be a strong word, but do you plan to have them indefinitely?

I'd like to. I mean, I don't know if I will be in my 60s really concerned with having long, luscious lashes every day. Haha! But I see it for the next 10 to 15 years.

Do you recommend lashes to any beginners thinking about trying them?

I do, but I also recommend they find someone who is good and not try to get the best deal just to get them, because you will notice a difference, and the quality is what matters the most with this service.

Story No. 2

Imaxtree

Name: Nicole
Age: 47

How many years have you had eyelash extensions?

More than eight years.
What makes them worth it to you, time-wise, financially, and just in general?

They are so worth it to me because they look amazing all the time. You can just put on lip gloss and go if that's all you want or have the time to do.

How often do you get them filled?

Every three to four weeks.
What makes them worth it to you, time-wise, financially, and just in general?

They are so worth it to me because they look amazing all the time. You can just put on lip gloss and go if that's all you want or have the time to do.
How has having eyelash extensions changed you (confidence, beauty routine, etc.)?

I feel like I look pretty all the time. They just open up your whole face; you smile with your eyes too, not just your mouth. I get so many compliments from people who say that my lashes are so beautiful, and they don't even know that they are extensions until I tell them.

What's your favorite part about them?

They are simple and easy. So pretty and look so natural, and you cannot see any clumps of glue or anything like that.

Have they changed your natural lashes? Have they had any negative impacts on your natural lashes, their growth pattern, etc.?

No. I think people always say that their lashes were so thin and short after they took them off, implying that the lash extensions did something to change their own lashes, but if you have been wearing extensions for some time, you may tend to think that your own natural lashes were that amazing, long, and thick when in fact they did not change and are still the same as before.

Story No. 3

Imaxtree

Name: Sharifah

Age: 36

How many years have you had eyelash extensions?

On and off 10 years, mostly on the past six years.

How often do you get them filled?

I try to get them filled every two weeks, three weeks tops. Having a full, lush set of lashes enhances my eyes so much that I try to stay on top of my fills. If I have an event or something special I am attending, I make sure to see Ari [Arianna Montazem] for a fill before. It is now on the checklist, such as getting a mani-pedi, a blowout, etc.

What makes them worth it to you, time-wise, financially, just in general?

How much the lashes enhance my eyes—and their natural beauty—makes them worth it to me. The lash extensions open my eyes up and make them look brighter and more awake. Also, I save money on mascara and the whole process of curling my lashes. Another bonus is that I do not have to deal with the messiness of applying fake eyelashes or the potential disaster of a strip of lashes falling off during partying or any other fun activity.

How much the lashes enhance my eyes—and their natural beauty—makes them worth it to me.

How has having eyelash extensions changed you (confidence, beauty routine, etc.)?

It is funny to say aloud, but honestly, they simply make me feel prettier. They have such a dramatic impact on a person's eyes and face—the eyes are an important feature on any person. Plus, having great eyelash extensions cuts down on time spent primping. If my eyes look bright and awake and great, I feel great and am 90% ready to head out.

What's your favorite part about them?

The way Ari frames them around my eye and blends them with my own lashes creates a very natural look. It is like having the eyelashes you wish you were born with in real life every day. Also, I like their permanence—they survive many showers, swimming, etc. And I really love not needing mascara and not having to remove mascara at the end of the day.

Have they changed your natural lashes? Have they had any negative impacts on your natural lashes, their growth pattern, etc.?

It has been so long that I have had them; it is hard to tell.

Forever might be a strong word, but do you plan to have them indefinitely?

For now, I plan to have them and could not imagine not having them.

Do you recommend lashes to any beginners thinking about trying them?

I would recommend them, but it depends a lot on the person applying them. I recommend that a person does a lot of research about the technician who will apply them before getting it done. Eyelash extensions are not something a person should have done on a whim in the back of a nail salon—definitely research and get referrals and go to a professional.

Story No. 4

Imaxtree

Name: Megan A. Schaeffer

Age: 27

How many years have you had eyelash extensions?

Seven years.

How often do you get them filled?

Every two to three weeks.

What makes them worth it to you, time-wise, financially, and just in general?

I don't have to wear any eye makeup on a daily basis, and I love waking up feeling beautiful. I'm also very active, and I love that I can work out and sweat and I don't ever need mascara again!

How has having eyelash extensions changed you (confidence, beauty routine, etc.)?

It has made me feel more comfortable to be without makeup and feel natural on a daily basis. Everywhere I go, I get compliments on my eyes and lashes, even when I'm in sweatpants and have no makeup on. It makes me feel really good.

It has made me feel more comfortable to be without makeup and feel natural on a daily basis.

What's your favorite part about them?

I love having that "kitten look" to my eyes. They create a dark, plush lash line that is really sexy, but I also feel natural at the same time. I love that they don't look like strip lashes, and no one can ever tell that they're fake!

Have they changed your natural lashes? Have they had any negative impacts on your natural lashes, their growth pattern, etc.?

No, I still have many natural lashes and am able to get the extensions super full. [Ed. note: Lash extensions are applied to your existing natural lashes, so without your own lashes, they could not be applied.]

Forever might be a strong word, but do you plan to have them indefinitely?

Yes!

Do you recommend lashes to any beginners thinking about trying them?

Yes! I recommend them to anyone and everyone of all ages! It's the best thing ever! Forever [hooked].

Eyelash Extension Tips From an Expert

Interested in lash extensions or currently have them? We got tips from certified lash expert Arianna Montazem for keeping your lashes healthy and intact:

1. Make sure to brush through them after you wash your face/shower. Brushing them is key to keeping them from tangling and getting stuck together. [Ed. note: You can get a pack of 50 spoolies on Amazon for $5.]

2. Don't be afraid to get them wet. Depending on what type of glue your artist uses (I personally use NovaLash, which is waterproof), you can get your lashes wet. Getting them wet also helps to keep them clean!

3. Avoid rubbing and tugging on the lashes. This is definitely one of the hardest ones, coming from someone who is constantly rubbing her eyes. I like to keep allergy eye drops with me to relieve any itchiness I may feel.

4. Avoid sleeping on your face, and use a silk or satin pillowcase. [Ed. note: Try this one from Slip, $79.] Sleeping on your face will definitely affect the length of time your lashes stay on, and a traditional cotton pillowcase can cause the lashes to get caught, inducing more wear and tear. So switch to silk or satin pillowcases (they're better for your hair and skin, too!).

Not sure if eyelash extensions—tips or not—are for you? Fear not. We rounded up a collective gathering of Team Byrdie favorites we swear work almost as well—no refill appointments required! Keep scrolling.

Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler $22
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I'm not sure what it is about this curler, and I get that it's spendier than your average drugstore curler. But, that's just it. It's not average. It's strategically designed with angles to ensure every last lash is curled—to the max—which results in a longer-looking fringe post–mascara application.

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Extreme! $35
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For roughly half the price of what one refill would cost you, senior editor Hallie Gould (whose lashes are unreal) recommends this two-part system from Too Faced. First, you'll apply the primer, and then you'll go ahead and coat on the brand's signature Flexistretch Nylon Fibers for, you guessed it, stretched-out length.

Dior Diorshow Maximizer3D Triple volume Plumping Lash Primer $30
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I know there are lots of great lash primers out there, but I still swear by this one from Dior, which I've been using since high school. It manages to deliver both length and volume, and I've even applied it as a nightly treatment when my lashline is looking a little worse for the wear. Which is most nights.

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils $32
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"This mascara from YSL lengthens my lashes like no other. I'll never understand how it does it," says Hallie. Remember what I said about her unreal eyelashes? She's trustworthy. Plus, the name of the mascara itself hints at the results.

Benefit Cosmetics Badgal Bang! Volumizing Mascara $24
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According to Editorial Director Faith Xue, this new mascara from Benefit is great for those seeking sky-scraping (and extension-esque) length. Plus, if the brand's bold claims are correct, you'll get 36 hours out of one application. Not too shabby.

Milk Makeup Kush High Volume Mascara $24
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To be honest, I'm currently spellbound by this new mascara from Milk Makeup. Which, wait for it, is formulated with cannabis oil. Sure, the oil is what keeps my lashes hydrated and plumped for the long haul, but the formula also beefs up my lashes without ever sacrificing the length. A win-win in my book.

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel Washable Mascara $9
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If you're looking for a lash-lengthening product rivaling the results of extensions, Hallie suggests this drugstore buy from Maybelline. It doesn't skimp on length, and your wallet will simultaneously breathe a sigh of relief.

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Erin Jahns.

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