February 03, 2022

Everything You Need To Know Before Committing To Lash Extensions

A comprehensive guide to booking in for lash extensions and leaving your appointment with the look you want.

There’s a lot to love about lash extensions. Speaking as one who books in for them almost monthly, I can tell you that if you want Disney-like length, volume and curl and you’re happy to invest (they don’t come cheap), lash extensions are the treatment for you. I wear half as much make-up when I’m sporting a full set. Why? They make me feel pretty. That’s all there is to it. They’re also a great solution for those who have fallen out with mascara. Sick of clumps? Or the extra effort it takes to remove those panda eyes each night? Look into lash extensions.

That said, lash extensions are rarely booked on a whim. Unless you’re a seasoned client with a technician that just gets it on speed dial, committing to an appointment is nerve-wracking. What if they feel uncomfortable? What if they make your natural lashes fall out? What if you walk out of the salon looking like Miss Piggy? All fair concerns. 

Lash extensions are a relatively recent innovation. Developed in Korea in the 1990s and early 2000s the semi-permanent treatment quickly made its way into salons the world over, so for many, lash extensions are still unchartered territory. Enter the ultimate cheat sheet: Gritty Pretty’s expert-led guide to getting the most out of your next–or perhaps first–lash extensions appointment.

How Many Lash Extension Types Are There And Which Are Best?

“First of all there’s classic application,” says celebrity lash technician Edy London who the likes of Ellie Goulding and Mel B regularly book in with. “That’s the original old school method that involves applying very fine lashes one by one,” she explains. This style makes your natural lashes look longer and more lifted and you shouldn’t be able to detect that these are fake.

“Then there’s Russian lashes,” explains London. “Also known as Russian layering and volume lashes.” This technique involves applying as many as ten hairs, in bundles, to one lash. If you’re after statement-making volume this could be the treatment for you–but London isn’t so keen. “For starters we only have just over one hundred lashes per eye naturally, no one has a thousand, meaning Russian lashes nearly always look fake.”

Different lash material types come into play as well. “I always advise asking for silk or synthetic mink lashes, they’re very fine and hold their curl well,” says London. “A lot of practitioners use acrylic lashes but I find them too thick, stiff and shiny.”

Do Different Eye Shapes Suit Different Lash Extension Styles?

To some degree. “For many lash technicians the instinct is to apply longer lashes to the outer corner of each eye for a winged effect,” says London. “Which can look great on some but makes those with downturned eyes or very round eyes look sleepy.” The solution? “In these cases, shorter lashes should be used at the outer corners and the longest lashes towards the centre of each eye, this makes very round or downturned eyes look wider.”

According to London, those with deep-set eyes should avoid overly curled lashes. “Curly lashes on deep-set eyes end up hitting the brow bone with each blink, which can be mildly irritating if not uncomfortable.”

What Does A Lash Extension Appointment Involve?

“When you arrive at your appointment you should be given a consultation form to fill in,” explains London. “In it you’ll be asked to provide some top-line medical information relating to allergies, previous eye conditions and so on.” Next comes a face-to-face consultation with your technician. “You’ll often be asked about your daily make-up and skincare routines as well as the lash look you want to achieve.” Your technician will then assess your face shape, eye shape, hair and brow colour, all of which should inform the length, colour and curl of the individual lashes they choose to use on you.

“After your consultation you will be asked to lie down on the treatment bed and relax,” says London. “Any eye make-up will be thoroughly and gently removed and then the all-important lash application begins.” Individual false lashes are applied to your natural ones, 1mm away from the root, enough space for comfortable lash movement. London uses black lash glue, which adds darkness at the root and makes lashes appear thicker. 

 

How Long Does A Lash Extension Appointment Last?

“I would expect most lash extension appointments to last between one hour 45 minutes and two hours,” says London. “I have been offering lash extension services for 13 years now so a full set only takes me one hour 15 minutes and that’s if the client has twitchy eyes.” Feel free to either go to sleep or chat to your technician.

How Long Do Lash Extensions Last?

“Every full set of lashes should last approximately four weeks,” explains London. “Remember though, that your lash extensions shed when your natural lashes shed, the rate of which is entirely down to stage of each individual lash’s growth cycle.” This makes it very hard to predict exactly how long your lash extensions will last.

Do Lash Extensions Damage Natural Lashes?

“Not at all,” says London, though she does have some conditions. “Ensure you book in for classic application, the one lash by one lash method,” she says. “Make sure the thickness of each individual lash extension doesn’t exceed 0.1mm, that the length of each lash used is no more than 2mm longer than your natural lashes and that your lash technician is meticulous in making sure that none of your lashes are stuck together at the final stage of application.” Tick all those boxes and your natural lashes will come to no harm. “I have clients that have been booking in with me regularly for 13 years and their natural lashes are still in perfect condition,” says London.

How Should You Approach A Lash Appointment As A First-Timer?

“If you can, try to turn up without eye make-up and especially mascara on,” says London. “And don’t be afraid to bring pictures that illustrate the look you want to achieve.” London notes that ‘natural-looking lashes’ could mean one thing to you and another to your technician. Being clear pays dividends. 

She also advises asking to patch test the lash glue at least 48 hours prior to your appointment too, even if your technician tells you it’s hypoallergenic. 

“Finally, it’s important to remember that if you are not happy with the results you are entitled to ask your technician to remove them,” says London. “Never try to remove them yourself.” Technicians use a cream-textured glue remover that causes no damage to your natural lashes.

How Should You Look After Your New Lash Extensions At Home?

“Use only oil-free make-up removers,” says London. “Try to stick to oil-free skincare and make-up too.” Oils can loosen the glue’s hold on your lashes and cause your extensions to fall out prematurely. “Avoid rubbing your eyes,” London continues. “And after every shower or bath make sure to dry them very gently and brush through and separate them with a small spoolie brush.” Your technician will also tell you to avoid getting your lashes wet for 24 hours after your appointment, so if you’re an everyday hair washer, lather, rinse and repeat before you head to the salon.

How Many Lash Extension Types Are There And Which Are Best?

“First of all there’s classic application,” says celebrity lash technician Edy London who the likes of Ellie Goulding and Mel B regularly book in with. “That’s the original old school method that involves applying very fine lashes one by one,” she explains. This style makes your natural lashes look longer and more lifted and you shouldn’t be able to detect that these are fake.

“Then there’s Russian lashes,” explains London. “Also known as Russian layering and volume lashes.” This technique involves applying as many as ten hairs, in bundles, to one lash. If you’re after statement-making volume this could be the treatment for you–but London isn’t so keen. “For starters we only have just over one hundred lashes per eye naturally, no one has a thousand, meaning Russian lashes nearly always look fake.”

Different lash material types come into play as well. “I always advise asking for silk or synthetic mink lashes, they’re very fine and hold their curl well,” says London. “A lot of practitioners use acrylic lashes but I find them too thick, stiff and shiny.”

Do Different Eye Shapes Suit Different Lash Extension Styles?

To some degree. “For many lash technicians the instinct is to apply longer lashes to the outer corner of each eye for a winged effect,” says London. “Which can look great on some but makes those with downturned eyes or very round eyes look sleepy.” The solution? “In these cases, shorter lashes should be used at the outer corners and the longest lashes towards the centre of each eye, this makes very round or downturned eyes look wider.”

According to London, those with deep-set eyes should avoid overly curled lashes. “Curly lashes on deep-set eyes end up hitting the brow bone with each blink, which can be mildly irritating if not uncomfortable.”

What Does A Lash Extension Appointment Involve?

“When you arrive at your appointment you should be given a consultation form to fill in,” explains London. “In it you’ll be asked to provide some top-line medical information relating to allergies, previous eye conditions and so on.” Next comes a face-to-face consultation with your technician. “You’ll often be asked about your daily make-up and skincare routines as well as the lash look you want to achieve.” Your technician will then assess your face shape, eye shape, hair and brow colour, all of which should inform the length, colour and curl of the individual lashes they choose to use on you.

“After your consultation you will be asked to lie down on the treatment bed and relax,” says London. “Any eye make-up will be thoroughly and gently removed and then the all-important lash application begins.” Individual false lashes are applied to your natural ones, 1mm away from the root, enough space for comfortable lash movement. London uses black lash glue, which adds darkness at the root and makes lashes appear thicker. 

 

How Long Does A Lash Extension Appointment Last?

“I would expect most lash extension appointments to last between one hour 45 minutes and two hours,” says London. “I have been offering lash extension services for 13 years now so a full set only takes me one hour 15 minutes and that’s if the client has twitchy eyes.” Feel free to either go to sleep or chat to your technician.

How Long Do Lash Extensions Last?

“Every full set of lashes should last approximately four weeks,” explains London. “Remember though, that your lash extensions shed when your natural lashes shed, the rate of which is entirely down to stage of each individual lash’s growth cycle.” This makes it very hard to predict exactly how long your lash extensions will last.

Do Lash Extensions Damage Natural Lashes?

“Not at all,” says London, though she does have some conditions. “Ensure you book in for classic application, the one lash by one lash method,” she says. “Make sure the thickness of each individual lash extension doesn’t exceed 0.1mm, that the length of each lash used is no more than 2mm longer than your natural lashes and that your lash technician is meticulous in making sure that none of your lashes are stuck together at the final stage of application.” Tick all those boxes and your natural lashes will come to no harm. “I have clients that have been booking in with me regularly for 13 years and their natural lashes are still in perfect condition,” says London.

How Should You Approach A Lash Appointment As A First-Timer?

“If you can, try to turn up without eye make-up and especially mascara on,” says London. “And don’t be afraid to bring pictures that illustrate the look you want to achieve.” London notes that ‘natural-looking lashes’ could mean one thing to you and another to your technician. Being clear pays dividends. 

She also advises asking to patch test the lash glue at least 48 hours prior to your appointment too, even if your technician tells you it’s hypoallergenic. 

“Finally, it’s important to remember that if you are not happy with the results you are entitled to ask your technician to remove them,” says London. “Never try to remove them yourself.” Technicians use a cream-textured glue remover that causes no damage to your natural lashes.

How Should You Look After Your New Lash Extensions At Home?

“Use only oil-free make-up removers,” says London. “Try to stick to oil-free skincare and make-up too.” Oils can loosen the glue’s hold on your lashes and cause your extensions to fall out prematurely. “Avoid rubbing your eyes,” London continues. “And after every shower or bath make sure to dry them very gently and brush through and separate them with a small spoolie brush.” Your technician will also tell you to avoid getting your lashes wet for 24 hours after your appointment, so if you’re an everyday hair washer, lather, rinse and repeat before you head to the salon.

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