If you dream of eyelashes worthy of the silver screen, eyelash extensions may be the answer to your prayers. With eyelash extensions, individual fake lashes are glued to your existing eyelashes one by one to create a look that is dramatic yet appears natural. Eyelash extensions are a large commitment both in terms of time and money; if you take the plunge, take proper care of your extensions to be sure they last for as long as possible.

Eyelash Extension Options

Eyelash Extension Options

Eyelash extensions come in sets that are fully customizable. They may be made of faux mink, faux fox, real mink, silk, or real human hairs. You can also select the shape of the curl (J or C), and the length of the extensions.

After making your selection, you get to lay back and close your eyes as a technician glues the extensions to your natural eyelashes, lash by lash. The whole process takes about an hour and a half and can cost anywhere from $100 to $300, though high end salons can be pricier.

Most salons will recommend coming back every two to three weeks for a touch up, but eyelash extensions can last up to six weeks with proper care. To get the most bang for your buck, follow these tips to extend the life of your eyelash extensions.

1. Sleep on Your Back

The glue that holds eyelash extensions in place can take several days to set completely, so you should be particularly cautious in the first 48 hours following your appointment. Be sure to sleep on your back the first couple nights after getting eyelash extensions. Shoving your face into your pillow can dislodge your new extensions or create unattractive kinks in your eyelashes.

2. Clean Gently

Clean Gently

When you clean your face at night, use a gentle hand when removing your eye makeup. Vigorous rubbing could loosen your new lashes and cause them to fall out. Use cleansing wipes or cotton swabs rather than cotton balls or pads. The loose cotton fibers can become tangled in your mile long lashes, and be difficult to remove. Soak a Q-Tip in cleansing solution and gently dab at your eye makeup to clean the eye area without disturbing your extensions. A gentle eye cleanser like Cliradex is a great choice for cleaning around your eyes, although proper eye hygiene should always be used.

3. Avoid Oil at All Costs

Oils melt the glue that keep eyelash extensions in place. Oil based cleansers and products should be avoided to prevent premature fallout.

4. Keep Them Neat

Over time, eyelash extensions loosen and can become sloppy. Extend the life of your extensions by combing them out with a clean mascara wand or a spoolie brush. Combing out your lashes can prevent any unsightly criss crossing, or otherwise wonky looking eyelashes. Brushing out your extensions keeps your lashes defined. Use a light touch when brushing your lashes to avoid pulling your extensions out.

5. Skip the Mascara

Skip the Mascara

Mascara and eyelash extensions do not mix well. Mascara is very difficult to remove without damaging extensions, and can turn a beautiful set of feathery mink lashes into a spidery, crusty mess. You don’t have to give up all your eye make up however — eye shadow and liner are both fine to use in conjunction with eyelash extensions, as long as you gently clean your eye area at night. The good news is that your eyelash extensions will be so full and lush, mascara will be completely unnecessary.

6. Go Easy on Your Extensions

Another eyelash tool made obsolete by extensions? Your eyelash curler. Salons offer a variety of curl shapes for your extensions, so your lashes should have plenty of lift on their own. Relegate your trusty eyelash curler to the back of the medicine cabinet; this tiny torture device will only serve to weaken your lashes, and cause breakage.


7. Don’t Pull Them Out

As your original eyelashes naturally fall out, you will slowly shed your extensions. If you notice your extensions falling out of line, resist the urge to fiddle with them. The glue attaching extensions to your eyelashes is quite strong, and attempting to remove your eyelash extensions at home could lead you to pulling out your natural lashes, yikes! Fix stray hairs with a spoolie brush, and if you want to have them removed, return to the initial salon. Eyelash technicians will be able to safely and quickly remove your remaining extensions with specialty solvents and tools.

If you treat your eyelash extensions with care, you can maintain your movie star eyelashes for nearly six weeks between appointments.