aarp, the girlfriend

Kendra Dandy

The Girlfriend’s Guide To Eyelash Extensions

Warning: This information could lead to an expensive addiction!

Warning: This information could lead to an expensive addiction!

I first tried eyelash extensions before my daughter’s bat mitzvah. I knew I’d be crying as I watched her take her first steps toward womanhood, I knew I’d be paying for a makeup artist, and I knew I didn’t want to look like a raccoon in the photos. Everybody told me I’d love my new lashes. So much, in fact, that I would become addicted! That was a year ago, and it turns out they were right.

If you want to bat your eyes at this expensively addicting but oh-so-effective way to enhance your face, here’s some intel.

Choose your technician or salon carefully. Prices can range but so can quality. Go somewhere that comes highly recommended by friends who have gotten their money’s worth. You might want to try just a few lashes at first, to make sure you aren’t sensitive to the glue and to see how you like it. A full set of lashes can mean 80 to 120 individual lashes glued onto your real ones. And remember: One fake lash does not fit all. Talk with your technician about which kind of curl, length and thickness best fits your eye shape.

If you love your new look and want to it to last, you’ll have to go for refills every two to three weeks. In between visits, maintain your extensions and help keep them in place as long as possible by avoiding eye makeup, moisturizers and makeup removers containing oil. Keep them clean, but don’t rub them with a towel or let the shower water pound on your face. (I have a friend who showers with swim goggles!)

While you’re focusing on caring for your extensions, don’t forget about your real lashes. They may seem small by comparison, but they’ve always been there for you and you want them to stick around. Take breaks from getting extensions to allow your natural lashes some recovery time. Summer is a great time for this, since swimming, sweat and sunscreen can all weaken the glue bond. And look into a lash-growth serum. Your dermatologist may recommend an effective over-the-counter brand.

Enjoy the freedom from mascara and the experience of waking up in the morning with gorgeous eyes. And if you get addicted, don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Illustration by Kendra Dandy