What are eyelash extensions and how are they applied

There are many different eyelash trends – from magnetic eyelashes and fake bottom lashes to miracle growth serums and heated curlers. However, all these options require a lot of time and effort and don’t necessarily deliver on their promise. Eyelash extensions are a semi-permanent option that gives your lashes volume and length without the need to apply mascara.

You may have heard of eyelash extensions and even considered giving them a go but, with so many different options, it can be daunting. To help you navigate the world of eyelash extensions, we’ve put together a short guide on everything you need to know about them and how they are applied.

What are eyelash extensions?

Eyelash extensions are tiny fibres made from different materials, including synthetic, natural hair, silk (PBT) and mink (animal hair). The most popular extension types are man-made silk, otherwise known as PBT. These materials mimic our natural lashes and are very popular within the industry. They are affordable, versatile and the most preferred material by lash artists.

Eyelash extension materials

Eyelash extensions come in different lengths, thicknesses and curvatures. During your initial consultation, you’ll work with your lash artist to find what works best for you, to achieve the look you want. You can also get half sets or corner lashes. Some lash artists offer a variety of materials.

While natural hair or fibres seem like the best option, they react to the environment just like the hair on our head. The ends of the lashes can turn dry or brittle and, when it’s humid, they may fizz.

Synthetics are the most affordable option available but, if made poorly, they can feel sharp on the tips of the eyelashes. They also don’t bend or move naturally like PBT does. Mink is made from animal hair and can trigger allergies in some clients. There are also concerns around animal cruelty and they’re no longer approved for import into Australia.

How are eyelash extensions applied?

Eyelash extensions involve applying individual extensions onto each natural eyelash using an adhesive. The natural eyelash can grow, move and fall out, even with the extension attached to it. Application can take up to two hours.

Each lash artist will have a different approach to the treatment but here are the general steps of the process:

· Your lash artist will gently cleanse both your eyes (although you are advised not to wear any eye makeup to your appointment).

· Your lash artist will apply eye gel or surgical tape to your lower lashes, so they don’t accidentally glue them to your upper lashes.

· Your natural eyelashes will be isolated using tweezers.

· Your lash artist will apply individual eyelash extensions on top of your natural eyelash using a tiny drop of glue.

· Your eyes will be closed throughout the process.

Will I need a patch test?

The simple answer is yes, especially if it’s your first time. It’s recommended to get a patch test at least 48 hours before your appointment. This ensures your safety and makes sure you’re not allergic to the adhesive or lash material. After all, you wouldn’t want to have your lashes removed straight after having them applied.

How long do eyelash extensions last?

Lash extensions typically last the same lifetime as your natural eyelashes, which is between four and six weeks. You should get infills every two to three weeks to keep them looking full and uniform. Infills are when your lash artist fills in any gaps between your lashes.

Who can apply eyelash extensions?

Eyelash extensions should only be applied by a certified lash artist. Unfortunately, the lash industry isn’t regulated, and we see a lot of damage done to natural eyelashes by unqualified artists. They often either use heavy extensions or apply extensions to a group of natural lashes instead of isolating individual natural lashes. This can cause discomfort for clients and risking possible long-term damage to the health and growth of natural lashes.

To make sure your first experience with eyelash extensions is a positive one, find a lash artist that’s qualified and has good online reviews. We can’t stress the importance of this enough as it’s not just about your lashes, it’s about your eye health too.

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