Ugly Eyelash Extensions

n my tenure at PGA National, where I was a leading aesthetician and eyelash extension specialist for more than 5 years, I have seen more than my fair share of good, bad, and ugly when it comes to eyelash extensions. Before you pick up the phone, here are a few things to think about with regards to getting eyelash extensions — eyelash extension pros and cons, if you will — from someone whose life revolves literally around the lashes, and one who has been getting eyelash extensions twice per month for more than a year.   

I tell all my clients…eyelash extensions do not harm your natural lashes if applied properly. Lash extensions enhance the length, thickness, and fullness of natural lashes, for semi-permanent. Like gel nails, lashes extensions are not something that can easily be removed on their own.   

Pulling out fake eyelashes also can take out your natural ones, should these hairs be in the way, which is the kind of pulling-out that extensions can induce. False eyelashes also can catch dirt and bacteria, creating irritation and infections, and the reaction to glue can trigger allergic eyelid swelling, similar to that reported by Chenoweth. Because there is so much glue, I have frequently seen five or 10 natural lashes stuck together in glue-on extension, and they get caught up in a mess.   

The reason why this is seen is that it is the delicatest, frailest areas, so if glue and extensions are clumsy on these areas, then you are almost guaranteed to get the natural lashes completely torn off from this area (which is exactly what happened here). Trying to yank the extensions out could result in a gaping hole or space for your natural lashes to pop up. This also means when one of your natural lashes falls off, the extension attached to it obviously goes with it. This picture shows my own job, where I applied an extension per one of the strongest natural lashes.   

Eyelash extensions are known as clusters, and they are also not true extensions; his natural lashes are all stuck together, which does not allow for the proper emergence of the new lashes. You can see the gaps (C) where she does not have strong natural lashes for extensions. 

The aesthetician said that she cannot even put extensions on my natural lashes, as they are now too short. This is a picture of a customer that has not been to me for about 6 weeks, so all her prior extensions are gone, but you can see that her natural lashes are in great shape. I have had my own extensions done by a local lady who has her own salon, and she does an amazing job at making them look like they are done without looking completely ridiculous, so when we booked our last-minute trip to Tenerife last month, one of the first things I did was get in touch with her to ask for an appointment.   

Well, fitting just sounds good enough to me, so, when I drove up to the salon, about 40 hours before our flight, I was already planning on going back two weeks later to have my lashes done again for Christmas — and possibly another time after that, too, because this is just how nice they are going to look, I just know. It was at that point, though, that my luck turned, because – and please do not shout me about it – it so happened I had a bottle of fake eyelash removal product left over from the last time I would had my regular extensions done, way back in the summer. The aesthetician had told me not to wear mascara until I bought her specific mascara made by a lash extension company (which sounds like a load of BS to me), so I passed on it until I could find a good mascara for my extensions.   

Russian Volume eyelash extensions simply felt awfully uncomfortable, essentially, so realizing that I was out of options, I once again turned to Google, and started desperately calling up other salons in the area to see if someone would take me in for last-minute removal/reapplication lashes. Once I got into my car, I took the chance on a quick look at my mirror, just to confirm the lashes were indeed as awful as I had assumed, and it was not just the salons lighting or anything. Ten minutes later, Max had gone to take an afternoon nap, and Terry and I were standing in the bathroom, with Terry using a pair of nail scissors to try and cut down Russian Volume eyelash extensions down to more sensible lengths. I had never had eyelash extensions myself, but I can remember pangs of envy at seeing friends effortlessly brushing these magnificently long lashes, mixed with rage at learning the harm that they did to the delicate tissues in your eyes.  

I had heard about eyelash extensions before, and started to notice more celebrities wearing them instead of stripping. I wear some extensions now here and there, just because I love the way they make me look with my mascara. While eyelash extensions are costly and require some upkeep, they also give you the lashes you have always wanted, while also improving your natural beauty. It is even worse when someone is wearing really thick/dense eyelash extensions and coating it with mascara (which we would never recommend) because, as you might guess, it is nearly impossible to clean it properly. 

When doing this, one must take care, because getting water directly on your lashes will weaken the glue and make your eyelash extensions fall off too soon. If you never wash your lashes, oil stays in them, builds up, and slowly eats into your eyelash glue. You will naturally lose 2-4 of your lashes a day, so do not be surprised when you notice that your extensions are falling off. 

It may take weeks or months for your best efforts at lash growth, vitamins, or eyelash serums to show results, but with eyelash extensions, you will have longer, fuller lashes in just hours. Okay, the earliest is best; nowadays, fake lashes are a look that looks natural, giving a longer, thicker, & fuller eyelash appearance. False lashes are extremely temporary — used for 1 day — whereas eyelash extensions are semi-permanent, lasting up to 12 weeks. The procedure may take 90 minutes to 2 hours the first time it is applied, with retouches required every 2-3 weeks, as eyelash extensions will drop off in an irregular pattern compared with the natural lashes.   

A good eyelash artist should educate you about this, so that you can make an educated decision about whether you want eyelash extensions. As a certified Esthetics and Lash Artist, I believe in educating my lash clients before they decide to go for any services offered at The Beauty Confidential.  

Nothing frustrates me more than seeing eyelashes ruined by a so-called lash specialist. Hypersensitivity may not only happen with glues containing formaldehyde, but with tapes on your lower eyelashes, as well as with the solvents used to take off your Eyelash Extensions. Hypersensitivity, or contact dermatitis, caused by allergic reactions to either the lashes themselves, or to the adhesive used to hold the extensions in place, is possible with extensions.