The First-Timer’s Guide to Eyelash Extensions

The PLM Report Card | Eyelash Extensions 

Pretty: A+

Low Maintenance: B-

The topic I’m about to cover today is probably the most on-brand thing I’ve discussed on this blog to date. It’s not completely high maintenance, but it’s not low maintenance, either. In fact, I’d call it pretty low maintenance! (Please don’t leave me.)

Our topic today: eyelash extensions.

I’ve thought about trying eyelash extensions for a long time, especially after seeing how good they look on my glamorous coworkers. I tried to improve things in the eyelash department by upgrading my mascara, but as we all know I don’t recommend shelling out extra bucks for an expensive tube of lash paint. 

To me, eyelash extensions are a bit of a riddle– do they really make life easier because you never need mascara, or have you just added one more expensive and time-consuming step to your routine?

I can’t say I’ve solved this riddle entirely. There are pros and cons to extensions:

The Pros: 

They look amazing. A+ for pretty.

The effect and length is more dramatic than you’d get from any tube of mascara.

You have to do very little makeup-wise once they’re on. I’ve just been wearing tinted moisturizer and I feel very put together with no effort.

The Cons: 

They are expensive! If you go as frequently as you might to get your nails done, you’d need a second mortgage.

They are a bit fussy. To prolong the extensions you have to do things like try to sleep on your back, avoid rubbing your eyes, avoiding contact with a ton of water on your face, etc.

They take a long time to put on. My appointment was 1 hour and 15 minutes. Some say this takes away from any of the time you save getting ready, but I think that all depends on your makeup routine.

When you do take the plunge, keep these things in mind:

1. Get a Groupon. There are a million Groupon deals (at least in NYC) for eyelash extensions. Most salons will give you an introductory price as well.

2. Go somewhere clean. Don’t cut corners on cost by going somewhere skeevy. These go on your eyelashes, remember. Don’t mess around.

3. Be prepared to not open your eyes for a long time. This was the part I knew about intellectually, but the moment they taped my eyes shut I started to panic about everything that could possibly happen while my eyes were bound closed (nuclear disaster, fire, armed intruder, technician has a stroke) and it made it difficult to relax at first.

4. Bring earbuds. A good podcast can help with #3. (This was a tip from one of my glam coworkers, and after I stopped feeling existential dread I was happy to have something to listen to.)

5. Time your extensions with a special occasion. I did mine before a wedding, and it was nice to have an excuse to get a little extra dolled up. No point in trying extensions for the first (and possibly last!) time if you are just going to be lying on the couch.

Anyone else tried these? What’d you think? High maintenance, low maintenance, or just plain maintenance?

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