Makeup » Eyelash Extensions 101: Benefits, Cost, Styles, and More

Eyelash Extensions 101: Benefits, Cost, Styles, and More

This post may contain affiliate links.

Who doesn’t want to bat their eyes with lush lashes? A bold set of lashes can make it look like you put much more effort into your makeup routine than you actually did. Alternatively, you can rely on mascara if you have naturally long lashes. 

Lash strips and individuals are options for those on a tight budget that don’t mind the application process. While you usually can’t rock them for more than a day, they’re a fun way to add some drama to your look. 

But if you want lashes for days — literally and figuratively — and don’t want to mess with lash glue or clumpy mascara, you might be ready for eyelash extensions. Keep reading for the lowdown on this popular beauty treatment.  

What are eyelash extensions?

As the name implies, eyelash extensions add individual lash hairs to your existing natural eyelashes. Depending on your overall goals or experience level, you can opt for a bolder set with more volume or something more natural that easily transitions from day to night. 

For the best results, head to a licensed aesthetician that has extensive experience in lash application. When done correctly, they look natural and can last for several weeks — with no risk to your natural lashes. 

But if you go to a questionable technician, your results may vary. Far too many ways things can go wrong, from using glue that causes allergic reactions to attaching too much weight to your natural lashes. So, do your research and choose a certified, recommended lash stylist.

Types of lash extensions

Most people are familiar with mink lashes. They’re the most common fiber in extensions and have a bolder density, which results in a thicker, more dramatic lash look. But this isn’t the only option. The chart below notes the different types of lash extensions, how much you should expect to spend, and what you might want to choose them.

Fiber TypeFull-Set CostBenefits
Mink Lashes$200-$500Easily available, natural look
Human Hair Lashes$200-$500 Easily available, natural look
Faux Mink Lashes$150Hold curl better, less expensive
Silk Lashes$100Lightweight, natural finish, nice sheen
Synthetic Lashes$70Ideal for full-volume lash styles

Lash extension shapes

Lash extensions are also available in a wide array of shapes. You can opt for straighter or curlier versions. 

The shape is referenced by a letter, with the most common options being J, B, C, CC, and D. Of the five, C is the most popular as it offers a more natural curl. J and B are less curly, while CC and D provide a bolder curl. 

Types of lash extension styles

There are a variety of different lash extension styles. Consider your overall goals and comfort level when picking an option: 

  • Natural. If you want a more believable lash style, this is the option for you. Natural styles have the bulk of the volume over the iris of your eye and the outer corner. They rely on two different lengths to create a more realistic effect. 
  • Open eye. As the name implies, this will make your eyes appear larger and rounder. Usually, these will be shorter lengths on the ends and longer lengths in the center over the eye’s iris. The overall effect is less dramatic but cuter. 
  • Bombshell. Whether you’re going for a siren effect or something more over the top, bombshell extensions will result in longer eyelashes overall. However, the lashes in the inner corner will be shorter. 

Getting lash extensions

professional applying lash extensions

When done correctly, getting lash extensions should be a relaxing experience. You might even fall asleep during the process. 

Your appointment will usually start with a consultation. This is where you can speak to your lash technician about your style goals, previous experience (if any) wearing lash extensions, and which fiber you prefer. 

If you’re not currently wearing extensions, the process begins by gently cleansing the eye area to remove any oils or grime. Your technician will put pads under your eyes to protect the delicate area from the lash glue. 

During the entire procedure, you’ll need to keep your eyes closed. The technician will apply individual lash hairs to create the desired effect. Expect to spend anywhere from one to two hours getting your extensions.

What to expect after extensions

It’s not uncommon to have a bit of initial eye irritation from the lash glue used, including redness in and around the eye area (but this shouldn’t last long). The following tips will help you get the best use out of your new lashes:

  • Avoid getting your face wet for the first two hours after getting extensions.
  • Avoid humid locations like the pool, sauna, or spa for 24 hours following your appointment.
  • Don’t rub or pull on your lash extensions.
  • Only use oil-free makeup remover if you wear makeup.
  • Use a spoolie to brush and separate your lashes if they get tangled.
  • Avoid mascara if possible, and don’t apply it near the base of the lash.
  • Avoid applying moisturizers and eye creams too close to the base of the lash.

Most people can expect to have lash extensions last for approximately three to four weeks before needing to get them filled. Most lash extension spas offer touch-up services. Just keep in mind that, while less expensive than a full set, touch-ups represent a fixed routine cost that can add up over time. 

Maybe they’re born with it, maybe it’s lash extensions

If you weren’t born with naturally luscious lashes, you have options. Lash extensions are a simple process that applies individual hairs to your natural lashes to give you anywhere from a natural to an ultra-glam glow-up for your eyes. Just keep in mind that going down this road can be a substantial cost in the long run because of the frequent fill-ins you’ll need to maintain the look.

ARTICLE (all pages)