Lash It Out

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A few months before I gave birth to baby #2, I decided to get eyelash extensions.

This was an entirely impulsive decision. I’m not normally someone who does a lot of beauty treatments – I don’t get my hair colored,  don’t get facials (but I’m always vowing to start), and my haircut frequency has greatly suffered in the last few years. But randomly, one day I woke up and decided I wanted eyelash extensions.

I think it had something to do with feeling enormous and being sick of all the same maternity clothes and thus wanting some small way to feel better about myself. So I went out and got extensions and for the last few months, have been addicted to them. I went every three weeks to touch them up, and engaged in ridiculous contortions to try to avoid getting oil on them when washing my face at night. But it was worth it. I loved them. I haven’t had to wear eye makeup at all since getting them. Like when I gave birth? I wore NO makeup, and this was after hours in the hospital, labor…I definitely did not look like this when I gave birth to #1.

Then, a few weeks ago, I took them off.

The result was kind of frightening. My eyelashes were quite damaged, very sparse, short, thin…really scary. I wished I had never gotten extensions to begin with. Whenever I looked in a mirror, I had the same thought…I’m HIDEOUS! But then like with a bad boyfriend, I thought about my good memories with my extensions, and thought maybe it was worth it after all.

To try and fix them, I purchased a few serums. I had used some serums before, but years ago, and found them to be quite effective. So after conducting a survey amongst friends and beauty addicts, I bought a tube of Grandelash MD, and another friend sent me a tube of  Revitalash (which isn’t able to be purchased in California…some sort of pending lawsuit over one of its ingredients, which apparently is very effective, which of course just made me want it all the more!).

Then, the night before I started using them, I realized that you aren’t supposed to use either while breastfeeding…agh!!

So now I’ve ordered Plume, which is apparently pregnancy/breastfeeding friendly, and I’ll report how it goes.

In the meantime, I’ve been using castor oil…I haven’t noticed much but at least my eyes are moisturized.

Anyway – a few of my tips of lash extensions:

1. Check reviews and this isn’t something you skimp on. Lashes are important. A bad lash job in my opinion is way worse than a bad haircut. If you get a bad haircut, you can wear hats and ponytails and get a cute little bob. If you get a bad lash job, you might lose the mall and look like a fish.

2. Extensions often can damage your lashes, and the longer you get them, the more damage is possible. Before I got my extensions, the technician kept assuring me that if I ever took them off I might be under the impression that extensions damaged my natural eyelashes, which was untrue. It was only because I had gotten used to my beautiful long minky lashes, she said, that I would think my normal lashes were spare. I think this is kind of bull. Yeah a great technician can be way easier on your lashes than a bad one, and the . But gluing strips of fake hair to your real ones, and adding that weight, has to add some stress to the follicle. Just my unscientific opinion.

3. Give your eyes a break once a in a while. This is hard to do. I understand. It feels like having to drink an ugly potion after you’ve been enjoying yourself in the happy world of pretty eyes. But you need it, it’s good for your eyes to get a little vacation, and you can always get extensions after a few weeks again.

As for me…I think I’m done with extensions…for now…but I might try again later.

What about you? Have you ever tried extensions?

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  • Trang
    October 16, 2017 at 9:34 am

    “If you get a bad lash job, you might lose the mall and look like a fish.” I think you meant to say “you might lose them all” 🙂 But yes, that’s a reason I don’t want to get them since knowing myself, I won’t get them regularly and will look like a fish!

    • Katherine
      October 17, 2017 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you!! I will fix!

  • Michelle
    October 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Oh wow! Sorry to hear about your damaged lashes after removing the lash extensions. I have always been tempted to get them but somehow the thought of having to avoid oil is just too much for me since I use an oil cleanser to remove my face make-up and also, I can’t imagine having to avoid the eye area when applying face serums and creams which I am pretty sure has some oil content. Hope that your lashes will be revitalized soon.

  • K
    October 16, 2017 at 11:20 am

    I have had it for 1.5yrs and love every moment of it till I think it is time to give my lashes a break.. Man, I nearly don’t recognized myself and felt so naked but then yes.. when I saw how damaged and short my natural lashes got after these extensions, no regret on giving them a break. Now, I am tempted to do a few perms instead! I have had done perming when I was in college and that was years…….ago.. would you consider trying to perm them later?

    • Katherine
      October 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      I might try perm but I’ve heard mixed reviews too…so I”m frightened! Ha

  • Mercy
    October 16, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Oh my, I’m so glad you wrote about falsies as I was contemplating of getting it. With the cons that will happen after and the things you will buy for a remedy I don’t want to go ahead. I’ll just be happy for a double coat of mascara for now 🙂

  • Amy
    October 16, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    I just got into extensions and love them. As a working mom, I really appreciate the saved time in the morning and knowing I’ll look good throughout the day, without mascara flaking off. That said, I worry about damage a lot too. My friends who’ve done it for YEARS claim there’s no damage (I go to a very thorough Japanese lady for the extensions), but I think I will still take a break of at least one cycle a year, during which I’ll apply serum religiously.

    • Katherine
      October 17, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      I hope you’ll be okay! Yes take a break…and can I just say that you are freaking beautiful without extensions so I can only imagine how you look with them! Pretty mama!

  • honhon
    October 17, 2017 at 5:12 am

    yes and i love it every time i get extension treatment. its like love and hate….i get sucked back when i forget how sad my lashes look after the extension fall off. i make sure i get appointment with this wonderful japanese technician and i would like to believe that she leaves a minimum damage on me. mine last about a month on average but oh boy i hate every time i take shower or wash my face or basically wet my face i have to be careful with my lashes. i feel the end of the year party season…..its extension time??!

    • Katherine
      October 17, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      Yup…I can see myself going through this cycle as well!

  • Lynnie Wu
    October 17, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Hi! I recently removed my lashes after having extensions for 2 years. I did have a lot of fallout and damage to my real lashes. Every time I looked at my sad lashes I was tempted to run back and get a new set. But I stuck it out and used latisse daily and 2 months later, my lashes look amazing now. Also, I just discovered this amazing drugstore mascara for $5. It’s better than any $50 mascara I’ve ever bought. The brand is Essence and you can get it at Target. Anyway; good luck with your lashes. Patience is key! And don’t get a lash perm. Damaged lashes can frizz and they will look really bad!

    • Katherine
      October 17, 2017 at 9:52 pm

      I’m buying that mascara next time I go to Target for sure! Thank you!!

      • Isabel
        October 18, 2017 at 5:13 pm

        I second the Essence recommendation (I use the Lash Princess, non-waterproof)! I got extensions once and loved it but was nervous about the effects so switched to NeuLash and I am hooked. I took before and after pictures, and my boyfriend commented that it looked like my eyelashes are cut in the before picture.

  • Evelyn
    October 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    I’ve been getting extensions for the past year and yes, I did notice a lot of damage after I removed them temporarily. My eyelashes are naturally very very short – truly almost nonexistent – so I still use Revitalash when I have extensions, otherwise my lashes cannot support or maintain the weight of extensions! On the plus side, revitalash really does work and I’ve had amazing results – better than Latisse!

    • Katherine
      October 17, 2017 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experience! I’m excited to try Revitalash (after I stop nursing…sigh)

  • L
    October 20, 2017 at 5:28 am

    I had them for the first time over the summer and enjoyed the low maintenance, no eye makeup look! The con was as you have mentioned not cleaning around my eye very well because I didn’t want to rub off lashes or get oil on them. I also have to say having to maintain every 3 weeks was driving me a little crazy. I don’t know if it was because I only had them for about 3 months but I don’t there is damage to my sparse lashes but I do see the need to go back to makeup, sigh. I think I’d rather try a keratin lift or the revitalash… was fun while it lasted but pricey and just don’t like the maintenance.

  • D
    October 20, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Kat, please find a great technician! I have had extensions continuously for five plus years? I had a bad period briefly when I lost a lot of natural lash due to a technician that put too heavy synthetic lashes on me. The combo of glue and lash type is key in my opinion. I get mink, which sounds like you do too…. lighter is better for Asian lashes.

    Tell me how the eyelash serums Work! I also have heard biotin is good but too lazy to take

  • Bee
    October 21, 2017 at 10:18 am

    This was a very helpful post – thank you for sharing your experience!

  • zmenger
    October 21, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I get my extension at this tiny shop in Hong Kong regularly for about 6 months before I took a break because I felt really sick during my first trimester and couldn’t stand all the smell on the crowded streets in Hong Kong. I let the extensions fell off gradually instead of going to the shop to take them all off, so it didn’t feel too shocking when they all went away. I was never good at curling my lashes with a curler and being Chinese, I have very flat lashes. 🙂 So the extension was definitely very nice and easy for someone like me, a working mom who can’t work the curler even if I had the time. But I agree with you about taking a break as I really enjoyed being able to rub my eyes freely and let my lashes breath without the glue all over them. Thanks for sharing the serums, but I will definitely have the extensions when I go into my labor. 🙂

    • Katherine
      October 22, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      Best wishes for a smooth labor and healthy baby!

  • Wei
    October 25, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    I’ve had my lashes done for the past 5+ years….I’m an addict and I’m so afraid to see what my lashes are like underneath. I think maybe when I stop breastfeeding, I’ll have to stop and try some lash serums!

    • Katherine
      October 26, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      Yes! I was scared but the time goes by, mine are coming back!