Beauty

COSMO Roadtest: I got eyelash extensions for the first time, and here’s what happened

I’ve never even used false eyelashes, so this was a big jump.

By Katie Stow
Eyelash Extensions Before and After

Eyelash extensions are the beauty girl hack that saves you minutes in your daily makeup routine and stops you from having to sneak to the bathroom in the morning after an ~adult sleepover~ to re-mascara, so you can bat your lashes and make them fall in love with you all over again.

But what actually happens during an eyelash extensions treatment? Does it hurt? How long do they last? And is it even worth it?

Here, I have answered all of your eyelash extension questions — as I go under the, er, tweezer and lose my false lash-virginity for the sake of research (and compliments, duh).

What do you need to do before you get eyelash extensions?

First off, you need eyelashes. As daft as that sounds, you do need a fairly healthy amount of lashes to do this procedure, as it involves gluing false eyelashes to your real ones.

However, in terms of on-the-day prep, after speaking to Inskin Medi Spa, Neutral Bay (where I had my treatment), the lovely beautician told me that I needed to arrive at my appointment with no eye makeup on — and that it would be best if I avoided any oil-based moisturising of my eye area that day.

I followed doctor’s orders and arrived at the spa bare faced.

Before eyelash extensions.
Before eyelash extensions.

If you usually go makeup-free on a day-to-day basis, it’s good to go that way to the appointment. That way the beautician can give you lashes that will go with your everyday face — meaning you will be wearing the lashes, not the lashes wearing you.

One thing you probably should know before you book an appointment is to not trust speedy salons. The most basic and natural sets of lashes take at least one hour to do, so be wary of spas that offer 30-minute sessions as it’s likely they’re cutting corners and rushing the procedure.

How do I know what eyelash extension style to choose?

There are a bunch of different eyelash extension styles to choose at different salons, ranging from classic extensions to full glamour sets. The spa I visited even offers a ‘Russian Volume Set’, which is the latest extreme lash trend, giving you a bouquet of lashes (meaning two or more single false lashes on every real lash), AKA the ULTIMATE volume for yo eyelids.

For this roadtest, I went with a ‘Classic Set’, as it is meant to give you the most natural look.

What happens during your eyelash extensions procedure?

I knew based off the eyelash menu that my treatment was going to take around an hour and 15 minutes. But what was going to happen during that, I had no idea.

I walked into the spa and was welcomed by my beautician, who showed me into my treatment room. It looked a lot like a massage treatment room, so that put me at ease, but it had a MAHOOSIVE lamp-type thing hanging over the bed, which reminded me of the dentist. Suddenly less at ease.

The beautician asked me what I was after with this treatment, and what results I was hoping for. She confirmed that the ‘Classic Set’ was the one for me, and away we went!

I laid down on the bed and closed my eyes and prayed that when I woke up, I wouldn’t look like this:

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Firstly, my eye lids were cleaned by the beautician, who ran warm water over them. Then she placed a slightly damp pad on my bottom lashes, to make sure they wouldn’t be getting in the way, and a gauze sticker on my top lid to turn my lash line up slightly so it was at the perfect angle to add some new lashes.

(For those of you who have an irrational fear of things coming towards their eyes — like my 12 year-old self that thought eyeliner was trying to blind me — don’t worry, because your eyes are closed for the whole treatment.)

She then got cracking with the extensions, using tweezers to pick up the individual falsie, dip the end in glue and stick it to one of my real lashes. In between adding lashes, she would occasionally brush my eyelashes with a little bristle brush (just like on a mascara) to keep them neat and tidy.

This was me with one eye (right) nearly done, and my other eye (left) untouched:

Mid -way through my eyelash extensions.
Mid -way through my eyelash extensions.

The whole procedure lasted just over an hour, and it was super relaxing — so much so that I actually dozed off and had a lil nap during it.

Does getting eyelash extensions hurt?

Absolutely not. There isn’t any prodding or poking or scratching involved in the procedure, but if you open your eyes (even just a little bit) during the treatment, the fumes from the glue can make your eyes burn a little. It’s just a vaguely irritating sting, but it’s super avoidable if you keep your peepers shut.

The fumes crept into my eyeballs when I fell asleep and moved my eyes without realising. I wasn’t in pain, but was just pissed that my eyes weren’t as relaxed as I was during my little snooze.

What do your eyes look like with eyelash extensions?

Well, in my opinion, BLOODY GREAT. With the set I got, I looked like what I normally do with mascara on — but with no crummy side effects like not being able to rub your eye or cry when you’re watching The Bachelor finale.

You can see the eyelash extensions before and after here:

← Slide →
← Slide →

What is it like having eyelash extensions?

If you’ve never had it before, it does feel kinda foreign. There is definitely a sense that there is more on your eyelids than usual, but it’s the same sensation that you have wearing mascara: You know something’s there, but it doesn’t bother you.

Lifestyle-wise, everything is pretty much the same. The only thing different is that you don’t have to put on mascara and that it’s best to avoid oil-based products around your eyelashes while you have the extensions in, so you don’t break down the glue and the lashes fall out quicker.

Do I need to get my eyelash extensions removed?

You can undergo eyelash extensions removal treatments from a spa, but I think you would only do this if your eyelash extensions were pissing you off or hurting your eyes.

If you don’t get them physically removed, they fall out within three to four weeks — so my suggestion is to enjoy them for as long as possible!

Are eyelash extensions worth it?

In my opinion, yes. Sure they are pretty expenny (with a ‘Classic Set’ costing around $140), but they have a huge impact on the way you look — and your compliment quota! I haven’t worn a stitch of makeup since getting them because I feel like I’ve already made an effort, just by having them.

The only downside: they’re pretty addictive. I’m already dreading the day that they start to fall out and I’ll be back to plain old lash times — but I think my bank balance will be happier if I reserve this beauty treat for special occasions and ‘treat yo self’ times.

But for now, I will enjoy my luscious lashes and rake in the compliments on the reg.