Taking care of my eyelashes has been an optimal component of my makeup routine for several years now. I specifically remember my interest in mascara (and makeup in general) peaking in high school after experimenting with a handful of drugstore products. I would always apply my mascara in the school bathroom before classes began, determined to heavily coat each individual lash with the sweep of a fluffy brush. Suddenly, I was addicted, and I have been ever since.
For those who know me well know I am obsessed with the Too Faced mascara Better Than Sex. I have been using it for about three years and have yet to find a better tube. Don’t get me wrong, I know several people who swear by drugstore brands and I am sure there are great ones out there. However, at $23, Too Faced can get pricey pretty quickly if you’re an avid mascara buyer like myself. So, this past summer I decided to test out a completely different option, a major trend that had been bombarding every social media platform: eyelash extensions. Now, this is not the same as the “false eyelashes” that come in plastic and can be purchased at your local beauty supply store. Getting eyelash extensions is a somewhat complicated process. so it’s important to educate yourself on all the little details that go into it.
Taking advantage of my last few days living in New York City, I ventured to an eyelash extension salon with my friend who had been getting them for months. We had a Groupon, which made the experience slightly cheaper than it would normally be. You’ve probably heard a range of prices that start around $75 and go up to $400 or higher. But at the price of $55, I thought it was a good investment and might save me a month or two of buying a few bottles of Too Faced. Because I consider myself to be an expert on makeup, I also felt the responsibility to follow in the footsteps of my peers.
My friend and I met at Sumi Eyelash Salon in Korea Town. The salon itself wasn’t upscale with all the frills you might expect for the price you’re paying. However, it was packed so I didn’t doubt their capability just yet. Through Groupon, I had already purchased the “full set of mink eyelash extensions – up to 110 pieces per eye.” Little did I know there was even more to select before the application process began. The girls at the front desk asked me to choose what style I wanted by showing me a chart with small illustrations of what the result would look like. I went with the “J curl” at a length of 12 inches. For $5 more I decided to blend thin and thick lashes to make the look more natural. As you can imagine, I was already overwhelmed by all the different options.
The application process itself was nothing like what I was expecting it to be. I thought the whole thing would take no longer than 30 minutes, but I ended up lying extremely still on a VERY uncomfortable table for over two hours. It was frustrating. Setting my own displeasure aside, I have to say the technician was super gentle and delicate working around my eyes and I hardly felt anything going on in that area.
Looking in the mirror for the first time after the extensions are applied can be jarring for some. Coming into the salon with no makeup on, just your regular old lashes, and walking out with a Kim Kardashian effect should not be taken lightly. I suddenly felt my confidence skyrocket and was walking down the street like I owned New York. Knowing I could wake up in the morning without having to apply any mascara at all made eyelash extensions all the more desirable. But even after a few hours passed and the days went on, I still sensed some weight on my eyes which could feel slightly awkward if you’re not used to it. I also noticed a severe decrease in lashes over the following two weeks and by week three, they were all gone.
Overall, I had a fair first time experience with eyelash extensions. I got a great deal price wise, loved the look, but didn’t care for the application process, and wished they lasted longer. Would I get them again? Maybe. If I had an important event to go to I would probably give eyelash extensions another try, but not without a Groupon. On a 22-year-old’s budget, I have to be cautious of what I spend my money on. Luckily, any major city like New York has hundreds of eyelash extension salons offering specials all the time.
I would recommend eyelash extensions to anyone who is seriously considering the beauty fad. Read reviews of different salons before going because there are definitely places to avoid. Additionally, listen to your technician’s advice. Don’t pick at the lashes because they will fall out. Try to avoid getting them wet, especially 24 hours after application. Warning: be prepared to spend a good amount of your paycheck on eyelash extensions because you might just become addicted!