Style Watch: Eyelash Extensions

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ever wonder how stars like Jennifer Lopez, Oprah, Naomi Campbell, Nicole Kidman, and others have long lush lashes that seem to be flawless and "bling the blink"? Most wear eyelash extensions. The new lash extension craze started in Asia, has swept through Europe and now is taking the USA by storm. Soon to be a staple service, the American woman is dumping the mascara wand for this no clumps, no smudges, hypoallergenic, waterproof, 24/7 "glam" eye. And for the contact wearer/allergic person, extensions are a MUST, according to Grace Nowick of Hair Base Salon and Spa in Chicago.

For those who remember the traditional false eyelashes, you will be wowed by the technology change, Grace says. Traditional false eyelashes are usually made with a strip or with multiple lashes knotted together and are applied directly on to the eyelid using adhesive formulas that dry hard on the eyelid and lashes - a source of major discomfort to the wearer. Below are examples of the traditional false eyelash.In Hollywood, the new lash extensions will cost upwards of $500. Hair Base offers the service for $200. Touch ups are recommended at two weeks to replace lost lashes and will usually run $50.

100% natural looking:

  • Thicker at the base, tapered at the tip
  • Lengthens (three different sizes 6, 8, 9,10, and 12 mm for a custom effect)
  • Thickens your own lashes
  • Waterproof
  • Smudge proof
  • Weightless
  • No Clumping
  • Last up to 5weeks

    The Procedure:
    After a thorough consultation where we explain the procedure and benefits of the eye lash extensions, we bring you into a treatment room. Here you will relax on a table, with a bolster under your knees for complete body support and relaxation. Once your eye make up is removed and your bottom lashes protected, you are ready to receive the extensions. Each individual lash is dipped in a bonding agent and applied to a natural individual lash. Great care is taken to avoid skin contact. On average, each eye will require between 25 40 new lashes, depending on the desired look. The entire procedure takes about 60-90 minutes and is very relaxing. You emerge with a revitalized, uplift look to your eyes.

    After Care: To get the most out of your lashes, you need to follow some simple instructions. The first 24-48 hours are crucial to the bonding procedure, so:

  • No water should contact eyelashes for 12 hours.
  • No steaming, swimming or washing your face with hot water for 48 hours.
  • Emollients, creams, and oils are the eye lash bonding agent's worst enemy. Use eye creams sparingly and avoid lid/lash.
  • Do not use mascara or mascara remover. You don't need it and it shortens the life of the extension.
  • Do not use an eye lash curler. It will break the eye lashes and/or crease them.
  • Do not rub lashes when washing your face - pat dry after cleansing.
  • Do not pull on eyelashes. The bond on the extensions is so strong that it will pull your own eyelash out along with the new ones.


    How long will they last? With proper care, your lash extension will last as long as your own lash. The life cycle of natural lashes is about 10 to 12 weeks. In order for us to successfully bond a lash to your own lash however; we must target a lash that is long enough to support the length of the extension. Typically these lashes are about 5 to 6 weeks old and are close to full maturity. This leaves you with about 5 to 6 weeks of wear before the last lash falls off. Since your own lashes fall off at different intervals, your extensions will slowly be shed off with the natural lash over the 5 to 6 week period. Because of this, touch ups are recommended about every 2 weeks to maintain the fullness of lush lashes.

    How thick will they make my lashes? Typically a full set of lash extensions will thicken your own lashes about 30 to 50 %. If you are use to wearing the strip or flair extensions, you will find that this technology is not as thickening as the old technology. It is designed to give you a more natural look.

    How long will they make my lashes? On average, the extensions can make your lashes anywhere from 20% to 50% longer then your own lashes. We can extend them out as long as 75%, but find that they don't last more then a week.

    What do I have to do to keep them up? Although some people get eyelash extensions for a special occasion or vacation, most love the look so much, that they want to maintain it. This requires touch ups on a two week basis to replace lost lashes. After several touch ups, your technician may suggest a new set, to keep the lashes looking fresh and new.

    How soon before and event should I have them done? We suggest 2 days to 5 days before that special event or vacation. This insures accurate curing time for the bonding agent (which can take up to 48 hours) and the freshest possible look for the lashes.

    Can I use Mascara on my extensions? You will not need to use mascara with these extensions. But for those dye hard fans the answer is "It is not recommended". Most mascaras are petroleum based, will break down the bonding agent of the extensions, and dramatically shorten their lives. Because your bottom lashes touch your top lashes when the eye is closed, we recommend not using your normal mascara on your bottom lashes as well. The only mascara that works well with your extensions is "Blinc's Kiss Me Mascara". This mascara is not petroleum based and will not break down the extension's bonding agent. Hair Base retails this particular mascara for $25 and is the only safe mascara to use on the bottom lashes. We don't recommend it for use on the extensions themselves however. Even though it doesn't break down the bonding on the extensions, it also does not come off the extensions. After several applications, your extensions will be thick, clumpy and dull. The only way to fix them is to remove them and start a new.

    What about eye linear? Avoid waxy/creamy pencils and stick to powder/brush combinations or "Blinc's Liquid Eye linear". Again this product is safe for the extensions because they are not petroleum based and will not break down the bonding agent. Hair Base retails this product for $25.

    Can I use my cleanser to remove my make up? Because Cleansers are usually very emollient, we don't recommend that you use it for the eye and forehead area. Instead we recommend that you use a non-oily makeup remover. We love "Bioelements Makeup Dissolver" ($30). It will do a great job of removing all your makeup and not strip the skin of its natural oils. It is oil free and silicone free and works like a charm. It is a must for extensions. We recommend that you switch to the makeup dissolver for removing makeup from the entire face for the duration of the extensions.

    Will these extensions pull my own eyelashes off? If you pull on your extensions or rough house them too much, your eyelash will come off with the extension. Not to worry however, your lashes will grow back without any problems. The best thing to do is to treat your lashes with respect and be gentle with them. The gentler you are the longer they will last.

    I sleep on my stomach. Will this affect my lashes? If you sleep on your stomach, sleep with a pillow or blanket over your head, cover your eyes with sleeping mask, the longevity of your lashes will be greatly diminished. Side sleepers will notice that the eye that is on the side they sleep on will loose lashes a bit more than the side that is up.

    For more information or to schedule an appointment:
    Hair Base Salon and Spa
    3631 W. Devon, Chicago

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