I first started getting semi permanent eyelash extensions about 4 years ago and to begin with eased my way in by only getting "corner lashes", about 15-20 extensions on the end of each eye. Now a couple of years later I regularly get them done with over 200 extensions applied to each eye! For many people the idea seems a little scary or hard to grasp, hair glued to your actual eyelash... I too was a little apprehensive at first, would they suit me? Would they damage my own lashes? Would they irritate my eyes?
There are several salons offering eyelash extensions and the quality and end product you receive truly depends on who you go to. I have been to several places both here and in London and have come out with quite different results each time, some great, some not so good. Up until last year I was getting individual "mink" eyelash extensions, one high quality lash attached to each of your lashes (don't worry they're not actually made of mink, just a higher quality acrylic). Most salons offer the choice of getting a "full set" or a more natural looking "half set" that give off more of a mascara look than full glamour in which an extension is generally applied to every second lash. I've had both before and been happy with the results, it again depends on the desired outcome.
For the last 18months I have however been getting a treatment that is less common here in Ireland, Russian 3D Volume Lash Extensions. Volume lash extensions consist of applying multiple lash extensions to each natural lash in a fanned out shape. Between 3-6 lashes are applied to each of your own usually resulting in between 200-400 lashes per eye instead of the traditional 1:1 ratio observed with classic lash extensions that have 80-100 extensions per eye. The extensions used feel like silk feathers and are about a quarter of the weight of a traditional lash extension meaning multiple lashes can be applied without damaging or weighing down your lash. This technique creates a fuller and feather like effect with the result appearing fluffy but still somewhat natural looking. I have never looked back...
The main reason I love getting this treatment done is way that it looks, even with no makeup I still feel put together and happy to head out. In addition it saves me time when getting ready as I've no need to curl my eyelashes or apply mascara let alone false lashes. I prefer the fullness and fluffy appearance my lashes have when I get the volume extensions in comparison to classic minks but that may be personal preference. In addition I find they last me at least two weeks longer than traditional extensions since I have about 4 times the amount to fall out.
I have been trying to think of the cons of having lash extensions to mention and the only thing I can think of is the fact that you will no doubt get addicted to them. While it dosen't bother me it may bother others that you also can't really rub your eyes or use any oil based products on or near them while you have the extensions as it breaks down the bonds and will cause them to fall out quicker. I've listed below the answers to some questions you may be wondering about.
- How long do they take to apply? Russian Volume 3D Volume Lashes take about 2hours to apply so if you're fidgety this may not be for you. I don't mind it and often fall asleep!
- How long do they last? As the lash extensions fall out naturally along with your own eyelash cycle, once you follow your lash care routine you should get 4-6 weeks out of your lashes before you need refills.
- Can you get them wet? Previously, I have had lash technicians advise me to wear goggles while in the shower however my current therapist has told me there is no need. You do however need to keep them away from water for the first 24hours so avoid showering.
- Do they ruin your own eyelashes? I have heard several girls say that getting lash extensions "destroyed" their lashes however I can only imagine this is down to receiving a poor service. As I mentioned I have been getting them religiously for many years as have many of my friends and none of us have found this to be the case. This summer as my therapist was on maternity leave I had about a 2month break from getting them and noticed the only difference in my own lashes was that perhaps they were straighter than they were before. The fullness and length was the same as ever so it was nothing an eyelash curler couldn't fix. I do highly recommend going to someone who specialises in this treatment to avoid a nasty outcome.
- Are they expensive? That's a personal opinion... Lash extensions can range anywhere from 40-200euro+ in Dublin but I seriously believe you pay for what you get. I highly discourage you going somewhere cheap as I expect the outcome will reflect this. Several girls I know have had horror stories with lashes glued together in clumps and swollen itchy eyelids after perhaps taking the cheaper route. Proceed with caution!
Not many salons provide Russian 3D lash treatments as of yet so I'm lucky in the fact that I live relatively near to one. I go to see Rebecca Greene, a master lash specialist who has her salon Vintage Glamour in Arklow, Co. Wicklow. Rebecca was recently nominated in the Best Brow Artist category of the Image Beauty Awards and for good reason. She also offers traditional mink lash extensions but has traveled to several countries to train and specialise in Russian 3D Volume Lashes. She charges €90 for a full set of Volume Lash Extensions, a 2hour treatment. Should you wish to get refills done, it is suggested you do so after 4-5weeks, this is priced at €50. As many salons charge the same price for standard lash extensions I think she is fantastic value and I highly recommend her! In addition she is very kindly offering 10% off to anyone who quotes my blog when booking! You can check out her website here.
To summarise whether you have a special occasion such as a wedding or birthday coming up or just feel like treating yourself, I highly recommend trying out 3D Volume Lash Extensions. They are my number one beauty accessory I can't live without!!