Beauty

Eyelash Extension Review

If you follow me on Instagram stories, you already know some of this story, but I’m going to explain all of my thoughts on eyelash extensions further.

Some backstory: Two or three years ago, I got eyelash extensions for the first time. I was very nervous to get them, but the place I went to in Greenwich had glowing reviews and I decided to try it out. When I start thinking about doing something, it nags at me until I just go for it. Getting eyelash extensions was something I had thought about a great deal and I was just curious as to how I’d look. The process was simple, although long and a little boring. I was so afraid of coming out and looking like I had giant fuzzy caterpillars on my eyelids. I asked the lady for “very natural,” and honestly, it was too natural. I could hardly tell the difference, but I still had eyelash extensions so I couldn’t rub my eyes, wear mascara, etc. I kept wanting to put mascara on because I thought my eyelashes looked worse now that I couldn’t apply it. I also had these recurring nightmares with them on that spiders were falling onto my face (haha) and I’d wake up every night in a cold sweat plucking my extensions off. After two weeks of this, I went back to the salon and had them removed. An expensive experiment, but it at least got me to stop thinking about them.

Eyelash extensions

Fast forward to this April: My best friend was getting engaged (!!!) and I was an emotional wreck leading up to the excitement. I literally would tear up every time I thought about her getting engaged. I remember thinking, “Oh I should make sure I have waterproof mascara.” And then I started thinking about extensions again.

I found a salon in Hoboken (W Lash, they are GREAT, if you say that I sent you, you’ll get a discount!) and just went for it. I got the “classic” set which has 90 pieces and told the girl that I wanted it to look like I had a GREAT coat of mascara on. I meditated through the first application because I felt a little claustrophobic with my eyes taped shut, but it was so worth it in the end. I LOVED the way they looked. People were asking me what mascara I was using, not if my eyelashes were real or not, which felt like a win.

The biggest pro is just how beautiful extensions can look. They really make your eyes popped and I felt totally comfortable not wearing makeup. Even though I wear makeup whenever I do blog photos, I typically don’t wear makeup, so I loved that fresh-faced look with zero effort.

Extensions are both high maintenance and expensive. I had sold some old camera equipment through Facebook Marketplace for cash, so I was using that stack of “play” money for the extensions. The salon I went to offered a discount if you paid in cash too, so that was nice. Had I not had that extra cash, I don’t think I could have stomached the hundred dollars every few weeks.

I’m sure if you’re a better sleeper than I am, they might last longer, but I toss and turn a little and sleep on my stomach. So I’d find a few on my bed every morning upon waking. They looked AMAZING the first week, still pretty great the second, and by the third, they’d be a little straggly. No one ever noticed, but it’d sometimes bother me if one of the extensions flipped and would be in my line of vision until I could straighten the sucker out.

I also REALLY missed being able to rub my eyes. I’d use a q-tip dipped in Micellar water to remove my eyeliner every night, but I wished I could scrub my face with my hands and not have to avoid my eyes. One day I got a TON of shampoo in my eyes and even though it burned like crazy, I couldn’t rub my eyes on a towel. I could only try to blink it out and gently dab at my eyes.

Going to the salon every three weeks also took a lot of coordination. I had to maximize when I wanted my eyelashes to look their best, when I could get them done, and what I was doing the next day/that night. You can’t get your lashes wet for the first 24 hours, so I was taking a shower, doing my hair, and going in fresh-faced at 5 or 6 pm on Mondays. I could wake up on Tuesday and be clean enough to get me through to Tuesday night before I had to shower, remove makeup, etc.

I kept up with it until this week, when I had them removed on Monday night.

Removal: I really love the way eyelash extensions look and basically just wish that it’s how I looked all the time. Like, I wish I was born a little more beautiful. Which is a sad thought. Once I had the extensions, it felt like a slippery slope for other beauty fixes. All of a sudden I was thinking about how great it would be to have permanent eyeliner and a tan and hair extensions. I hated that I was thinking about that and realized it’s not what I wanted to do ultimately.

(Side note: But sometimes I look at girls on Instagram who have had work done, and I’m like gosh I guess I could look a lot better if I had plastic surgery, fake tans, hair extensions, hair dye, botox, fillers, lip injections, photoshopped images, etc…. I am who I am though, both naturally and with what I’m willing to do to myself.)

Plus, I wanted to be able to SWIM. My plan was originally to keep them up through July because I had so much travel scheduled, but because of my travel schedule and when the salon was open, I basically had to get them done on Monday night if I wanted a fresh set for my upcoming trips. But then we decided to leave Monday night instead of Tuesday, which meant we’d definitely be swimming all day Tuesday. And, well guys, I am not going to miss out on water skiing and swimming because of some stupid eyelashes. So I had them removed.

It felt glorious to be able to rub my eyes again and to wash my face without having to be dainty around my eyes. My lashes are definitely shorter and thinner, but I know they’ll grow back normally with time. They still look fine when I put on mascara and give them a little curl with a curler.

The serum. When I posted about removing my lashes on Instagram, I was INUNDATED with messages about serums. Like, the only time I’ve gotten more messages from one Story was when I asked for recommendations for doormats 😂 I couldn’t respond to everyone individually, BUT, I had already purchased a serum from Sephora before leaving for the trip since my lashes took quite the beating from the extensions. I read reviews about a bunch of different brands and formulas, but I wanted to start the serum ASAP and didn’t want to wait for shipping. (#Impatient) I went to the Sephora in Hoboken and purchased this serum which has pretty compelling reviews online and was one of five of the most recommended serums from readers. I’ll keep you posted on how my eyelash regrowth goes!

So would I recommend eyelash extensions? I wouldn’t not recommend them. If you’re willing to put in the maintenance and to pay for it and give up some freedoms (like rubbing your eyes!), then I wouldn’t be discouraged. But it’s not totally a necessary thing and if you don’t want to spend the money or put in the energy for them, I wouldn’t.

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29 Comments

Elissa Verso

you should honestly try getting a lash lift! its essentially a perm for your eyelashes so they look curled all the time. it lasts about 2 months and since they are your natural lashes you dont have to baby them so much. you can also get them tinted too so they are darker and it looks like you just are wearing mascara. also way cheaper than extensions! i have had it done before and i loved it. i have an appointment tomorrow morning with a new esthetician in jersey city and ill let you know how it goes!

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Gillian Redstone

Just feel the need to comment that you are SO naturally beautiful Carly, and your confidence in who you are magnifies that even more. Never forget that!

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Ashley

Was going to say the exact same thing!! I totally applaud Carly for staying TRUE first and foremost to her natural self and not having all of those fake tans, surgery, photoshopping herself like crazy in all pics! You are so so stunning, Carly inside and out!

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Supal // @chevronseclairs

I’ve always wanted to try them, but can’t be bothered when it comes to maintenance. I have quite a few girlfriends who get them done regularly and when they’re in the midst of falling out/they have to get them refilled, it just looks horrible. Plus I’m worried about the falling down the rabbit hole of wanting to get other things done, as you mentioned. I can barely keep up with my brows (Indian genes are the hairiest genes). I’m curious to know about the serum! I know Julia from GMG has had a great experience!

chevrons & éclairs

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Kristen

I got eyelash extensions for my wedding, and while they looked FANTASTIC in person and in pictures, they really bothered me. I also was horribly uncomfortable through the whole three-hour application (I’m realizing now it’s exactly what you described: claustrophobia from having my eyes taped shut). There are also some funny pictures of me on my wedding day dabbing at my eyes. It looks like I’m really emotional, which is nice, but there was just a loose eyelash poking me in the eye 😀 They really did look amazing though, so I’m in your “I wouldn’t not recommend them” boat. Worth it for important events, but I have no desire to maintain them.

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Laura Webb

I have worn eyelash extensions for 10 plus years and never have I been unable to rub my eyes. I am not sure where you got this information but it is definitely a personal issue.

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carly

It wasn’t information I got… if I rubbed my eyes, the lashes would get wonky and loosen and ultimately fall out!

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Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off

Thank you for this review. It’s not really something I ever considered, but I really appreciated your honesty. Also, bah you’re so beautiful stoppit!!! I always watch your stories and I’m like, she’s so pretty!!!

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Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

Last summer, I got eyebrow and eyeliner tattoos! I got the brows because my mom had been bugging me to try it for months, and since there’s a huge craze over brows now, I was beginning to notice how lacking mine were, but it was no match for how lazy I was haha. So I decided to try out the eyebrow tattoo. It’s supposed to last for two years, and the lady who did it for me made it look very natural. Whenever people talk about brows or compliment mine, they’re so surprised to hear that they’re tattooed. Tattooed eyebrows don’t have the best rep, but a natural look can be done! And after that, no maintenance except for some plucking when they’re getting a little crazy. After I got my brows done, the lady asked if I wanted to get eyeliner tattoo. At that point I was like, sure why not. It hurt like heck. But it’s supposed to last for five years. And this was done very naturally as well. It was tightlined and makes my roots and lashes over all look darker. No maintenance either! I never wear makeup, so I love having this natural look that doesn’t require any maintenance. I don’t think I could do eyelash extensions though, 1) because of the maintenance, and 2) eyelash extensions protrude and might feel in the way, whereas the tattoos are just on your skin. I’m all for whatever requires the least work haha. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

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Ann Marie Burtscher

I can appreciate your story on lashes ! I am a lash artist and doing very well here in San Clemente ca. And I use to have lash extensions myself. Lots of work I agree !

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Carly T Young

Ah, yes! Perfect timing for this post as I have been researching eyelash extensions. I always seem to trust your judgement the best!

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Alexandra

Thanks for the honest review! While my lashes cooperate for the most part, my sister struggles with getting hers “perfect.” She’s been using false lashes for the past few months instead of spending 20 minutes fighting with mascara. While they make her look more awake and put together, in my opinion they’re not very natural. I’ll have to point her in this direction to see if it’s something she’s interested in. Thanks!

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Jenn

I have eyelash extensions and I haven’t had to give up swimming or anything. I rub my eyes all the time (thank you contacts and allergies) and don’t have a problem at all. I’m also allowed to shower immediately after being finished. I wonder if it had something to do with the adhesive they used on your lashes that didn’t allow that. I absolutely love my lashes and I wish you had a better experience!

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April B

Hi Carly! If you want a recommendation on a good lash serum, I use Rodan and Field’s Lash Boost (no, I don’t sell it). It works amazingly well. I had lash extensions once and they were the most irritating things ever. I have to be able to rub my eyes! Just my two cents!

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Cheryl McMurry

I have also heard Rodan and Field’s is a great product. Finishing up my present serum and going to buy R & F serum.

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Cheryl McMurry

I’ve done lash extensions twice in the past few years. The first time was for two years. I got tired of the maintenance and cost so carefully let them fall off. My natural lashes were so short I cried for weeks till rhey grew back. I wanted do them again and because they are so beautiful went for it. After a few months got tired of the maintenance and cost (AGAIN) and carefully removed them. Again, my lashes were horrible and am now using a serum to get them to grow back. Extensions are gorgeous but I won’t do it again.

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Sarah

Another thing you could consider is a lash lift! It’s like perm but on your lashes. A good beautician won’t curl the whole lash but just give you a lift from the roots. The “look” at the end is as if you just used a lash curler. Combine this with a lash tint (if you need it — I have quite fair lashes) and it looks like extensions!

Three huge pros with lifts vs extensions:
(1) it’s your own lashes, so after 24 hours you can wash your face and do whatever you want with them
(2) they don’t fall out, the lift will naturally drop over a period of 8-12 weeks so the “wear out” doesn’t look bad at all
(3) much more economical in terms of time and money

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Joan

I used Grande Lash for about 2 years and it worked well. This past winter I tried Lash Boost from Rodan and Fields and it works much better. My lashes are easily twice as long as before. I suggest you try it.

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Karina

But the real question is – where is this dress from!? It’s gorgeous.

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Vero

Hello Carly. Those eyelashes seem like a lot of trouble, especially in the summer! I’ve never tried them but after reading your post, I would rather speed my money on something elise, like books to read during the summer.

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Brittany

Glad you tried lash extensions!
I personally love them! I’ve been doing them off and on for a year now. I love not having to wear mascara and not having eye makeup run down my face. I swim and jetski and exercise with them too. I just get a fill-in every three weeks. It’s not too terribly pricey if you can find a freelancer. From personal experience, freelance lash techs do a much better job than salon techs.

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