Eyelash extensions are definitely having a moment. Everyone either has them or they’re thinking about getting them, and why not?
They make anyone look glamorous 24/7, and they are relatively low-maintenance, especially compared to daily makeup and false lashes.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to take care of them. Here is how you should be caring for your extensions, so that they last as long as possible and look great for as long as possible.
Don’t wet your lashes for the first 24 hours
Let’s start with what you do immediately after getting your extensions. You have them applied, walk out of the salon…and try your hardest not to get them wet for the first 24 hours.
Yes, that may mean not showering or washing your face. The reason for this is that the glue is still setting, and your lashes are still fragile, so having water on them might loosen the glue or cause the extensions to become misshapen.
These first 24 hours are critical, so make sure to baby them as much as possible during this time.
It would be a shame for your brand new (expensive!) lashes to get damaged because of something as silly as a moment where you forgot about the care instructions. Just keep yourself dry, and you should be fine!
Avoid moisture for the first 48 hours
Okay, let’s say you’ve successfully survived the first 24 hours, you haven’t wet them at all, and they still look bangin’. Good job!
Now, for another 24 hours, you should also avoid moisture, in general. What we mean by that is that you should press the pause button on the swimming, steam rooms, or possible frolics in the rain.
That much moisture isn’t good for them, at least not at this stage, so it’s best to stay dry for a little bit longer. A quick shower is ok; a full-on sauna is not.
Brush your eyelash extensions daily
A very important maintenance tip that you will have to remember and do every single day is brushing your eyelash extensions.
You see, your extensions can easily get tangled (especially in your sleep, and especially if you sleep on your side or on your stomach) or misshapen, so it is up to you to make sure that they retain their shape and look as great as they can.
Not brushing them can lead to them getting tangled, bent, sticking together, etc. Nobody needs that.
The only thing you need to do is just get a clean spoolie (you can use one from an old mascara, after you’ve cleaned it, you can buy a pack in bulk on Amazon, or even pick up some of the free ones at Sephora – they don’t mind!) and brush through your lashes a few times every day in order to keep them detangled and make sure they’re pointing the right way.
It’s easy for them to get misshapen, otherwise.
Do not rub, scrub, or pull at your eyes
One of the very important tips to remember when you’ve got lash extensions is that you should avoid rubbing your eyes.
That includes pulling at your eyes (you know, when you’re doing your makeup), scratching, scrubbing when you take your makeup off, rubbing your eyes because you’re tired or because they itch, etc.
Basically, you should touch your eyes and your lashes as little as possible and as gently as possible.
That’s because any harsh movement in this area will either pull your lashes out, loosen the glue, or will lead to the lashes being misshapen in some way.
You pay a pretty penny for these babies, so hopefully you’ll keep them looking great for as long as possible, so you should protect them as much as you can.
Do not wear waterproof eye products, especially mascara
We’re big fans of waterproof products when appropriate (weddings, sad movies, long days, sweaty days, etc.), but they can also be very harsh on your lashes, in a number of ways.
Even if you have natural lashes, waterproof products can weaken and dehydrate your lashes, and you can end up pulling them out when you take your makeup off because the product is so stubborn.
When you’ve got extensions, they’re even more fragile and more vulnerable to the issues waterproof products can create.
The biggest problem is the difficulty you experience with removal, because taking waterproof mascara and eyeliner off can involve some aggressive scrubbing and oil products.
Both of these things need to be avoided at all costs with extensions, so skip the waterproof versions when you’re buying your eye products.
Only use oil-free eye products
Did you know that you need to stay away from oils of all kinds when you have lash extensions? It’s one of the big care tips you receive when you get them done.
The reason for that is that oils can loosen the glue used to fix the extensions, and that doesn’t only go for applying actual oil to your lashes.
A lot of eye products (including mascaras and eyeliners) contain all kinds of oils that help with the fluidity of the product, but that can mean death for your eyelash extensions.
That means that you just need to be a little more careful about ingredient lists and make sure that all of your eye products are extension-friendly.
Here’s our little list of extension-approved eye products so you don’t have to spend 3 hours in Target reading mascara tubes:
Taking your makeup off can be one of the most vulnerable moments for your lash extensions, because you’re pulling and scrubbing to get the product off, but you also have to be careful about what kind of remover you use.
Super harsh ingredients do not do your lashes any good anyway, because they’ll dehydrate the lashes, but you also have to be careful about oils.
Baby oil, coconut oil, and anything like that makes great makeup remover (especially for waterproof products) when you’re NOT wearing extensions.
You’ll also want to stay away from those biphasic removers that contain two separated liquids that you shake together.
Be gentle during the removal process
The removal process should be as gentle as possible. We’ve already covered that you shouldn’t tug and scrub, and pull, so let’s see what you should be doing instead.
The most gentle and most effective makeup remover you can use is micellar water, so make sure to soak your cotton pad or a cotton bud in it.
You can definitely use a cotton pad to break down the product on the lid, and we recommend using a cotton bud for detail work, like getting off eyeliner or anything near your lash line.
Don’t use lash curlers on your extensions
A lot of women who get lash extensions may make the mistake of thinking that they can use their lash curlers as usual.
But that would be a huge no-no.
You see, if you want a stronger curl, that’s something you should discuss with your technician when you’re getting your extensions done. Typically, they won’t fall significantly over the course of you wearing them.
However, if you want more lift and are thinking about curling your lash extensions, using the classic lash curlers is not the right choice, because truth be told, they can be very hard on the lashes, and it’s way too easy to accidentally rip the extensions out.
If you must curl them, a very gentle use of a heated lash curler can be a better solution, as long as you don’t get near the root, where the glue is.
Remember that the extensions are much more vulnerable than the natural lashes.
Don’t tint or perm your extensions
Just like with the mechanical curlers, applying any sort of treatment on your extensions is not something you should do, if you want to properly take care of your lashes and keep them looking gorgeous for as long as possible.
There are things you can do to your natural lashes – alternatives to extensions – such as tinting and perming them.
However, while the result is certainly beautiful, it is a chemical process (especially the perming solution), that should never be used on extensions.
Hopefully, no technician will agree to perform any of these treatments on your extensions, but it’s up to you to remember that they are not at all good for your extensions.
After a few weeks, some of your extensions will have fallen and you’ll be left with gaps and wonky lashes. We’re not gonna lie, they won’t look their best.
But at that point, you either have to go in and get them filled in, wait for all of them to finish their growth cycle and fall off on their own, or go in to get them removed professionally.
We can see how it may be tempting to just pluck them out yourself: they’re not looking great, it seems quicker and easier, and you don’t have to pay for it.
But pulling them out at home can mean damaging your real lashes, and leaving behind glue at the root, which can create problems further down the line.
So don’t pull or pluck to remove those lashes – either get them removed professionally or get yourself a good lash glue remover so you can get them off gently, with minimal damage to your natural lashes.
Do not try to glue your extensions back on at home
At times during the weeks you’ve got your extensions on, you may notice them falling out. That is completely normal, as your extensions are glued onto your real lashes, which grow out and fall out naturally, taking the extensions with them.
So, you’ll find them on the side of your sink, occasionally, for example. Should you just go get your fake lash glue and try to put them back on to get the most out of your extensions?
Absolutely not! Extensions are applied with a special kind of glue and using a special technique.
Gluing them back on with regular old lash glue can not only damage the extensions and your own lashes, but you’re risking affecting your eyes.
Go in for a refill every 2 to 3 weeks
Finally, in order to keep your lashes in tip-top shape, they need to be filled in regularly, so you’ve got a full set of gorgeous lashes at all times.
If you let them fall out without getting them put back in, they may end up looking scraggly and not as nice as they once were.
Remember that to maintain this look, you need to not only maintain them at home, but you have to go back and get them done every 2 to 3 or 4 weeks, depending on your natural lash cycle and how well you take care of them.
In conclusion, eyelash extensions can look incredible and for a long time, as long as you care for them properly and do the minimal maintenance they require. Follow the lash extension care tips above and they’ll be good for ages.