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What are Eyelash Extensions?

T. Webster
T. Webster

Eyelash extensions provide the look of long, full lashes without the use of mascara or false eyelashes purchased from a store. Extensions typically are more dramatic but more natural looking than mascara or strip lashes that are glued on. They generally are applied at a salon and are semi-permanent, meaning that they can last several weeks before requiring a touch-up. As a result, eyelash extensions tend to be much more expensive than the store-bought options.

As with any eye-enhancing beauty product, the idea behind extensions is to make the eyes a focal part of the face. The striking yet natural look provided by eyelash extensions has made them popular among female celebrities in recent years. For the average person, extensions can be worn every day or reserved for special occasions.

Mascara can be used sparingly on top of eyelash extensions.
Mascara can be used sparingly on top of eyelash extensions.

Eyelash extensions consist of single, curved synthetic eyelashes. A salon technician applies the extensions to each individual eyelash. Extensions come in varying lengths and thickness allowing for a look that ranges from subtle to extremely dramatic.

It is safe to wear eyelash extensions while swimming, showering, sleeping or exercising. The length of time they will last depends largely on a person’s individual lash cycle. Usually, a natural eyelash will fall out within 90 days and a new one grows in. This cycle makes it necessary to get regular touch-ups for lashes that fall out.

Mascara is not needed while wearing eyelash extensions. In fact, a main reason for getting extensions is to avoid having to apply mascara on a daily basis. Mascara still can be used, however, if desired. It is best to use a water-based mascara that will not require a lot of tugging to remove it.

The look of lash extensions also can be achieved at home by buying semi-permanent eyelash kits. For most people, it is best to buy a kit that is designed for use by a novice. The salon versions likely will be too difficult for the average person to apply at home. When using a home kit, applying the lashes can take 30 minutes or more.

Specialized mascaras can provide a cost-effective way of achieving the look of lash extensions. They work by first using a wand to coat and extend the lashes. A traditional mascara is then applied to complete the look. These products are advertised as being able to extend the lashes by up to 80 percent. These mascaras are, of course, only temporary and not semi-permanent.

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Discussion Comments


@ocelot60- Don't get too excited about home eyelash extension kits, because applying the extensions is actually quite hard to do. It takes a steady hand, a keen eye, and a lot of time.

However, if you want to give semi permanent eyelash extensions a try, I recommend that you attempt to apply them on a day that you don't have anything else to do. This is a beauty task that can't be done quickly, at least until you learn the skill.


I've never heard of home eyelash extension kits. Does anyone know if they are easy to use? Apply lash extensions sounds difficult, but I'd like to give it a try.

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    • Mascara can be used sparingly on top of eyelash extensions.
      By: Gresei
      Mascara can be used sparingly on top of eyelash extensions.