I have always longed for luscious, full eyelashes. My natural lashes are pretty average — I have enough to work with when it comes to swiping on mascara, but it definitely takes plenty of effort. As more celebrities have started wearing eyelash extensions, I was intrigued by the process. There have been plenty of horror stories when it comes to the service, so I was hesitant to test it out for myself.
I finally decided to give it a try before a month with lots of events and parties I was planning to attend. I went to Yuel Lash Beauty in San Francisco — the technician is an independent educator and founder of White Flamingo Lash, a new artistry line of products. Yuel travels around the country for trainings and conferences about her craft — she's truly a pro. I was nervous heading into my appointment; I had no idea what to expect. Luckily, Yuel was incredibly kind and explained every single thing she was doing as she did it.
I went in for a classic set of eyelash extensions, but Yuel suggested I try volume lash extensions. A classic set is when only one extension is glued to each natural lash. It adds length and thickness and is great for people who already have a fair amount of lashes. Volume lashes are a newer and more innovative technique where multiple extensions are attached to one lash to give more dimension and texture. They provide a fuller look and require more skill. Technicians usually create custom fans of multiple lashes to put on each hair — you can have anywhere from two to six extensions attached to each individual natural lash, depending on how dramatic you want to go.
For my particular lashes, Yuel attached two or three extensions to each natural lash. I wanted a noticeably thicker lash line, but I didn't want it to be distracting when people looked at my face. For a full set, it took about two hours to complete the look. I laid on my back on a comfy bed-like cushion while Yuel sat behind my head. I closed my eyes and she placed silicone pads under my eyes to keep the bottom lashes out of the way. I hardly felt anything while she applied the extensions; I only felt her brushing through the lashes every so often. It's a painless procedure — you just have to lie still.
When she was finished, I audibly gasped when I looked in the mirror. I felt like the volume lash extensions complemented my eyes and looked incredibly natural. Consider me instantly obsessed. The lashes last for about three weeks — I'm currently in my second week, and they still look fantastic. In fact, I just booked an appointment for a fill because now I can't imagine living without them.
If you're thinking about getting extensions, it's important to have all the information before you book your first appointment. Let's break down the pros and cons for you.
You don't have to spend as much time getting ready.
Extensions are better than any mascara I have ever used. When I wake up in the morning, I apply foundation and blush — and that's it. I love that my eyes look nice 24/7, and I get to sleep five extra minutes every day.
They make your eyes stand out at all times.
By having my eyelashes always "done," I look polished no matter where I am. I could be running errands with no makeup on or heading to the office with a full face, and I feel confident no matter what.
The volume extensions look so natural.
Compared to a classic set, volume lashes truly look real. The lighter, thinner extensions are so intricately placed that they look perfect even up close. My friends can't get over how real they look.
Not all technicians know what they're doing.
I was lucky to have a technician who is trained in extensions — she's a total expert and used the best products and tools possible. Just because you find a great price for extensions doesn't mean it's a deal you should take; cheaper services may use materials that are lower quality. Look for technicians who partner with trusted brands.
Volume lash extensions are more expensive than classic sets.
Because of the precision required and the caliber of extensions being used, volume lashes are obviously going to cost more. You're paying for a better result, so in my opinion, it's worth it.
Maintenance is key to keeping lashes looking good.
Yuel provided me with special lash cleaner and silicone spoolies that I use every night. I clean my lashes and brush them so that they look fanned out and even. If you get lazy and skip your grooming routine, you could agitate your eye or your lashes could clump together. Honestly, maintaining them isn't that big of a deal. I just include it as part of my routine when I wash my face.
Overall, I had an incredibly positive experience getting volume lash extensions. and I will be returning again. I love how they make me feel and how much time they save me. If you're on the fence, I recommend giving them a try.