In a CoverGirl survey, it was revealed that 50 percent of women would choose mascara if they could only use one makeup product. But think of the possibilities if your lashes were already long, lush, and dark (concealer, for me, would be a close runner-up). I'm talking about eyelash extensions. I recently got them, after years of being met with, "Lash extensions. You must try them," after complimenting a friend's fluttery fringe. I went with Xtreme Lashes by Jo Mousselli, and they were applied by the talented and patient AnneMarie Lorenzini. It's been about a week, so I feel that I'm well acquainted with them. They are not for the wash-and-go kind of gal, but they are amazing. And they've taught me things. Four things to be exact.
Disclaimer: My before-and-after photos (above) are not extremely drastic, but that is the look I requested. If you're looking for Kardashian-eque lashes, you can opt for longer extensions. Also, it's worth mentioning that I'm wearing mascara in the before photo and not a stitch of eye makeup in the after shot—although I could use some serious undereye concealing.
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1. It's hard to keep your eyes closed and still for almost three hours. It was as if someone had told me not to think about purple elephants. The more I thought about my eyes remaining still, the more I found it nearly impossible. I was making lists of what I had to do that day and questions I had about the process and mentally writing this post. All of that brain activity was causing my lids to flutter and twitch. The technician even asked me if I was thinking hard. When I answered yes, she said she could tell. But what else are you supposed to do when your eyes must remain shut for hours at a time? Nap, I guess.
2. No two designs are the same. I was blown away by all the different options. Xtreme Lashes come in numerous lengths, thicknesses, and curls. And Lorenzini really studied my natural lashes before deciding on a design she felt would be most flattering, after, of course, asking me what I was looking for. Did I mention the colors? While I went with a natural brown-black, they offer any color under the sun. Allure beauty assistant Irma Elezovic is known for rocking purple mascara daily—a fun surprise when it catches the light—but how fun would it be to add some colored tips via extensions? It's like ombré for your lashes.
3. Eyelash extensions are not for the faint of heart. These babies are high-maintenance. Along with my new look, I received a list of rules and left armed with my tools. The extensions require daily combing with a clean spooley brush (I've found sleeping on my back saves me some extra effort in the morning), and you must not get them wet within the first 24 hours. Taking my eye makeup off has also become a daunting task. Makeup wipes are a must, as my previously trusted cotton pads left me picking lint off of my lashes for 15 minutes. No matter how gentle you are, they will slowly (and discreetly) fall out the way your natural lashes do. So far, I've been able to easily conceal any gaps with a bit of mascara.
4. You will become addicted. I can't believe I waited so long to give eyelash extensions a shot, and I can't imagine how sad my natural lashes will look once they're all gone. The extensions are supposed to last three to four weeks, and from there you can get them filled in, which I plan on doing. Since getting the lashes, I have been receiving loads of compliments. I, like my friends, feel the need to accept the compliments with, "Lash extensions. You must try them."