Are Eyelash Extensions Safer Than Mascara?

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I’ll be honest: the first time I heard about lash extensions, I scoffed. They seemed, in a word, high-maintenance.

I’ve always been a no-makeup, no mascara kind of girl. While I wear makeup for photoshoots or while testing products for this blog, I have never gone total glam girl in real life. Honestly, I just don’t think it’s a part of who I truly am (which is a full-blown bohemian hippie, apparently.)

While I thought that lash extensions were something I’d dabble in once or twice – for a wedding or special occasion – I am now officially, without a doubt, hands down in the “addicted” to them camp. And proud of it! I have become one of those women who’s truly not sure how I lived without them!

I’ve been wearing lash extensions for over half a year. I wanted to give this a full-on ride before I did my review – and you’ll see why. Wearing lash extensions short term is a TOTALLY different game than committing to them full-time.

First, find a lash artist that you can trust. Eyelash extensions are not something a person should have done on a whim in the back of a nail salon—definitely research and get referrals and go to a professional.

If you’re in California, I highly recommend Emily Ober. Em’s been a licensed cosmetologist for the past 4 years. She also teaches and certifies others. I am always impressed by Emily’s speed and gentle handiwork. She truly gets every.single.lash (which I know is not an easy task with me!) – and always has me laughing!

Remember that your lash extensions will be applied over your real lashes. Unlike false eyelashes, these are your TRUE lashes you are rocking – just longer and more dramatic!

Since I started wearing my lash extensions, I get compliments and questions daily about them. It’s impossible to tell that they’re extensions, so people always ask me if my lashes are real and what I do to keep them thick! I wanted to get to ALL of your questions in this post, including some of the most common. Here it goes…

What is it really like to have eyelash extensions for months or years?

Although my lashes are naturally plentiful, they’d become thin and brittle from years of mascara and improper beauty techniques. They were impossible to “lift” while applying mascara, as the weight of my own lashes would often make them droop. False lashes were no better! Not only are they impossible for me to put on, they always weigh my eyelid down, giving me a wonky-eye thing. Plus, there’s the art of filling in the lash line with liner, which I have just plain never mastered. Add to that the potential disaster of a strip of lashes falling off during a fun activity, and it is just NOT worth it.

Having lash extensions is a confidence boost like no other. Your eyes are instantly lifted and you look more awake and elegant. Lash extensions are extremely low maintenance – I gently brush through them once a day with a lash extender – a product that contains aloe or a similar natural substance, which coats your lashes to hold them in place.

I wake up and never have to worry about putting on makeup. Of course, if I go out, I may have to add some moisturizer or lip balm, but I don’t worry about having raccoon eyes with mascara or my eyelashes falling off with strips. It’s really boosted my confidence knowing that no matter what, I always have long, full eyelashes that make my eyes pop.

Does it ruin your natural lashes?

The biggest myth is that lash extensions ruin your own lashes. They absolutely do not.

In fact, I took the last month “off” from wearing lash extensions (strictly because I was traveling) and I noticed that my lashes are thicker than they’ve ever been! They used to fall out when I washed my face in the shower and they NEVER fall out now. My natural lashes have just about tripled in thickness. I can barely separate them with a lash wand! I 100% attribute this to the lash extensions.

I believe that when your real lashes have to “hold’ the extensions up for months, it strengthens the natural lashes. Even my bottom lashes have grown more, since I am not ruining them with mascara and then tugging at them again while wiping mascara off.

Why keep up with it for so long?

Why not? While your initial investment can run you around $200 (or you can mention this blog post to Emily Ober for major savings!), fills are only about $60 every 6 weeks.

For me, it is worth every penny never having to worry about mascara, false lashes, glue, curling wands, mascara stains, the time it takes to apply mascara, washing my pillow cases every night because of mascara, removing mascara or wearing makeup [phew!] With lash extensions, you need less makeup. When there is less makeup to buy, you save money.

I honestly think it becomes one of the most cost-effective beauty treatments out there – and you feel great every time you get it done!

What’s your favorite part about them?

I love how low-maintenance they are and how beautiful they make me feel. The dramatic effect that eyelash extensions brings always makes my eyes a focal point. I can wake up and just bat my eyelashes knowing that I look good! So pretty and look so natural, and you cannot see any clumps of glue or anything like that.

If my eyes look big, bright and awake, I feel great and am 99.9% ready to head out.

How long do they take to put on?

The process takes about 1-3 hours depending on your technician and the style of your lashes. Emily does mine in a little over an hour.

 Is it the safest thing for your eyes – what about the glue?

I asked Emily about this before we started our sessions together, and here’s what she told me about the lashes she uses on me, Bella:

“I wanted to educate through Bella Lash out of any other eyelash extension company because of what they stand for. The company was started by husband and wife, Zach and Haley Chipman, who are both brilliant individuals. Zach is an engineer and Haley is a Registered Nurse.

They put their minds together and started an eyelash extension company that would be different from the rest. Bella Lash is all about safety and quality. Our products are manufactured in the USA which sets us apart from the other brands out there.

Our products are more regulated and our CEO’s have full control over everything. Their passion for the industry is obvious through the innovative products and techniques that they have come up with! I feel so privileged to work for a company that cares so much about the consumers. I feel safe using Bella Lash products on my clients because of their standards, reputation and all of the beautiful results I have had due to their amazing adhesive and super soft lashes.”

I truly feel this. As someone who’s exclusively worn these lashes since I started, I’ve never had a single adverse side effect. No tearing, no sensitivities, no infections – not even a trace of irritation. I would be hesitant to switch to anything else, so this is my most comfortable recommendation! Emily uses Bella Lashes exclusively.

How often do you get them filled?

I go every 3-4 weeks but you can go every 6-8 weeks if you use your lash extender every day. If I have an event or something special I am attending, I make sure to see Em for a fill before. It is now on the self-love checklist, such as getting a massage, seeing my chiropractor, etc.

Is it easier and safer than mascara or false eyelashes?

YES! No glue by your lash line and no toxic crap in your eyeball! I honestly think it’s cheaper too, since you end up buying much less makeup and makeup removal products over time.

Do you have to stick with one set of lashes?

The best part is, you can play around! If you want to go bigger and bolder, start natural and then you go back in for a fill you can ask for more, thicker lashes or a more dramatic look. I love having that “kitten look” to my eyes. They create a dark, plush lash line that gives a super sexy edge, but it also feels very natural at the same time.