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Eyelash Extensions 101- Everything you ever wanted to know!

After months of lockdown, finally beauticians are allowed to go back to work! Yey! I've loved seeing lots of photos of beautiful eyelash extensions popping on my IG feed. To be honest, looking at photos of luscious lashes has become somewhat of an obsession of mine! They look amazing and negate the need for using false lashes, which really makes me want to try them. However, I've heard horror stories of people losing all their natural eyelashes or that they are high maintenance, which scares me to death especially as I don't have that many lashes to start with nor do I have tonnes of time! So armed with all my millions of questions, I spoke to Leeds based Eyelash Extensions expert Deena Sonigra of Lashes by Deena to get the lowdown on where and how to start!

Let's start with how to choose who to go to. How do you choose the right lash technician?

You need to ensure your technician has taken an eyelash extensions course, rather than being self taught. A professional will have the correct insurance in place, whilst a self taught technician will be unable to get insured. Also speak to the technician or salon, look at their social media and check the reviews to make sure you feel comfortable. Your lash tech should be open and honest with you about what weight your lashes can take. A good technician will ultimately say no, if you have unrealistic expectations. Lastly, don't be afraid to ask lots of questions!

How long would the initial session take for a new set?

This can vary due to the quality of your own lashes, the style and type of lashes you're having and the technician's experience. It can take anywhere from 1hr 30mins to 3 hours depending on what look you want.

If I'm looking for fuller natural looking lashes, what would you recommend?

For this, I'd recommend classics or light volume. Alternatively, you could mix both for a 'Hybrid' effect, using shorter lengths for a fuller but more natural look. These are also perfect for older ladies who have thinning lashes. Creating lighter natural volume is key to creating the desired effect of thicker lashes, but won't cause damage either.

Do they require a tonne of maintenance?

You need to keep them clean using a lash cleanser, pat them dry rather than rubbing the lashes, brush them regularly and ensure you don't use any oil based products near them such as sunscreen. There is some maintenance, but ultimately, it's just like most other beauty treatments such as hair extensions, in that you need to allow a little extra maintenance time to keep them looking their best and help them last longer. The advantage is that you save time using mascara or applying false lashes but have the lashes you always wanted.

Do I need to change anything else?

Mascara is a definite no go and anything else oil based such as an oil based eyeliner.

Are there any oil-free eyeliners you would recommend?

My top three would be Maybelline Gel Liner, Bare Minerals Lash Domination and the Revlon Colourstay Eyeliners. All three are oil free so won't affect your lashes.

At what point should I come for replacement lashes?

Infill appointments are usually every 2-3 weeks as you need to have at least 40% of your extensions intact. Your technician should clean your lashes, go through them one by one to remove any extensions that have grown out, prime and then reapply new extensions on the healthy lashes. Again, this process could vary from 1-2 hours depending on the technician and look you're going for.

What if I want to remove my lashes permanently?

I would always recommend them being removed professionally. Your lash tech will have the best tools to do this. Alternatively, you can let them grow out and shed naturally. Whatever you do, just don't pull them out yourself!

I've heard horror stories about people losing their eyelashes. Is this true?!

Choosing a lash technician is the same as choosing your hairdresser or anyone else in the beauty business. Your eyelashes won't fall out as long as the person you choose, cares about your lash health. Your lash tech should know what your lashes can cope with. If your tech gives you lashes that are too long and too thick, then inevitably this will lead to losing lashes. I've lost clients in the past purely because they were looking for such a full look, that I knew it would cause damage and so refused to do their lashes.

What type of extensions would be suitable for a bride?

It's completely dependent on the bride and her style. I've done lashes on brides looking for a subtle classic look, while others want the full glamour of Russian volume. I would suggest taking photos of the look you want when you attend your appointment.

Last question... Is there anyone that eyelash extensions are not suitable for?

Unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend them for anyone allergic to lash adhesive, if you've had your lashes permed, if you rub your eyes often and finally, if you are undergoing lash treatment.

Follow Deena on Facebook and Instagram @lashes.bydeena for more gorgeous lash looks!


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