Investing in lash extensions is an incredibly smart beauty move. Extensions eliminate the need to wear eye makeup on a daily basis, and give an awake, alluring and beautiful look to your face … even if you slept two hours!
Say goodbye to early morning eye makeup routines and smudging mascara. The fuller and bigger the lashes—the better. And while false lashes can give you a moment of glamour, they don’t last or look as natural and real like lash extensions do.
There is no doubt though, that hitting the salon for a set of pretty, lush peepers will cost you. Beauty isn’t cheap as the saying goes. So, after putting down serious cash to boost your natural eyelashes with extensions, it’s important that you get the most from your investment—but how?
How do you care for your eyelash extensions so they last long and don’t damage your real lashes?
By following our Ultimate Lash Extension Guide to keep those eyelash extensions fluttering beautifully, day after day, and protect your natural eyelashes at the same time. We’ve compiled nineteen different tips, from how to physically care for your extensions, to which beauty products you should skip to make sure you get the most from your new lashes.
The right care for your lash extensions = not damaging your natural lashes.
The most crucial time zone is the first 24 hours after getting your extensions put on. This is when the glue will set and so, you want to be extra careful at this sensitive time. Be mindful of any itching or sensitivities you may have at this time as well. Allergies to eyelash extensions are very, very rare, but it could happen. Pay attention if too many lashes fall out or your eyes or eyelids are pink and itchy.
#1 Avoid water, saunas, hot tubs + sweat for the first 24 hours
This will help the glue set in around your extensions. By waiting to wash, you help your lashes last a lot longer. You can still wash the rest of your face, but be mindful to clean around the eye area, avoiding your lashes.
This wouldn’t be a good time to hit a sauna or hot tub—steam will not be your friend at this time. Avoid, avoid and avoid!
#2 Skip the eye makeup, too (for the first 24)
We recommend not even bothering with eye makeup those first 24 hours. Besides, the beauty of lash extensions are that they make your eyes look so beautiful and open up the rest of your face that makeup isn’t really necessary. However, if you really need to wear some, use an oil-free makeup remover and do not touch your lashes directly.
#3 Keep your hands to yourself
The more you touch your eyes during this critical time period, the more likely you are to pull out an extension and add germs and oil to your lash line. Oil is not your lash extensions friend and will simply cause them to not last as long, and you certainly don’t want germs and bacteria near your eyes. After the first 24 hours have passed, you can breathe a little sigh of relief, knowing the glue on your lashes have probably set perfectly. Now what?
Washing your face & products tips for your eye area
You’ve got the lashes and of course, you love them! They open up your eye area, give you a sexy dramatic look and none of it requires a half-hour tutorial on YouTube for eye makeup. It’s just wake up, and go! But, just because the glue has now set and the first day is done, it doesn’t mean you can be haphazard with your investment.
The following tips will help you to successfully wash your face and remove makeup without harming your natural eyelashes or gorgeous extensions:
#4 Don’t rub your eyes or lashes when washing
Even after that delicate time period is over, don’t rub your lashes (or eyes) while washing your face. Instead, clean around your eye area. You could use a soft washcloth or makeup removing sponge to be extra careful as well.
The Makeup Eraser has killer reviews online, and will be a great way to remove makeup—just don’t rub your lashes!
You can also grab makeup remover cloths on Amazon in packs of three.
In general, go easy on your eyes—as if you just got a full face done and don’t want to smudge your smoky eye look a bit. Or as if you’re a beauty pageant contestant not wanting her shadow smeared before the big wave and smile moment.
#5 Avoid using oil based products
We know that oil-cleansers and face oils are pretty much all the rage in the beauty industry right now, but … you’re going to want to pass on those products. Using oil-free products for your skincare (and makeup) is best because the oil in these various skincare products will ultimately, break down the glue that you just spent a precious 24 hours waiting to dry on your eyelash extensions.
So, as much as you may love your oil-based products, take a hard pass for now.
You can take a stab at a new cleanser that’s oil-free. Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel is well-rated, gentle and oil-free if you need to transition out of an oil-based wash once investing in your extensions.
#6 Use caution with heavy skin creams
Be careful when whopping on that super moisturizing night cream. Your face may need the moisture—but your lashes do not!
#7 Protect your lashes in the shower
You can’t skip showering in the name of your lash extensions, but you certainly can protect them when you’re under the shower head with Lashbrella.
Lashbrella extends the life of your extensions by protecting them from water when you’re in the shower. It’s also super easy to use. Think of it as a visor to protect your lovely lashes from evil water.
Just simply hook it over your ears, adjust the band so it sits perfectly on your forehead, and that's it!
The water from the shower isn’t the only problem for your beautiful peepers: the water pressure from the showerhead is as well. That’s exactly why we invested Lashbrella. We needed something that offered easy complete protection of our lash investment.
#8 Wash Your Lashes...With Care
Believe it or not, your extensions do need to be washed. After that 24 hour period, your lashes can get wet. In fact, if you don’t clean your lash extensions, your eyelids could get infected. Yuck!
Be sure to clean them 2-3 times, weekly.
Use cool water and wet your eyes. You'll want to use lash shampoo (a small amount goes a long way!) to clean your lashes. Be careful not to rub like you’re scrubbing your face or washing your hair, but go gentle with a light splash.
You can repeat the above step if needed and finish with a cool rinse.
The last step is to try a brush or mascara spoolie to fan your lashes back.
Don’t forget to remove eye makeup before washing your lashes using an oil-free makeup remover. Avoid using a cotton ball as mentioned previously. Try a Q-tip for removing eyeliner dipped in makeup remover.
#9 Say no to waterproof mascara—or any waterproof eye makeup items
Oil-free products, like oil -free makeup remover, are your friends
If you thought we were anti-oil-based products for your skin, the same goes for makeup remover and other products. When in doubt, remember: oil and water don’t mix—and they don’t like your lash extensions, either.
When taking off eyeshadow and makeup, pick a gel-based or oil-free remover. Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Gentle Eye Makeup Remover is effective and also, cost-friendly.
Another good makeup remover that’s effective for your makeup and your budget is Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Waterproof Makeup Remover.
Truthfully, unless you’re in a show or production, you should pass on mascara. But if you’re just that obsessed, make sure you use a mascara that is not a waterproof based mascara! That will be the death of your eyelash extensions for sure.
And when applying mascara in general, apply to just the tips of your extensions if you really want the boost. And in that case, your lashes may look like false lashes, not extensions. Truly, extensions are not made for mascara and they can look really bad with mascara on them. You can also pass on eyeliner too, because extensions will add the drama and make your eyes pop all on their own. But if you really want to wear eyeliner, be careful around your lash line while removing, and always use oil-free remover.
#10 And then say no, no, no to baby wipes and cotton pads
They may have been your go-to’s in your beauty past, but they are never to be used to clean your eye makeup off. Sorry, not sorry.
#11 Toss out your eyelash curler
You may have taken a strong liking to your eyelash curler over the years, but they are absolutely horrible—and not necessary—for people wearing lash extensions.
What could happen if you do give in to the curler?
If you still can’t resist, go very lightly with your eyelash curler—but don’t say we didn’t warn you first.
Okay—now that you’ve got a good grip on how to clean your face, protect your lashes and use eye makeup appropriately with your gorgeous new eyelash extensions, here are some other tips. These pointers will help you maintain and care for your extensions, while avoiding damaging your natural lashes in the long run. Read on!
#12 Don’t pick or pull those lashes
If you have a loose extension, head to your technician quickly—but do not pick or pull it off! This also goes for tugging or twisting. The two bad “P’s and T’s” of the lash extension world—picking, pulling, tugging and twisting.
First—you could end up damaging your natural lashes by pulling out not only the extension, but also your own lash. Secondly—you could end up with one half of the extension on and the other off, looking absolutely ridiculous in the process. Thirdly, you should avoid touching your lashes at all costs. Your hands and fingers contain a lot of germs and oil, and as we expressed before: oil and water don’t mix—and they don’t like your extensions, either.
The truth is: you spent money to have a professional make your lashes look lovely …so, why would you then take the removal process in your own hands? While it may be frustrating if you have an extension that is starting to loosen up, simply call the salon and make an appointment with your technician. They’re the pros, so leave it in their hands.
#13 Just say no to eyelash perms and eyelash tints—and be careful with eyebrow processes, as well
You’re going to want to wait sometime before going for eyelash tints or perms after your extensions.
#14 Fake lashes—strip lashes—on top of your extensions are a no
If you really must place strip lashes on top of them, we’re warning you now: you will lose some of your own real lashes when removing the strip lashes.
#15 Don’t get scissor happy—cutting your extensions is an absolute no-no
If you decide you’d like to trim or cut off an extension/extensions, you could risk cutting your own natural lashes … and that’s not a cute look. This is exactly why you should go to a professional lash extension salon and use a technician to care for your lash investment.
#16 Watch out for high heat
Getting a blow out or simply blow drying your own hair? Be careful! Heat can cause your eyelash extensions to bend, straighten or just look outright funky. So, when you’re at the salon getting heat over your highlights or styling your hair … be cautious.
The same goes for cooking! Crazy we know, but do you really want to burn your lashes while boiling some pasta. Heat is not friendly to those gorgeous extensions you just invested in.
False lashes? Nope—just well-maintained lash extensions
While getting a set of lashes is an investment, it truly is easy to care for them with these tips. There is no doubt that eyelash extensions are truly the easiest way to make your face look “done” and beautiful each morning without using any makeup.
Here are some extra tips regarding physical care for your lashes and maintenance:
#17 is Don't Let Too Much Time Go By Without Seeing Your Technician
In general when done by a professional technician, your extensions should last about six to eight weeks. With that said, don’t let too much time go by without going in to see your lash technician as most likely, you’ll have issues with your extensions.
You need to go in about two to four weeks for touch ups. Yes, you’ll need touch ups to keep your lashes looking lovely.
The better you care for your lashes, the better they will hold up, which means less
extensive infill appointments= less money spent.
#18 The motion is so important
When you touch your lashes, never go side to side on your lash line! Rubbing like that will simply cause issues and also, put a lot of germs and oil on your extensions.
Instead, use an upward motion.
#19 Brush your eyelashes gently
Sounds silly, but if you want beautiful eyelashes, you’ll need to occasionally brush them out gently.
You can use either a eyeshadow brush or a disposable mascara wand to do the brushing.
#20 Be mindful of your beauty sleep
When heading off to bed, don’t forget to sleep on your back or your side! If you sleep on your stomach, be prepared to smash your lovely extensions in the middle of the night.
Of course, this can be really difficult if you’re a hardcore stomach sleeper, but sleeping on your back is typically better for you anyway. Not to mention smashing your face into your pillow is a recipe for wrinkles, so consider switching sleeping positions as a huge win. If you really just need to sleep on your belly, try a satin pillowcase. Apparently satin pillowcases also prevent hair breakage and loss. Double win.
Things to remember:
Everyone’s lashes have a different growth cycle. Some people will have to get fills more often than others. That cannot be helped or changed. Your skin type will also be a factor in how often you need to go back to your lash technician. Oily complexions will have to visit more often because the oil affects how the extensions stay on (or not) with your own lashes. So while your friend may have to go every four weeks, you may have to go every two for infills.
Lash extensions are an absolute beauty must-have. It truly keeps you looking more awake, fresh and beautiful than any eyeshadow and liner possibly can. It makes your life much easier in terms of your everyday beauty routine, as well. And overall, caring for them when done correctly, is not hard to do and will help you maintain your natural lashes, too.