Please forgive the tres dramatic title. I’m not saying in any way that eyelash extensions can compare to a first love story or winning a million trillion dollars; but there are certain aspects of your life that will (or should) change when you start wearing lash extensions long term. I personally have been wearing lashes regularly since I started doing them full time, which will be over 6 years now.
Here are some of the ways your lifestyle can change, according to me, and some of my long-term clients.
I’m not a very graceful sleeper as it is, quite violent in fact. My partner often refers to me as Benji Marshall (an A grade Rugby League player) because of the rough way I move around in bed whilst trying to get to sleep. As a result, my lashes never lasted very long, and I wasn’t very popular with my colleagues. They would run away in the hallways of work when they’d see me approach because they knew I was after a ‘quick touch up’ before almost every weekend. Over the years, to avoid winning ‘Most Annoying’ at the staff Christmas party, I have learnt to save my lashes. I haven’t managed to learn to sleep like a princess, but by squishing my pillow underneath the side of my face so that it raises my head off the bed and clears the danger zone away from my eyes. Sleeping on my side has helped to preserve my lashes for a few more weeks before needing infills. Some of my clients also have similar ways to avoid ruining their extensions overnight.
This is something that is either a problem or not for an individual. If you are already an eye rubber, this habit does not normally go away magically because you’ve had extensions applied. It does need to be addressed though. As the extensions are adhered to your natural lash, and are (in most cases) longer and thicker than your natural lash, the extension tends to act as an anchor to your lash. If you rub or pull at the extension, it can pull your natural lash out quite easily. Over a long time, constant pulling of your lashes will result in lash loss and damage to your natural lashes.
A past client of mine comes to mind when I think of this. She was a lawyer, so usually worked a lot of late nights. She used to rub her eyes whenever she was tired, a subconscious habit. And she was always tired. Because she would lose so many lashes, she would come in for infills weekly. We became quite good friends because of our weekly appointments, she even came to one of my birthday parties. So, when I told her that her lashes had incurred some damage from her constantly rubbing and pulling them out and that she would need to stop getting them done, it felt like a breakup. The look on her face when I broke the news to her is pretty hard to forget. She did a bit of soul searching on her tiny break from lashes and came back with a solid game plan. She stopped rubbing her eyes. Well, she found a new weird way to rub them that didn’t affect the lashes.
It is possible to work around the habit of rubbing your eyes, but it does take a bit of dedication, and any reputable technician will not keep applying lash extensions to you if it’s too hard for you to stop.
Swimming with extensions
Sometimes I feel this is harder for us as lash-addicts in Australia than in a lot of other countries. Swimming and the beach are an important part of our lifestyle. We even start swimming lessons as young children in school (which apparently is not a ‘thing’ in a lot of other countries). Here’s the deal. You cannot get your lash extensions wet for the first 24-48-hour period of getting them applied. Which seems relatively easy enough in winter and autumn. But in summer? What an ask! We reach temperatures of over 40 degrees some days. People come here because of the warm climate that is basically guaranteed. So how are we expected to keep away from the water? We just have to. The reality is, if you want to maintain your lash extensions you need to either avoid getting them wet at all for the drying period.
You should also try to avoid wetting them too often or wear goggles. Submerging your face in water regularly will dry the extensions out, so you need to just bob above water for the majority of your leisurely swims. If you do laps for fitness, or if you actually are a swimmer, goggles will be your best friend. Possibly your only friend. See our post about how to keep your lashes glamorous while on holidays here.
For the first 24-48 hours after getting your lashes done, you must avoid contact with water or steam to ensure that the extensions last for as long as they are meant to, but after this time you are able to get them wet as normal. Getting them wet after the initial drying time is not the problem, it’s the pressure of the shower head, the facial and hair products that you use in the shower and the way you use the towel to dry your face that can shorten the life of your new extensions. Subtle changes in these areas are developed over time and can increase the time between infills quite a lot. Personally, I don’t even have the shower head pointed directly at my face anymore. I just splash my face when needed, so most of the time the water is directed just under my face.
When using facial products, I usually use the products in two parts. The first, my whole face from under my eyes I apply the products as normal. The second is my forehead, which I take more care to make sure the products don’t get onto my lashes (if they contain any oil). When drying my face, I just use the towel to wipe around the eye area and the rest of my face and just pat dry the lashes. I’d recommend wiping slowly and gently whilst drying your face as it’s quite easy for the lashes to get caught or snagged.
If you are looking into wearing lashes for a while, adjusting things like the above will work out better for the health of your natural lashes. You will also be able to increase the time between infills. Saving you money in the long run. These adjustments do tend to come naturally though. You tend to take better care of your extensions the longer you are wearing them for.