You have invested in your eyelash extensions, possibly you’ve been getting lashes regularly for some time now, or maybe you are a newbie. Regardless of how used to extensions you are, the rules with makeup and extensions are the same.
- Complete oil ban. Do not use any products that contain oil. Oil breaks down the adhesive used to hold your extensions on. When that adhesive is weakened, the extensions start to lift from the base and fall off, or even worse, only part of the adhesive is detached and the extensions become wonky and tangled, become very hard to brush and can damage your natural lashes. Any contact with oil will reduce the life of your extensions, there is no getting around it. Introducing oil to your lash extensions will also result in the existing lashes (that have not fallen off) to clump together. What a disaster! The best bet is to buy extension-specific eye makeup products, to make sure they are suitable to use on your lashes, but if you do need to purchase other makeup, make sure to avoid any products containing oil. And if checking the ingredients list on the back of a product in the middle of Priceline isn’t enough for you, it’s probably a good time to tell you now that sometimes different oils make their way into products labelled “oil-free”. Treacherous I know! But make sure there are no glycerine or glycerol in your products either. This is for anything that goes around the eye area and is at risk of making contact with your lashes. So eye makeup, eye makeup remover, any eye creams, concealers etc. If in doubt, just don’t use it around the eye area. Now that you have extensions you need to get used to the concept that anything labelled ‘waterproof’ is not your friend. This is not a drill, waterproof is out and all eye makeup from here on needs to be easy to remove.
- Applying makeup. Even if you purchase a mascara especially designed for eyelash extensions, you need to apply it slightly differently to how you normally would. Put it on the tips only. Don’t let the mascara get into the base or the roots of your lashes, as it will make it very hard to remove and it can get stuck in the space between your natural lashes and the base of the extensions. It’s also a good idea to use mascara only on special occasions. The best way to increase the life of your extensions is to leave them alone, touch them as little as possible. So playing around with applying and removing mascara daily, even if there is no oil involved, will be to the detriment of your extensions. Lash extensions are meant to be a bigger, better and less maintenance involved alternative to mascara anyway, enjoy not having to go through that routine. However, eyeliner is easier applied than mascara. It’s essentially applied the same, but just the tiniest bit further away from the lash line. It’s best not to get the product in the base of the lashes, rather just above the lash line. All eyeliners are not recommended unless they are oil free, but in general, and gel liners or anything that involves dipping into a pot are out of the question. That really leaves you with pencil and liquid liners that contain absolutely no oil.
- Removing eye makeup. Aside from applying the golden rule of “absolutely no oil” to your makeup remover, be gentle. This is as important as choosing the right remover. If you are removing mascara (that has only been applied to the tips – remember) use two cotton tips that have been dipped into the makeup remover and gently wriggle the mascara off, having one cotton tip on top and one below the lash to gently clamp together and wriggle off the mascara almost one or two lashes at a time. Yes, it is time consuming, but it’s your fault for putting mascara on in the first place. If removing eyeliner, again with a cotton tip dipped into the remover, gently remove the eyeliner from above the lash line in a similar motion to how you applied it. Make sure the cotton tip is completely wet with remover and there are no dry fibres that can get caught in the lashes. Removing eye shadow is similar. Get the cotton tip to remove as much of the makeup from the lash line as possible, and then you can use a cotton pad to remove the rest that is away from the lash line. The reason we are suggesting to use the cotton tip is because it has a lot more precision, and the fibres in a cotton pad are a lot easier to get caught in the extensions, and if you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing a lash being viciously ripped from your eyelid, there is your chance.
Above are the 3 main things to consider when purchasing makeup that you intend to use on extensions. But please allow me to spice things up with what I’m about to say. If you are getting married, and your makeup artist has some ideas for the big day that you love, that go against what we have said above, let’s just be realistic for a second. It’s your wedding, literally (hopefully) one day in your life. All of your natural lashes and eyelash extensions will not fall out if you apply a bit of normal mascara to them. You will be fine for that one significant day. Don’t do it often, but don’t let extensions compromise your look for your wedding day. A few exceptions here and there are ok. But be prepared, your lashes will not last as long as they normally would, and if you are jetting off to your honeymoon straight after the wedding without infills in between, you need to think of the lashes not lasting the whole trip.
Okay, so a quick recap. Oil is the devil and be more than gentle when applying and removing makeup that goes anywhere near your eyes.