The truth about eyelash extensions

In today’s world, there seems to be a cosmetic fix for whatever beauty insecurity a woman might have. Don’t like your hair color? Head to the salon and get a new shade. Think your chin is too angular? A plastic surgeon can fix that for you. Hate your eye color? Well, there’s colored contacts for that, too.

 The latest trending topic in the world of beauty fixes is a small feature that can have a big impact on your look: eyelash extensions. Eyelash extensions are applied directly on top of your existing lashes, not onto the skin, as is the process for those drugstore false lashes. Eyelash extensions give a fuller, natural look to lashes and open up the eyes, eliminating the need for daily coats of mascara.

 However, there’s a lot of to know before you book an appointment for extensions, so we talked with Barbara Rattigan, owner of the national brand Shavasana Eyelash Extensions, to get into the nitty-gritty of these little bitty hairs.

The truth about eyelash extensions

What Extensions Can Offer

 Thick, full hair is always sign of good health, so having extensions done can provide you a healthy, more youthful look.  In fact, Rattigan says that most of her customers are between the ages of 30 to 50 years old who are looking to turn back the clock a bit in their middle age through this small beauty change.

 “(For our customers,) it could be the working woman, it could be the yoga mom,” say Rattigan. “We see women that are super super natural (who) don’t wear a lot of makeup, and they just want that little bit of something to their eyes. And then we have women that come in in their high heels and lots of makeup and their done-up hair. So it really can fit all types of consumers.”

The truth about eyelash extensions

 The Process

 As the lashes are applied directly on top of your existing lashes, getting them done is a time-consuming process. Each individual lash extension is dipped into an adhesive and attached to each individual natural eyelash. So, Rattigan says that a full set can take anywhere between one to two hours to apply.

 You will also have many different options to choose from. Shavasana offers different lengths, ranging in sizes from six to 16 mm, as well as different sizes. Depending on the size of your natural existing lash, you will be give either a thin, standard, thick or extra thick extension size.

 You will also be able to choose what look you’re going for through the actual material of the extension. Shavasana offers a classic synthetic lash, as well as premiere lashes that, while still synthetics, emulate the looks of silk and mink. The silk and mink options are much more soft, lightweight and won’t bend as much as the classic lashes, says Rattigan.

 The extensions will last for five to six weeks, but clients will want to come in after two weeks for touch-ups.

 “Just like the rest of your hair, you’re always losing eyelashes,” says Rattigan. “By the end of that five to six weeks, all of your extensions would have shed out…So (clients) come in (every two weeks) and get their lashes touched up. That’s where we fill in the spaces where any extensions have fallen out.”

 Rattigan adds that this process can last indefinitely. She’s had clients who have been coming in every two weeks for years to get their lashes filled in.

 Some women also choose to still wear mascara after they get their extensions done. If so, the company you get your lashes done at should have water-soluble mascaras and specialized makeup removers available for purchase that won’t damage the extensions.

 In pricing, a full set of Shavasana lashes ranges $125 to $200, with touch-ups costing anywhere from $45 to $75.

The truth about eyelash extensions

 What To Know Beforehand

 While the process sounds simple enough, Rattigan says it’s important to keep a few things in mind before you book your appointment.

 She says it’s extremely important to make sure that whoever is doing your lashes is both a licensed beauty professional and a trained technician.

 Also, “Something that’s very important when you’re working with your technician is you want to make sure that what they’re doing is a lash-by-lash application,” says Rattigan.

 Rattigan says that Consumer Reports recently came out with an article that discussed the dangers of lash extensions, saying they can lead to blindness. However, she says what Consumer Reports was really warning against was not the lash-by-lash extension technique that Shavasana and other lash extension companies use, but warning against technicians who apply numerous extensions on the natural eyelashes. She says that when that technique is used, it ends up pulling out the natural lashes, and if those lashes don’t grow back, you’ve lost your eye’s natural protection and you may end up with serious eye damage.

“So, when you do speak to somebody when you’re shopping around to see who you want to get lashes done, ask them, ‘What type of procedure do you do? Is this a lash-by-lash procedure?’ says Rattigan. “And if they’re a professional technician that’s been trained, they’ll know how to answer those questions properly.”

The truth about eyelash extensions

 Next, if you have any allergies to adhesives or any sorts of other severe allergies to cosmetic products, it’s best not to get extensions done. Some people do develop allergies to the adhesive, so keep that in mind. You should also not have extensions done if you have any thyroid issues. If you’ve recently gone through chemotherapy, Rattigan says it’s best to wait four to six months before getting extensions, and if you’re getting any sort of chemical treatments done, do not get extensions done the same day. You also might want to re-consider extensions if you’re extremely claustrophobic, as your technician will be spending a lot of time very close to your face during the process.

 Lastly, before going into your appointment, Rattigan stresses the importance of knowing what you want. She says that communicating with your technician about the fullness of lashes that you desire will keep you from being disappointed when you sit up if you don’t find them to be noticeable or shocked if they just seem to be too much.

“You also need to have the conversation with the technician to know what is going to work for your age, your eye shape, your skin color,” says Rattigan. “All of those are factors as well so that you get the end results you’re looking for.”

 About Shavasana Extensions

 Shavasana has been around since 2005 and is well acclaimed in the beauty world for their lashes and specifically for their training program and adhesives. They have an extensive training program for technicians, making sure that they are all trained in the lash-by-lash application process. Shavasana-trained professionals can be found in salons in nearly every state. To learn more about the company and its products and to find a technician near you, visit

By Clarissa Burt with Ellen Kuni

© 2013 The Los Angeles Fashion

Leave a Reply