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Lash Extensions vs. False Lashes

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Some people love strip lashes, some people are committed to their lash tech. Whether it’s for a special occasion or day-to-day wear, envious lashes are totally on trend. When they go head to head, which is better? Lash extensions or false lashes (aka strip lashes, false eyelashes or falsies)? Here’s the low-down.

Lash Extensions

Eyelash extensions have been around for quite a long time, they’re definitely more than just a trend and they aren’t something that will be disappearing anytime soon.

A good lash technician has skill that is seriously under appreciated. If you find a good one and eyelash extensions are your thing, hold on to them and never let them go. It takes 1-2 hours per application. This includes applying individual lashes or a small lash cluster to every single one of your own natural lashes and have them all line up how they are meant to. They do this all while being conscious of hygiene, not using too much glue, or too little…and that’s just the simplified version of what they do.

These will last you a few weeks, but you’ll have to return for infills every 2-3 weeks.

So, let’s go through the pro’s and con’s of eyelash extensions.

Pros

“I woke up like this”

This one is probably the main reason people opt for lash extensions. You wake up, maybe brush your hair and it already looks like you made an effort. You can throw out your mascara because you definitely won’t be needing that anymore. If you’re also someone that applies makeup everyday, you’ll cut down a few minutes each day by not having to apply mascara and/or fake lashes.

Water won’t loosen the adhesive

24 hours after your appointment, you can cry, shower or go swimming and not worry that you’ll be lashless. You can go to the gym and sweat up a storm, or take a dip in the ocean. And since you won’t be wearing mascara, you won’t have to worry about that running either. It’s also probably one of the biggest reasons why people will opt for eyelash extensions when having a beach or poolside holiday.

It’s easy

There’s no skill involved here, new makeup application technique, nothing you really need to do. Just turn up to your appointment, lay down with your eyes closed and get pampered for a little while.

Cons

Damage

Not all lash technicians are created equal. A good lash tech is important for the health of your natural lashes. Choose wisely, and listen to their advice about proper lash care. Many many people complain about lash loss/damage (sometimes permanent) due to the improper application of eyelash extensions.

Upkeep

It’s recommended that you return for infills around 2-3 weeks after each appointment, which means it’s a fairly big commitment to make. Yes, upkeep is important so that the lashes don’t get too scraggly. It’s also important to maintain them for the sake of looking after the health of your real lashes…which brings us to the cost.

Cost

Depending on where you go and what you’re getting, the cost does vary. It can be anywhere between $80-$300 for an appointment, which adds up pretty quickly if you’re going twice a month for infills!

Removal

In order to remove the lashes without damaging your own lashes, you will need to make an appointment to return to your lash lady. It means that you can’t remove them on a whim, if you’re a bit strapped for cash this week, or if you simply need to take a break from them.

Variety

When you go to your eyelash appointment, you’ll be able to select how natural or dramatic you’d like them to look. You can choose both the lash length and the lash curl, but they are limited when compared with strip lashes. In addition, you won’t be able to go dramatic one day, natural the next and then back again.

Maintenance

It’s important to actually look after your lash extensions as well as your real lashes. Brushing them with a spoolie brush (otherwise known as a mascara wand) and cleaning them appropriately is important. Depending on what your eyelash technician suggests, you may need a special cleanser for your eyelashes. While this all might not sound like a big deal, you also have to be very careful when you’re cleaning your face, to not rub your eyes or eye area. You do get used to it, but it will be very frustrating to begin with.

Sleep

Back when I was a committed eyelash extension kinda girl, my lash lady would always get mad at me because she could tell I hadn’t been sleeping on my back. I’m just not a back-sleeper. I’m a pillow-smushed-into-my-face sleeper through and through. Eyelash extensions just weren’t built for that kind of treatment.

Makeup

You may also need to change your makeup products if you do opt for eyelash extensions. Oil-based makeup can cause the eyelash adhesive to weaken, meaning your eyelash extensions won’t last. In addition, you may need to take a little bit more care in makeup application so you don’t coat your lash extensions with concealer and eyeshadow. Ensuring that makeup doesn’t build up on your lashes is important for hygiene reasons (and also crusty lashes are not a good look).

False Lashes

False lashes are otherwise known as strip lashes and have nothing to do with taking your clothes off. They are generally re-usable and don’t need to be applied by a professional. The strip of lashes is applied with glue to your lash line. The glue used is more temporary, so you can remove them once it’s time to take off your makeup. There are actually many options available in terms of glue, which is a whole other conversation. But let’s look at the pros and cons of false lashes.

Pros

Affordability

A set of good quality strip lashes can last you up to around 20 applications. Priced from $10-$100 per pair, the cost usually ends up being much less than eyelash extensions…even if you purchase the most expensive pair.

Opt in, opt out

What I didn’t like about eyelash extensions is that I couldn’t just take them off if I felt like it. The huge benefit of false lashes is being able to remove them at the end of the day and put them on again whenever you feel like it. You can take them off, wash your makeup off, cleanse your eye area well and go to bed with a completely fresh face.

Variety

I have a variety of lashes on the “go” at any given time. Anywhere from natural, to super dramatic and everything in between. I have different types of lashes to suit different occasions and different makeup looks. I love having a bit of variety and choice, and also the option to go completely lash free when I feel like it.

Minimise the damage to your natural lashes

Not all people that get eyelash extensions will experience noticeable natural lash loss, but many do. Ensuring that you are applying and removing your false lashes correctly will help to minimise any natural lash damage.

Cons

Learning how to apply false eyelashes

It may take you a few goes, but you can learn how to apply strip lashes, just breathe, and be patient. After a few applications, you’ll feel comfortable to be able to apply them without much hassle at all.

No crying

Depending on the lash glue you use and the severity of your tears, your lashes will most likely start to lift at the edges if you do cry. The same goes, if you put your face under the shower or jump in the ocean, they probably won’t last too long either. You can carry a tiny bottle of lash glue, for just in case occasions if you need to. You can also find waterproof lash glue on the market.

Can feel heavy/irritating

The only other objection that I have to false lashes is that people find them heavy or annoying. In saying that, when people first get extensions, they report the same thing but then get used to them after a day or two. The best advice for this is to start with very natural, lightweight lashes, like these. In order to make them as comfortable as possible, ensure they are cut to the right size and applied correctly.

Latex Allergy

Ok so this isn’t actually a “con” anymore. Latex used to be the most popular false lash adhesive on the market. Now there are a whole range of false lash glue options available, it’s just about finding which one works for you.

So which is better?

I had eyelash extensions for 4 years straight, and I loved them so much. What I love more, is having the ability to take my lashes off and put them on whenever I choose. I save the lashes for the times when I’m actually wearing makeup and have the option to go super dramatic or leave them natural. There are also a lot less downsides to false lashes compared to eyelash extensions. Although, some people love eyelash extensions for the fact that they can basically set and forget for 2 weeks. At the end of the day, I personally prefer false lashes, but it really is just personal preference.

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