Whether you have short eyelashes or you want to add some volume, eyelash extensions are a great way to draw attention to your beautiful eyes — sans mascara.
But here’s the thing: They’re an investment. Eyelash extensions take time to apply, and they can cost up to $300, depending on where you get them done, your eye shape, and your lash length.
So, after all that, you’re going to want to take good care of them.
Like any good investment, eyelash extensions require maintenance. If you’re diligent about aftercare, it can:
- keep your eyelashes clean
- prevent eye infections
- keep them looking nice longer
- save you money, because you won’t need to maintain or replace them as often
There are a few things you should do to maintain your eyelash extensions.
Don’t get them wet for 48 hours after application
For the first 48 hours after application, avoid taking a shower, washing your eyes, or getting your eyelash extensions wet.
Water can affect the glue, causing the bond to become brittle and easy to break.
After that, wash them regularly
After the first 48 hours, residue will start to build up around the lash line if you don’t wash your extensions. This can lead to eye infections and other eye issues.
Instead, you’re going to want to clean your lash extensions around every 3 days. You can do so by performing the following steps:
- Brush them with a soft bristle brush.
- Wash them with a special eyelash extension cleanser or distilled water.
- Let the water from your shower run down your face and over your eyes.
Brush them, too
Every morning, you’re going to want to brush your eyelash tips to keep them looking good.
It’s best to use a clean, dry spoolie (aka the kind of brush used to apply mascara) and to support your lashes with a clean finger as you brush.
Use caution with products
You shouldn’t be using any oil-based products near your eyelash extensions. So check your products before using them — especially eye creams and makeup removers.
Be careful with makeup
You’ll also want to skip mascara, even the ones that market themselves as “extension-safe.” Waterproof makeup, such as waterproof mascara, can soften the glue on your lash extensions.
If you use eyeliner, opt for a water-based, non-waterproof version — and be gentle when you remove your makeup at the end of the night.
Rubbing your eyes isn’t good for your extensions. It could damage them and your real lashes.
Powdery eyeshadow might not be a great idea either, as the powder can get stuck in the glue and build up over time.
Don’t pick at them
Your extensions will feel weird at first, but after a couple days, you should feel more comfortable with them.
But no matter how weird they feel, don’t pick at them or try to remove them yourself. All you’ll do is tear or break your real lashes.
Sleep on your stomach or side
If you sleep on your stomach or your side, you might crush your lashes, making them last a shorter period of time.
If you sleep on your back instead, they’ll last longer.
Avoid clustering lashes
Cluster lashes are three hairs glued together to give your lashes a more voluminous look, but they’re also heavier — which means they pull on your natural lashes. This can damage your natural lashes over time.
Don’t use eyelash curlers
They can damage your extensions or pull them out.
Lash extensions usually last about 3 to 4 weeks, but they can last 6 to 8 weeks if you take care of them.
You can get them taken out early if you want, but make sure a professional does it. Otherwise, they’ll fall out on their own.
Eyelash extensions can make your eyelashes look longer and fuller. But to make them truly last, you’ll need to take care of them.
You can keep them in longer by brushing your extensions daily, cleaning them every 3 days, and avoiding things that could make them fall out sooner or damage your natural lashes — saving you both money and time.
Simone M. Scully is a writer who loves writing about all things health and science. Find Simone on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.