Like every other young, red-blooded woman in the United States, I live in a constant struggle to balance both my desire to look put-together and fashionable, and my inclination to stay in bed for as long as humanly possible every morning.

Enter eyelash extensions. They’re fake eyelashes’ longer-lasting and better-looking younger sister. Are they worth it? What is the process like?

Here are five things you need to know about eyelash extensions.

1. Get Them Done Professionally

There’s a good chance you’ve seen them listed on the price board of your local nail salon, right next to the gel manicures and the eyebrow waxing. However, chances are the nail salon on the corner isn’t the place you want to go. It’s important to go to a licensed professional who has been fully trained. If done wrong, the eyelashes can fall out faster, get tangled, or just look like an overall mess. So do your research and find a technician you trust.

2. Expect a Long Session.

This is no quick appointment. Full set applications usually take an hour and a half to two hours (my first session took two and a half). And full disclosure: The bottom lashes will be taped down so that they don’t get tangled up with the top lashes, and this can be a little uncomfortable, though it’s not painful. Your eyes will have to be closed throughout the session, so don’t be surprised if you doze off a few times.


3. Get a Deal

Eyelash extensions can run as much as $300 for a full set. This is a hefty price, especially if you’re going for the first time and not positive that you’ll love them. Check out places like Groupon or LivingSocial for deals that offer as much as  seventy-five percent off your first appointment. After that you can decide if the price tag is worth it.

4. Take Care of Them.

Just like anything else, your extensions will only look as good as the work you put into maintaining them. For two days after you get them, you can’t get them wet or spend a long amount of time anywhere excessively hot or humid. That means showers, saunas and your hot yoga class are out of the question. After forty-eight hours, however, they’ll be more or less like your natural lashes. But you still want to avoid using oils on your face – as they’ll disintegrate the glue – touching them a lot, or putting mascara on them. And if you want to keep them, you’ll have to refill them every two to four weeks.

Photo courtesy of Empire Faces.


5. You Might Get Addicted.

Imagine giving up your tweezers once you’ve seen them shaped. Or going back to your natural hair color once you’ve been a glossier, more brilliant you for years. Like any other long-term beauty treatment, you’re probably going to get attached to this one. Not only are your lashes longer and darker, your eyes bigger and brighter, but it all looks natural, more or less. It’s the no-makeup-makeup look that you’ve always wanted, and it’s hard to let go of.

Would I recommend eyelash extensions? Absolutely. From rolling out of bed to walking out of a sweaty yoga class, I’m more fresh-faced and confident than I’ve ever been. It’s a waterproof beauty treatment, and there’s no better time to try this out than with summer right around the corner.