Want big beautiful lashes like Beyoncé but visions of puffy eyes being glued together make you apprehensive about trying out lash extensions?

Fear not ladies, the DESTINY beauty team headed out to Aura Skincare in Parkhurst to see what all the fuss was about – with pleasing results.

Not only did the compliments fly from colleagues (on very little sleep might I add – winning!), but our eyes looked five times bigger with very little effort (and mascara) on our part. Who knew that a bit of length and volume could do wonders to lift a girl’s spirit?

Gushing aside though – like all things in life – there are pros and cons to every decision, and lash extensions are quite the commitment. So we got the lowdown from owner of Aura, Glynne Mitchell, on important things to consider before rushing to your nearest salon to lay out hard-earned cash for lash extensions.

How long do lash extensions last?

They typically last four to six weeks, depending on the glue used. Some glues are for sensitive eyes and the bonding agent isn’t as strong, so lashes might fall off quicker and last around a month – other glues  have a stronger bonding agent, making lashes last longer.

What should be taken into consideration before installing lash extensions and what does the process involve? 

You either love them or you hate them. We apply a lash to each individual lash, which gives it either length, thickness or both, so you look absolutely fabulous, and it’s an absolute art creating the perfect look for each client as they come in different lengths and thickness. If you have sensitive eyes and think you may have a reaction to the glue, it’s best to do a patch test with the glue at least 24 hours before.

Can lashes be removed by the client or do they have to be removed professionally?

You don’t want to damage your natural lashes, so it is better to remove them professionally.

What are the different types of lashes ladies can opt for? 

We use synthetic lashes in all shapes and sizes as we would never use a product taken from an animal or human. Even the lashes we refer to as Mink, which are softer and come in different lengths and thickness, have the appearance of the true mink lashes although they are not true mink and are mostly synthetic.

What are big no-nos when dealing with lash extensions and aftercare tips for making them last?

  • Any products used around the eye area must be oil-free to help lashes last longer as oil can weaken the glue bond.
  • It’s best to avoid washing your face (hello make-up wipes) and going to gym straight after having your lashes installed as steam may debunk lashes. However, it’s safe to wash your face and gym 24 hours after lash installation.
  • If going to the beach over summer, be aware that salt has an effect on the lashes, which may affect the lifespan of lashes and they might fall out quicker. The less you fuss with the lashes, the longer they last.

DESTINY’s advice

We have throughly enjoyed our lashes (totally hooked actually) and can see why lash extensions have been so popular over the years. They are a great way to spoil yourself and look amazing in pictures for special occasions like weddings and big events. Like anything that needs to be installed, the correct maintenance and aftercare methods are imperative when wanting to keep lashes on for longer and maintain eye health. When it comes to oil-free cleansers, we loved The Lash Collection, Cool Fresh Foaming Cleanser, R170-R200 (depending on retailers). It is a gentle formula for use on eyelash and brow extensions or for those who have easily irritated or sensitive eyes that don’t have extensions yet and are looking for a suitable cleanser.

It’s important to research and find a reputable salon. Working around a delicate area on the face that is easily prone to infection makes going to a salon with trained professionals a non-negotiable.

While lash extensions can save you mascara application time in the long run, actual installation will take around 90 minutes to two hours and cost R830 for a full set. Refills cost R460 and will take about an hour.

(Various salons have different lash extensions prices.)