They say the eyes are the windows to the soul and it’s true; you can read a person’s emotions without them saying a word when you look into their eyes. They frame your face and really are the focal point of one’s face. This article will be about eye enhancements, starting at the basics with mascara and building up to individual eyelash extensions. I will cover the care and maintenance of lashes as well as different tips and tricks to try for each variety.
- Mascara enhances natural lashes. The best way to use mascara is to use an eyelash curler with a rubber pad before application. If you have trouble, you can wet your lashes a little with water beforehand to make the curler move easier. You choose your mascara based on your needs; if you need more curl, volume, length, etc. When applying and taking the wand out, don’t over-pump the product onto the spooley. This causes excess air to enter which adds bacteria and can dry out your product, as well as shorten the lifespan of it. You apply it in a zigzag motion, from base to tip, and wiggle the wand over your lashes. Follow your natural lash line and make sure to cover all of your hairs. When applying you should start with the bottom lashes first. This avoids the top lashes from getting a mascara smudge under your eye. For the lower lashes and inner corners of your eye, it sometimes helps if you keep the brush vertical or bend the wand to a 90-degree angle and then apply. You can always bend the wand back into place later. For added volume to your lashes in addition to mascara you can use an eyelash primer, and in a pinch, you can dust your face powder over your lashes or even baby powder before applying. To try a different spin on mascara you can opt for one that is colored to compliment your eye color. Green compliments blue eyes, brown or burgundy compliments green eyes, purple compliments brown eyes and can be used as an eye brightening shade for all eye colors as well as blue. Mascara can be removed easily with makeup/eye makeup remover or makeup remover wipes. You can even use Vaseline to remove your makeup.
- Strip lashes are the next method of eye enhancements. To apply them, you curl your natural lashes before application and measure the strip to the length of your eye and cut them to fit. Apply glue to your lash and while it dries apply mascara and eyeliner along your top lash line. When the glue gets tacky on your lash you can apply them with tweezers or lash applicator and they should stick without moving. Mascara helps your natural lashes to blend with the strip lash and can be applied before and after you put the lashes on. Applying eyeliner helps to fill in any gaps between the eyelash and your lashes. Once your lashes are in place you can look at them and make sure they are even and pinch them together with your thumb and index fingers to ensure they are stuck on and help push them into place if there are any gaps. Generally lashes can be worn for 1-3 days based on care and can be removed easily just by gently lifting them. If they don’t come off, you can rub a little Vaseline or eye makeup remover on the lash band and it will come right off. However, no matter what, DO NOT USE HAIR GLUE FOR YOUR EYES! Eyelash glue is made with a similar but very different formula made specifically for the eyes that is gentler. A few of my favorites are NYX, Stuck on You and Ardell, Lash Grip. For brown skin clients, I use black lash glue and for more fair skinned clients I sometimes use the clear glue. The clear glue can look a little white and crusty when it gets older especially on dark skin. I also like that the black gives a little more of an intense look than the clear as if you have liner on so if I need the extra oomf for a look I always go for black first. Unless your lashes are badly misshapen or missing strands do not throw them out- they can be reused. When you remove them take a Q-tip and put makeup remover on it and rub it back and forth along the lash to take off all glue and product. If the glue is clumped up enough to peel some off you can gently pull it off with your hands first. After the glue and makeup is removed, you can take another Q-tip or the other side of the first one if you haven’t used it and dip it in alcohol and go over the lash again. This helps remove any excess residue and also sanitizes the lash. They should now be ready for use again and can be stored in the original box that they came in or even a contact lens case. (SN: You can potentially get the flutter lash look which is not hot from getting these lashes wet and after prolonged wear.)
- Individual eye lash clusters are another alternative for eye enhancement that is a little more long-lasting but definitely more-time consuming to apply as well. For this method, you apply the lash clusters in between your natural lashes with special glue. They also have a remover specific for the glue to take them off without damage to your natural lash. They come in various lengths from mini to long and different lash volumes for more intensity (black, luxe black, ultra-black etc.). They also come knotted and unknotted at the tops. The knots hold the clusters together and are easier to apply for beginners, but the unknotted gives a more flat and natural look. You should be careful when removing them from the pack because they are easy to tear apart due to not having the knot of glue at the top. You normally can wear individuals for about 3-4 weeks before you either get a refill or remove them completely.
- Finally, individual eyelash extensions are easily the most tedious and currently trending method is individual eyelash extensions, which attaches a single lash strand to each of the hairs in your eyelashes. They come in different lengths and curves based on the shape of your natural lashes and desired look. The longer your lashes are, the more you need to apply. You should avoid getting your lashes wet for 24 hours when first installed to give the glue time to dry completely. Due to the style of lash application, this method is the priciest but it is also the most long lasting at 6-8 weeks before needing a refill or new set. The good thing is as the set gets older, they grow with your natural lashes so they don’t look as gapped as the lash clusters. You can maintain them with a clean mascara wand and diluted baby shampoo day to day and it won’t harm the lashes.
To get some insight from someone else in the industry I interviewed Nancy Armfield, owner of Fancee’s Nail & Lash Studio, located in Pittsford at Salon Bella Vita.
MC: How did you get into doing eyelash extensions?
NA: I got into doing lashes by first getting mine done and loving them. Then realizing that it would be a lucrative add on service for me.
MC: What is something that most people don’t know about getting eyelash extensions?
NA: What most people don’t know about lashes is that every eye is different, and everyone has a preference so its ok to be unique when lashing.
MC: What is a word of advice you would give someone thinking about becoming a lash tech?
NA: To anyone that is thinking about becoming a lash tech, the most important skill to have is patience. Just take it one set at a time.
MC:: What is some information on upkeep, maintenance and refills?
NA: When getting lash extensions, the most important thing to remember is not to rub your eyes. Your lashes also need to be cleaned daily and brushed. Refills should be done anywhere from 1-3 weeks after initial install.
MC: Any wise words for beginners?
NA: For all beginning lash techs all I can say is practice makes perfect and you can be the best lash tech in the world but none of that will matter if you don’t keep good sanitary practices and don’t have great customer service. These aspects are just as important.