I Tried DIY Eyelash Extensions and Saved So Much Money
My tale of doing DIY lash extensions began in tragedy, but ended in sweet, budget-friendly harmony.
First, the tragedy.
One day, while hanging out with my friend, I noticed that she had these long, fluttery lashes that she didn't have the last time I saw her. I assumed they were extensions, but she told me they were false lashes that she'd applied with "permanent lash glue." As a beauty editor, I was ashamed that I didn't know such a thing existed, but nonetheless, I was intrigued and completely mystified.
"But how do they come off? Can you shower with them on? How do you wash your face?" I spat out questions like bullets from my mouth, but she took them all in stride. Turns out you need to use a special remover to get the glue off, but because it's so sturdy, you can gently wash your face and get them wet without having to worry about rogue lashes falling off in clumps. The best part: they last for weeks. I've been dying to get lash extensions but didn't want to cough up the money, so this sounded like the perfect solution.
That is, until I tried it.
I contacted the lovely team over at Ardell, and they sent me their permanent glue, LashTite Clear Adhesive ($8), and a friendly note saying that I absolutely needed to use the included LashFree Remover to take them off, otherwise my real lashes could come off with the falsies (yikes). I was cautious, but I was pumped.
I spilled out a few drops of the LashTite onto a piece of foil as instructed on the box, then dipped an Ardell Individual lash in Medium into the glue and applied it right on top of my own lashes (sticking the glue onto your lid is a no-no, I'm told). Things were going well at first, until I decided the glue was looking clumpy and the lashes weren't sticking on well, so I washed my face to get all the glue and lashes off and start over again. Big mistake. The glue got in my eyes and stung like holy hell. I even Googled "Getting permanent lash glue in eyes going blind" with one eye open and prayed that I'd wake up with my vision the next morning. It was bad.
Thankfully, the next day, I was totally fine (save for a minor headache), so I gave my eyes a rest for a few days and tried again. The second time around, I knew not to use so much glue and to work quicker as the glue tends to get tacky and dry fast while it's on the foil. I also applied a few of the "short" lashes towards the inner corner of my eyes for a more natural progression, as celebrity makeup artist Aidan Keogh once told me. There was no clumping, no burning—just feathery, realistic lashes.
Above is a photo of me with the lashes on one week after applying them and no mascara. The lashes aren't as long or as full as an actual set of lash extensions, but they work for me and the look I was going for. (If you want a more dramatic look, you can use the "Long" individual lashes or layer them for a thicker set.)
Don't get me wrong, I have tremendous respect for lash extension experts and marvel at the natural-looking, intricate work they're able to create. However, I don't have the budget to pay $130-$200 for a full set, so I'm happy that I've found a solution that only costs me $19. Is it perfect? Are the bases of the lashes totally undetectable? No, but I didn't wear mascara to work for days after I applied them, something I've never done, and still felt awesome, so I'm chalking it up as win. They also lasted me one and a half weeks, and probably could've lasted longer if I was a bit more careful washing my face and didn't thrash around while I sleep.
When it was time to take them off, I will admit the process took a bit of elbow grease and patience. Some of the lashes were stuck on like concrete, so I really needed to work at them with both my finger nails and a cotton tip soaked in the LashFree Remover. This resulted in a few of my own lashes coming out (cries internally), but nothing noticeable or too heart-wrenching. All in all though, I'm in love with the look and the price.
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