The 411 on Lash Extensions

Are the individually glued-on lashes for you?

No matter what your makeup style is -- from naturally demure to a smoky-eyed glamazon, no one would deny long and luscious lashes. While we might be satisfied with our eye shadows, and firmly set with our foundation, mascara is probably the one beauty product we're always changing in hopes of finding a new one that will give our lashes even more length and/or volume.

For the past couple years, the individually glued on lashes have been garnering devoted fans. They add so much drama to your look, much more than even the best mascara and they never look fake, like the ones we apply at home. It's a pricey investment, so I went to an expert, Courtney Akai, makeup artist and owner of Courtney Akai Lash Boutique in New York City, to get the skinny on those fabulously lush lashes. Her prices are around $400 for the first time application, which takes two hours.

Need more answers? Check out these FAQs...

What's the process of applying these lashes and how long will they last?
The lashes are applied one by one as you lie comfortably on a spa table. It takes two hours for a full set of upper lashes to be applied. The lashes are permanently glued onto your individual eyelashes and there’s no way to detect where the glue meets your natural lash. There's no telltale "bulb" or edge-line like when you apply the ones you buy for home application.

How much length and volume can this process it create?
Your lashes can be 50 percent longer and 30 percent thicker. Once you have these lashes applied, you do not use mascara or an eyelash curler. You can use mascara on the bottom, as most people don't have the extensions put on the bottom lashes.

Why don't most people get bottom lashes?
Because application to lower lashes has to be done with open eyes, it can be a little uncomfortable. And, they don't last as long because different glue has to be used.

Tell us about the lashes and the glue. Are there differences in quality?
The lashes are synthetic -- mink is available if you want -- but look completely natural. The glue is really the key thing to ask questions about. I only use Novalash Glue because it doesn't contain formaldehyde. The cheap glues made in China contain formaldehyde, which is really bad for you and can irritate the eyes. Ask your lash spa what kind of glue they use. You can also go to the Novalash site and find a lash spa in your area of the country that uses the Novalash glue.

How long will the lashes last and is there any special maintenance?
The lashes are glued to your natural lashes and stay on for the growth cycle of the lash. That's usually between six to eight weeks. To maintain a full look, I recommend getting a fill-in approximately every month. You do need to be careful to not get moisturizers or eye creams on the lashes as they will break down the adhesive bond, so they won't last as long.

Of course I had to experience this, and Courtney was so gentle, I practically fell asleep during the process. They look incredible, and I now wake up every morning looking bright eyed and as if I have makeup on and don’t need mascara or eyeliner. This is addicting, and I can see why so many are having them applied!

Would you ever get individually glued-on eye lashes? Chime in below!

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