All About the Eyes: While the face mask limits makeup routines, eyelash extensions are gaining popularity

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Josephine Reynolds first became interested in eyelashes after seeing them highlighted on TikTok and Instagram. From there, the teenager from Kentville, Nova Scotia told friends about eyelash extensions and learned how to do her own.

“I feel like they enhance your facial features and soften our eyes in a very flat way, even if you’re not wearing makeup,” says Reynolds.

Eyelash extensions can also highlight your makeup, especially eyeliner and eye shadow, she says.

Reynolds is now saving his money from his dog walking business to pay to have them done professionally. She’s not alone – many Atlantic Canadians are jumping on this trend.

Taylored Beauty freelance makeup artist Tara Taylor, left, demonstrates adding eyelash extensions with Brittany Weir. She says an effortless way to bring attention to your eyes is to use medium to dark eyeliner along the lash line and lightly wing the eyeliner outward. Your eyelashes will appear thicker and your eyes will instantly grab attention. – Photo by Wes Perry – Saltwire Network

Tara Taylor is a makeup artist and freelance educator in Charlottetown, PEI, operating as Taylored Beauty. She says 95% of her clientele incorporate false eyelashes into their makeup applications because the lashes instantly make the eyes pop and appear bigger and brighter.

Since masking was incorporated into our daily lives, she says clients have gone from a traditional bold lip to a dramatic eye.

Lifestyle blogger Kayla Short with Short Presents in Halifax, Nova Scotia, says the lash trend isn’t new, but has been gaining popularity for some time now. With the increase in the number of people being trained to do eyelash extensions and to wear masks, eyelash extensions are now more popular and accessible than ever.

Jenn Ledwos, a master esthetician at ENVE Hair in Kentville, Nova Scotia, says clients who have received eyelash extensions have enjoyed the look.  Each lash base is carefully dipped in a drop of lash glue, dragged over the natural lash, then placed on top, drying in seconds.  - Contributed
Jenn Ledwos, a master esthetician at ENVE Hair in Kentville, Nova Scotia, says clients who have received eyelash extensions have enjoyed the look. Each lash base is carefully dipped in a drop of lash glue, dragged over the natural lash, then placed on top, drying in seconds. – Contributed

What are eyelash extensions?

Jenn Ledwos, master esthetician and eyelash technician at Enve Hair in Kentville, Nova Scotia, explains that a classic set of eyelash extensions works by gluing a single lash of silk, mink, or sable to a single natural lash. . The process is repeated until you have adhered 50 to 80 lashes per eye, explains Ledwos. Depending on the client and the natural growth of their eyelashes, this can be more or less.

Each lash base is carefully dipped in a drop of lash glue, dragged over the natural lash, then placed on top, drying in seconds, Ledwos explains.

Volume and hybrid sets are also available. A volume set consists of several thinner lashes which are applied under one natural lash and repeated on each natural lash. A hybrid set, on the other hand, is a mix of classic lashes and voluminous lashes, repeated in a pattern.

“If done by a trained professional, eyelash extensions can be tailored to a specific eye shape by choosing the length, type of curl and even the thickness of the eyelash extension,” says Taylor.

Lifestyle blogger Kayla Short with Short Presents notes that eyelash extensions are definitely popular, especially as women are looking for ways to add drama to their look while wearing a face mask.  - Contributed
Lifestyle blogger Kayla Short with Short Presents notes that eyelash extensions are definitely popular, especially as women are looking for ways to add drama to their look while wearing a face mask. – Contributed

They last two to four weeks before a refill is needed, she adds.

Short notes several benefits of having eyelash extensions.

Along with the length and bulk bonus, she says, there’s no product transfer or stroke like you get with mascara. This is best on windy days or for anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies.

Extensions also save time in terms of both application and makeup removal. Many people with extensions say they wear less makeup when getting their eyelashes done, which saves them time, says Short.

“Most people cut back on the amount of eye makeup they wear because extensions speak for themselves,” Taylor agrees.

Home versus living room kits

There’s certainly a difference in budget when it comes to at-home extensions and false eyelashes, but there’s also a big difference in time and effort, says Short.

“For extensions, you work upstream with a qualified esthetician and the application appointments are long, but you save time on a daily basis,” she says.

False eyelashes, on the other hand, are affordable and help create a full lash effect; However, this requires some dexterity.

“But it gets a lot easier with a little practice,” she adds.

Short’s biggest tip for applying eyelashes yourself is to always cut them to the shape of your eyes and wait about a minute after applying the glue to the eyelashes before applying the eyelashes to your eyelid.

“You want the glue to be tacky so that it doesn’t slip all over the place. If you wait, they’ll stick a lot better,” she says.

But be sure to buy new eyelashes every time, or you could risk your eye health.

“The biggest problem with applying false eyelashes or using kits at home is that women think it’s okay to keep using the same lashes over and over again. Poorly cleaned eyelashes can lead to eye infections, ”warns Ledwos.

Dr Julie Hiscock of Bense Optical & Optometry in St. John's and Paradise, Newfoundland, says eyelash extensions can be safe if they are properly maintained, good hygiene is practiced and supervised by a professional trained in this area of ​​aesthetics.  - Contributed
Dr Julie Hiscock of Bense Optical & Optometry in St. John’s and Paradise, Newfoundland, says eyelash extensions can be safe if they are properly maintained, good hygiene is practiced and supervised by a professional trained in this area of ​​aesthetics. – Contributed

Maintenance and safety tips

Eyelash extensions, if properly maintained, can look natural, dramatic and beautiful, explains Ledwos. Brush them, clean them and leave them alone.

“Women who like to pick them up or play with them can damage their natural eyelashes,” says Ledwos. “If the natural eyelashes are not healthy, an eyelash extension cannot be applied. And if there are no natural eyelashes, there is nothing to apply the extension on.”

Dr. Julie Hiscock, optometrist at Bense Optical & Optometry, based in St. John’s and Paradise, Newfoundland, says there are many factors to consider in terms of eye health due to the nature of eyelash extensions. , products used for adhesion and their length and volume added to the nature of the eyelashes.

First of all, says Hiscock, it’s important that this service be performed by a professional trained in the application of extensions, with a workspace and sanitary tools, and using approved products.

The client should also be educated and understand how to care for extensions in a safe and hygienic manner, she adds.

When applied with unapproved adhesives, uninfected tools or eyelashes are not cleaned regularly, nasty eye reactions or bacterial infections are likely, Hiscock warns. This can lead to redness, irritation, inflammation of the eyelids, the skin surrounding the eyes, or the eyeball itself.

If infected, discharge and scabs on the eyelids and eyelashes may be observed, as well as vision may be affected, Hiscock explains.

Regular eye exams are recommended for everyone, eyelash extensions or not, adds Hiscock. During these annual visits, an optometrist will examine the eyelids and eyelashes for abnormalities, signs of infection, or irritation.

To help avoid these infections, Short advises keeping the area around your eyes as clean as possible and avoiding rubbing the area.

To ensure your lashes last longer, Short advises avoiding oil cleansers, oil-based makeup, and oil-based makeup removers. The oil will speed up the breakdown of the adhesive, she says.

Comb the lashes, as they tend to flip over, especially as they grow, says Short.

Ledwos also suggests investing in silk pillowcases, as eyelashes are more likely to catch on cotton ones.

The most common mistake for people with eyelash extensions, says Ledwos, is not cleaning their eyelashes regularly and wearing excessive makeup, especially mascara. Regular use of mascara will affect the health of the eyelashes, she says.

Pass the eyelashes

For those who want to avoid eyelash extensions, but still draw attention to the eyes, this can be done with a basic makeup application.

First of all, Taylor says to always treat your eyebrows like an extension of your eyes. Grooming and shaping your eyebrows goes a long way, she says.

Another effortless way is to use medium to dark eyeliner along your lash line – don’t forget your inner lashes – then lightly stroke the pencil outward. Your lashes will appear thicker and your eyes will instantly grab attention, Taylor says.

Having fun with color will draw attention to your eyes, adds Short.

“There are so many things, from liners to shadows, all in different textures. You can have fun with eye makeup,” she says.

She also suggests adding a white or nude pencil to the inner lash line at the bottom for a brighter look.

If you are looking for volume, Short advises you to study mascara bases that help increase the volume of your lashes or mascara which, with enough layers, gives you a bold look.

“Experiment and have fun,” says Short.


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