More women than ever before are choosing eyelash extensions over their lash curler and for good reason — who doesn’t want to look wide awake and well rested every morning? But while lash extensions are a nice bonus when you want to go makeup-free, maintaining them through days of sweating, face washing, and sleeping can get tricky. That’s why we asked celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes in New York City, for her best tips on how to make your eyelash extensions last longer. Because, dammit, you paid good money for those!
Apply a protective coating
The day after your appointment, consider applying a protective coating to your lash extensions. Richardson recommends Envious Lashes Protective Coating ($30; enviouslashboutique.com). “This product acts like the top coat to nail polish; it coats the adhesive area, protecting it from dirt, oil, and makeup,” she says. “I find the clients who use it have a much better hold when they return for their fill — at least 50 percent more extensions than normal stay on.”
Don’t sleep face down
When you rub your eyes or when they rub against something else — like a stiff, cotton pillowcase, for instance — you risk ripping off the extensions, explains Richardson. So sleeping with your face smushed into a pillow may result in sparse, bald areas where the lash extensions once were. She suggests sleeping on your side or back instead and using a silk pillowcase, such as Slip Silk Pillowcases ($85; sephora.com), as they reduce friction and are much gentler on your lashes.
Choose liquid-based eyeliners
Liquid eyeliners are easier on your lashes because they glide on without tugging at your lash line. “Tight lining while wearing lash extensions should also be avoided, as this disrupts the base of the extensions where the strength of the bond is most critical,” Richardson adds.
Invest in a special cleanser
Richardson suggests using cleansers that are specifically formulated for eyelash extensions, as other products may contain ingredients that can weaken the bond of your falsies and cause them to shed prematurely. Try BeautyGARDE Lash + Brow Shampoo ($15; amazon.com), which comes with an antimicrobial charcoal brush head for easy removal of makeup and excess oil around the eyes. “If you’re making an investment in extensions in the first place, you surely don’t want to see them go to waste,” says Richardson. Whatever you choose, just make sure it is oil-free.
Keep showering…and even swimming!
Please keep showering, people — just wait 24 hours after application before getting your lash extensions wet. As for swimming, you can wear goggles if you want, but they aren’t necessary, explains Richardson. Apply the protective coating before hopping into the pool or taking a dip in the ocean; when you get out, gently towel off and brush off excess water with a spoolie.