My husband and I travel…a lot. His job sites are constantly changing, so every few months we pack up our home into boxes, load up the family and everything we own, and make the haul to our next destination. Between the career that supports our family and the trips we take for recreation, we’ve visited 27 states in the last two years. The only region we haven’t made our way to is the North/Northwest region. And it’s definitely on our to-do list. We are all over the place. And if there is one thing I’ve learned in all of our adventures, it’s this: No two towns are the same.
I know that sounds obvious, but seriously. We traveled one time from Texas to Colorado in March. When we left Texas on Friday, I was wearing a tank top and shorts. When we got to Colorado Saturday night, I was looking for my beanie, jacket, and pants because it was snowing. (Just to be clear, I’m not complaining. I love the snowy mountains of Colorado and I also love the Texas sun. I just have to pack more clothes in my overnight bag…which drives my husband crazy. With two little girls and myself, it’s almost impossible to travel light.) And not only do we go through extreme weather changes, we go through extreme culture changes as well. What everyone is wearing in Texas is not the same as what everyone is wearing in Colorado, or New York City, or Illinois. Not that I’m always trying to blend in. Sometimes I know I look like a straight up tourist and I don’t care. Because I am. Other times I have plans to go to the Nutcracker Ballet with my husband for our one date night a year, and I want to feel confident in whatever I’m wearing.
But one thing I’ve noticed in every state: Women have their eyelash game on point. Whether it’s a special mascara they are using, a lash serum, glue-on falsies, or eyelash extensions, long lashes are everywhere. And it’s not like this is some kind of secret or something that someone would have to leave their house to find out. It’s all over social media too. That’s how I first got hooked.
I don’t have Facebook anymore and haven’t for almost a year and a half. But back when I did, a friend of mine posted a before and after picture of a lash serum she had been using for a few months and her lashes looked liked Snuffleupagus. Beautiful. I immediately ordered some and, just as promised, my natural lashes started to grow. They were longer and thicker and the product worked just as I had hoped. The only reason I didn’t stick with it was because of my own discipline. The instructions were to use it once (maybe twice??) a day and I missed probably as many days as I didn’t. It also takes a little over a month to notice any progress and I became impatient. Had I used the product like I was supposed to, kept up with it, and had more patience…I probably would have been a little bit more satisfied. Another thing…just like anything else, it had to be maintained or else I lost all of my growth. That meant ordering another serum every two months, give or take. (To find the lash serum I used, click here).
In my early twenties, I got really good at applying the individual falsies. But eventually I got tired of all the time it took, without that much difference. Maybe I should mention that I got good at applying a few individual lashes. I would put them just at the outer corners of my eyes, and that was it. Anytime I would try to go further with them, I would mess them up. And let’s face it, applying individual lashes to your entire lash line would take for-ev-errrrrr. I have a toddler and a newborn. I don’t have time for that.
Another thing I don’t have time for is the full strip glue-on falsies. Like I said, I got pretty good with the individuals, but the full strip lashes were a disaster. The girl that works at my dry cleaners can nail hers, every time. They look gorgeous. I don’t know if I just don’t have the angle right, or the patience to figure it out, but I could never get the strips down to an art. I even tried wearing them on a daily basis. You know how sometimes when a little old lady puts her lipstick on, she gets some on her teeth and not all of it is on her lips? That’s what my eyes look like only with fake lashes and glue. I would mess my eyeshadow up. One would point up and the other one would point down. I went to a festival with my daughter this summer and one of them literally melted off. Again, it was a disaster. I ended up looking like a hot mess with nothing to show for it…except some tiny, sticky balls of glue that were matted in my natural eyelashes. Not. Cute.
There was a girl I went to high school with that had gorgeous lashes. No falsies or anything. My sister is the same way. All they have to do is put on some mascara and their eyes pop. My daughters have long lashes. I was not blessed with that gene. Unfortunately, the only long hairs on my face are the one’s I had to get lasered off. (Click here to read that blog post.). I’ve tried all of the mascaras but none of them really gave me the effect I was looking for. Some of them worked great…don’t get me wrong. But right now, I just want a more dramatic look for my eyes…without having to add more make-up, time, and effort.
The reason I’m telling you all of this is so you will know that I really have tried almost everything. Serums. Falsies. Countless mascaras. One time I even put castor oil on my lash line because I read somewhere that castor oil makes hair grow. That didn’t turn out too great either. Nothing gave me the look I was going for.
Nothing except eyelash extensions.
From what I can tell, there are a few different types of eyelash extensions that are available, depending on what your spa or salon offers. The beauty bar I go to is located in San Antonio and my “lash girl” is Jenn. She offers Mink Lashes (which are the original eyelash extensions), Volume Eyelash Extensions, Shimmery and Colored Eyelash Extensions, as well as an array of other eyelash, hair, and skin treatments. (And she runs this place by herself, folks. I kinda think Jenn is Super Girl.). Also, her place is called “Lash Out Loud”…and I’m a sucker for puns.
The first time I got eyelash extensions was a few years ago at a place back home in Illinois, and I got the original mink lashes. This is when they attach a single lash extension to each of your eyelashes. As soon as I got them, I loved them. However, and this is important, I didn’t take care of them the way I was instructed to. I didn’t use the little brush they give you. I applied all kinds of eye make-up to my lash line where they were connected. I slept on my face. I rubbed my eyes. I added mascara to them. I just didn’t take care of them the way that I should have. They lasted about 3 weeks. Well, that’s when they would have needed filled, but instead I just started pulling them out. Another no-no. And, inevitably, all of my natural lashes came out with them. Once I finally got them all off, (this took days, btw. Which was dumb because they also offer the service of taking them off.), I swore to myself I would never get eyelash extensions again.
A few months ago I wanted to give them another try. I don’t remember if the Volume Extensions were offered back when I got them the first time, but I knew those were the lashes I wanted this time. I booked my first appointment with Jenn Q and I’ve been hooked ever since.
First, let me just show you the difference, the very first time I got them…
I mean…look at that. I wasn’t kidding when I told you I wasn’t blessed with pretty, natural eyelashes. They made my whole face look different, and I couldn’t have been happier with the results.
I really want you guys to see these lashes because there is no other way I would put my wonky ass eyebrows on the internet this up-close-and-personal.
With the Volume Extensions, she adds 1-3 lash extensions to each of my natural lashes. This not only gives them a much fuller effect than the mink lashes, but this type also lasts longer. Much longer. Remember how I said my very first set started to fall out after three weeks? Well, here is three weeks after my Volume set was applied…
Please excuse this awful picture quality. I didn’t add a filter because I wanted you guys to see the real thing. I think that made it worse.
Okay. So, that’s three weeks. Now let me show you weeks four and five…
I’ll be honest. I’ve been getting these filled since May, but I probably let them go longer than I should have, more than a few times. I’ve worn them for six and seven weeks before without getting them filled. These things made it through childbirth people! Child. Birth.
Not only do they look awesome and last longer than I would have ever expected, they also save so much time. I’m one of those girls that takes forever to get ready. And now that I have two little ones, it takes us even longer to leave the house. Lash extensions have cut my face time in half. I’ve been taking care of these the way that I should and not wearing any eyeliner directly on my lash line. And I don’t have to apply mascara to my top lashes. All I have to do to my eyes are my brows and any shadows I want to wear. This, alone, makes eyelash extensions worth it to me. I can rush out the door without having to spend so much time on my face, but still feeling put together and confident. It’s like…I really did wake up like this ya’ll. Well, at least my eyelashes did.
If you are thinking of jumping on the long lash trend and getting extensions, there are just a few things you need to consider:
- Make sure you find someone you trust. Read reviews or ask around. These people are working right next to your eyeball…with tools. You want to make sure they know what they are doing, have a steady hand, and clean tools. If you are in the San Antonio area, I highly recommend my girl. You can find her website by clicking here.
- Take care of them the way you are instructed to. One of my instructions from Jenn was to “sleep pretty”. In other words, try not to sleep like a drunk octopus looking for it’s keys. Don’t cake a bunch of eyeliner on top of them. Don’t rub your eyes. Brush them gently with the brush they will provide to you. Get them filled when they need it. And don’t put on tons of mascara. (You won’t need it anyway.). This will help ensure you get the longest wear possible out of each set.
- Look around for the best deal. Lash extensions can get pricey when you decide to maintain them. Do some research and remember, if they sound too good to be true, it probably is. I only paid $150 in Illinois for my very first set and they weren’t near as good as the kind I’m wearing now. I paid $250 for my very first Volume application and I pay $100 each time I get them filled (tip not included.). But I get what I pay for. Not only are these lashes better, they also last a lot longer.
With how I feel about the way I look and how much time I save during my morning “get your ish together” routine, lashes were a great decision for me. I don’t have to spend hours in front of mirror getting ready anymore. I have a life to live. Time to spend with my husband and children. I want to say “YES!” when people ask me to go out instead of “Can you wait for me to get ready?”. I already feel ready. Because even when I haven’t put on any kind of make-up at all, I have more confidence when my eyes pop. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters to me. Being a confident, happy woman and mother. Whether you consider eyelash extensions pricey or not, they are totally worth it.
Still not quite sold on lash extensions? That’s cool! Below I’ve listed some of my very favorite mascaras. Check them out!
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