Dec 09, 2023

Can You Apply Your Own DIY Eyelash Extensions? Here's What To Know

Eyelash extensions are one of the most popular ways to give your face an instant glow-up. Although, it's also a well-known fact that they are certainly an investment that maybe not all of us can make. The good news is you can, in fact, give yourself eyelash extensions without having to pay to get them done. However, this cost-effective alternative comes with its own set of pros and cons.

A DIY beauty project like eyelash extensions is one that definitely must be well-researched and thought out before you try it out on yourself. You must make sure you do so safely and avoid any health risks because you are essentially adding something to your eye, one of the most sensitive parts of the human body. Once you've done your research and weighed the pros and cons, you can make a sound decision on whether to proceed with the DIY project.

According to Andra Marin — an eyelash expert and artistic director in NYC — who spoke to Cosmopolitan, "Eyelash extensions are semipermanent lashes that are hand-glued on top of your natural lashes." They look especially natural because each individual lash extension is glued onto a natural lash. This creates an extremely realistic yet bold look.

Eyelash extensions come in three materials, namely mink, silk, and synthetic, although typically, lash studios will have one or two types they work with. It is generally agreed upon in the beauty community that synthetic lashes look the most unnatural, while mink or silk lashes are subtler and appear more authentic.

As for how they're applied, Byrdie spoke to Clementina Richardson, a lash expert with more than a decade of experience in the industry, who told them that lash extensions are "carefully applied one at a time (typically 80-140 per eye) using a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue that will not irritate or damage the natural lash. The lash is only applied to an existing lash, not to the skin".

With everything that goes into the eyelash extension process, it's no wonder it's not cheap. This is why doing them yourself might be a great option. You can find lash extension kits in the beauty market that are created especially for this purpose. It's only a matter of making sure you execute the process correctly. The first step is to make sure you buy the right kit. Pick one with all the ingredients for the perfect DIY lash recipe — the individual lashes, a semi-permanent eyelash glue, and a tool to help you place the product.

After purchasing your kit, you must ensure everything is sanitary, including your hands, before you begin the process. You'll most likely find instructions on prep with your DIY kit. Next, start by planning exactly where your extensions will go. With traditional eyelash extensions, a lash technician will do this. Once you've mapped out the location of each lash and determined the arrangement by length, you can begin applying the extensions to your natural lashes. Use the glue that your kit comes with to do this.

Do-it-yourself eyelash extensions come with a whole list of pros. Of course, the number one advantage that comes with applying your own eyelash extensions is the massive price difference. They'll likely cost you about the same as strip lashes, although there are more expensive DIY kits you could opt for, too. This depends largely on your budget. Also, you can enjoy the look of the lashes for more than just 24 hours, so if you have many places to be over a couple of days, doing your own eyelash extensions might be a great idea. Some kits might even last you longer than a couple of days — just make sure you read the packaging well before you purchase a kit.

They also give you the added benefit of tailoring the eyelashes to your eye, unlike false lashes, which come in a set shape. Everyone has a unique eye shape, and the flexibility DIY lash extensions offer allows you to place them exactly how it's most flattering to your eye and face.

However, Ramy Gafni, a professional makeup artist who has also worked with celebrities, tells Byrdie that she does not recommend DIYing lash extensions. "Because it requires such precision I do not recommend attempting this at home. Opt instead for great mascara or false lashes that need to be reapplied daily." This means it can look a little unnatural and probably not as good as lash extensions installed by a professional, so make sure you're aware of this fact and don't set your expectations too high.

Also, be mindful of some of the health hazards the process might carry. For example, there is a chance you could have an allergic reaction to any of the products involved in the process. Although this risk is present with traditional lash extensions, pay extra care when doing it yourself. You should also be careful with the tools you use and your fingers poking around near your eye. We want to make sure you don't accidentally injure yourself or your eye.

Proper aftercare and maintenance are integral to making sure the lash extensions you just applied yield the best results. According to lash expert and Ardell educator Mae Manalo, who spoke to Byrdie, you must make sure that after applying your DIY lash extensions, you "don't rub your eyes when drying with a cloth, avoid waterproof mascara, and use a foam cleanser." Be as gentle as possible with your eyes because your extensions are held in place with glue, and you don't want to apply unnecessary pressure or force that might cause them to come undone.

Also, be sure to pay careful attention to the instructions on your DIY kit. It will specify exactly how long you're supposed to leave the extensions, and you should make sure you adhere to this time limit. Each kit is unique, and different lash extensions are meant to be kept on for a certain period. Leaving them on longer than the advised time may not be a wise choice.

It is, of course, totally up to you whether you decide to DIY lash extensions or get them professionally done. Of course, getting a trained lash technician to do them for you does carry certain benefits, like the installation lasting longer than DIY ones. Also, lash technicians are trained and have a lot more experience placing lashes and will likely do a better job than you.

That being said, DIYing your lash extensions certainly must not be ruled out. You'll save a ton of cash and can always re-do them if you're unhappy with the result. Also, if you've never tried false lashes or lash extensions before, this can be a good way to test the waters and see if you like the look of fake eyelashes. At the end of the day, make sure you have fun with your look and do what gives you the most confidence to walk out into the world.