If you've ever had eyelash extensions, you'll be able to fully appreciate just how eye-opening and face-framing they truly are. And if you haven't tried them yet, take it from us: They are simply life-changing. Not only do they make your eyes all the more fluttery, but they also mitigate the need for mascara, which after some quick calculations basically means half your makeup is done for you—every single day.
The only problem is that they come with an expiry date. Yes, like the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and eyelash extensions, unfortunately, are not exempt. So if you have a special occasion on the horizon (Christmas party, come at us), it's vital that you don't rush into things and get them applied as soon as possible, because in that case, you'll run the risk of finding that by the time you actually want them to complete your makeup look, they'll have all fluttered off into the distance.
You need to do the maths, and we can help with that. Keep scrolling to find out how long you can expect different types of eyelash extensions to last so you can work out exactly when to book in your appointment.
Wherever you head for your lash extensions, it's likely they'll choose from mink, silk and synthetic hairs, and they generally have the same sort of life span: around six to eight weeks.
However, their actual life span is fully dependent on your own lash cycle. As each extension is attached to a single lash, it will fall out naturally as and when your natural lashes dislodge themselves. The regular life cycle of a natural lash can be as short as a fortnight, and some can stick around for eight weeks—thus, this will affect how long you get to enjoy your extensions.
As your lashes will be at different stages at any given time, they won't all fall out at once, and you might find that gaps start to appear a few weeks after having the extensions put in. This can easily be rectified by booking back in for a fill-in treatment, which will extend the general wear of your lashes.
The life of your lashes is also dependent on how you care for them, and if you keep scrolling, you'll find that there are plenty of things you can do to push the outer boundaries of their expiry date.
How can you make eyelash extensions last longer?
As their life span is so entwined in the cycle of your own eyelashes, you'll never be able to eke that much extra time out of your eyelash extensions, but there are a few important things to note to ensure you get the most out of them. We asked the co-founders of Nouveau Lashes (who offer some of the most extensive lash extension treatments out there) for their tips:
"For the first 48 hours after your treatment, it's important not to allow water to come into contact with your lashes," explains Bridgette Softley, as water will prise the glue away, taking your extensions with it. The same stands for anything to do with steam: "For two days afterwards, don't steam your face, use a steam bath, swim or wash your face with hot water," Karen Betts adds, so this isn't the time to be booking a spa trip. You should also avoid oil-based cleansers and moisturisers as these can break down the lash adhesive.
Your lash extensions should add to the natural curl of your lashes, but don't be tempted to take matters into your own hands. "Never try to perm or use lash curlers on your extensions," Betts warns, as these sorts of procedures are too traumatic for the delicate lash extensions to handle. And finally, make sure you brush through your lashes every single morning with a clean mascara wand to keep them in check.
How do you take off eyelash extensions?
If you've had enough of your lash extensions and want them gone before they naturally fall out, Softley says it's best to return to your technician so as to preserve your natural lashes. "But we're women, and we know how busy women are, so we appreciate it's not always convenient. We also know how tempting it is to just pick at the adhesive bonds with your nails, but trust us—that will only lead to one thing: broken, stubby-looking natural lashes," she explains. Instead, use an eyelash extension remover like Nouveau Lashes Lash Extension Remover (£10), which you simply need to brush on, and it will dissolve the glue so you can remove individual lash extensions with ease.
Rather a DIY job and apply strips yourself at home? We know the best false eyelashes.