For Adventurous Eyes Only

For Adventurous Eyes Only

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Tracey Wells remembers growing up in the Midwest with what she thought were far-fetched dreams of becoming a makeup artist. Wells, now a cosmetic tattoo and eyelash enhancement artist with Advanced Permanent Cosmetics, had always imagined her career choice would take her to Hollywood and beyond – but with the growing popularity of services like eyelash extensions, less glamorous cities like Cincinnati are getting in on the cosmetic explosion, she says.


Those who are unhappy with their natural eyelashes experience great results, she says. "It adds volume, length, weight – you don’t need mascara at all," Wells says.

The Process
First, Wells schedules a consultation with recipients of the extensions. During this time, Wells goes through factors in the type of extensions to be used: eye size, shape, the way makeup is worn, natural length, color and curl of eyelashes. Another important thing to consider is whether the client wants a natural or more glamorous look, Wells says. "I would say 80 percent of my clientele thinks, ‘If I’m getting it, go big or go home,’" Wells says.


The process begins similarly at Mitchell’s Salon & Day Spa with a consultation, says Erin Spears, master esthetician at the company’s Kenwood location. "It is a big commitment of time and money, so we want to make sure they’re doing the right thing when they come in for their consultation," Spears says.


This time is also used at Mitchell’s to determine whether someone would be a good candidate for the service. The only factors that would make Mitchell’s discourage someone from getting eyelash extensions would be a latex allergy or not having any eyelashes at all, Spears says.


After the initial consultation, a full set appointment, which takes anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours, is booked, according to both Wells and Spears.


The initial cost for an average full set is $270 at Mitchell’s, with a fill cost of $45 every other week to replace the eyelashes naturally shed in that time, Spears says. Wells charges $200 for her Elizabeth Taylor Full Set, which is the equivalent of an average set; two-week fill-ins are then $50 each.


Things to Consider
Eyelash extensions aren’t your drugstore strip lashes:
"They’re not going to look anything like the strip lashes from the 1950s or the strip lashes we wear when we’re going out. They’re very natural looking," Wells says.


You can get comfortable during the procedure: "A lot of my clients love to come in and sleep – they’re like, ‘This is my one time with no phone, no work, no kids.’ A lot of people think it’s really relaxing to get your eyelashes messed with, like a lot of people like having their hair played with," Wells says.


Extensions will fall out naturally: "If you naturally let them fall out, it’s going to take about a month. At two weeks, you’re going to have a good full set. Right in between two and three weeks, most people are going to start losing some. By that fourth week, you’ll still have some, but they’re going to be pretty sporadic," Wells says.


Some upkeep is required: Fills are recommended by both Wells and Spears every two weeks. The amount of time needed for a fill appointment depends on the amount of time it’s been since the initial set or the last fill appointment. Being prompt in making fill appointments every two weeks allows these clients to just come in for brief 30-minute sessions during their lunch breaks; waiting until upwards of a month requires fill sessions lasting an hour, Wells says.


Not all purported eyelash extension services are made equally: As eyelash extensions are becoming more popular, kiosks offering the service are popping up in malls, but they’re taking shortcuts that are unhealthy for your eyes, Wells says. "They’re running a line of this glue across the eyelid and then sticking a bunch of these fake eyelashes on and just pressing it down, which is horrible because then your eyelashes can’t naturally shed. True eyelash extensions should be glued on each eyelash individually," she says.

Click on the webcast below to learn more about eyelash extensions.