When it comes to beauty routines, it's easy to overlook eyelashes. They're small and usually the last step, so it's simple to skip them. However, those little lashes can transform the entire face: long, full lashes open up and accentuate the eyes, resulting in a fresh, wide-awake look. Here are some ways to get lovely lashes.
$199-$249 at Hi-Brow Beauty Bar; $249 at Earthsavers
Eyelash extensions are the longest lasting procedure and involve adding synthetic fibers or hair to the eyelashes.
"We do individual lash extensions, where one extension is individually placed on the lash instead of in clusters," says Jessica Kairouz, lead lash artist at Hi-Brow Beauty Bar. "The lash extensions come in different lengths. This gives a full, enhanced look, but it looks natural as opposed to a strip lash or cluster. It looks different on everyone."
Eyelash extensions reduce the time it takes to apply makeup: they give the appearance of mascara, Kairouz says. Additionally, the lash extensions already curl, so there's no need for an eyelash curler or even eyeliner.
Kairouz uses a formaldehyde-free, medical-grade adhesive made for the eye area. It never touches the skin, only the lashes. Eyelash extensions require maintenance, as eyelashes shed like normal hair. The time between touch-ups ranges from two to four weeks.
Grande LASH-MD Lash Enhancing Serum, $65.95 at Earthsavers
For another long-term option, especially for people with sensitive skin, Earthsavers makeup artist Rachel Gomez recommends a growth serum.
"Grande LASH-MD is made with vitamins and peptides — all natural ingredients, so it adds protein back into the lash," Gomez says. "You use it like a liquid eyeliner, and it gives results in three to six weeks. It's good for contact wearers and doesn't cause discoloration. You can apply it to your brows as well."
Lash tinting, $20 at Hi-Brow Beauty Bar
Eyelash tinting involves dying eyelashes for added definition.
"We use vegetable dye with no harsh irritants or chemical fumes," Gomez says. "We rub Vaseline around the eye area because the dye has to be brushed on the lash, then wiped away. It depends on the eyelash color, but it usually takes about 10 minutes."
Touch-ups are generally needed after four to six weeks, but the time frame also depends on the face cleanser. For example, salicylic acid-based cleansers and other acne-fighting formulations remove dye quicker, Gomez says. However, eyelash tinting can darken the lashes mascara doesn't touch, resulting in a complete look.
"Eyelash tinting is not just for blondes and redheads, but for everyone, since it defines the tips too," Gomez says.
Eyelash lifting, $65 at Hi-Brow Beauty Bar; $60 at Earthsavers
Hi-Brow Beauty Bar and Earthsavers offer eyelash lifting, in which the lashes are heated and curled in a process like a perm.
"This is a good alternative to people who don't want to invest in lash extensions," Kairouz says. "It curls lashes and lasts for about six to eight weeks. It's also good for someone who has straight lashes and tends to curl them daily."
Mascara and Conditioner
Stila major MAJOR lash mascara, $22, Per-fekt lash perfection gel, $29.95, Jane Iredale PureLash Lash Extender and Conditioner, $17.50, all at Earthsavers
The cheapest and quickest way to achieve fuller eyelashes is mascara.
"The Stila MAJOR lash mascara is a little bit of everything," Gomez says. "Lashes appear thicker, [and it] gives extension and curl. But for those with more sensitive skin around the eye area, such as contact wearers ... I would suggest a gel-based mascara with no sulfates or parabens, such as the Per-fekt lash gel."
It's crucial to remove mascara each night. Mascara buildup can irritate eyes and cause infections. Gomez suggests using a safe, oil-based makeup remover and gentle cleanser.
When deciding between regular or waterproof mascara, Kairouz says to go with regular.
"When you put on mascara, you're pulling lashes away from root," Kairouz says. "It can weaken the hair follicle at [its] base. With a lot of waterproof mascaras, not everything comes off."
The most important thing is to be gentle, since the skin around the eye area is thinner than anywhere on the face. "No excessive rubbing, and people need to be careful with curlers," Kairouz says. "Don't curl the lash after mascara, as that can actually break the lash or pull it out of the follicle."
Gomez suggests a lash conditioner such as Jane Iredale's PureLash Conditioner, which has Vitamin E, algae extract and wheat protein.
"I like to think of it like ... hair conditioner," Gomez says. "It keeps the lashes moisturized, giving thickness and length."