My friend recommended me a salon to get my eyelash extensions done. I'd never actually seem a full set on anyone before so I was very nervous. Also, the eyelash lady doesn't speak much English (it was in Koreatown) so that made me even MORE nervous. But after some online research I learned that the Asian method of eyelash extensions are the best- they take a long time to apply but they are clean and look very natural. They also last longer. And they're a bit more expensive.
My extensions cost $250. This cost includes the initial application and 2 refills, so this should last me about 3 months. Every refill after that is $50 and it should be around every 2 months.
I wish there was more that I could say about the procedure... I basically went in and lay down in the chair. She then taped my bottom eyelids to my cheeks and told me to close my eyes. I really don't know what went on those 1 1/2 hours... My guess is they glue each hair individually to your hairs. Then they use really pointy tweezers to set the glue and to pick off any excess glue. (The glue is black, the same color as the fake lashes). Then she used another tool to curl the lashes together to set the glue into a curled up position. And that was it!
My eyelashes are incredibly full and 2x its normal length. I wish I had a "before" picture to show but I forgot. I did search through all of my pictures on my computer and I noticed that I could not see ANY eyelashes in my pictures whether I'm using mascara or not... so I guess it is a big difference!
The pros... they look VERY natural. I don't feel them at all. (Except for the first hour) I can swim, go to a sauna, use eye-makeup remover, etc. in them. I don't have to use as much make-up... just swiping a little color over the lid is enough. And did I mention they look VERY natural!?
The cons... definitely the price! You can't use mascara or eyelash curlers anymore... so after a few weeks if they get droopy you can't do much about it until you get a refill. Not for sensitive eyes.
Also another thing I noticed... they really accent your original lashes. Before the extensions, my left eye was a little bit droopier so I only had half a double-eyelid and the eyelashes point more downwards than my right eye. Now after the extensions, the left eye has a full double-eyelid and the lashes stick straight out before they slightly curl up. My RIGHT eye however... the double-eyelid folds over completely (so it kind of "disappeared") and the lashes curl up higher than the left eye. So I'm still left with asymmetrical eyes. :(
But now my eyelashes look like my Lulu's! (Yes, hers are real)
edit: I've received a lot of questions, so here are some answers.
1. What happens if you leave them in longer than the two months?
Your eyelashes grow out in cycles. So as they naturally fall out, the extension glued on to them falls out too. So in about 2 months, your eyelashes will look sparse because a fraction of them have fallen out, and some baby ones have grown. You go in for the refill to get new extensions on the new eyelashes that have grown out over the past 2 months. Since everybody's lashes grow at a different rate, the 2 months is just a guideline. I have a friend who goes every 3 weeks and one that goes every 9 weeks. Also it depends how natural you get them done too, the more natural they look, probably the longer you can go without a refill.
2. Do they affect the growth of your natural lashes?
As far as I know, not at all. However, I've heard that the first time you get them done you need to come back in 3 weeks-1 month because your lashes are still getting used to the weight so more tend to fall out the first month. The longer you refill and maintain the lashes, the longer it will last in between refills.
3. Do you have to have them professionally removed?
YES! You can go back to have them professionally removed, or you can just wait until they all fall out naturally (which can take a really long time).
4. Does the $250 include the insertion of the two refills?
$250 includes the first two refills. Each additional refill is $50.
5. Would you ever do the bottoms?
Because of my eyeshape, I've never had the need to do my bottoms. I never put mascara on my bottom lashes. But, I never asked. My guess though is that bottom lashes are too thin and fragile to put extensions on.
6. Where in Northern California can I have this done?
I would search online or ask around. They usually do this in Asian towns like Japanese or Chinese salons. However, it is very IMPORTANT that you see first an example of eyelashes that they have done. I have had friends who've done this at mediocre places and the extensions are messy and do not look natural at all.
7. Is it $500 for bottoms and tops?
Again- not sure about the bottoms. I'm sure if you add them on it will be just a fraction added on, not doubled.
8. Do they fall out naturally?
Yes, refer to question 1.
9. Would you mind sharing where you had them done?
Sure, I went to Marquise Salon in KoreaTown... it's on Western & Olympic and the lady's name is Yeana.