Like all girls, I have dreams of long luscious lashes for my wedding day. An Audrey-Hepburn-meets-Bambi flutter as I walk down the aisle. But sadly, I have not been naturally blessed with said Audrey-Hepburn-meets-Bambi lashes. Mascara is great for every day lashes (I love Benefit They’re Real), and false eyelashes are fun for a night out (until they fall off while I bust a move on the dance floor) but for my wedding day I want to amp it up and get serious with some fabulous eyelash extensions. Here's what I learnt about getting the perfect eyelash extensions for your wedding day:
Find an experienced technician
With no idea how it works or what the process is, I met with lash expert Liga Purvinska at Glam Q Lash Lounge in London. Like most beauty treatments, the quality of your lash extension is determined by the skill and experience of your technician. So if you can't make it to Glam Q then be sure to do your research, look at reviews and be wary of cheap or too-good-to-be-true deals.
Book your appointment three to four days before your wedding
Eyelash extensions are glued onto your natural eyelashes and the glue can take up to two days for them to fully dry. Because of this, Liga recommends booking your appointment ideally three to four days before your wedding day, or before you travel to your wedding. If you have sensitive eyes, it’s also essential to have a patch test 24 hours before your appointment.
Arrive in comfortable clothes and mascara free
Depending on what style of extensions you want, it will take around two hours for them to be applied. This means you get to lie down with your eyes closed for two whole hours! As indulgent as that sounds, you can’t wriggle around too much during the process so be sure to wear comfortable clothes that you can take a nap in (because you likely will).
Liga also advised to arrive at your appointment with no makeup on. “If you do, we can always take it off for you, but there’s going to be product on top of product, and we don’t want to aggravate the glue reaction. So if you come with makeup off, it saves time and won’t irritate the eye area.”
Also be aware you won’t be able to wet your lashes for 24 hours after the appointment, so it’s a good idea to wash your hair the day before or the morning of your appointment.
Bring photos from your makeup trial
If you’re an eyelash extension novice like me and not sure what type of extensions you want, ask your technician to have consultation. “Brides normally go for the natural eyelashes, but it really depends,” says Liga
Know that all eyelash extensions are synthetic
When doing your research, you will see eyelashes advertised as cashmere or silk, when they are all, in fact, synthetic.
"It’s actually just the manufacturers that have named the exact synthetic fibre that they're putting onto the eyelash,” Liga tells me. “So it’s mainly just a marketing name for synthetic lashes."
The only exception to the rule is real mink or sable lashes, which are very pricey, fragile and don't always have the same curl. So unless you have a big budget and a seriously experienced technician (and aren't allergic to mink), synthetic is generally the best option.
Decide whether you want classic or volume lashes
The main differences between eyelash extensions are the application styles, which commonly include either 'classic' or 'volume'.
“Classic lashes involve just one lash being attached to every lash you have,” says Liga. “Naturally, we have around 50 eyelashes, so this will usually involve 50 extensions.” According to Liga, this look is ideal for brides looking for a subtle and natural makeup look on their wedding day.
With my Audrey-Hepburn-meets-Bambi lashes still in mind, I opt for 'volume lashes' instead. Liga can apply up to 10 lashes to one of my natural lashes, so it’s a great option for brides-to-be who don’t have many lashes, but want a high-impact look.
For extra glamour, Glam Q can also add extensions to your lower lashes, and also offer different shades, including brown. And then there’s the Kardashian/Jenner effect…
“Clients often come with photos, so we’ve created custom 'Kylie Lashes', so people can achieve her look, which is quite a long and wispy strip-lash look.”
Relax and enjoy the process
As it’s my first time, I’m not quite ready to go full-on Kardashian just yet. Instead, Liga recommends I try the natural Russian volume 2D-3D lashes, which will involve gluing two or three synthetics to one of mine.
And then the process begins! Liga applies a collage sheet mask to my under-eye area, asks me to close my eyes, then begins working her very gentle magic. With nothing else to do but lie there, I inevitably doze off.
Stay dry for 24 hours after the appointment
After my nap, I wake up to the Audrey-Hepburn-meets-Bambi eyes of dreams. Hooray! The difference is huge and I know I won’t be needing to wear mascara for a very long time.
In fact, there are a few things I won’t be able to do for a while in order to maintain them. According to Liga, if you want your new look to last as long as possible (up to two months), it's essential that you keep the eyelashes dry for 24 hours and avoid steam, heat, sunbeds or hot baths for 48 hours while the glue dries.
“And after that, avoid anything oily around the eyes, because it softens the bond of the glue and they might come off quicker. So your makeup remover needs to be oil-free. Micellar water is perfectly fine.”
It’s also important to avoid rubbing or scratching your eyes or sleeping with your face on the pillow. Liga also advises to avoid waterproof make-up as well. “We don’t recommend wearing waterproof eyeliners – and no mascara."
My eyelashes are so long and fluffy, mascara is the furtherest thing from my mind anyway! Instead, I'm practicing my Audrey Hepburn flutter and can already tell I'm becoming seriously addicted.
Eyelash extensions from Glam Q are priced from £70