The cycle of eyelash extensions can be compared to that of gel manicures—fantastic for weeks, but after they've run their course, the overwhelming urge to get them again wins out over taking a break. It's certainly easy to see why, considering you have long, Bambi lashes for up to 5 weeks, and since using mascara isn't a necessity, your time spent getting ready is dramatically reduced. It isn't until all of them have completely fallen out that the realization of what they've done to your natural set washes over you.
"Many women experience eyelashes that are extremely weakened, brittle, and have excessive breakage. There is a combination of stressors placed on the eyelashes, from the application of the extensions and type used, to the adhesive," explains Sabrina Little, Senior Director of Marketing and Product Development at Athena Cosmetics. "Even the dimension and length one chooses for lash extensions play into the trauma due to the heavier load of glue placed on the individual lashes. The greater the volume and length, the greater potential for damage." Noted.
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So, how does one bounce back after sets on sets with no breaks aside from the ones happening in their natural lashes? Skip the salon appointment, and give your eyes some TLC. Little recommends being super-gentle when washing your face, as well as taking a minimalist approach to your eye makeup. "You want the natural lashes to breathe and have a break," she says. "If you do wear eye makeup, try to remove it gently once at home, and always before going to sleep. You'll also want to avoid using an eyelash curler to prevent any undue stress or pressure on fragile lashes."
A lash serum like Revitalash Advanced ($155; nordstrom.com), which is filled with peptides and biotin, can help nurse them back to health, and could bring back their longer appearance. Additionally, if you're planning to return to your extensions after this short break—you know, like that couple on your Facebook that constantly switches between being together and going on a break—Little advises using the serum while you have them next time around so your natural lashes aren't compromised. "This can help your natural lashes bear the stress of the extensions, and help to combat breakage and brittleness since it makes the foundation stronger," she explains. "Lash extensions should be removed every 4 months to allow for a thorough cleansing of the lash line, and to give your natural lashes some time to recover."