They look so good.

By Victoria Moorhouse and Tessa Petak
Updated Nov 12, 2020 @ 8:00 pm
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Credit: Getty Images

These days, everyone is vying for thick, voluminous lashes, whether that's through eyelash extensions or experimenting with serums and oils, like castor oil, which is rumored to trigger growth.

Since most of us are WFH for the foreseeable future, we don't necessarily want to reach for that mascara tube every morning if we're not even leaving the house. Sure going the serum/oil route might be more natural, but there's no guarantee of noticeable results, and it requires a lot of patience. Maybe you're even considering a cheap, at-home eyelash extension kit as an alternative to salon lashes.

Well if you're pondering all these things and wondering if professional lash extensions are a good investment for you, and how much they'll really set you back, you've come to the right place.

Find out everything you need to know about eyelash extensions, ahead.

How Much Do Eyelash Extensions Cost?

Since it's truly a customizable experience, the total cost of your extensions depend on a few different variables. According to celebrity eyelash and brow expert and founder of Eye Design New York Nadia Afanaseva, the price of lash extensions can range anywhere from $200 to $500.

"At Eye Design New York we have multiple levels of technicians," Afanaseva tells InStyle. "[It depends] on experience and speed of the procedure performance, as well as the style of lashes the client would prefer."

She notes that the price also depends on the style of lashes you receive and the effect you're going for, whether that's a more natural or more dramatic look. Generally, the more detailed look you want, the more expensive your bill will be. Eye Design New York even provides a signature style, called the "Kim's effect," which will cost you about $500 if you book with a top-level technician.

Then, there's the maintenance fees.

"The most common add-on service for lash artists is cleaning off makeup or unclean lashes," Lindsay Ford, the marketing manager of Bella Lash, says. "A lash artist normally charges their time to clean your lashes, as they cannot apply extensions to dirty or makeup-covered lashes."

According to Afanaseva, her salon does not charge extra for maintenance, only for refills, which last about two weeks. But she says there are some tricks to make your extensions last a bit longer.

"No sleeping on your face, no oil base products on extension, and no rubbing of the eyes," she says. "Some of our clients may wear them for at least 2 months.

Is At-Home Application or Removal Safe?

With COVID cases rising as winter's approaching, uncertainty of another lockdown is looming. So what happens if we do experience another lockdown, and it's time to remove your extensions? Afanaseva says she advises against it — unless it is absolutely necessary.

"During the recent COVID lockdown, we realized that a lot of lash clients globally were struggling on how to safely remove the lashes," she says. "So we published a special video on our social media on how to remove the lashes from home, using our lash removal product line."

While extensions aren't cheap, the pro of going to the salon is that you are getting a safe application and quality extensions that will last.

Knowing how to properly apply your own extensions can be tricky, and if you're a first-timer, it could cause damage and irritation to your eyes.

"In the event another lockdown occurs, it is a perfect time to allow your lashes to breathe," she says. "As professionals, we strongly advise not to try to apply lash extensions at home, unless you are licensed to do so because the eyes are a very sensitive area and it can cause serious eye damage and or allergies."

Are Eyelash Extensions Worth the Splurge?

If you're aiming for perfection and safety, the cost of extensions just might be worth it.

"Eyelash extensions have become extremely popular," says Afanaseva. "It has become part of a lot of women's beauty regimen. The beauty of professional eyelash extensions is the variety of lash effects that beautify and compliment your natural features."

At the end of the day, if you're looking to get thick and long lashes in a quick and safe way, extensions may be for you. But if the con of the cost outweighs the pros of the convenience and voluminous lashes, you may want to stick to your tried and true favorite tube of mascara or falsies.