By Victoria Moorhouse
Sep 11, 2018 @ 10:00 am
Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so allow me to show you my lash extensions before-and-after pic. When people ask me if this trending beauty treatment is worth the full $200+ and twice-a-month visit to the salon, this snapshot is my answer.

Of course, after the initial shock of the transformation wears off, I add in a little commentary on the treatment itself and what you should expect. And for the purposes of this article, I'm going to do just that. 

If you want your eyelashes to look thicker, fuller, and more vivid than you could have ever imagined without applying one swipe of mascara, nothing compares to extensions, IMO. The extensions are added onto your natural lashes using a glue. As your lashes grow and fall out (a normal process), so does the extension. So if they're applied correctly by a trained and experienced specialist, they shouldn't harm your natural eyelashes. 

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They eliminate the task of applying mascara every single day, so when you wake up in the morning, half of your makeup is pretty much already done. In this circumstance, "I woke up like this" becomes pretty damn literal, and my confidence soared at 7 a.m., despite having puffy, tired eyes. 

Clearly, the benefits are there, but with any beauty treatment, there are downsides. For starters, if you're going to a reputable salon for your extensions — which, BTW, you definitely should because messing around with your eyes is scary — extensions are going to cost you. At the Envious Lashes salon I visited in New York City, lash extensions can range anywhere from $150 to $500, depending on the overall look you want and the material of the lashes. 

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Then, there's the upkeep. Your lashes will need to be touched-up every 2-3 weeks. Some lashes will have shed by then, and your lashes will start to look uneven and quite frankly, a little odd. That touch-up also comes along with a cost — at my salon, that's a little more than $100. 

Finally, extensions affect the beauty products you use on a daily basis. You can't use any oil-based makeup removers or cleansers, and waterproof makeup is also a big no-no. These products could cause the extensions to fall out faster. And in order to keep your natural lashes healthy, your specialist will likely recommend a lash conditioner, which you'll apply once or twice daily depending on the directions. 

VIDEO: 4 Ways to Apply At-Home Eyelash Extensions

So while they'll trim time off your morning routine, it's a misconception to say that they're low-maintenance. Lash extensions require time, money, and discipline.

I was seriously lacking on the latter. It was hard to fit in regular appointments into my schedule. I was that person who had to deal with wonky-looking eyelashes on several embarrassing occasions. Because I couldn't get the commitment down, I decided the treatment only worked for me before special occasions. 

If you have the time, money, and patience, lash extensions are a no brainer. But if you're like me and love your oil cleanser like a child, maybe stick to that tube of mascara.