In This Post: A lash extensions review from my recent experience at Swank Hair Studio in Pittsburgh including pros, cons, and answers to your most asked questions like “how long did it take?” and “did your natural eyelashes fall off?”! | photos by Alex Barone
*Swank Hair Studio did provide me with this service for free in exchange for sharing my thoughts. All opinions are my own! Thank YOU for supporting the businesses that help keep The Gem alive*
Back in my sorority days, someone came to the Kappa house once to provide $25 eyelash extensions to the girls right before one of our formals. It sounded like a great idea – I’m always down for something that will help me spend less time getting ready! But it was not. It was really really not. My eyes were SO itchy and irritated after. All I wanted to do was rub them. The lady told me they would last at least two weeks and I had to turn to Google to figure out how to get them off sooner! It didn’t matter how pretty they looked, I could not stand them on my face, haha.
Needless to say, despite the growing popularity of eyelash extensions, it was NEVER something I thought I would do again, EVER. But, when my go-to hair salon started offering lashes and extended a chance to work together to me, I was iffy but figured since my last lash experience was like 8 years ago, I would give another round of extensions a shot.
I could not have been happier with the results! I wanted lashes that were going to pop more than my own lashes, but also wanted them to still look natural. I loved that people kept asking me, “do you have lashes on or are those your real lashes?” and that it wasn’t easy for them to determine that they were fake! Britt was amazing (check out more of her work here). She took her time, educated me on the process, answered all my questions with honesty, and her work area was clean and organized. I felt confident that I was in good hands the entire time (a must when someone is coming close to your eyeballs with pointy things)! Plus, the vibe at Swank Hair Studio is just amazing in general and the new location that opened last November is STUNNING (pictures in this post!). You really feel like you can just set life down for a bit and be yourself from the moment you walk in the door. Everyone that works there is so relatable. The owner and my good friend, Melissa, is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She started Swank on a small budget with a huge passion for helping women feel fearless and beautiful. After seeing everything she has overcome to keep her dream alive, it’s such a pleasure to watch the incredibly deserved growth and success the salon has had. If you’re in Pittsburgh, I cannot recommend Swank Hair Studio enough for hair – especially for color and extensions. I literally won’t let anyone else cut or color my hair.
Anyway, let’s get back to lashes!
Would I recommend eyelash extensions?
Yes! But if you want them just for a special occasion and you aren’t looking for upkeep, know that you will likely need to go back to the salon to get them removed. If you do want them long term, know that it is a lot of maintenance to dedicate 3 hours of your time to them every 3 weeks. Plus, it’s a pricey habit. If it wasn’t as much upkeep, I would totally continue to get them because it truly saved me time getting out the door. I even felt far more confident leaving my house without any makeup on, too. I loved having them SO much that even on the budget I’m on, I’d be determined to find a way to front the money if the process of keeping up with them was more convenient. Can we get a Swank #2 next door to me? Thanks.
What are Lash Extensions?
Today’s lash extensions aren’t the temperamental strip of lashes I used to frustrating glue onto my eyelids every weekend growing up to dance in The Nutcracker. They are individual lashes (the ones Britt used were 3 individual lashes that she hand made into a fan for every natural lash) glued to your natural lashes.
How Long Do Lash Extensions Take?
We started talking about scheduling and I found out it would take about 3 hours. My first thought was “omg how am I going to sit still for that long/how am I going to talk to someone for that long!”. It might be my anxiety talking, but I don’t like when you’re at an appointment and it feels like you’re obligated to engage with the person providing your services for that entire length of time. I had never met Britt before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect! She ended up being so easy going that the conversation flowed and it didn’t feel awkward when we weren’t talking either – thank goodness!
How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?
I had a few lashes fall off my left eye shortly after getting them done. I messaged Britt about it and she was more than happy to have me come back in and fill them in (which I never ended up taking her up on just since life has been so crazy lately). She mentioned if it’s one eye, it’s normally from sleeping. I try my best to sleep on my back but I do know I toss and turn a lot. It was so hard for me to remember not to rub my eyes, plus I have pretty oily skin, sweat/workout a lot, and wash my face more than the average person – I’m sure the combination of all of those things probably that didn’t help. Despite some falling off, I was truly shocked by how full and even they still looked. After about 2 weeks, my left eye was looking much more sparse than the right, so I starting using some mascara on it. I read that this was a big no-no, but I still did it anyway, so probably don’t do that. Also worth noting, you cannot pull at them or pick your lashes off – DO NOT DO THAT.
How Often Do You Need to Get Lash Extensions Done?
Your natural lashes fall off every 45–60 days, but they’re all at a different part of that growth cycle at any point in time. When your natural lash falls off, an extension will likely go with it. To keep lashes looking full and voluminous, most people with ongoing extensions get a fill about every 3 weeks. I didn’t get a fill and probably should have gone back to get them removed, but you know, there are only so many hours in a day and time flies when you’re a grown-up. I work from home and didn’t have any major events in that timeframe, so I was cool with letting them fall off on their own, but I wouldn’t recommend that route if you need to look put together every day.
What Happened to My Natural Lashes?
Not a thing! Of course, some fell off, but that’s what happens to your natural lashes when you don’t have extensions on, too. My natural lashes look exactly the same as before I had extensions. I 100% believe this is because I went to a skilled, trained professional who knew what she was doing. Having lashes put on the wrong way, taking care of them improperly, or tugging/pulling/picking your lash extensions can cause lash loss and damage. In situations for services like this, I find you get what you pay for, so be wary if a deal on eyelashes sounds too good to be true.
Thank you so much, Britt and Swank Hair Studio, for opening my mind up to lashes again and for always doing such quality work. You are the best of the best!