Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s eyelash extensions

IMG_1372 Cat eye style lash extensions can add a dramatic flair, as shown in the appearance of Emily Shapow’s client’s lashes before and after application.

IMG_1373 The before photo.

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Long, full eyelashes have been a beauty ideal for years, and traditionally people use mascara to achieve the look. Although cheap and accessible, mascara can be irritating to the eyes, difficult to remove and time-consuming to apply.

Some students are opting to replace mascara with eyelash extensions, a beauty service that can cost upward of 200 dollars.

Although eyelash extensions were first patented in 1911, according to NPR, the trend has become prevalent on campus over the past two years, according to Kasey McCrossen, an executive stylist and lash technician at Gloss Salon on Main Street.

“I have a lot of girls that come in seasonally,” McCrossen says. “A lot of the girls who go to school here are from New York, New Jersey — I call it boujee town — and I feel like a lot of my clients who get them come from there. It’s a very trendy thing now.”

Lash extensions are an enhancement of the eyelashes where individual false lashes are glued on top of natural lashes. For the first set, each eye gets about 70 to 90 lashes, depending on how many eyelashes the client has, according to Emily Shapow, a junior accounting major and certified lash technician.

The process of applying lashes is precise and tedious, and can take anywhere from one and a half to two hours.

“The process was actually really relaxing, it feels like tiny touches on your eyelids,” Julia Granberg, a junior nursing major, says. “And you obviously have to keep your eyes closed, so you’re just laying on your back and they are behind your head reaching over to apply the lashes. I usually end up dozing off.”

The extensions fall out according to the growth cycle of your natural lashes, so most people get a fill every two to four weeks depending on how fast their lashes grow and how oily their skin is. The falling out of the extensions doesn’t cause any damage to the growth or the cuticle of the natural lash.

IMG_0482Courtesy of Jacey Hanson
Tape is placed under Jacey Hanson’s eyes to help with precision during the application of her eyelash extensions.

“A big misconception is that they cause damage, because when you let them fall off or get them removed the difference in your appearance is so drastic,” McCrossen says. “People think ‘Oh my gosh all of my eyelashes fell out,’ when really, this is just what you looked like before you had them.”

Locally, the price for a full set of lashes at a salon will be between $150 and $220 and a fill will cost between $40 and $55. If a salon charges more for the full set they will likely charge less for a fill, and vice versa, according to McCrossen.

Shapow, who took a five-hour lash certification course over the summer and now works from her home, charges $75 for a full set and between $38 and $55 for a fill.

Although there may be some variation in prices between individually run businesses and salons, McCrossen warns against choosing the cheapest option available.

“Some nail salons charge like $20 for a full set of lashes and there’s a reason for that,” McCrossen says. “It is probably because it is a cheaper glue and things like that that could be damaging. So I tell people to read into that stuff before you go and spend just $20.”

There are many reasons why students decide to start getting eyelash extensions.

After she started getting frequent eye infections from her mascara during high school, Jacey Hanson, a sophomore exercise science major, was annoyed with the process. After her freshman year suitemate talked about how much she liked eyelash extensions — Hanson was convinced to give them a try.

“It was the one thing I splurged on, and it made it so easy to get up and get out of the house,” Hanson says. “I didn’t have to spend any of the time that I usually would applying makeup. I just felt like I looked better than I normally would.”

Granberg decided to get eyelash extensions this summer, before she spent two weeks at a beach house as a way to treat herself and avoid the annoyances of mascara and water.

“I definitely do know that people might be more quick to judge somebody for spending money on personal things like that,” Granberg says. “Like yeah, it is crazy to spend 200 dollars on your eyelashes, but if it’s what you want to do then do it. It’s about what makes you happy, not what other people think.”

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