If you’ve ever dreamed of waking up to long, luscious lashes – without the remnants of last night’s mascara – lash extensions may be the answer. Gone are the days of fiddling around with eyelash curlers or attempting to apply false lashes; eye lash extensions are a semi-permanent option that will literally change your beauty routine.

We reached out to Falon Johnson, the founder of the well-known Wink & Whisper in Fourways, Johannesburg, to answer some of your most-asked questions. Get off that Google search, grab a cuppa, and read on – here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about eye lash extensions.

Is there anything I should do before getting lash extensions?

“Make sure your lashes are clean and free of any make up before your appointment,” advises Falon. “It’s better to arrive without eye make up. The lash artist may still require you to cleanse your lashes with Lash shampoo to be sure they are free from any make up or oils that may affect the lash extensions.”

Will getting lash extensions damage my natural lashes?

This is a tricky one. Yes AND NO. “”Yes, if the lash artist is poorly trained in applying the lash extensions,” warns Falon. “If proper care is not taken to make sure the natural lashes are isolated (not touching each other) and clumps of lashes are applied, it could cause substantial damage to the natural lashes.”

“But if you’ve done your research and made sure you are going to an experienced lash artist, lash extensions won’t cause any damage,” she says. “An experienced lash artist will take great care in ensuring that the lashes are applied correctly, without an excessive amount of glue, and that the natural lashes are isolated correctly.”

“The Isolation process is probably the most crucial part of applying lashes. Making sure to find a single natural lash to apply your extension to will ensure your natural lashes remain healthy and grow as normal without tugging or pulling on other lashes.”

What are the different types of lash extensions available?

You may have heard about individual eyelash extensions, and you may even have come across the term ‘Russian Volume’. Falon explains what each option is to help you decided which one is best for you!

Classic or Individual Lashes – this is when one, individual lash extension is applied to one of your natural lashes. Classic lashes only add thickness and length to the natural lash. 

Russian Volume Lashes – this is when four to six lash extensions are applied to one natural lash. These lashes are much finer, softer and lighter, which allow us to use more per each individual lash. This results in a much fuller, more dramatic effect. 

Can I still wear mascara after getting lash extensions?

“That’s a hard no,” says Falon. “Mascara will cause the extensions to clump and because you cannot use your usual make up remover, your extensions will be severely damaged and probably fall out. Mascara also contains oil, which will cause the extensions to shed much quicker. Lash glue and oily products are not friends.”

How often will I need to have them filled?

“It’s best to get a lash fill every two to three weeks. The lashes shed naturally and the time between fills will depend on how fast or slow your natural lash cycle is – not to mention how well you take care of them.”

How much do lash extensions cost, and how much does it cost to have them filled?

“Lash extensions vary in price. The type of extensions you are having done, as well as the experience of the artist, will determine this price,” explains Falon.

Individual lashes start at around R650 for a full set, while Russian Volume Lashes start at R800 for a full set – and can go all the way up to R1450 in Johannesburg. Volume Lashes is an extremely specialised and time consuming technique, thus the hefty price tag. 

Lash fills on lash extensions also vary in price, but the average is  roughly R450 to R650, depending on the type of lashes you have chosen. 

“This is a great indicator when looking for a lash artist,” says Falon. “You ultimately get what you pay for – ‘nice lashes ain’t cheap, and cheap lashes ain’t nice’!”

How long will my lash extensions last?

“Lash extensions usually last for two to three weeks on average. It all depends on how well you take care of them, as well as your natural lash cycle. Taking care to not sleep on your face, wash your face with oily products, wear eye make up and washing your lashes with Lash shampoo regularly will all affect how long they last.”

Are there any tips of products that will help me maintain my lash extensions?

“Most salons that offer lash extensions sell specialised lash shampoos or cleanser that will help ensure the longevity of your lashes. These are oil free, lash friendly products that clean your lashes without affecting the glue bond. Cleaner lashes also happen to last longer, so it’s well worth buying your own tube.”

Is there anything I should avoid after getting lash extensions?

Falon cautions that it’s best to avoid water or steam on the lashes for at least 48 hours after getting them done. This way the glue is allowed ample time to set and dry. 

Can I swim with lash extensions?

“It’s recommended you don’t swim with lashes – especially in the sea.”

Can I still use my usual eye makeup remover?

“Definitely not,” says Falon. “Eye make up removers contain oils that will detach the lash extension from the natural lash.”

Is it safe to trim my eyelash extensions?

Absolutely not! “You should never do this,” cautions Falon. “You’ll cut your own, natural lases whilst attempting to trim your extensions.”

Are there any specific ingredients in beauty products that I should avoid after getting lash extensions?

ALL beauty products contain some form of oil – especially micellar waters. No product, unless mentioned or sold by your artist, will be suitable for use on lash extensions.”

ABOUT FALON JOHNSON

Falon Johnson is the founder and owner of Wink & Whisper, a beauty salon that specialises in lash extensions. Falon studied nutrition for five years, and began lashing part-time as a creative outlet during her studies. She immediately fell in love with the craft, and after moving to Johannesburg in 2016, decided to pursue lashing full-time. After six months, Falon had a steady stream of loyal clientele, which enabled her to move her home salon to a beautiful space in Fourways. Falon has over five years experience and is certified in Classic Lash Extentions, Russian Volume Lash Extensions, Mega Volume Lash Extensions, and Microblading. “I get to do what I love every day and I couldn’t be happier,” says Falon.

Visit their website (click here) for more info, or call 072 034 6056 or email info@winkwhisper.co.za to book your appointment. And don’t forget to show Wink & Whisper some love by following their Instagram account (here) and liking their Facebook page (here).