Lash Extensions, Lifts, Or Tints? Which Lash Treatment Is Worth It

The more reality TV I watch, the more I notice one, highly specific effect: I become obsessed with the relative lushness of my eyelashes. It doesn’t matter that reality stars openly discuss their extensions, falsies, or long-standing relationships with Latisse. Every time I see a new VPR cast member upload a selfie, then take a quick peek in my own front-facing mirror, I’m left disappointed. SO, I did what any self-obsessed part-time beauty blogger sane person would: sent some emails, booked some appointments, and tested out each lash treatment du jour for myself. In the past year, I’ve tried out lash extensions, lash tints, and lash lifts—here’s what I found out.

Lash Treatment #1: Lash Extensions

Lash extensions were the first treatment I wanted to try, mostly because I didn’t really know lash lifts and tints existed until a few months ago. I’ve gotten lash extensions three or four times now, and the best advice I can give is that the quality really, really varies by location—so do your f*cking research.

Pros: If you’re going to be on camera, or you just really live for a dramatic lash, then extensions are the way to go. If you’re the kind of person who wants to pretend their lashes are totally natural and not have anyone be able to tell: this treatment is not for you. It makes sense that this treatment has the most pronounced effect, since it’s the only one that actually gives you more lashes than you were born with, in addition to making them darker, longer, and thicker.

Cons: First of all, they’re expensive. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but if you’re paying under $100 for a service, then the service they’re performing is likely very questionable. I also find the process fairly unpleasant, given that it’s up to two hours of someone repeatedly, if softly, jabbing your eyelid. I’ve also had some stinging reactions from the glue they use, but whatever, beauty is pain. The other downside I’d note is that my real lashes do seem distinctly droopier for a few weeks after the extensions come off. It could just be in comparison to how lush the extensions seemed, or it could be that my lashes are not quite as load-bearing as I hoped. Either way—once I started getting extensions, not having them seemed like a real bummer. And financially, constantly having them just isn’t an option.

Please enjoy this heavily filtered picture of me 3 hours post-extension treatment:

Lash Treatment #2: Lash Tint

For those of you who don’t know, a lash tint involves, well, tinting your lashes. Ideally to a darker shade, but I guess you could get weird with it if you wanted. I visited the Benefit Brow Bar back in February for a lash and brow tint, since I was in LA at the time and feeling intimidated by all the women marching out of hot yoga without mascara streaming down their cheeks. I’ll just discuss the lash aspect below, but I’d like to mention here that I also LOVED the brow tint—I usually stuck to a brow pencil that was similar to my natural shade, but I loved the added drama of going darker.

Pros: This is by far the most affordable service: at Benefit, it’s only $21. The process is also very easy and painless—you’re in and out in under 20 minutes. And it definitely works: I had jet-black lashes for the next 3-4 weeks. 

Cons: Honestly, it just wasn’t a dramatic enough change for me to want to do it again. (Unlike the brow tint). I can see where this service would be useful if you have super-light lashes (looking at you, my blond and ginger friends), and color would give your eyes more of a pop. But unless your lashes are also naturally as curly and thick as you want them to be, I don’t know that it’ll fully replace your mascara routine. It also only lasts 3-4 weeks—as opposed to extensions and lifts, both of which should last at least 6 weeks.

I couldn’t find a picture of me post-lash tint that looks like anything, so here’s a video of Benefit’s tinted lash primer instead:

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Get ready to watch your lashes transform right before your eyes! They’re real! tinted lash primer is a mink brown shade so you can wear it alone during the daytime for a naturally lush lash look & layer they’re real! mascara on top at night for a bolder look! In stores 12/26! #reallashprimer

A post shared by Benefit Cosmetics US (@benefitcosmetics) on

Lash Treatment #3: Lash Lift

Okay, admittedly the service I got at Lash Loft is both a lift and a tint—so I can’t really speak to what it would look like if my lashes were only “lifted.” Lash Loft uses a Keratin-based treatment that “turns lashes upwards” as well as tinting. They also offer a service called a “lash perm,” which adds curl but not color, and which is slightly cheaper so I’m considering trying it next time. Anyway!

Pros: This was my favorite treatment of the three. The application time was shorter than extensions (under 90 minutes), the look is more natural, and I don’t constantly have stray extensions shedding down my face two weeks after getting the treatment. Where extensions felt like a necessary evil for my natural lashes, this treatment actually feels like it’s helping them—the lashes on my face are 100% my own, but they’ve never looked thicker, or framed my eyes so nicely. Simply put, I’m in love.

Cons: Also expensive! It costs $160 for the full lash lift treatment at Lash Loft, and $100 for a lash perm. Like extensions, they’re meant to last 6-8 weeks (I’m in week 3, and will keep you posted), but my lash budget is just not that high. Also, if you’re getting these specifically for a photo op, you’ll want to add mascara on top—it’s not quite the dramatic pop of extensions.

My newly lifted lashes; ignore how dead I look in the eyes:

All in all—and depending on what your natural lashes look like—extensions are likely the only method that will replace mascara for you completely. But if you’re comfortable with a natural look, my personal preference for a no-makeup morning is the lash lift. So until my reality career is in full swing, I’ll be sticking with lifts—and the occasional swipe of my favorite volumizing mascara.

Images: Victor Hughes / Unsplash; @benefitcosmetics, @louisabhaus / Instagram

6 Amazing Drugstore Mascaras That Cost Less Than What You’d Spend On Wine

Summer has barely started and I’m already calculating how much I’ve sabotaged my bank account with my swimsuit online shopping habit obsession. Spoiler: it’s not pretty. And because I’m an adult my parents refuse to fund my lifestyle, I now need to save money in other areas of my life by, like, cutting out regular meals, stealing toilet paper rolls from work, and buying my mascara at the drugstore. I really lead a charmed life. But luckily for us, there are actually tons of cheap mascara options out there so we can save money for something that really enhances a person’s beauty: alcohol. Blessings. So here are six drugstore mascaras that will please even your cheap ass:

The Best Mascara For Volume 

You may recognize this brand from middle school when you stayed up late watching wannabe aspiring models butcher the English language in an attempt to win over Tyra Banks in their commercial shoot. Aside from giving me valuable life hair lessons via the traumatizing makeover episodes, ANTM also brought CoverGirl LashBlast Mascara into my life and it really fucking works. Who knew. It’s a go-to for anyone who wants clump-free voluminous lashes (so everyone). Plus it’s v cheap, like cheaper than my $8 Uber Pool last night. Blessings. 

Covergirl LashBlast Mascara

The Best Mascara For Length

So this one is sort of a good news/bad news type deal. On the one hand, Butter London Lengthening Mascara will give you lengthy, voluminous looking lashes from roots to the ends, but on the other hand it’s kind of pricey. Like more than I’d pay for a shitty bottle of rosé so it’s probably not that expensive pretty fucking pricey. That being said, it’s life changing for anyone with short lashes as it adds 20% more length in two coats. But, like, it’s fine. I’ll just cut my gym membership for this month because we all know I wasn’t using that shit anyway.

Butter London Lengthening Mascara

The Best All-In-One Mascara

If you’re looking for a mascara to switch up your look depending on if Mercury is in retrograde your mood, then Revlon Ultimate All-In-One Mascara is the best in the game. While it doesn’t look like much—the brush head is fucking tiny—size (apparently) doesn’t matter here because this mascara does it all. If you’re going to make out with your ex’s best friend for a more dramatic look, it can do that. Of if you’re asking for me to unfollow you on Instagram looking for the perfect #nofilter #sonatural selfie, then it can do that too. 

Revlon Ultimate All In One Mascara

The Best Mascara To Fake Eyelash Extensions

If you’re poor fiscally irresponsible but you still want your lashes to look like Ashley Iaconetti’s after three beach meltdowns and one sad makeout session with Jared (I assume), then you’re going to want to invest in a mascara that fakes eyelash extensions and Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extensions Kit is seriously the best one out there. It’s ideal for those who love false lashes but suffer from rage blackouts lack the patience for falsies and the sugar daddy money for extensions. The kit comes with two tubes, one that contains a lash-boosting mascara and the other that contains cotton fibers that attach to your lashes to add length and fullness. If that sounds like a process, that’s because it fucking is but that’s the price we pay for optimal Instagram selfies beauty. 

Physicians Formula Eye Booster Instant Lash Extensions Kit

The Best Mascara For Nourishing Lashes

For anyone who fucked up their lashes last weekend by sleeping in their makeup and/or burning the shit out of them with an eyelash curler (hi), then L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lash Extension Effect Mascara will be key to restoring your lashes to their former glorious state. At one end of the wand is a base coat infused with nourishing agents to strengthen and protect, and at the the other, a top coat that covers lashes in a blacker-than-your-soul pigment.

L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Lash Extension Effect Mascara

The Best Mascara For Lash Growth

Almay One Coat Extreme Mascara is the best of both worlds because it makes you look good AF while also promoting lash growth. It’s sort of like that Nice Girl in your sorority who constantly tried to prove that she could be an athlete/sorority woman/faithful community volunteer/”fun time” at the bars but, in this case, we’re actually buying the bullshit hype. It’s a serum-mascara hybrid with a dark AF pigment that adds depth and drama to make lashes appear longer and more defined. Plus it defends against damage and prevents breakage all while growing your lashes. You really can have it all.  

Almay One Coat Mascara

Read: 6 Drugstore Foundations You Should Be Obsessed With
 
The Pros & Cons of Eyelash Extensions As Told By Ashley Iaconetti

Now that Nick’s contract has finally run out with ABC The Bachelor is finally over we can all properly prepare ourselves for the shitshow of the summer aka Bachelor in Paradise. And when I think Bachelor in Paradise I think of eyelash extensions that could last through a nuclear fucking bomb. But, like, are eyelash extensions really for you? Or are they more for the desperate fame whores types who like to get wasted on a Mexican beaches? Hmmm it’s a tough call but let’s investigate this, shall we?

After a great deal of wine research I’ve developed a list of pros and cons of eyelash extensions so you can figure out for yourself how desperate you want your Instagram photos to look. And I couldn’t think of a better person to tell this pro/con story then my favorite crying virgin, and the sole reason a bus boy restaurant manager with zero personality thinks he can be a reality television star, Ashley Iaconetti.

Who’s going on Bachelor In Paradise? Find out here!
 

PRO: They’ll Make You Feel Fancy AF

Eyelash extensions are not for the cheap of heart and therefore will make you feel fancy AF. Good ones can cost upwards of $100. However, you can technically get ones for $10 the same way you can technically buy a pregnancy test at the dollar store. Both are shady and will probably fuck you over.

Not only do eyelash extensions make you look like a Kardashian one of those super rich people from The Hunger Games, but the process itself is fancy AF. You get to lie down in a bed and close your eyes for an hour and a half while calming music plays in the background and a paid technician makes you look beautiful. It’s like taking a nap but instead of waking up with crusty contacts and drool on your face, you get look like a fucking queen. Blessings. 

Ashley I

CON: They Will NOT Make The Boy You’re Crying Over Look Fancy AF

Even though you’ll l look like a goddamn goddess with your new eyelashes, it doesn’t change the fact that that the boy you’re crying over is wearing a muscle tee and has tiny, shifty eyes. 

Jared

Oh, for fuck’s sake. Really, Ashley? THIS GUY??

PRO: They Last Forever

If you actually take care of your lashes you can make these bad boys last, like, a month and a half. But most places recommend you come back every 2-3 weeks for a touch-up. Which, coincidentally, is also what I tell the woman at mwho works the front desk at my gym who’s constantly harassing me about fitness classes. See you in two weeks, Judy.

Ashley I Bachelor In Paradise

CON: You Have To Get Them Professionally Removed

Getting the extensions removed is actually super easy and relatively quick, but you do have to see a professional. Usually every salon will have this service available but at a cost. Technically, extensions do fall out with the natural shedding of your lashes, but it’s a much slower process and your lashes might start to look more ratchet than Lace’s hair extensions last summer.

PRO: You Can Customize Your Eyelashes

That’s right, your Seamless order and your Bumble profile settings aren’t the only things you can customize these days. First, you can choose the length of your lashes. Most salons carry extension lengths from 9 to 15mm (aka from natural to Kylie Jenner length). But if you want to look like a normal fucking human the sweet spot is 10-12. After you pick your length you get to pick your curl. A “J” curl is for a more natural, awake look, while a “C” curl is a more dramatic, “I spend more time on my eyelashes than NASA spends preparing someone to travel through space” look.

And, as if there weren’t enough choices here, you also get to choose the material of your lash. Usually your choices consist of: faux mink, faux fox, silk, real mink, and last but not least, real human hair (eek). Tbh there’s not much differences between these looks so opt for the faux mink since it’s v affordable and then you won’t have a Scheana moment:

Scheana Shay

Ya I know we deviated from our Ashley I/Bachelor in Paradise theme but it was for educational purposes, therefore, it was necessary.

CON: You Cannot Customize Your BiP Experience

Ashley, if you can’t work with a tropical locale, enough alcohol to kill make a grown man shit himself on national TV (hi, Chad), and a bartender who pours heavier drinks than my winter weight, then I do not know how to help you. Those are legitimately the circumstances in which I lost my virginity. And for god’s sake, enough with the fucking chokers. You’re not about to take a middle school group shot with your besties on the class trip to DC, you’re trying to get laid find love on national television. Get it together, girl.

^Yes, well it’s the way your choker is making it go.

Read: Chad’s Top 10 Most Psychotic Moments In Honor Of His Return To Paradise
 

PRO: You Can Wear Makeup With Them

I know, I know, this sort of defeats the whole purpose of getting these things but we all have that one girl in our friend group who always has to do the fucking most so I thought I’d address it now before Cassandra gets uppity. You’re welcome, bitch. So here’s the deal: You can wear eye makeup but liquid-based eye products can be damaging to the extensions. But if you can’t fucking help yourself then you can get away with a tiny wing of liquid liner as long as you’re not dragging it along the lash line. Make sure to carefully remove the shadow or liner with oil-free makeup remover. And whatever you do, do NOT use mascara unless you want your extensions to look crusty and damaged AF.

CON: They Could Ruin Your Lashes

And your chances at true love. Kidding! Ashley doesn’t need to blame her extensions—she does that all on her own. Ah, God love her. Seriously though, don’t get cocky and try and pull the extensions out yourself because not only is it v painful but it could also leave you with few to no natural eyelashes left. Which would be funny if it happened to the try-hard in my friend group, but would be devastating and par for the fucking course if it happened to me.

These GIFs are making me realize how much I fucking hate Ashley I, but also how on point her eyelashes are. Sighs. If they can withstand that much crying, a Mexican vacation, and all of Jared’s bullshit then, like, sign me up. I’m sold.

Read: Corinne, Alexis, Raven & More Address ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Rumors