Something that I have heard about a year or two ago that piqued my interest was eyelash extensions. I didn’t know too much about the process or upkeep, I was just interested in having doll like eyelashes so I wouldn’t have to put on any eye makeup for about a month. Koreans definitely take their looks seriously and it definitely helps to look presentable at all times. I have heard of people being fired from jobs for not being attractive as well as co-workers getting talked to for not looking their best. So, I figured if I was going to ever try lash extensions, then it would be beneficial to try it in Korea.
When I was looking up pricing in the States the prices ranged from about $100-$200 in my area, depending on what kind of lashes you were getting and the location of the salon. After doing some brief research in Korea the prices seemed to range from about ₩30,000-50,000 (about $30-50) which kind of shocked me. So I made up my mind that I would get lash extensions and no one could tell me otherwise. I had seen a nail salon really close to my apartment that advertised lash extensions so I set out on an early Saturday morning to get them done. Unfortunately when I got to the salon I found out they no longer did lash extensions….and opted to get a gel manicure since I was there. Big mistake…it took an hour and a half and the girl basically ripped out all my cuticles and made me bleed like crazy….and it cost ₩40,000 (about $40). So the most expensive gel manicure of my life ended up being the worst experience…especially when the polish chipped a day later…how that even happened with gel I will never know.
Anyways, just super desperate to get the extensions placed in that day I had one of the Korean teachers at my school find a place close by that could get the procedure done that same day. She found a salon that had really good reviews, but it was booked up and I opted for a different place that could squeeze me in that same day. This was kind of a mistake on my part, I should have waited and gone to the one with the good reviews.
When I got to the salon to get the extensions, I was given 3 options: short, medium or long. I have read online that you should be given more options such as what the lashes are made of but I wasn’t given this option. I chose the medium which the lady recommended and then laid down on a table with a blanket. She then tape my bottom lashes down so that they wouldn’t get glued to my top lashes and proceeded to glue on lashes for the next hour and a half.
Now I had read online that this would be really uncomfortable and for a little while it was, but after a few minutes I fell asleep and slept through most of the procedure. When I woke up later I was kind of shocked at the results. I guess I had thought it would look more natural, like I was just blessed with amazing lashes…but they were definitely a lot more noticeable than that. Which I don’t mind completely, but they definitely give a doll like effect.
The lady who did the procedure on me had told me that I had pretty decent lashes to begin with, so hooray for that. My lashes are pretty straight though and don’t naturally hold a curl and I hate putting on mascara. So my initial reaction to the extensions was one of shock and awe. I have never worn any type of false lash before so this was the first time seeing giant eyelashes on myself. At first I was ecstatic, for some reason during the whole eyelash process I was worried that I would get the extensions and there would be no noticeable difference. That definitely wasn’t the case, you can tell right away that there are lashes on my face.
Reactions from those around me was pretty mixed as well. Some people loved the result and thought it was amazing. Others were kind of scared and not so into the new lashes. Personally, I initially loved them, then the next morning was kind of intimidated by them and finally accepting of them.
I did have some negative side affects that I think are worth noting. I had some stinging immediately after the procedure from the glue but that went away very quickly. I also was aware of them being on my lashes for about an hour after getting the procedure done. Washing my face was kind of a challenge as I was trying to get my face clean without getting my eyelashes wet. And when it came to sleeping I had to train myself not to sleep on my face so as not to disturb my lashes. The morning after the procedure I also had some swelling in my right eye, it went away after a couple of hours but the same eye would be red in the mornings for an hour or so when I would wake up. This lasted about a week and then went away. I think this irritation came from glue getting on my lid which in my case I think is kind of unavoidable since my eyelids are hooded.
From what I read online the eyelash extensions are supposed to last anywhere from 2-6 weeks…so I decided to track their progress for 6 weeks, here’s how the eyelashes held up:
So I would say that the eyelashes lasted a good 4 weeks on me. After that they were pretty sparse and not super noticeable. All in all I was pleasantly surprised at their longevity and would definitely go in to get them done again. I think I’m going to hold off for a little while though and give my eyelashes a break. Something worth noting is that right around the 3 week mark I had to scrub at my left eye as I managed to get glitter glue into it…if you want to read about my experience at the optometrist you can do that here. I have to say though I got exactly what I wanted from the eyelash extensions, I didn’t have to apply any eye makeup for a month and still looked like I put effort into my face.