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BellaOnline's Ethnic Beauty Editor

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Extending Your Eyelashes

Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette

Faux eyelashes, often called eyelash extensions have become the rage. Semi-permanent, they can give an ethnic beauty longer, thicker eyelashes, and can look oh so natural. Although they are a celebrity favorite, everyday women are also lash extending. In fact they have been since I was a kid -- and before; remember the glamorous Diana Ross & the Supremes? What made her signature look memorable, for me, were not only her hair and the fab clothing. Her lashes did it, so like dark feathers when she smiled coquettishly, they brushed the apples of her cheeks.

Like the Supremes, do you want to draw attention to your eyes? Then do so one of two ways. Apply semi permanent individual false lashes yourself. Adhered with an eyelash glue you'll need to begin with a full set -- 40 to 50 eyelashes which may be purchased in kits. Some kits contain extra 'flares' or clusters, replacement lashes for those that will slip away. Doing your extensions at home, sit or stand, facing a mirror; and this way you're in control. The cost is about $50, and lashes will last perhaps 10 days.

Or you may see a professional, one specializing in lash extensions which can be worn daily. Unlike the traditional strip false eyelashes that only last days, professionally done individual synthetic eyelash extensions vary in length and thickness and are bonded to natural lashes one by one with tweezers. At a salon, an aesthetician should have you lie down before she applies a spongy gel pad to cover your lower lashes to prevent them from becoming glued to the uppers. The whole process can take up to 2 hours and your extensions can last about two months. Typical costs vary, but start at about $300. If correctly done, your new lash extensions should mirror lush natural eyelashes and negate the need for mascara that can clump.

Since our natural eyelashes shed every 60 - 90 days with new lashes growing in, technicians recommend touch-ups, to fill in sleep, swim, and shower-safe lash extensions every 2 weeks or so. However, due to popularity, an appointment with a reputable aesthetician may need to be booked months in advance.

If everyday glam is not for you, you can opt for a special occasion look. Maybe you're a lash virgin who is pondering getting extensions for your wedding. Then have them done 2 weeks before your big day, to make sure you won't have an allergic reaction. Remember there is glue/adhesive involved and you wouldn't want to appear as though you'd been profusely sobbing the day before. If necessary, opt for a fill/touchup days in advance of your vows. Or perhaps you're involved in a tete-a-tete, or are going on an exclusive weekend, with a hottie, or your hubby. Then semi-permanent eyelashes may be for you. With, or without minimal makeup, they'll yet transform your look. Or maybe you've got slight sagging in the eye area, or are losing lashes frequently; you too could be a candidate. From natural looking, or dramatic, a bevy of styles can be created with lash extensions.

Now ladies, I would be remiss in not stating the cons of eyelash extensions. We've heard horror stories… Yet I must inform you. The semi permanent eyelash glue often used by salons contains chemicals/toxins, such as formaldehyde or cyanoacrylate which can irritate. These may also be hard to remove, or one can experience an allergic reaction, or lose natural lashes. The above and other factors are why it is important to see an experienced lash technician, one who uses quality products. You want someone who sterilizes utensils, not an infection from fungus! You want a consult, prior to lash application, to list your allergies, if you have them. Remember, for a while, you will trust someone with glue and tweezers stupendously close to your precious eyes. Ethnic Beauties, if you start feeling uncomfortable, say so, or call a halt. If you're someone who isn't used to wearing eye makeup, lash extensions may not be for you, because you may tend to rub your eyes -- a no-no even if your eyes are makeup free. Another thing to remember is that some face cleansers may dissolve the glue that attaches your lash extensions, so talk to your technician, ask questions; get an understanding.

Then ... armed with knowledge, if eyelash extensions are for you, go for it; and don't forget to do a Miz Ross afterward. Smile coquettishly while allowing your eyes to do the talking!
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Content copyright © 2014 by April Alisa Marquette. All rights reserved.
This content was written by April Alisa Marquette. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Juliette Samuel for details.

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