By Alissa Hicks

Using lash extensions are an easy way of enhancing the beauty of your eyes. Photos by Melissa Donald

You’ve probably heard of hair extensions, but have you ever heard of eyelash extensions? We had to talk to an expert for the scoop on this trend. Tracy Gary, a registered nurse for more than 13 years, is now certified to apply faux semi-permanent eyelash extensions at her business, The Lash Dance of Louisville. We sat down with her to get all the details.

Just like any other beauty product, there are so many different companies, brands, and looks of lash extensions, so first we asked Tracy why she chose what she did. “I chose Xtreme Lashes because they are the safest company by far. They only use medical grade glue so it is safe for the eyes, which is important to me because I am a nurse,” says Tracy. “Also, I love that you must be a certified health or beauty professional as a prerequisite to do lashes.”

If you’re considering  wearing eyelash extensions, Tracy suggests doing some research first. 

Glue? Reactions? You may be frightened at the thought of glue so close to your eyes, but Tracy explains that the glue that is used is a liquid adhesive that doctors use for suture-less wound closure on the skin which is why it is safe around the eyes.

Still a bit nervous? “You should always ask to see people’s work so you can see what kind of results other people have had before committing,” says Tracy. “Lash extensions are very tailored and very specialized. I look at each client and learn first the shape of their eye, color, curl, thickness of current lashes.”

You can customize the look of your lashes. 

Clients can go as natural or as extreme as they wish. You can choose from any color, length, thickness, curl and even be specific on placement. “For example, some clients like to put the emphasis on the outer corner to give the cat-eye illusion. Most of my clients are in their 30s-50s. It can really help make you look younger!” Tracy says.

Tracy cleanses the lashes and preps your eyes before adding the extensions.

Each extension is applied one at a time in a very precise manner. 

Because the extensions are very carefully placed one at a time, it can take up to two-and-a-half to three hours to apply them. “For every lash that you have, we try to put an extension on each one. After the initial application, people most always come back for touch-ups or a ‘re-lash’ every two to three weeks. Prices are based upon stylist — $250 is about average for a full set and $75 for a re-lash.”

 Notice the dramatic look the lash extensions give your eyes.  

“They’re addictive! Best thing is when you’re on vacation and you don’t need any makeup at all but your eyes are still bright for all of those photos, says Tracy. “A lot of brides love them because they make their eyes look bigger and brighter, but they can still look natural. If you’re a busy woman or gal on the go, they’re perfect for rushing out the door with little to no makeup. Also, they are fantastic for older clients because they feel it makes them look 10 years younger.”

So do you feel them? Are they uncomfortable? We still have so many questions! “You shouldn’t even feel them at all. They’re very natural. On average, we lose one to five lashes per day which seems more noticeable when you have extensions simply because they’re longer and thicker but it’s very normal. That’s why people come in for a relash, because our natural lashes shed.”