Lifestyle Health Are Eyelash Extensions Safe? Everything You Need to Know from a Celebrity Lash Expert Celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson shares what to look for in an eyelash studio and how to properly care for lashes By Sheila Cosgrove Baylis Sheila Cosgrove Baylis Sheila Baylis is Senior News Editor for PEOPLE's Health vertical; she contributes to print features and directs the digital Health team on stories ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to body image and women's health. She has a Master's Degree in Gender Studies. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 26, 2018 05:51 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Eyelash extensions don’t just transform your look, but also your makeup routine — saving precious minutes in the morning and giving you smudge-free confidence. But what should you look for when choosing a lash studio? After all, the lash stylist is touching your eyes for at least an hour, so to avoid possible eye injury or infection, it’s important to make sure you’re working with a licensed professional. Celebrity lash expert Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes, gives us the lowdown on what to look for in a lash studio. What should one look for when choosing a place to get eyelash extensions? Do not go for the cheapest price, and take the time to do your homework. Make sure to look at their before-and-after photos, read reviews and ensure the studio looks clean and safe upon arrival. It’s extremely important to also choose a salon that understands your language, as a language barrier can cause poor communication with styling or the preference you desire. Ask how many years of experience they have — at least one year is required to work with us at Envious Lashes. Perfecting the technique can take years. What do you think of going to a nail salon that provides the service? Nail salons and nail techs are not licensed to apply lash extensions. I would stay away from that altogether! What are the red flags that a place may be unsanitary or the staff may not be trained properly? Safety should be your number one concern. Finding someone who is certified to apply the lashes is definitely a must. Depending on the state, the stylist also needs to be licensed, not just certified. Research who you want to go to and call them and ask them questions about their license and how long they’ve been in business. What is the best lash set for a beginner? A beginner can really choose any set according to their preference. I’ve been in the lash business for over 11 years and there have been some great advancements recently when it comes to lashes. There are several different textures including premium faux-mink which is more flexible and light, and ultra-silk which are extremely soft to the touch, yet create a more dramatic look without causing strain to the natural lashes. For clients going for a more natural look, I advise them request a set of 80 to 90 lashes per eye. This is based on the size of their eyelids. Envious Lashes What should someone expect from eyelash extensions in terms of length of wear, upkeep and maintenance? Lash extensions are not as high maintenance as people think. If you’re a first time wearer, these rules may seem a little overwhelming on day one, but you will get used to it after one week I promise! Avoid steam and wetting your lashes for the first 48 hours. You can of course wash your face and take a shower, just make sure that no water touches your lashes, so use a washcloth or face sponge. You also need to avoid rubbing your eyes, using oil based products and heavy creams around your eyes, plus avoid playing, picking and excessive touching of your lashes. Lashes do need to be brushed every so often with a spoolie brush — just don’t overdo it when you brush. Mascara should also not be applied to lashes because this creates additional weight to the natural lashes which will result in damage and breakage. If you want to wear mascara on your lower lashes, avoid waterproof mascaras. The best part is that you wake up looking gorgeous every day and more awake. I’ve had numerous clients tell me that their lash extensions also make them look and feel 10 years younger. They are such a great self confidence booster too! How often is “too often” to get lash extensions? Should people take breaks and let their lashes rest? It’s not necessary to give your lashes a break since your natural hair growth cycle is every 6-8 weeks. Lash extensions alone will not ruin your lashes. Damage to the natural lashes is the result of improper application, or the stylist not selecting the correct type of lash for an existing natural lash. So that’s why it’s especially important to choose a lash artist with experience! Extensions should only be attached to the natural lash (not the skin) and be applied one strand at a time. Applying extensions that are too heavy for the natural lash will result in premature shedding. Think of it like an elephant standing on a diving board. Too-heavy extensions weigh the lash down. Also, rubbing your eyes will result in immediate breakage. This is actually the worst thing you can do. Try to be as gentle as you can with your eyes. Envious Lashes Are there other dos and don’ts of lashes we should know? Never ever use a mechanical eyelash curler. If your extensions are starting to fall use a heated eyelash curler to gently lift them. Just like you practice with your blowouts, be gentle with your lashes. Apply a protective coating 48 hours after service from base to tip and use a silk or satin pillowcase as cotton can cause drying and/or snagging.