Lash-Ed Issue 3 October 2018 - Page 38

Are there rules about applying makeup with lash extensions?

By Julie Knight, Editor

Many years ago, the do’s and don’ts around makeup application on or near the extensions was very varied and with good reason. We didn’t know what we didn’t know and we are brave enough to admit this now!

Thankfully, we now operate in a ‘knowledge thirsty’ industry, seeking out good practice based on evidence, rather than relying on well-intentioned guess work or myths because ‘it’s always been that way!’

When it comes to makeup and lashes, I do have some golden rules that are designed in the lashes best interests!

I often remind clients that I have reversed their makeup routine. Most ‘dress’ their lashes last because it hides what we’ve dropped or got caught on them! Concealer, Foundation, Power and Eyeshadow! So everything - but lipstick (hopefully!)

Mascara Verses Extensions

Complementary or archenemies?!

Way back when we all thought it was okay to apply mega thick extensions (having been taught that this was okay!), many lash

techs were retailing ‘so-say’ extension friendly mascaras to their clients. I know, I was one of them! I thought that if my clients were going to do it, I’d rather that they were using a water soluble one that had a better chance of being removed with an oil free make up remover.

Having said that, I repeatedly saw the devastation on their lash lines as a consequence. Mascara wearers were returning for 3 weekly infills with very few extensions left and those still holding on, were far from pretty! All those beautiful tapered tips were lost - replaced with chunky sausage looking articles that were now the same width from root to the tip!

Despite advising clients to only coat the tips, we clearly had different opinions on where the tip actually was! I didn’t want them applying it from root to tip as it would clog the gap between the lash line and the base of the extension, therefore making it

hard to clean. I remember tweezing out clumps of mascara from between the lash hair follicles along with a number of extensions that would just slide away with them! No need for debonder!

Fast forward to 2012. A breakthrough year for me. I studied and prepared to teach others how to ‘lash’. This was when I started to question everything I had been taught during several lash courses to that point. I immediately changed my advice to clients based on what I was repeatedly seeing and learning through experience. Coupled with advice from friends or clients who were experts in the medical profession who were better qualified to advise about lash health and hygiene - my clients were strictly advised never to wear mascara on their extensions. So I sought to raise their awareness on many points and it wasn't easy! I covered it in these three points.

Firstly, if they’re having extensions, they shouldn’t need it. If they want something that’s far more glamorous than nature would allow me safely create, then I’d give them directions to the nearest shop that sold false strip lashes - my local Boots the Chemist. Perhaps I should have retailed them too as they did well out of me!

Secondly, mascara adds weight that could overload the lash line. If we have considered what the natural lashes can safely wear without overloading, a coat or three of mascara can be the added weight that now stresses the follicles.

I had several clients who vowed that they had not used mascara on them yet their lash line was full of something suspiciously like it – but not the tips? By deduction, we worked out that they were wearing old mascara on their lower lash line that was flaky. Their repetitive blinking was getting those flakes caught up in the lash layers along the upper lid! I now advise clients that they need fresh bottles that haven’t aged as it’s not Whisky. The moment it starts clumping, it’s time for a new one – for the sake of their extensions as after all, they pay a lot more for those!

Thirdly, despite anyone’s best efforts, mascara can’t be removed easily from the extensions without traumatising them, especially those once fluffy and all delicate volume fans that are now clumpy chunks! More concerning is that some clients know this and won’t even try to clean it off. Many think it's the lash techs job and are advised accordingly! I certainly wouldn't go for intimate wax treatment without showering just before or visit my dentist having just enjoyed my favorite curry with out a good clean first!

Mascara that is not removed or removed effectively offers a rich breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to infections.

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