The lash-extensions life cycle is a rollercoaster: One minute you're on an amazing, confidence-boosting ride, and the next you've got a rogue lash holding on for dear life. Add quarantine to the equation and you've probably watched your voluminous set dwindle to one or two hairs — a reminder of life before lockdown.
While you patiently wait for salons to reopen, you might be tempted to fill your lashes on your own, but experts say to proceed with caution. "The most important thing is making sure your natural lashes are healthy between appointments," Heather Elrod, CEO of Amazing Lash Studio in New York City, says. "If you have lash extensions, you should avoid picking at them to avoid leaving gaps on the lash line." While tugging at your lashes is tempting, Elrod urges customers to let them fall out naturally versus trying to remove them at home.
Once your faux lashes are gone, Elrod says that it's perfectly safe to utilise strip or individual lashes to enhance your eyes temporarily. "I don't recommend wearing strip lashes on top of existing professional extensions," she says, adding that temporary lashes are safest when applied to your bare lash. "When you remove strip lashes on top of professional extensions, there is a chance that lash glue could remain on your natural lashes, making your next appointment more challenging."
The pros we talked to suggested using individual lashes over your natural hairs. "If you properly care for them, you should be able to get multiple uses out of them, making them an ideal at-home option," Elrod says.
Luckily, there are tons of products on the market that temporarily enhance your lashes. Kiss launched a DIY lash extensions kit, which includes individual lash clusters and a removable adhesive to amplify your lashes without the guesswork (and for a fraction of the price). Ardell individual lashes, which stick on with temporary lash glue, are an expert favourite for celebrities and red carpet events.
Lashify is certainly pricier, but it's the closest you'll get to a professional lash set, and it can last up to seven days without reapplying. According to Vanessa Quinteros, director of education at Lashify, the system is customisable so it won't look like you're wearing fakes (unless you want it to). "We carry a variety of lengths ranging from 8mm to 20 mm and various styles including natural and volume," she says. "You have full control of your lashes, and you never have to walk around with the 'I need a fill' look again."
While at-home methods with temporary adhesives are safe to use, experts advise leaving professional-grade glues and tools to the experts. "I know the wait to see your technician can be difficult," says Elrod. "But it’s better to wait than to risk something unfortunate happening while you are trying to do it yourself."
Refinery29's selection is purely editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items we love! As part of our business model we do work with affiliates; if you directly purchase something from a link on this article, we may earn a small amount of commission. Transparency is important to us at Refinery29, if you have any questions please reach out to us.