Is working out (and getting really sweaty) going to ruin my eyelash extensions?


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Photo: Stocksy/Studio Firma

I like to think of myself as a low-maintenance person (cut to: my entire family laughing hysterically). This at least holds true when it comes to my beauty routine. Example: I once went an entire year without getting a haircut, and lately my skin-care routine has fallen decidedly into the “less is more” camp. This is part of the reason why I love lash extensions. Yes, at first they feel high-maintenance, but then you get a few solid weeks where you can wake up, do nothing, and look like Bambi.

But if I’m going to sit there for two hours (the initial appointment), then an hour (when they need to be filled in), I want to make sure that I’m extending the life of my lashes for as long as possible. Naturally, I was concerned that my super sweaty CrossFit workout routine was going to make my faux lashes fall out more quickly. After all, you’re advised to avoid getting them wet while you’re in the shower, and you legit sometimes have to use a little spoolie to brush them when water drops wind lashes together. Naturally, sweat presents these same problems, and so I asked Tirzah Shirai, lash expert and founder of BlinkBar, whether or not a sweaty lifestyle was a stop sign for fake lashes. Short answer: Not at all. Finally, an instance where we can have nice things. 

Initially, you want to keep your lashes totally dry for 24 to 48 hours, says Shirai. “For those with active lifestyles, always remember to avoid oil-based products and tugging at your lashes,” she adds, which is also how people who don’t get super sweaty should treat their eyelash extensions. She also recommends doing a gentle “shampoo” of your lashes with an oil-free cleanser every other day. This just means that you gently apply the lather to your lash line and gently rinse it away while combing lashes out with a spoolie. LOL: Remember when I said I wasn’t high maintenance. 

There are also special adhesives that grip your lashes more tightly that you can have added to your service. “For our clients who live an active lifestyle, we recommend a service upgrade to Active Lash Adhesive ($30 full set, $15 fill). This special adhesive is virtually sweat-proof, waterproof and oil-resistant,” she says. You can check with your lash salon to see if they offer a similar service. I had the regular adhesive, and got super sweaty three to four times per week, and found that it held up for roughly three weeks with proper aftercare. It’s just extra important to follow all the other general upkeep guidelines: no sleep masks, use a spoolie to gently brush them, don’t rub your eyes, avoid oil-based makeup and cleansers, and be gentle when you take off your makeup. 

Even though they’re totally fine for an active lifestyle, and will hold on as long as you want them to (up to three weeks, that is), the upkeep was just too much for me. My favorite sleep position is face down in my pillow with my arms and legs spread out (yes, I am single and no, I don’t let people spend the night). Having to be very, very careful with my sleep position—when I’m already a notoriously bad sleeper—was what did me in. But every time I put on mascara, I feel a wistful pang for my lash extensions.

Not into extensions? A makeup artist says *this* is the exact number of coats for your longest, fluffiest lashes. And these are the mascaras that beauty editors swear by for longer lashes

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