Do you love the look of eyelash extensions but don’t have the budget to go to a salon? Before you shell out the money for an appointment with a lash technician, you might be tempted to go the DIY route and do your own eyelash extensions.
You might be wondering, can you do individual eyelash extensions on yourself? If so, how do you isolate the eyelashes and how do you do it safely?
In this article, I will still share the steps to do lash extensions by yourself that some DIY influencers are advocating for. I want to highlight the risks you incur each step of the way so you can make the best decision by yourself.
I will also give you ideas on what you can do instead of applying eyelash extensions on your own to get the look you desire.
Let’s get started!
Note: this article is about individual lash extensions only! There are many other types of lash extensions available on the market (strip lashes, magnetic lashes, and DIY lashes) which I’m not covering here.
Can You Put Eyelash Extensions On Yourself?
You can’t apply individual eyelash extensions on yourself because of the risk of poor application, allergic reactions, and injuries from using sharp tweezers. It’s impossible to perfectly and safely isolate a natural eyelash to apply one extension with an eye closed.
One might say, “sure I can do it! I have steady hands and the ability to see with my eyes closed”.
Unfortunately, not many people have the ability to see when their eyes are closed…
It’s not remotely safe to put lash extensions on your own eyelashes as it comes with unnecessary risks of permanent danger to the eye.
Eyes are not a thing to play around with tweezers and glue. They aren’t just your window to the soul but the whole screen to reality.
Here are 6 reasons why you shouldn’t put individual lash extensions on your own:
- Medical grade glue is hazardous
- Poor application leads to damage and falling out of natural lashes
- Injuries from using sharp tweezers near the eye
- Unexpected results from choosing the wrong tools
- More costly than you think
- Ugly lashes from not using the right size of lash extensions
Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of these risks.
1. Medical Grade Glue Is Hazardous
For starters, lash extension glue is made of the same chemical as the Superglue – cyanoacrylate.
Cyanoacrylate releases formaldehyde fumes during the curing process. You really need to know what you are doing because formaldehyde is toxic and can cause chemical burns when entering the eye. It can also cause irritations to critical membranes in your eyes, nose, and throat when your eyes are open.
Pro Tip: Read more about these risks in our article on Allergic Reaction To Eyelash Extensions 101.
At a lash salon, the fumes are diffused quickly. Moreover, the lash tech seals your eyes shut at the very start of the appointment with sensitive tape.
But it gets worse if you accidentally apply it to your eyelid or even the insides of your eyes.
If you accidentally drop lash glue into your eyes, you should seek medical help immediately.
Additionally, watch out for inflammations and irritations if the glue touches your skin. If it doesn’t heal within 48 hours, get medical care.
2. Poor Application Leads to Damage and Falling Out of Natural Lashes
When you try to apply 80 to 90 glued lashes per eye without smearing the glue anywhere, there’s a higher chance of gluing at least a dozen lashes together.
To be honest, isolating individual lashes take a lot of practice. That’s what a certified lash artist practices first.
Less-than-perfect isolation of the natural lash will damage the lashes. Read more about this common mistake that will ruin your natural lashes here.
Sometimes inexperienced lash techs struggle with proper isolation of the natural lash even with their steady hands and sharp tools. Moreover, the medical-grade glue only takes a few seconds to dry up. You’ve got to be steady and fast.
Plus, you’re doing all that with a closed eye!
You will damage your natural lashes if your lashes are glued together with the eyelash adhesive. When the smaller lash will grow, it will pull on the other ones that are glued to it. This will cause premature shedding of your natural lashes.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that eyelashes will grow back in about 6 weeks if the hair follicle is still healthy.
I don’t know for you, but 6 weeks without lashes is a long time!
3. Sharp Tweezers Near the Eye
Using lash extension tweezers and medical-grade glue with one eye open to precisely isolate and apply lash extensions isn’t a cakewalk.
First off, tweezers might poke into your eyes and cause serious or permanent damage. Secondly, glue again.
Read more about lash adhesives in our guide here.
Truth be told, most DIY eyelash extension tutorials are generally shared online by people who have no clue how to put lash extensions on. They don’t have a certification from a lash extension academy.
If you’re trying to apply false lash extensions on yourself, beware of your inexperience and remember how priceless your eyes are.
4. Unexpected Results From Choosing the Wrong Tools
Do you know which lash extension (curl, diameter, and length) to achieve the look you are looking for? Eyelash extension styling for a cat-eye, doll-eye, or natural sweep is very precise.
Do you know which lash extension glue to get? How do you use a nano mister, and when?
A lash extension course teaches you everything about advanced styling, lash mapping, many types of glues, curing the lashes, and more from the bottom to the top.
The point is, lash tools are dangerous and necessary for creating custom lash styles, and they change from eye to eye. Moreover, lash tools are sharp enough to cause serious injuries, infections, loss of lashes, irritations, and loss of vision.
5. More Costly Than You Think
Getting a full set of eyelash extensions is expensive, but DIY can get even more.
A lash artist gets her lash glue, artificial fibers, tweezers, and mascara wands at the bulk prices, and buying everything on your own might cost more than a bit of fun.
Moreover, buying individual lash extensions is not cheap. A good quality lash extension of any type costs about $20 per tray. It’s not very practical to buy several trays at home for various lengths, curls, and diameters.
Getting started will cost you a fortune!
Check out my article about the average price of lash extensions to know how much you would have to pay for lashes in a salon setting.
6. Ugly Lashes From Not Using the Right Size of Lash Extensions
How does one pick the right size, curl, length, and material of eyelash extension fibers?
Pro Tip: Refer to our in-depth Eyelash Extensions Types Guide here if you’d like to learn more about the various types of lash extensions available.
A lash tech would know what type of lash extension would look best on you from years of practice. Our eyelashes may look the same, but they’re different for everyone.
There’s a lot to calculate, from their growth speed to color, curl, length, and even texture, before choosing each of the individual 80 to 90 lashes per eye. A lash tech meticulously picks every lash fiber, even for the volume style (they have to make fans with several fibers at once).
But when you add pre-made lash fans from kits, it’s common to pick ones that weigh down on your natural lashes. You may even add more glue to a lightweight natural lash and ruin your natural lashes!
For the love of your lashes, please avoid using cluster lashes at all costs! These types of fake lashes might give you a more voluminous look at first but will surely damage your lashes in the long run.
How to Apply Eyelash Extensions Yourself (As Advised Online!)
When it comes to individual eyelash extensions, it’s much like doing surgery on yourself.
If you’re still determined to put lash extensions on your own, be extra careful and take the utmost precautionary measures.
Disclaimer: I strongly discourage you from putting individual lash extensions on yourself. However, I recognize that you are only a few clicks away from a tutorial that might share the wrong information. That’s why I wanted to share the steps reported online and highlight the risks along the way. That way, you will make an informed decision.
Here are the exact steps to apply eyelash extensions on yourself as commonly reported online.
Step #1: Identify the Tools You Will Need
To apply individual lashes yourself, you will need:
- A good quality lash adhesive
- A clean surface to dispense the lash adhesive
- A pair of sharp tweezers
- Lash extensions in various lengths, thicknesses, and curls
- A tray to hold the lash extensions
- Mascara wand or a spoolie brush to comb through your lashes
Step #2: Prepare Your Work Area
You will need a well-lit, clean, and flat surface to work on.
Make sure your hands are clean and dry. You can also put on gloves if you’d like.
Step #3: Prepare Your Natural Lashes
Start by gently washing your face with a mild cleanser and patting your skin dry. Do not use oil-based products around your eyes as they can dissolve the lash adhesive.
Use a spoolie brush or a mascara wand to comb through your lashes and remove any dirt, makeup, or oil.
Step #4: Dispense the Lash Adhesive
Dispense a small amount of lash adhesive on a clean surface such as a tray.
Some DIY lash extension tutorials also suggest dipping the tip of the lashes directly into the glue bottle.
You should never dip your lash extensions directly in the glue bottle!
Doing so risks contaminating the glue.
Instead, simply add more lash adhesive on the tray when needed.
Step #5: Dip the Extension in the Lash Adhesive
Pick up one extension with your lash tweezers and dip the tip of the lashes in the adhesive. It’s important not to get too much glue on the lash extensions as it will make them difficult to work with.
It’s important to only dip the tip of the extension. The extension should only be attached at the base of the natural lash.
Step #6: Isolate and Apply the Extension to One Natural Lash
And here is the problem…
So far, steps #1 to #5 can be done by yourself if you are careful.
But how do you isolate your natural lashes by yourself? How do you apply a single extension to a single natural lash at a time?
The Internet of Things (IoT) says to close an eye and try your best to attach the fake lash onto a single natural lash fiber with a flawless aim.
According to this expert advice, you would need to:
- Use your tweezers to pick up one extension.
- Use another pair of tweezers to perfectly isolate the natural lash you want to apply the extension to.
- Dip the extension in the glue (the perfect amount of glue is necessary).
- Apply the extension to the natural lash not too close to the lash line as it will irritate your eyes, but also not too far as it would create too add too much weight to the natural lash and cause premature shedding.
It’s honestly a lot easier said than done.
Remember, one eye needs to be closed!
Lash techs spend years perfecting this art and many still fail at times. They also have a perfect vision of your lashes and some even use magnifying glasses to make sure the isolation is perfect!
In my opinion, this single step is where failure is insured. You might not notice it right away. But trust me, your natural lashes will not thank you in a few weeks.
Step #7: Repeat Steps #5 and #6 Until All Your Lashes Are Done
Repeat the process until all your lashes are done. You typically want to apply around 80 extensions per eye so be patient!
How to Get Eyelash Extensions Safely (Do This Instead!)
Go to a certified lash artist!
It’s not worth the risk to put lash extensions on your own.
There are so many things that can go wrong from picking the wrong lash style to damaging your natural lashes.
A good lash artist will be able to help you pick the right lash style that suits your eye shape and lifestyle.
They will also be able to apply the lash extensions safely without damaging your natural lashes.
If you’re still not convinced, here are some more reasons why you should get lash extensions done by a professional:
- A good lash tech will be able to put the lash extension on your natural lashes without damaging them.
- A good lash tech will be able to choose the right lash style that suits your eye shape and lifestyle.
- A good lash tech will have access to better-quality lash products and adhesives.
- A good lash tech will be trained in how to properly apply lash extensions so you can be sure that they will be applied correctly and safely.
So save yourself the trouble and go to a certified lash artist the next time you want to get lash extensions!
You can also opt for true DYI lash options such as magnetic lashes or strip lashes.
Is it safe to do your own eyelash extensions?
No, it is not safe to put lash extensions on your own eyelashes. Whether you have the steadiest hand, the superpower to see better with your eye closed, or are immune to formaldehyde fumes, DIY individual lash extensions are risky.
Can you learn to do eyelash extensions at home?
Yes, you can learn to be a lash tech and do eyelash extensions from your home. You might have to get a few friends or family to practice on, but it’s totally doable from your home.
But keep in mind that many states need you to complete a cosmetology license before you can start practicing. It is also recommended to seek certification in eyelash extensions.
Pro Tip: Make sure you know the differences between a certified lash tech and a licensed lash tech here.
How to apply mink eyelash extensions on yourself?
Just like synthetic individual extensions, mink lash extensions shouldn’t be done by yourself on your own eyelashes. Mink lashes are even more difficult than synthetic ones to apply properly. Instead, opt for a lash artist that specializes in them.
Can lash techs do their own lashes?
No, not even lash technicians will do their own individual lash extensions because it’s virtually impossible to have proper isolation of the natural lash when doing it by yourself. Instead, lash techs will get their lashes done by a reputable tech they know does good work.
As you can see, the process of applying eyelash extensions is very delicate and requires a lot of precision. If you make even one small mistake, it could result in serious damage to your eyes.
Lash extensions are also expensive, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up spending a lot of money on lash extension supplies that you won’t be able to use.
Finally, putting lash extensions by yourself is simply not worth the risk. Your eyes are one of the most important parts of your body, and they deserve to be treated with care.
If you’re interested in getting lash extensions, I recommend that you visit a professional lash artist who can provide you with the best possible results.
— Asako 🙂
- Rona Z Silkiss MD FACS (2014). Will Burned Eyelashes Grow Back? Retrieved from https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/will-my-childs-eyelashes-grow-back (Accessed on 17 April 2022)
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Asako Ito is the Co-Founder of Divine Lashes and a certified eyelash stylist. She has garnered acclaim for her cutting-edge techniques in the lash industry.
Holding multiple certifications and licenses, including Luxury Eye, THE LASH SHOP, World Microblading, and The Lash Bible, she has a constant thirst for knowledge. These credentials reflect her commitment to excellence and staying at the forefront of lash and brow artistry.
With over 10 years of experience, Asako continuously increases her knowledge both as a technician and educator by collaborating with top lash artists worldwide. You can read her full bio here.