It has been a few years since I last had lash extensions. Before a recent vacation to Puerto Rico, I decided to give them a second shot and see if anything had changed since I last tried them.

That’s me on the left with my extensions.

Lash Extensions
Eyelash Extensions – Review. Image: COURTNEY AKAI

How Lash Extensions Work

This time, I went to JJ Lashes in New York City, decidedly downscale from the salon’s I’ve tried lash extensions at before. It’s almost a lash extension factory with six to eight beds in one large room with no privacy separation between clients. The benefit is that it is much less expensive, whereas lash extensions at a salon cost upwards of $300, at JJ Lashes, it’s $120 for a set and $60 and up for touch ups every two weeks.

The experience of getting the lash extensions on was much the same. Your lids are taped down while the makeup artist leans over you, gluing individual lashes to your each and every individual lash. At JJ Lashes, you can choose your length and if you want them curled or not.

I let my makeup artist decide for me, telling her I wanted my resulting lashes to be “noticeable, but not drag queen-y.”

The experience was pleasant and I came close to nodding off a few times. At JJ Lashes, a masseuse comes by and gives you a complimentary foot massage during the treatment (tips are optional, but well worth it), which I thoroughly enjoyed. It got me thinking that I wish they would offer manicures, so you could get your nails and lashes done at the same time. There’s nothing I love more than a little beauty multi-tasking!

The process takes about an hour.

At the end, I had “Wow!” lashes that were exactly what I was hoping for, dramatic without being obviously fake. I was sent home with a list of instructions, including no showering or working out for 24 hours.

What I Liked About the Lash Extensions

There’s nothing like waking up and looking in the mirror and feeling pretty. With the lash extensions, all I needed to do was put on a little eyebrow pencil and lip gloss and I was ready for the day. On the days that I had recently had a blowout, I could seriously be out the door in under 10 minutes, feeling like I looked my best.

It was especially nice on a beach vacation not to have to deal with mascara. In fact, I liked them so much, I got a touch up two days before Christmas and then after the New Year before I went on a girls’ trip to Sedona.

I also felt that the JJ Lashes lasted longer than the lash extensions I’ve had in the past. I’m not sure if that’s because there have been advances in the whole process in the two years since I had extensions or if they use a different line of products. When I went in for my two week touchups, the lashes were still in decent shape.

What I Didn’t Like About the Eyelash Extensions

My biggest complaint this time, after having the lashes on for six weeks plus, my own natural lashes were short and stubby. We’re talking so short I couldn’t even curl them! On the few occasions when I had special events (a friend’s birthday party, a Super Bowl party), I had to take the time to apply false lashes.

I also wish the application process were a bit quicker. Even at my two touch up appointments, the process took at least an hour. I’ll do a lot for beauty, but an hour appointment every two weeks grew old, fast.

Are Lash Extensions Worth It?

This time, I’m going to say yes, but I still think they’re best save for a special event or vacation.

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