10 Mistakes you could be making that are ruining your eyelashes
Lash game: Faltering
It comes as no surprise that pretty much everyone has a deep appreciation for a great set of lashes. The beauty market is saturated with products that work to get your lashes looking longer and lusher than ever before, and over the years the options for lash lifts and extensions alike have skyrocketed. It's safe to say that lashes are a hot commodity.
However, they aren’t just there to make you look pretty—they play a pretty crucial role in protecting your eyes too. Namely, they prevent irritated eyes and infections by keeping nasty particulates out. Understandably, applying a bunch of beauty products over them may be doing them more harm than good.
Here are all the things you could be doing wrong with your lashes:
You’re sleeping with your makeup on (or you’re not removing it properly)
Do we really have to explain why this is so bad? Keeping mascara on your lashes overnight dries them out, which weakens them. On the same note, not removing your liner properly (especially after tight-lining) is a surefire way to clog your lash follicles.
Not to mention, the friction that is bound to happen between your face and your pillow as you sleep will rip your lashes out from the root in clumps, thanks to your mascara.
The solution? Take it all off before you head to bed. Use a pointed cotton bud (such as this sustainable and reusable option) dipped in an oil-based remover to clean the hard-to-reach gaps in your lash line.
You’re using dirty makeup brushes (and neglecting to clean your mascara wand)
If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes, you’re in trouble. Make sure you’re giving your brushes a scrub every other use at the very minimum—this will keep potential infections at bay. If you need a guide, this should help.
Another thing you may not have realised is that it’s necessary to keep on top of your mascara hygiene. Your mascara wand is, for lack of a better word, gross. Dried, caked-on product makes the application clumpy and serves as a petri dish for a whole host of bacteria. So, to keep your application smooth-sailing (and your eyes germ-free), clean your mascara wand regularly! Not sure how to? Not to worry, we've got you covered there too.
You’re using expired products
Your eyes are super sensitive. As a result, anything you put on your eyes needs to be within its shelf-life to help you avoid a nasty case of styes and/or conjunctivitis.
This means that you should remember to chuck your lash serums and mascaras away after two to three months, tops. And, while we’re talking about conjunctivitis, make sure you keep track of the expiration dates of your eye makeup and treatments.
You’re using waterproof mascara every day
We all love waterproof mascara—it looks amazing, it holds a curl for longer, and it keeps your lashes full all day long. However, when it’s time to remove it, you’re bound to run into issues. What makes waterproof mascara so great is, unfortunately, the same thing that makes it quite so difficult to remove.
In the end, you’ll be tugging and pulling on your lashes, causing trauma to the root which can result in your lashes falling out or being weakened.
Here's one real solution: Keep waterproof mascara for special occasions only! If you absolutely can’t live without it, make sure you’re topping up with plenty of lash serum to keep the condition up.
You’re curling your lashes wrong
Yes, there is a wrong way to curl your lashes. For your convenience, here’s a definitive list of things to avoid when curling your lashes:
- Avoid using too much force on your lashes. You want to curl them, not rip them out. A good way to make sure you avoid having to do this is to make sure you’re using a good lash curler. Which, actually, brings us to our next point...
- Avoid using a poor-quality curler. High-quality lash curlers allow you to curl the lashes with the least amount of force.
- Avoid curling too close to the root. In fact, stay as far away from the root as you can—this may damage the hair follicles and cause breakage and fallout.
- Refrain from curling your lashes after mascara. Only curl your lashes before—first, your mascara will stick to the plate of the curler, making it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other nasties. Next, it’ll stick your lashes to the curler, tugging on the root and weakening them.
- Don’t heat your curler with a blowdryer before curling. We know it seems like a revolutionary idea, but it’s bad news. You could burn not only your lashes, weakening them and further causing breakage, but also your lids. Ouch!
- Clean your curler! If you need to know exactly how, read our guide to cleaning anything and everything on your beauty desk.
- Replace the rubber or silicon cushion on your curler. This cushion wears out over time and makes your lash curler much less gentle. Not to mention, metal on metal might just cut your lashes right off!
You’re using fake lashes wrong
While false eyelashes are pretty straightforward to use, there are a few mistakes you could be making.
Firstly, the application process is crucial. The key is to use as little glue as possible—we know, sometimes falsies can feel too fickle unless you’re slathering the glue on. However, more glue doesn’t necessarily keep them secure for longer; it just makes the whole ordeal messier.
So, instead, you want to place a very thin line of glue on the band of your lashes, wait for it to dry a little (make sure it's tacky, not wet) and then place the set on your lash line.
While you’re at it, make sure you’re not applying mascara onto the falsies—this will do nothing but cement your real lashes to the set, making it much harder to remove without damaging your lashes.
Using less glue on your falsies can benefit your lashes also means that it's gonna be that much easier for you to remove them. Removal in itself is some dicey territory: Most people tend to just pull them off in a flash. However, that’s exactly the thing you want to avoid if you’re looking to preserve your lashes and prevent premature eye wrinkles!
Instead, loosen the glue by working an oil-based cleanser (like micellar water) onto the lash. Then, gently pull the lashes off from the middle outwards.
When all is said and done, make sure you’re storing them properly (that is, if they aren’t the disposable kind). Clean all the glue off the band and any makeup residue off the hairs, then pop it back in the packaging.
You’re sharing makeup
In this pandemic? Please. Even without a pandemic sharing makeup is a big no-no. Just don’t risk it and keep your makeup to yourself.
You’re rubbing your eyes
Again—we’re in a pandemic. No touching your face (and especially not your eyes)! Apart from the potential infection awaiting, rubbing your eyes damages the follicles and weakens your lashes (much like everything else on this list).
You’re going overboard with the lash treatments
Tinting, perming and extensions all make your lashes look incredible, but make sure that you’re giving yourself at least a month’s break every other touch-up to give your lashes time to recuperate.
And, while you’re at it, condition your lashes regularly with lash serums or oils to keep them in tip-top shape.
You’re not taking care of your lash treatments the right way
If you’re wondering why your lash extensions and your lash lifts aren’t lasting as long, you might want to check your daily habits. Everything from getting them wet (a big no-no) to sleeping on them (hello, friction!) is a surefire way to reverse all your lash technician’s hard work and lose your lashes.
The good news is that all of this is avoidable—here are a few tips to keep your various lash treatments in tip-top shape:
- Invest in a silk pillowcase. This will help reduce the friction on your lashes, preventing premature wrinkles and premature fallout.
- Avoid using mascara and eyeliner on your lash extensions—you don’t need it!
- Avoid using an eyelash curler on your lash extensions, unless you’re into the unnaturally crimped look.
- Don’t get your tinted, lifted or false lashes wet in the shower. In fact, avoid water as much as you can.
- Don’t curl your lashes right after a lash lift or a lash keratin treatment. You damaged lashes will not appreciate it.
Apart from the obvious, try to keep your lash extensions clean and grime-free on the daily. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Don't use an oil-free makeup remover on your extensions. Oily cleansers will almost definitely cause the glue that holds the extensions on your face to dissolve.
- Don’t use cotton pads on your extensions. The cotton fibres will snag on your lashes—we don't need another predicament at this point.
For more beauty tips, click here.