What goes on must come off, even when it comes to your lash extensions. Though getting them applied is simple enough that you could probably do it in your sleep (we’re not judging), removing them takes a little more time and effort—but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Read on for the step-by-step on how to remove eyelash extensions at home.
What are Eyelash Extensions?
Eyelash extensions are strands of hair, either synthetic hair, real hair or animal hair, that are glued to your natural lashes to give the appearance of longer, fuller lashes. Individual eyelash extensions come in various colours, lengths, and thicknesses, so you can customise your look as desired.
What are they made of?
Most eyelash extensions are made from synthetic fibres such as nylon or polyester. However, the most popular type is mink lash extensions, made from real mink fur.
Mink eyelashes have taken the catwalk by storm recently, with models and celebrities sporting the luxe look. However, due to their high price tag and the ethical concerns surrounding the treatment of animals, many people are opting for synthetic alternatives.
Which eyelash extensions are available for home application?
Two main eyelash extensions are available for home application: temporary and permanent. Temporary lash extensions are applied with a temporary adhesive and typically last for one day to one week. Permanent lash extensions are applied with a permanent adhesive and can last for several weeks to months.
Eyelash extensions are often synthetic fibres bonded to your natural lashes with adhesive. They come in various colours, thicknesses, lengths, and curl types, so you can customise your look to be as dramatic or natural as you want.
You can also choose between classic lashes, applied one by one to each lash, or volume lashes, which are multiple lighter lashes applied to each individual lash to create a fuller look.
Several types of adhesives are used to apply lash extensions, but the most common is cyanoacrylate, which is also used in medical adhesive bandages and surgical glues. This type of adhesive is extreme and can be difficult to remove without the help of a professional.
Suppose you’re not ready to commit to the long-term effects of lash extensions and would prefer a more temporary solution. In that case, false eyelashes are glued on with less permanent adhesives and can be easily removed at home.
Whatever your lash situation, if you want to know how to remove eyelash extensions or falsies, just follow these simple steps.
How to Remove Eyelash Extensions at Home
- Steam your face, either by having a bath or shower—steaming your face opens pores and starts the process of loosening your lashes.
- Use an oil-based or specialist lash glue remover to break down the adhesive bond holding the lashes. We recommend using a cotton bud or reusable pads soaked in the remover rather than directly applying it to your skin, which can be irritating.
- Gently rub the soaked cotton swab along your lash line until the lashes start to loosen and fall off. You can also use a clean mascara wand to brush off the loosened lashes.
- If necessary, repeat steps 1 and 2 until all lashes are removed.
- Once the lashes have been removed, wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove residual adhesive or remover.
- Apply a soothing eye cream or gel to hydrate the skin around your eyes.
- Give your eyelids a rest from makeup for the next 24 hours to allow the skin time to heal and recover.
Things you shouldn't do when removing your individual lashes
- Never pick or pull at your lashes. Pulling out your false individual lashes can damage your natural lashes and cause them to fall out prematurely.
- Don't use acetone, nail polish remover, or other harsh chemicals to remove your lash extensions—this will damage your natural eyelashes and your extensions and possibly burn your skin.
- Don't try to remove your lash extensions on your own if they were applied by a professional. Lash technicians are trained to remove lash extensions safely, so it's best to leave it to the experts.
- Do nothing. If you don't remove your lash extensions, they will eventually fall out on their own, which could damage your natural lashes.
- Don't panic if a few natural lashes come out with the extensions—this is normal and usually happens because the adhesive wasn't applied correctly, or the lash wasn't properly adhered to your natural lash. Just remove the remaining lashes and try again next time.
What eyelash extensions are available for home application?
Luckily, home-applicated lashes are getting better and easier to use. You can find good quality options online here. Just read the reviews before buying to avoid any surprises.
Some of our favourites are:
- Ardell Professional C
- Ardell Duralash Double Up Soft Touch
- Salon System Individual Lashes (mink Style)
- Lilly Lashes Barely Flare
- Eylure Pro-Lash Individual
Things you need to remove your lashes easily
Here are a few suggestions for our favourite professional remover:
- Eyelash Emporium Re-Edit (whipped) Adhesive remover
- Marvel Lash Remover (does what it says on the bottle, but no superheroes are involved)
Eyelash Emporium also makes a fabulous kit called ‘Off Camera Lash Cleanse Set’. The set comes with a bottle of lash foaming cleanser and a lash cleaning brush — ideal for pre-treatment preparation and aftercare.
If you decide to take a break from your eyelash extension, here are the alternatives suggestions (although some are not so many suggestions, as a mickey take, a bit of fun).
- Mascara will give your lashes some extra oomph, but won't add any length or volume.
- Lash primers are designed to help your mascara adhere to your lashes and can also help it last longer. They can also help make your lashes appear thicker and longer.
- Strip lashes are the easiest way to get long, luscious lashes without any commitment. They come in various styles, so you can choose the look you want. Just apply them carefully, so you don't damage your natural lashes.
- Magnetic lashes are a newer type of false lash that uses tiny magnets to adhere to your natural lashes.
- Pre Glued lashes are an option if you want to avoid the mess of lash glue. They come in various styles and can be easily removed at bedtime. Make sure to choose a good quality brand to avoid embarrassing mid-party drop-offs.
- Sunglasses, if all else fails, you can hide behind a pair of sunglasses until your lashes grow back. Celebrities wear them because they look cool when they’re avoiding makeup. So, if you are in a pinch, just throw on a pair of shades and call it a day.
- A hat, another way to avoid replacing your lashes and makeup, is to wear a hat. Make sure it's a big hat with a wide brim to cover your entire face. This way, no one will be able to recognise you.
Combine the hat with a scarf and sunglasses and remain incognito until you get back into your lash swing again. To be sure, we recommend that you don't wear your pyjamas to the supermarket. That's a surefire no-lash day giveaway, and people will point at you.