6 Signs of Bad Eyelash Extensions

Posted by Bridget Reed on 06 February, 2023

6 Signs of Bad Eyelash Extensions

So you’ve ventured into the world of eyelash extensions, have you? The land is vast, and the methods of travel are endless. You’re packed up and ready to embark into the sprawling country, your knapsack filled with meager belongings slung over your shoulder. The countryside has yet to be touched by your feet, and you’ve never been more excited to take your first steps.

But still, you stand, frozen to the spot, unsure why. Maybe it’s the sheer volume of mileage to overcome before you. Perhaps it’s the unknown snares and traps that lie hidden on the paths you’re sure to trod. 

Or maybe it’s simply the possibility of failure. After all, failure is what stops so many before they’ve even had the chance to try. Will you be another victim of the unknown perils of lash extensions? Or will you even attempt a go?

The last thing we want is for you never to explore the rich world of lashes for fear of failure. Consider us the wizard that presides over these lands — a magic leader that knows every potential snare, pitfall, and mistake you could make. And we’re more than happy to share our knowledge with you as long as you promise to take those first few steps. 

Whether you’re after your first pair of strip falsies, you’re itching to try your first professional visit to a lash technician, or you’re nervous about enhancing those lashes yourself at home with our Gossamer® Lashes, keep reading. Below you’ll find the ultimate field guide on how to tell beast from beauty and equip yourself to never fall victim to a bad lash job again.

Tell Tale Signs

1. Your Lashes Aren’t Lasting As Long as They’re Intended To

This is something to be wary of no matter your extensions — temporary or semi-permanent alike. However, with temporary lashes, you’re looking to keep them on for a day at most. 

Strip lashes aren’t intended for multiple-day, continuous use lest you risk bacteria and residue build-up that could lead to bigger issues with your eye health. If your temporary lashes aren't staying on an entire day, that could be an issue with the quality of your lash adhesive or the quality of the falsie. 

When it comes to the six- to eight-week lash extensions that you’re probably getting at a scheduled, professional appointment, then you want those lashes to really last you those six to eight weeks in full. 

If your lashes are beginning to pull away before their time has come, that’s a sure sign of either faulty application or excessive use of oil-based products. The oil-based thing might be something you need to have a self-intervention on, but if you aren’t using oil on those lashes at all, maybe it’s time to question the quality of the application in general.

If you’re looking for an oil-free cleanser to keep those lashes fresh or clean your skin without worrying about getting too close to your lash line, we recommend our Pre-Cleanse Cleansing Water.

2. You Can’t Brush Through Your Lashes With Ease

If your application has gone awry, upkeep is going to be tough. Just be aware of this, because the longer you wear them, the more you could blame the difficulty of cleaning them on your poor upkeep habits. 

Take a spoolie or lash comb like our Precision Lash Comb and brush it through your extensions, from root to tip, and see how you fare. If the brush glides smoothly through every lash fiber, that’s a thumbs-up experience. If it snags and pulls on unwanted clumps and clusters, that’s a no-go for us. The wizard has spoken, and you need a new lash tech ASAP.

This won’t ring as true for strip lashes since you most likely won’t be brushing through temporary lashes. Their single-day use usually absolves them of that necessity. But with longer-wear lashes, this is a must, must, must to make sure you’re getting the best experience possible.

3. Your Eyes Are Experiencing Irritation

This one should be a dead giveaway that something’s gone wrong. If you’re going to a lash tech or even applying lashes at home, and a few days after application, your eyes start to experience continuous burning, itching, or even swelling, remove those lashes stat. 

Proper lash extensions should feel like just that — an extension of your natural lashes. They shouldn’t feel heavy or irritating to your eyes. 

And we aren’t talking about a normal adjustment period if you’re a first-time wearer — lashes will take some getting used to. We’re talking about severely present discomfort. 

Issues like blepharitis can be caused by improper lash care but could be worsened by improper lash application. We’re sure you’ll be able to tell if something doesn’t feel right because it will really not feel right.

4. The Lash Mapping Is Uneven or Irregular or All the Lashes Are One Length

Lash mapping is what makes the difference between a pleasant and professional experience and a mediocre one. Lash mapping, in short, is the “map” of where to place varying lengths of lash fibers to mimic the natural lashes more dramatically. The inner corners of the eyes tend to have shorter lash lengths, whereas the outer corners tend to flare in length and direction. 

If a lash tech is applying them correctly, or if you’re attempting it at home, then the lash map will be the bible by which one works. Special bundles like our Classic Diva Gossamer® Bundle come with specified lash maps for easy and stress-free application at home.

If you’re coming away from your lash application with uneven or irregular lash lengths or — god forbid — lashes that are all one length, that’s a major red flag that your application was less than desirable. 

5. The Application Process Leaves You Uncomfortable or in Pain

We already talked about the few days following the application and the discomfort you shouldn’t be feeling, but you should also look out for discomfort or pain during the application process. The last thing you should feel is uncomfy as those lashes bond to your natural lash line. 

If you feel or experience any of the following, abandon the process and readjust your gameplan before continuing: 

  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Swelling
  • Pulling or painful tugging of your natural lashes
  • An allergic reaction of any kind

6. Your Lashes Are “Crunchy”

This is kind of a weird one, but important nonetheless. It goes along with what we mentioned above about being able to brush through your lashes right after application. To do this, your lashes need to be pliable and soft. If they aren’t, that’s a problem.

If your fresh lashes feel “crunchy” or “crusty” to the touch right after putting them on, that’s a red flag. There’s something seriously wrong with the quality of the fibers or the application as a whole if that’s the result, and you shouldn’t wait to tell your lash tech your concerns if they applied them or redo them yourself if you did. Only accept the best for yourself.

Do Better Than Bad

To leave you with more than the potential pitfalls, we’ll list the green flags you want in your lash extension experience every time:

  • Soft and pliable lashes. You want to be able to brush and upkeep them from their best possible quality after application, or you’re off on the wrong foot.
  • Proper lash mapping. Make sure your final result mimics the look of the natural lashes, only elevated. Don’t settle for mediocre or cheap-looking lash mapping.
  • A comfortable experience from beginning to end. If you feel discomfort or pain at any step of the process, something is wrong. Talk to your lash tech beforehand to make sure everyone is on the same page about what your process will look and feel like, and if it starts deviating from that path, speak up. And if you’re applying lashes yourself, make sure you have that personal standard set before undertaking the task.

All these green flags will be easy to come by when you use our Control Kit®, which contains all the tools you need for a perfect lash application, plus some stunning Gossamer® lashes.

Just the Beginning

Just like that, you’ve traveled out of the woods, across expansive plains, through sprawling cities, and wound up in the throne room of the castle. 

You’ve learned all that you need to know along the way and avoided many traps and precarious situations because of the words you heeded before embarking. We couldn’t be prouder of all you accomplished on your journey, and we’re happy to know that you’ll be confident from the get-go of the next leg.

Your lash journey is far from over, bestie, but with each step forward, you learn, grow, and improve on all fronts, and you’ll come out the other side that much better for it. We wish you well on whatever is in store for you next. If you ever need a few reminders to keep you from the dark side of the path, just open up this field guide of friendly advice and take refuge in the knowledge we provide. 

We’re rooting for you, young lash-hopper. 


Eyelash Extensions: Are They Safe? | WebMD

What Is Blepharitis? | American Academy of Ophthalmology

How to Get Super Glue off Your Skin | Cleveland Clinic 

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