Are Eyelash Extensions Officially Out?

Now, she prefers cluster lashes from Flutterhabit, a DIY lash company that markets themselves as the at-home substitute to salon lashes. One pair is supposed to last up to 10 days. “I usually pop them on before a date night or have something special going on. I love the way they look, and I love that I can take them off,” she says.

Options from Flutterhabit or Lashify are appealing because they don’t feel so permanent and don’t require as much of a financial investment upfront.

Celeste Rojas, the 24-year-old owner of Tipcee Mobile, a bartending service based in Reno, NV, echoes Maclay’s sentiments. She started getting extensions seven years ago after one of her coworkers raved about the service. After her first visit, she fell in love with waking up to fresh fluttering lashes without the burden of mascara or DIY falsies.

“I was a cheerleader in college,” she said, “So I loved the idea of looking ready all the time.” But now, she doesn’t think lash extensions look or feel current. “People are gravitating toward that ‘clean girl’ look instead.”

Alexandra Rabadi, owner of a medspa tools company, says she gave up on lashes because she started to feel increasingly overwhelmed with the amount of services she had to keep up with in order to achieve what she perceived as her best self. She wanted a fresh start.

“There’s only so much botox and filler and lash extensions and makeup you can put on in order to wake up in the morning and feel really good about yourself,” she says.

After quitting extensions cold turkey, Rabadi, 26, says her face looked unfamiliar to her, but over time she fell in love with her natural lashes.

“Having them removed made me look younger,” she says. It also inspired her to play with new types of makeup and experiment with her beauty routine. These days, she embraces a more barefaced look. “I definitely feel more like myself.”

Consumers aren’t the only ones feeling the change. Lash technicians have taken notice.

Taylor Mendoza, a licensed esthetician and lash technician based in Clermont, Florida, has noticed the change and has mixed feelings. “I work with a lot of mature clients who aren’t on social media, and their requests haven’t changed,” she said, “But my younger clients definitely are requesting more natural-looking sets. Everybody is in their ‘clean girl’ or ‘soft girl’ era.”

As a precaution, Mendoza has added more services like eyebrow lamination and waxing to her arsenal just in case.

Clementina Richardson, a lash technician and founder of Envious Lashes in New York City, has had a different experience.

“It depends on your clientele. It makes sense people are cutting back on lashes due to economic situations, however, I have clients that have been coming to me for 15 years and they continue to come every two weeks,” she says.

Despite what she may see on social media, Mendoza credits the shift to trends and is confident the tide will eventually turn back.

But, for women like Rojas, being able to rub her eyes has been “borderline orgasmic.”

Anneke Knot is a freelance beauty and fashion writer based in San Francisco. She is the former assistant beauty editor for Real Simple and Health Magazine. Follow her @annekeknot.

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