Eyelash extension trend

FRESNO, Calif.

Celebrities are turning heads with an eye-opening look. Cosmetologists say eyelash extensions are the hottest trend in Hollywood.

Sheryl Martinez: "Kim Kardashian she's one that's very big on ... you notice her eyelashes. They are not all natural."

Now the fluttery fringe on celebrities is catching on in the valley.

Sheryl Martinez: "Go ahead and have a seat and get comfortable".

Licensed Cosmetologist, Sheryl Martinez at Thread and Sugar Salon in northeast Fresno, makes sure her clients are at ease before she starts the meticulous process of applying eyelash extensions, and 25-year-old Joelle Hopfer of Fresno can't wait to go under the tweezers.

Joelle Hopfer: "I've tried everything. I've tinted them, I've tried the falsies".

Joelle's fair coloring makes her a prime candidate for lash extensions. Her natural lashes are nearly invisible even mascara doesn't help much.

Since she also doesn't want to deal with the daily ritual of gluing on false lashes, extensions sounded like a solution.

Sheryl Martinez: "It looks very natural but it also looks very full so you don't have to use mascara."

The application process takes at least 2 hours, to glue individual synthetic lashes onto each natural lash. The glue should never touch the actual eyelid.

Since the work is done very close to the eye, Sheryl says it's important, clients look for a lash technician with training and certification.

Some women can have an allergic reaction to the glue, and have posted their pictures and stories about swollen eyes and even infections, online.

Lash technicians say it's important to let the glue dry thoroughly before exposing the extensions to steam or heat that can melt the glue before it sets.

Sheryl is certified in the process, through the Novalash Company, one of the leading makers of lash extensions.

Sheryl Martinez: "It has to be 1.5 millimeters away from your eyelid. If they're too close, that when it gets heavy. You can feel it. It bothers you. It has to be done properly."

A full set of lash extensions at Thread and Sugar and other valley salons runs $150 to $200 and can last up to eight weeks.

Since the extensions are glued onto the natural eyelash, they are also shed, along with the natural growth cycle of an eyelash.

Clients can get a "fill" when extensions are shed. Fills can run about $30-$40.

Sheryl says clients can sleep, shower and workout in their lash extensions, unlike false lashes which would likely loosen and fall off during those daily activities. Lash extensions can also cut down on makeup time.

While lash extensions can free you from at least one part of your morning makeup routine, you do need to spend some time at night on maintenance.

Lash extensions need to be conditioned with special cleaning pads and combed through, at least once a day.

Joelle likes what she sees after her lashes are applied.

Sheryl Martinez: "Oh wow, thanks Sheryl!"

She says people notice a difference, without really knowing her secret.

Joelle: "People say 'oh my gosh, your eyelashes are so beautiful' and of course, I don't tell them!"

Cosmetologists also recommend asking about the glue that's used in a salon, before getting your eyelashes done.

Look for "pharmaceutical grade" glue that's less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

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