You scheduled the appointment, sat through the delicate process, and paid the bill for those gorgeous, full lash extensions … now you want to keep them for as long as possible!

Here are the 3 main ways to ensure that your lash extensions remain healthy, bouncy, and beautiful for weeks on end.

1. Use only water-based products.

In other words, avoid all oil-based and glycerin-based products. This goes for makeup, creams, serums, makeup remover, and everything else.

Water-based products, on the other hand, are okay.

Your lash extensions are susceptible to oil breaking down their bonds, but they are essentially waterproof. Of course, at first, you won’t want to get your extensions wet. But this is only at first.

Later, you can certainly use water and water-based products with your lashes. We highly recommend Dermalogica’s cleansers when cleaning your lashes as they are water-based and work phenomenally well.

2. Clean them regularly.

Speaking of cleansers … as with your regular lashes, your extensions need to be cleaned regularly. This not only maintains their appearance and keeps them from falling out, but it also keeps your eyes and eye area healthy and problem-free.

All of your makeup (particularly, your eye makeup) should come off at the end of the day. It is the buildup of excess eye makeup near your extensions that will ultimately cause problems.

To clean your lash extensions properly at the end of the day:

– Never use oil- or glycerin-based cleaning products. Again, we recommend Dermalogica’s cleaners.

– Never use cotton balls or cotton pads (the little fibers can catch your extensions and pull them out). Use a clean spoolie or your fingers instead.

– Be extremely gentle. You should never rub your eye area in general, but you should definitely never rub your eye area when you have extensions in.

– Again, remove everything. This isn’t the time for a “quick swipe and done.” Be diligent and careful to remove all makeup.

3. Don’t use just any eye makeup.

Many lash professionals actually recommend avoiding eye makeup altogether. Lash extensions add a tremendous amount of glam and femininity to your look, so first of all, extra makeup is often unnecessary. Furthermore, certain types of liner and mascara may damage your lashes and be difficult to remove.

Generally, we recommend avoiding mascara (you already have lovely long lashes, girl!). If you do want to use eyeliner, however, be sure it’s oil-free and safe for extensions. The best liner we’ve found for extensions is the  MUD cake eyeliner, available at the New York Institute of Beauty, a MUD Partner School.

It cannot be stressed enough how important lash extension care and maintenance is. Remember that not taking care of your lash extensions will not only cause them to fall out, but it can also result in eye irritation and other problems such as inflammation, redness, and itchiness.

Proper care starts with following the advice found above and visiting your trained professional regularly for refills and touch-ups. Both Dermalogica and MUD products for proper lash extensions care can be found at the New York Institute of Beauty, a Dermalogica and MUD Partner School.