The truth is that I’ve never been great about applying eye makeup. Sure, I’ve been instructed by numerous cosmetic counters and purchased way too many shadow colors that collect dust in my makeup drawer. A friend of mine got lash extensions and recommended I let Verlee Gumban at Lash Luxe in Encinitas work her magic on my scrawny lashes.

Keep in mind that you can choose between natural-looking lash extensions or go with a dramatic, bold look. I choose natural (before and after shown above) and I’m hooked. I like to be in the zone where people just think I have naturally long lashes and take care of them well.

Why Get Lash Extensions?

Lash Extensions AppliedThere are a lot of reasons, actually:

  • You have a trip coming up and don’t want to worry about applying eye makeup. Like a week in Hawaii on the beach. Yep, you can swim away with lashes on!
  • A special occasion creates the needs for a very dramatic look–big, bold lash extensions are way better/easier than chunky mascara and lash strips.
  • Mascara is a nightmare for you. Waterproof or not, mine always runs. Always. I hate looking like a raccoon.
  • Day-to-day convenience. It’s nice, as a mom, to more or less wake up and go. I’ve seen myself without makeup and lashes. Trust me, it’s better without makeup and with lashes.
  • It’s a confidence builder. When you look better, you feel better.
  • They’re safe. I wear contacts and they do not irritate my eyes.

Here I am after a long road trip and swimming underwater in a pool with a 5-year-old (zero makeup except for lip gloss). I have bags under my eyes, but without lashes they look much worse, trust me.

Lashes post swimming

What Are Lash Extensions?

Verlee applies ultra-lightweight, sterilized faux mink lashes, one by one, to your natural lashes. She uses the patented Dinh method, developed by Beverly Hills elite lash pioneer, Daniel Dinh (read more about him in Vanity Fair). You have to go to someone who knows what they are doing and uses a tried and true technique. Now that I have lashes, I’ve heard plenty of lash application horror stories revolving around buying daily deals from inexperienced people trying to find clients.

I zen out like this for about an hour during my fills.

Lash Extensions Lash LuxeIn case you’re wondering, lashes fall out every 60-90 days. When your lash falls out, so will the extension attached to it.

I don’t feel the lash extensions at all. You’d think they’d add extra weight, and they must, but I don’t feel it.

Lash Extension Care And Maintenance

With lash extensions, you can bathe, swim, exercise and live an active life. Just wait 2 hours after application before getting them wet.


  • Wear mascara. Ok, if you can’t break the habit, make sure it’s water-based and accept the fact that you will need fills more frequently.
  • Rub your face with a towel after washing it or showering. This was slightly difficult habit to break (I kept forgetting), but you’ll get used to it. Dab around your eyes, instead.


  • Brush your lashes with a lash brush. I am lazy and forget to do this. They will look better.
  • Be good about getting them filled. After a hectic few months of not getting them filled (and not really noticing), I took a good look at my eyes and let’s just say they looked scraggly.

Got Nice Natural Lashes? Consider A Lash Lift

Ditch the lash curler. Lash lifts are an eyelash procedure that lifts natural lashes. The procedure takes just an hour and lasts up to 2 month. Ask Verlee about it.

Thoughts And Cost

I haven’t run into anyone with good lashes who hasn’t raved about them. Most people, like me, can’t believe they lived this long without them because they are just that convenient. Also, I wear contacts and the lashes don’t irritate them at all.

59676a92f7d25256ba51cd95418867bdLash extensions at Lash Luxe cost $225 for your initial set and $65 if you fill them within 3 weeks or $95 if you fill them after 4 weeks. I can go 4-5 weeks between fills so the cost is more or less the same either way. View the full range of services at Lash Luxe. I rarely leave La Jolla for much of anything, but I will trek up to Encinitas to see Verlee. She’s located in Sola Salons on El Camino Real, near Encinitas Blvd.

Not only is Verlee a master of lashes, she’s stylish and fun to talk to. I mean, look at how cute her studio is!

Lash Luxe
285 N. El Camino Real
Encinitas, Ca 92024

(858) 733-0503

Love your lashes? Do share.

*Thanks Verlee for the initial lash set! I’ve been going back on my own dime ever since.

Katie Dillon headshot

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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