I Tried it: Lash Extensions at Pinup Studio

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Have you ever tried lash extensions? I’ve had friends and coworkers try them over the past few years and have coveted their long and beautiful eyelashes. But for some reason when it came to trying it, I always psyched myself out. So when Christina Taylor with Pinup Studio offered to walk me through the process, I headed over to North Raleigh to finally see what it was all about.

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Christina Taylor, owner of Pinup Studio in North Raleigh.

Christina, a Raleigh native, opened Pinup Studio in 2014. Her studio, located not far from Sutton Square, offers hair cutting, coloring, and styling services, in addition to lash extensions and lifts. It was inspiring to hear Christina talk about building her business. Opening her own studio was a goal she and her late father had talked about since she was in cosmetology school more than seven years ago. For her first two years, she ran the studio and worked a second job in order to make her dream a reality. This year her hard work has paid off, with a clientele that has more than doubled requiring her to bring on additional staff. 

Once you meet Christina, you quickly understand why she’s been successful. She is the kind of person who immediately makes you feel comfortable. She is warm and laidback, and was open to answering all of my crazy newbie questions.

The Process

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The lash studio

Christina’s space is broken up into a hair studio and a lash studio. The lash studio is a cozy room that’s the perfect size for a one on one client experience. When I got there, Christina and I talked about what kind of look I wanted. We settled on a pretty natural look but with enough length that I’d be able to see the impact. She then had me recline all the way back in a comfy armchair and gently taped down my bottom lashes with a gel pad. This prevents the bottom lashes from getting stuck to the top ones when the extensions are glued on.

It takes between 1.5-2 hours to do a full set. I was nervous that lying still with my eyes closed for that long was going to drive me bonkers. I had a podcast and music lined up to keep me entertained, but surprisingly ended up just lying there relaxing and chatting with Christina. It also helped that Christina only does one eye at a time, so I could peek one eye open if needed. 

The results


Here is a “before” and “after” picture. I’m wearing zero makeup in both photos, so the only difference between the two is my eyelashes and the angle because I’m reclined back in the “after” photo. What do you think?

FullSizeRender (6)

How crazy is this close-up “before” and “after” of my eyes? I’ve always thought that those dramatic before and afters were “augmented” to make the results look better than they actually were. I can promise you that there is no funny business here. 

For the rest of the day, I seriously couldn’t stop checking myself out. I felt beautiful and confident, like a total boss lady. I’ve had the extensions on for a week now and it’s been amazing being able to wake-up and look put together. Of course, I can’t yet speak to long-term maintenance and the experience as they start to thin out over the next few weeks. Let me know in the comments if it would be helpful to do a follow-up post. 

Christina has a strong clientele of moms who get their lashes filled every two to three weeks, which is the recommended frequency. It can take between 30-60 minutes to get your lashes filled in to replace those that have fallen out. While this may seem like a time commitment, apparently a lot of women get this service done so they don’t need to wear very heavy makeup every day. Which is kind of like being high maintenance in order to be low maintenance, if that makes sense.  

Interested in learning more? 

Here are Christina’s responses to some lash extension FAQs:

  • What material are your lashes made of?  They are synthetic mink. We use all Sugarlash products.
  • Is all eyelash glue the same? No, there are lots of different adhesives out there. We use a medical grade adhesive that is latex free. 
  • Why do people say that lash extension caused their natural lashes to fall out? Individual lash extensions shouldn’t cause your natural lashes to fall out with any more frequency than their regular cycle. Everyone loses anywhere from 2-5 lashes a day. The extensions are applied to each single lash which allows them to simply fall off naturally. Where you have to be careful is that businesses often say they’re doing individual extension, but then use clusters of false lashes instead. In this case, extensions are applied to multiple natural lashes at once, gluing all of them down and causing stress and damage on the natural lashes.
  • How can I evaluate a lash extension business or technician? It is important to make sure any lash tech you go to is trained and certified in individual lash extensions. It is also a law in North Carolina that anyone performing lash extensions must also be a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician. Don’t be shy about asking about their qualifications. You need to know who you are working with.
  • Why do women say it’s so addicting? Try it and find out for yourself! 


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