Tutorial Video: everyday curls to easy formal hairstyle (& review on eyelash extensions)

For today’s post I wanted to share an updated hair curling tutorial, and also answer some of your questions on eyelash extensions (scroll down below)! After experimenting quite a bit with hair curling over the years, this video shows my current routine for my everyday hair. And for special occasions, I’ve been too lazy for updos lately so usually just secure curled hair off to the side and add some “poof” up top. What I forgot to mention in the video is that as an alternative look after bobby-pinning the top poof, you can twist all the curled hair into a low side bun and secure with spin pins to get the simple look I wore here – I like that one to show off garments with special back detailing.
ceramic remington hair curling iron tools
I’m using a clamp-less ceramic curling wand (I have the bigger 1 to 1.5″ one) because I can’t seem to work clamps without leaving crimps in my hair. However, it’s a little easier to burn yourself with clamp-less since one hand gets close to the hot barrel (beginners, please be careful and take your time!). Amongst the sea of iron choices, I find that ceramic barrels make a difference and leave my hair visibly shinier than when using metal barrels. I got my very affordable one after reading tons of positive reviews, and have been pretty happy with it thus far!

I use a 400 degree heat setting for my thick hair, but definitely recommend starting out lower, especially if you have fine hair. I usually use drugstore shampoo + conditioner but do splurge on repair / conditioning treatments like this Shu Uemura one, because I feel like I put my hair through so much with regular high heat styling.
beginners wavy hair curling tutorial
Onto the fun topic of lash extensions…after seeing them so often on others (usually identified by gorgeous lashes that look a little too natural too be falsies but a little too striking to be natural), I finally decided to try them out earlier this year. The biggest factor holding me back over the past few years was the fear that they’d damage my real lashes. They also cost a pretty penny – most places I researched in Boston started at $200 to 250+ for an initial full set, with refills at $80-100 every 2-3 weeks. However, I value every minute of sleep in the mornings and it takes me ages to do my lashes, so the convenience and effort saved for me is worth it. It could also be a good option scheduled strategically before a slew of special events, parties, or for a wedding. I’ve gotten several questions about my “falsies” lately, so figured I’d share some more thoughts on the process!

Before (top) & After (bottom) lash extensions

eyelash extensions befor after lash l'amour boston
Some of my lessons learned in the process:
– The state of your natural lashes will largely dictate how full your extensions can look, since extensions can only be attached to existing lashes. They don’t have the same drama as falsies on me, but achieve a look that regular curling and mascara could never get to on my natural lashes. It feels amazing being able to roll out of bed and apply minimal makeup before leaving the house.

– I found this article to be very helpful about the different curvatures, lengths, and widths of lash extensions. My first visit, I didn’t know what to ask for so requested shorter extensions (pictured above) but I started getting them a tad longer on the outer half. The biggest difference for me is in the profile view, which I unfortunately don’t have a comparison pic of. My natural lashes are stick-straight, short and downward pointing, whereas the extensions are perpetually in an upward curl which look nice from the side.

– Most of the cost is for your technician’s time and likely not the lashes themselves. The process is pretty painstaking with 1 extension being adhered to each individual lash. If you get the newer “volume” or Russian-style lashes (lighter and fluffier), they can supposedly apply three or more to 1 lash which will look fuller but take more time & cost. My first full set took about 2 hours and refills are about an hour.

– They’re probably not worth getting if you like to regularly take steamy hot showers (may loosen the adhesive) or sleep with your face buried in a pillow. Many a days I’ve woken up face-down and mourned some smooshed lashes.

– As your natural lashes grow, the extensions will grow with them and get a little longer in the weeks after being applied. When applied right, they should feel just like your natural lashes and not be painful or heavy.

– Lash appointments are the perfect excuse to unwind in the middle of a busy day because your eyes have to stay shut ; ) I used to doze off, jerky leg twitch and all, and embarassingly pretend like I was “stretching.” Now I just give in, bid my technician goodnight and enjoy the powernap!

For Boston-area ladies, I’ve been going to Lash L’Amour on Newbury & in Newton after doing lots of research and Yelp reading. I’ve been very happy with their service and clean facilities so far. Their prices -albeit not low- are on the lower end of several places I looked into nearby, and a little bonus is they have a free touchup service 1 week after any full set if you want adjustments to be made. They also have a refer-a-friend program, so you can tell them I referred you to get 25% off a first set (I’ll get a discount as well on my next appt).

To be honest, I’m still not certain about whether extensions are damaging to natural lashes. I agree with the article above that it likely depends a lot on the care and finesse with which extensions are applied and glued on, not to mention your own maintenance of them. I personally love how they look and the convenience, but am currently taking a break from more refills just to let my natural lashes rest a while before starting up again.

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  1. great video thankyou so much for posting this tutorial ! very helpful x

    Posted 9.25.16 Reply
  2. Serena Liu wrote:

    Hi Jean! Thanks so much for posting this tutorial. I know you mentioned in this post that you use Shu Uemura heat protectant in your hair. Do you have any suggestions for heat protectants that work well on coarse asian hair (that simultaneously has annoying fly aways) but is more budget friendly for a grad student? Ie tresemme or aussie? Thanks so much!

    Posted 3.22.16 Reply
  3. Mao Lee wrote:

    I've got to try this! It looks simple yet elegant. Thanks for sharing and please do more videos!

    Posted 12.4.15 Reply
  4. IT Girl wrote:

    Great video!! I've been wondering about your beautiful curls and wondering whether I should get a digital perm. Thnx for sharing your affordable curling wand! Love your blog 🙂

    Posted 12.3.15 Reply
  5. Nice post. Thanks for all tips.

    ♥ Nissi

    Posted 12.3.15 Reply
  6. Trang Do wrote:

    Its beautiful! Love the video!
    Kisses and hugs from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    Posted 12.3.15 Reply
  7. Kathy :) wrote:

    As always Jean, very informative and succinct. I always appreciate that honesty. Looking forward to your next post/video 🙂

    Posted 12.3.15 Reply
  8. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! Could you please also comment on the frequency you would recommend for washing regularly high heated styled hair? I started to experience minor hair loss, whether due to heat or shampooing. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  9. You have such a nice hair that it would look good no matter what. I love Asian hair, so thick and heavy :), I'm jealous, my hair is so thin.

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    Jean, you are my favorite blogger and you will always be . Thank you for sharing these tips. I actually laugh so much when you talk about your leg twitching and the false lash fell off.. you are so funny. Please never stop blogging ! you are supper amazing !

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! It's like you read my mind. I was just watching your previous hair curling the other day and was hoping you would do an updated one. I always look forward to your blog posts and videos! Love your lash extensions but I am also afraid that it damages the natural lashes as well, please do an update on your lashes. Thanks in advanced! – Your long time fan from NYC

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  12. Linna wrote:

    Love the tutorial on both the hair curling and the lash extensions!!

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  13. Jean, everything you do is awesome! Don't change a thing! FYI I purchased the BlankNYC jacket and received yesterday. I love it! http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/blanknyc-faux-leather-jacket/3485962
    THANK YOU so much for doing all the work for us petites. I've been looking for a leather (or vegan) jacket that fit my very petite frame for years. I would've never looked at this jacket until you modeled and reviewed.

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  14. Caroline wrote:

    I have the smaller version of that iron, which I use for touching up my natural curls, and it's great. My hair's very dry so I'm wary of heat styling, but it doesn't seem to cause damage even when I use the highest temperature setting.

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  15. Anonymous wrote:

    Hi Jean! Wondering if you would ever consider Eyelash Perms and do a post on them? I'm considering the perm over extensions (never tried either of them) to get the most natural looking enhancement. Would love to have your opinion on them! I've also been reading your blog for years and really appreciate all the time, effort, and care you put into your posts. You really stand out from other blogs with the amount of research and information you put into your posts! Not to mention, you are gorgeous! 🙂

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  16. Mei Liang wrote:

    Very pretty hair 🙂 I've been heavily relying on a multi-purpose mini curler and straightener and It's been great for traveling without the bulk! Thanks for the details on your eyelash extensions, I've been thinking of getting them for a long time now.


    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  17. Nicole wrote:

    Hi Jean, Great post! just a quick question- what kind of lashes (material wise) did you get? Sorry if I missed that in the article…

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  18. I LOVE your blog. You always include every single detail on everything you post about. You always inform us any petite friendly sale, and goodies finds. Your size fitting info is also super helpful, which allows me to be able to shop on internet, since I live in a small town even without Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, etc.. Love your hair and eyelash tutorials. Include so many details. Just want to leave comment to let you know how awesome you are. We, petite ladies (I am also Asian, Taiwanese, to be specific), really appreciate your blog!! Also, you are so pretty, and I have always been enjoying reading your blog for many years. Sorry, that I never left comment before. 🙂 Will try to do more often in the future!

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  19. Hi Jean! Which curl did you get for your lash extensions? I have stick straight lashes too.

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  20. mybeautrip wrote:

    Thanks for this tutorial. Your hair is lovely!

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  21. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the tutorial! I appreciate any and all tips for techniques and tools for Asian hair–most traditional hairstyles don't work on my long, slippery hair (like wrapping hair into a bun and securing with one scrunchie…forget it). I'd love to try this this weekend!

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  22. Frances wrote:

    Yay! You did the research for a curling wand for me!!! Can't tell you how grateful I am! And HUGE bonus that it is so affordable – I am beyond excited! I've looked at the $100+ ones so many times and couldn't do it. Thanks for the tutorial and for the great info! As for the lashes – I just ordered cheap fakes thru Amazon and tried last night. My lashes are stick straight too so I have same issue – can't say I will battle with glue every morning but excited to try the new look. Thanks Jean! You're awesome!

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  23. Marie C wrote:

    Thanks so much! I've been hoping for a hair tutorial :). Love your curls.

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  24. Lucy Lai wrote:

    Love the tutorial! <3

    MISS LUCIA | Fashion & Lifestyle

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  25. Sasa Zoe wrote:

    Love your hair! Great tutorial:)

    Shall We Sasa

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  26. Lana wrote:

    Dear Jean,

    Although I haven't commented before now, I just wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blog for a number of months and I really appreciate all of the wonderful advice you give to your readers. I'm looking forward to reading for many more months (and hopefully years) to come. Happy holidays!


    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  27. Great tutorial!! Your hair looks great 🙂


    Posted 12.2.15 Reply
  28. Thanks for sharing this helpful tutorial! You look amazing. Hopefully the result with my hair will be at least a bit as beautiful:)
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    Posted 12.2.15 Reply

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