Want Eyelash Extensions? Try these Budget Alternatives Instead

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There’s always some beauty craze that sounds insane — until you see the results. Cue eyelash extensions, another beautifully over-the-top service spawned from the full-glam makeup trend.

Eyelash extensions guarantee your eyes pop in photos (and real life) giving you gorgeous, fluttering lashes day-in and day-out. It’s part of many a Kardashian and celebrity beauty regime, ensuring even your most makeup-free selfies still have that “I woke up like this” glamour. And if that isn’t enough, eyelash extensions cut down on an already lengthy amount of time you’re sitting in the makeup chair, and leave you with lashes that are always on-point and camera-ready, even if the rest of the face isn’t.

Woman brown eye with extremely long eyelashes

The Cost of Eyelash Extensions

I don’t think there’s a woman out there who doesn’t like the sound of full, fluffy lashes. But the price tag that comes with the lash extensions to get you there? That’s something we could all do without. Even if you can part with the initial fees (budget $150-300), there’s the cost and time of filling them ($75) — they’re like fake nails! Add it up and you’re looking at quite a pretty penny for just one small portion of your beauty routine.

The convenience factor might be there. But only if you can get them done while you’re getting your hair, your tan or even a facial done. It all depends on the salon or technician you choose.

So maybe the stars are all doing lash extensions to bring their vampy eyes to life, the rest of us like to look for a few more cost-effective means to achieving the same look. Maybe you’re wary of serious adhesive going that close to your eye. Or maybe you just can’t stomach the luxury expense. Either way, there are plenty of other ways to mimic extensions. Peep the affordable alternatives below.

Lash Singles

fake eyelashes in case on white background

MAC 30 Lash, $17 Nordstrom

You can get the one-time wispy sets to add lashes and length where you need them most from good old Ardell, or you can go a little higher end and invest in some reusable options. MAC offers sets that give you multiple wears for far less than the cost of an extension fill.

Fiber Mascara

black containers of fiber mascara

Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes, $29, Younique

As easy as sweeping your lashes, fiber mascara plumps up the volume an length of your natural lashes in this daily use option. Tiny fibers cling to the real thing for buildable looks that are customizable to your preference each day. More expensive than your standard mascara, but about the same price as a department store brand, this option adds absolutely zero steps to your regular routine.

Growth Serum

mascara container and applicator

Shiseido Full Lash & Brow Serum, $35, Sephora

Lastly, you can always go back to the root of the problem — sparse lashes or ones that just seem to have stopped growing. Products like Latisse work over time to give you the results you want. This might be a bigger initial investment than the previous two options above, comparably, this one is the only option with actual lasting results.