It’s true. I’m obsessed with lashes. To me, no makeup look is complete without a good coating of mascara or some fabulous false lashes. If I’m staring at your eyes, I’m probably checking out your lashes. Yep. Sorry. It’s not you, it’s me.
I recall the first time I had even heard about lash extensions. A few years back, I was at a Fragrance Foundation event in Manhattan and Amber Katz of the awesome beauty blog Rouge18 was seated at my table. Her lashes were insane! I mean, they were full and gorgeous with just the right amount of curl. They weren’t clunky or spider-looking; they were simply magnificent. I couldn’t help myself. I leaned over and asked her, “what mascara are you wearing?” I have to admit, I was kind of embarrassed as I didn’t know her that well, but I needed to have those lashes. She replied ever so sweetly, in a quiet whisper, “they are lash extensions” WHOA!!! This is where it all began.
For the record, I am quite blessed with a full set of lashes. Most people who know me probably think I’m a wacko right now, but here’s the thing…..my lashes are as straight as can be. I curl them everyday with a lash curler, set them with mascara, and after an hour, they just fall. I have tried every mascara in the book and I am always left with stick straight lashes. I have even tried the “beauty hack” of heating my lash curler with a blow dryer, but stupid me heated it too long and actually burned my lashes right off. Yes, you read correctly. I burned my lashes off. I used lash serums to grow them back (GrandeLash MD was a lifesaver) but I was back to my super straight long lashes. Most people would be happy, but not me. I was on a quest. I wanted curled, full lashes. First world problems, I know.
Over the years, I would take notice of some fabulous lashes on friends. Most of the time they were falsies applied ever so perfectly. I began teaching myself how to apply false lashes. I watched endless YouTube videos and purchased a Table Top LED mirror with 10x magnification. False lashes became my best friend for parties and events. Sometimes they looked great, and other times not so much, but all in all, false lashes were a great solution to my straight lash ‘problem’. Recently, I ran into a friend whose lashes looked so perfect, it caused massive lash envy on my part. She kindly and excitedly told me they were extensions. They were fabulous. Clean, no glue line, and, without makeup on the face, looked absolutely divine. More and more, I began running into friends who had incredible lashes, and I started to realize that lash extensions were becoming mainstream. I’m not only talking about my makeup and beauty obsessed friends; these were regular women who realized the power of gorgeous lashes. I, too, wanted fabulous lashes everyday that made my eyes look wide and awake, and I really wanted to be done with my falsies. Was I ready to add another maintenance program to my beauty regimen? Was I prepared for the hours I would need to sit still and dedicate to my lash beautification? I was referred to different places in Manhattan, which would require a minimum of two hours of commute plus the time of the treatment, and I wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment. I needed easy…. like, “hi, it’s Jennifer. I just dropped the kids at school, can I come in now?” That’s me.
The other day while I was getting a manicure at my local day spa, I looked up and there was a poster up that they were now offering lash extensions. This had to be my lucky day, because this, in fact, would be easy! I asked the owner a few questions about the treatment and went home to obsess. I woke up the next morning and instead of going to the office, I called Salus Spa and said, “hi, it’s Jennifer! Can I come in now for lash extensions?”… “Give us ten minutes…” WOOT WOOT!! I was on my way to my dream lashes!!
I walked into one of the treatment rooms and met the technician, Casey. I explained that I didn’t want to look like a crazy person with lashes reaching my eyebrows. I just wanted some added fullness and a curl. I was kind of hoping she’d have a book of looks that I could choose from like some lash salons that I have read about, but she didn’t, only a few pictures on her phone. My biggest nightmare would be to have overly dramatic lashes and have people staring at me for all the wrong reasons. Casey assured me that the longest she would use are the 12mm, which were just slightly longer than my own. Okay, I was ready. I lay down on the heated bed, a roll pillow was placed under my knees for comfort and a soft cozy blanket placed on top of me. Relaxing spa music played in the background. I could already tell that this was going to be a treat.
The technician placed protectors that resembled Shadow Shields, under my eyes. I was all set to close my eyes for the next hour and a half and just relax. While she was working on me I asked some questions, and here’s what I found out:
- Lashes will last about 3/4 weeks. Our own lashes fall out, and when they do, so does the extension. You can go in for touch ups.
- No steam rooms or saunas. The glue will loosen. Note to self: schedule facials before lash day.
- Only use oil-free makeup remover to remove eyeliner and eyeshadow. My favorite Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover was still good to use.
- No mascara: the oils in the mascara can loosen the lashes.
- No swimming (no lashes in summer…BOOO!)
- Try not to rub your eyes.
- After a quick shower, be sure to pat dry your lashes with a soft tissue.
- The lash glue takes two days to completely set.
- Do not attempt to remove them on your own.
Here are some pictures for before, during and after, please disregard chapped lips:
Once I was finished with the painless process, she removed the protective shields and gave me a two minute head and neck massage. When I opened my eyes I felt absolutely nothing in the way of heaviness or stickiness that I sometimes feel from fake lashes. I looked up at the camera of my phone, admired my new set of lashes, smiled and snapped a selfie. I knew that I was going to be hooked. I can’t believe I had waited this long.
Would you try lash extensions? If you have any questions about the process, leave a comment below, I’d be happy to help.
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