posted in Life & Home
I was driving through a local strip mall yesterday and noticed not one, but TWO, new “lash bars”. They are the thing in my neck of the woods, and for good reason because the results really are stunning. So many of my mom friends have started turning up to playdates with the most beautiful lashes. They are long, thick and pretty natural looking.
I can spot those moms in an instant because I used to be one of them.
I rode the very early wave of this trend almost two years ago. At the time, there were only a few technicians in my town that did eyelash extensions. If you haven’t heard of lash extensions, they’re individual lashes that are individually glued to your own lashes to create a customized, full set. When done right, they are gorgeous. I was immediately enamored after my sister got them, and jumped on the bandwagon. I can’t lie, I loved they way they looked. I loved the way they made me feel. They were an instant eye-brightener and I never even had to wear eye make-up. Sounds perfect, right?
Except all the lash love came at a price. I rode the wave for about six months, then ultimately decided I had to give it up. Here’s why:
1. Time. I had to go in every 2-3 weeks for “fills”. Each session was around an hour. That alone was almost a dealbreaker for me, because no mom has that kind of “free time”. But the hardest part was that my technician was so booked, my one-hour sessions were never at a convenient time. I knew it wasn’t for me when I found myself searching for a babysitter at 9am on a Tuesday, because it was the only time she could get me in.
2. Money. Holy smokes are these things expensive. I had a coupon for my first session, so the total for the full set was around $180. But each subsequent “fill” was another $80 by the time I included a tip. Ouch.
3. Comfort. When I had researched extensions, the actual process of applying them was described like this:
“Really—it’s enjoyable. You lie down in a bed and close your eyes for an hour and a half while calming music plays in the background and a technician attaches little feathery nothings to your lashes. It’s the most socially acceptable naptime a working adult could ask for”
Huh? For me, my back hurt because I had to be super still, and there was lots of tugging and pressure around my eyes. Also my eyes watered. It was not naptime.
4. Products. Of course there are entire lines of products made specifically for these lashes. You can’t use regular eye make-up remover because it’s too harsh. So you need the $40 bottle of “extension-friendly” remover to remove any eye make-up you wear. There’s also plenty of eye creams and even eye make-up specially formulated for these lashes that all technicians recommend.
5. Showering and swimming. For some reason, both of these wreaked havoc on my lashes. Really, getting them wet at all was problematic — I noticed way more fallout when they got wet. This is not the way it’s supposed to be, but I noticed it consistently. Since I swim a lot in the summer and, well, everyone needs to shower, this was a bummer.
6. Sleeping. I am, apparently, a “side face” sleeper. Meaning I sleep on my side and nuzzle my face into a pillow. This is terrible for the lashes, and my technician really advised me to try to sleep on my back. I tried so hard. But my brain was not listening to my lashes. I think extensions are best for gals who can keep their face out of the pillow.
7. Wait? Where are my REAL lashes? And the final reason, I’ll never do them again? When I had finally had enough and decided not to keep maintaining the lashes (i.e., I let them fall out) I realized my natural lashes were, like, gone. They were thinner, shorter and just all-around almost invisible. It has taken me almost 18 months for them to grow back, and they’re still not as thick as they once were. Boo.
Have you tried lash extensions? What did you think?
(Image 1 from Lina Smith via Flickr Creative Commons)
(Image 2 from hannahbananalangy via Flickr Creative Commons)