Do you dream of having long, lush lashes? Discover how eyelash extensions can boost your look.
Every girl shares the same dream: to wake up looking refreshed and gorgeous. The key to this natural splendour?
Doe eyes framed by long, luxuriant lashes that suggest small woodland creatures help you get dressed in the morning, whistling while they work.
Reality, alas, is less idyllic. Thank goodness for eyelash extensions: individual faux lashes that are glued to your natural ones. They not only add length and volume but also keep your morning beauty effort to a minimum.
"Lash extensions make you look vibrant and polished without your having to do anything," explains Natalia Jakimtschuk, general manager of the Village Wellness Spas in Toronto.
"They are ideal for someone who's looking for low-maintenance beauty that is long-lasting as well as instantly gratifying."
Lash extensions may sound too good to be true, but, like online dating, success is all about managing expectations. "If you have short, thin and weak natural lashes, you won't get a Kardashian look," says Jakimtschuk.
Since the length and thickness of your natural lashes dictate the "weight" they can hold, you need to build on what you've got. Individual extensions range from seven to 14 millimetres in length and are made from synthetic materials, which look more realistic, or natural silk or mink, which is more lightweight.
Polina Rotar, a Toronto-based certified Xtreme Lashes technician, explains that she generally uses a range of seven to eight different lengths and between 110 to 130 individual lash extensions per eye (a process that costs about $250).
This isn't a treatment for those who are easily bored; you'll have your eyes closed for so long that you'll be able to mentally categorize your shoe closet by colour, style and designer several times over.
Plan on a minimum of two hours for your first time on the table. You will also need to invest time in upkeep by getting a fill (which takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how extensive your look is) every four weeks or so to replace the lashes that have grown out.
Although you can keep getting your lashes filled, Jakimtschuk recommends letting the extensions fall out after nine months to give your natural lashes time to recover.
"Extensions and mascara both add weight that your natural lashes have to support and carry," she explains, "but you don't sleep, shower or swim in your mascara 24-7."
Learn about the dos and donts of eyelash extension care on the next page...