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The secret behind gorgeous (faux) eyelashes
Every girl who has ever attended a long-weekend at the cottage shares the same dream: to wakeup looking natural, refreshed and gorgeous. The key to this usually lies in what I like to refer to as: Bambi-lashes. That certain bright, doe-eyed look that suggests small woodland creatures help you get dressed in the morning and perform chores while you sing to them. Reality is less idyllic and usually involves crouching beside the lake using the water’s reflective surface to frantically apply mascara. Really, this is just a recipe for an eye-injury.
Instead of taking drastic beauty steps and causing yourself additional stress, turn to eyelash extensions. Frankly, I can’t understand why anyone would rely anything else in the summer months (or really, any other time of the year). For those of you who are wondering what eyelash extensions entail, here is the crash course: Eyelash extensions are exactly what they sound like: faux eyelashes (that may be synthetic, silk or natural hair) that are attached to your natural lashes to extend the length and volume. There are three types of eyelash extensions (singles/individuals, partials, or stips) but singles look the most natural, which let’s face it, is the whole point. (If one falls out, you won’t be left with a gaping hole in your lash line). Clearly, I am a eyelash extension convert. My top take-away’s after getting lash extensions?
My once wimpy lashes are transformed to thick, doll-like lashes (which I shamelessly bat at anyone/everyone in sight. I rarely use eye makeup and my oops-I-slept-through-my-alarm mornings are far less stressful since my beauty routine takes half the time). Though I am a eyelash extension devotee, there are a few tidbits of information about the process (and upkeep) I wish I were privy to prior to my first experience with lash extensions. So, for anyone considering their own lash-enhancement, read on for my noteworthy tips:
1. Don’t schedule your appointment the day before anything of consequence.
This includes, but is not limited to: a pool party, long weekend, job interview, or wedding (for details on when to book an appointment before that, go here). The first cardinal rule of lash extensions: You are forbidden to wet your new lashes for at least 24 hours (48 to be really safe) at the risk of deactivating the lash-adhesive. Seriously, that means no swimming, hot tubs, saunas, impromptu water fights with attractive strangers on the beach, and yes, even showers. My advice? Book your appointment on a Friday evening and spend the weekend colour-coding your closet, watching the first season of Suits, or just staring at your pores in a magnifying mirror.
2. Ban caffeine (and make sure you visit the loo) pre-appointment.
A full set of lashes (anywhere between 80-100 lashes per eye) can take up to two hours, and if you go for the OTT, some may say Kardashian-level lashes (110-1130 lashes per eye) your appointment can take over three hours. During this time, you must lay perfectly still while a steady-handed esthetician painstakingly glues each faux-lash to the base of your own lash line. Having caffeine jitters will make this time seem like an eternity, not to mention shuffling to the ladies room with your eyes covered in tape and glue is not an easy task. Trust me.
3. Stock-pile cleansing wipes
Lash extensions are a perfect excuse to become lazy, at least when it comes to your nightly beauty routine. Scrubbing your face (seriously, think about how your rub off your eye makeup now) shortens the life of your lashes. Try to wash your face with a stash of makeup removing towelettes, it will make your life much easier, trust me.
4. Ditch oil-free makeup removers and eyeliners.
Excessive rubbing, tugging, pulling or scrubbing will shorten the life of your lashes. Eye makeup remover is therefore key. But when it comes to lash extensions, not all makeup removers are created equal. Avoid oil-free formulas—anything with PEG (Polyethylene Glycol), Hexalene Glycol, Butylene or Propylene Glycol—can break down the lash adhesive and cause you to lose lashes more quickly. To cleanse your eye area soak a pad with makeup remover and gently press it over your eye. Hold it for five seconds then gently wipe off your eyemakeup.
Since eyeliners sit right at the lashline, opt for an oil-free formula so your makeup doesn’t breakdown the adhesive either. If you’re a fan of long-wearing eyeliner, soak the a Q-tip in your makeup remover and gingerly work the formla along your lashline to remove. Taking your time is key.
5. Get a lash brush
It may sound excessive, but stock up on mascara wand testers to keep your lash extensions from clumping or getting tangled. Make sure to brush from the middle of the lash outwards (don’t start at the base of your lashes, since that’s where the adhesive is) to keep your extensions curl and fullness.
Where to go?
Pretty in the City
188 Davenport Rd. Suite 201
Caryl Baker Visage
Beauty Babe Lounge
2463 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor
This article was originally published in June 2012, and updated in 2017.