Silly experiments on myself: Eyelash extensions

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Getting eyelash extensions is not my thing. It seems poufy to me. Why not go the mascara route? There are some fantastic ones these days, the marketing would have you believe (see end of this post).

But … last year, BIL’s sensible girlfriend started getting them. She got them once ahead of a trip abroad. She got them again earlier this year as a treat after getting her bonus. And … I used the occasion of Lil Sis getting married to give them a try. My first and only time. Instead of getting false eyelashes put on and they last a day, why not have some great eyelashes for a week or three?

BIL’s gf did her homework, talked to people, found someone she likes and does a really good job. Do I want to know who she used? NPY turned to me, urging me to use who she used.

NO. In late February, my patience paid off and I spotted a Living Social deal at Gala Hair Studio in North Vancouver. They had a five-star rating from three views on Google. Good enough. It was purportedly a $120 value I could get for $60. I signed up for a new Living Social account to get another 15% off and went through my Ebates account (I think) to get 3% rebate. Hellz no, I’m not paying full price.

Back in April,  I made my June 18 appointment. And then I sat back and started to listen to people around me …

  • My coworker who is getting married in August got eyelash extensions for the first time ahead of her Vegas stagette and would get them again for her wedding – she is so impressed by the effect, she wants to keep them …
  • NPY has a coworker who likens the feeling of a fresh set to having butterflies (or he thinks it looks like fluttering butterfly wings) and she’s addicted to them …
  • A mum friend of mine was getting them continuously too, until February and I didn’t even know …
  • A colleague of mine batted her eyelashes and extolled about some serum she uses that is really effective …
  • Bride-to-be coworker and another coworker talked at length about the treatment and the latter warns of getting the disastrous look of when you get multiple extensions per lash or some such thing … ?
  • Another colleague of mine often puts on false eyelashes …
  • Lil Sis recoiled a little at the idea and asked me if I had heard of eyelash perms (no) which sound like possibly less maintenance and less dramatic …
  • Coworkers and NPY seemed skeptical about the longevity of the lashes, that by the time the wedding rolled around, it would be 12 days after application and it could look sparse …

How much maintenance was it anyhow? I didn’t bother until the night before and I started doing some reading. And when I did, Oh good lord. When I battled some unexpected traffic to get across the bridge to North Van and no one was answering at the salon, I was temporarily relieved. Stuck in traffic, I considered canceling the appointment and rescheduling for after the wedding. What if I did something I regretted so soon before the wedding? I made the appointment for a Sunday, six days ahead of flying to Toronto, because I didn’t want to go to North Vancouver on a weeknight. Who has time for that?

The beautician/technician knew it was for a wedding I was getting it done. I declined the cat eye look but agreed to something long and dramatic. She taped down my lower lashes which felt weird at first and then had me close my eyes for the procedure. With my eyes closed, I really had no sense of my surroundings. She seemed to work quickly, faster than I would have thought applying eyelashes one by one would be. I fell asleep (of course) and woke up an hour and a half later as she was wrapping up.

She gave me a mirror to inspect the results and I wanted to cry. I wanted to have them taken off immediately. It was such a shock and to exacerbate the effect, I had a make-up free face that was feeling saggy and gray after just waking up from a nap. It was too dramatic. BIL’s gf and my coworker had lush fringes (so far as I could tell and I never bothered to inspect closely) while I looked like I had some overly dramatic fake-ass eyelashes applied. I got an evening look that I would have to wear during the day. Because I didn’t know better to discuss at length with the beautician. It looked like I had found a really effective mascara wand and I – with my piss-poor technique – applied it, they were so dark. The beautician asked me if I wanted to book my refill appointment and I declined, saying I could phone in later (really – never). I miserably failed at feigning pleasure with the result. As I drove home, I mulled over the feasibility and how ridiculous it would be to book an appointment a few days later to have them removed.

The first time an eyelash with extension fell off and got into my eye – omgosh it stung like the dickens. I made sure to inform NPY of the sensation.

I also regaled NPY with some of the other annoying and utterly unnecessary inconveniences:

  • I couldn’t wash my face/wet my eyelashes for 24 hours – he should be horrified as that would make him so uncomfortable.
  • I had to inspect my cleansers and soaps and use only oil-free ones.
  • I had to blot my eyelashes dry with a tissue like some kind of princess and comb them more often than I comb my hair, with this silly pink brush.
  • Washing my face in the shower was manageable but I didn’t want to try splashing my face without getting the lashes overly wet at the sink, so I was washing/not washing with Garnier Micellar Water that I got free when it was a new product and free with a purchase of Garnier products. I did not previously know what to do with micellar water but used quite a bit of a bottle while washing/not washing my face for the three weeks I had the eyelash extensions.
  • Two weeks later, I was in a spin class and drying my face of sweat with a towel and the towel caught several eyelash extensions. Omgosh did that hurt when it snagged and pulled!

The effect? Lil Sis was surprisingly merciful. I thought she would hate them but perhaps she was too busy with the wedding to care. Everyone was complimentary and when I got used to them in a couple of days, they were quite nice. Still too dramatic when up close.

The kicker? I was at a ballet class. When I was facing the mirror for some floor work, I examined myself. Usually I feel my face is a bit of a wash-out. It’s my fault since the only thing I consistently do is fill in my sparse eyebrows. Nothing emphasizes my eyes and I am too lazy to apply lip balm, let alone lip colour. But it was four days after application and I felt like my eyes were smoldering back at me. Darn it, it looked nice and it was proof of the power of the eyes.

Two and a half weeks after application, they were still going strong. I guess I don’t shed eyelashes all that quickly and I had done a good job at maintenance. But enough was enough! I steamed my face for ten minutes then took them off with oil.

I didn’t take Before photos but here are the After photos taken on the day of application (note: 14mm extensions).

Lessons? As I just mentioned above, I should make some effort to highlight my eyes. They are the windows to the soul, the focal point of your face, etc. I haven’t the patience, time or care to do a full eye: what with my epicanthic fold, eyeshadow seems like a waste of time; permanent eyeliner is a tattoo that I eschew (but am intrigued about since my ability to apply it is non-existent); and then there’s mascara. I heard somewhere that if you do nothing, at least put on mascara. It still isn’t enough for me to duck into the washroom for a few minutes in the morning to do it, at least for on work days.

There’s also the serum route and if I get into it, that would be another story.

Which brings me to the make-up aisle at Shoppers Drug Mart and looking at the different mascara wands the drug store brands have on offer. Here is a sample of the outrageous names:

  • Cover Girl: Total Tease / Clump Crusher Extensions LashBlast / The Super Sizer / Full Lash Bloom
  • Maybelline: Volum’ Express The Colossal Big Shot / The Falsies Push Up Angel < I think Maybelline has the most options
  • Rimmel: Scandaleyes XXtreme
  • NYX: Boudoir Mascara Collection
  • Revlon: Mega-Multiplier < I’d feel inadequate getting anything less

What did I get? Nothing yet.
What will I get? Something that’s marked down on sale…!

On this day..