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Feminspire | April 23, 2014

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Eyelash Extensions: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Eyelash Extensions: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Recently, I tried out false eyelash extensions.

I didn’t even know you could get semi-permanent eyelash extensions until I saw a deal for them on Lifebooker, one of the myriad of sites that have sprung up in the past few years that offer products and services at steep discounts for brief periods of times. (See also: Groupon, LivingSocial, Bloomspot, Hautelook, Ideeli, etc. etc. etc.) Lifebooker’s focus is on beauty–if you want a good deal on a haircut, or a mani-pedi, or waxing, see if they’re in your city! (Also, use my link to sign up and you get me free money!)

I’ve always wanted long, lush lashes. Mine are pretty paltry–I generally end up layering on tons of mascara and attacking my lashes with a curler. I’m legitimately terrible at applying false lashes, though. I know women who wear false lashes whenever they get dressed up. Whenever I’ve attempted them, I end up gluing my lids shut or attaching eyelashes to the middle of my lids.

My mascara-less, nearly nonexistent lashes (and tangled hair).

The deal was cheap, and the salon (Fabulash in midtown Manhattan) is near my office, so I figured I should give it a try. I like to think I’m the kind of person who will try almost everything at least once. So why not give semi-permanent fake eyelashes a whirl? I think these kinds of things are fun–I love the idea that the human body is mutable and something we can alter at will. We wear makeup, dye our hair, get tattoos and get piercings. 

I went to the salon after work. When I got there, I was presented with a confusing array of choices of thickness of each lash, length of the lashes, and number of lashes. I had no rhyme or reason for why I chose what I did, and can’t even tell you the length or thickness, though I think I had about 75 individual lashes per eye.

I was pleasantly surprised to be given a comfy cot to lie on and a thick blanket. I suppose they want you to fall asleep, because the first thing they do is tape your eyes shut. Have you ever had your eyelids taped shut? It’s a very weird feeling to be unable to open your eyes even though you’d like to do so! I spent the first ten minutes or so trying to calm my eyes.

However, after I managed to calm down, the whole process was pretty relaxing. It took close to an hour, and while you can definitely feel it, it’s not uncomfortable. I managed to doze, and sort of didn’t want to get up to drag myself home to sleep in my own bed.

This is what they looked like:

Not bad, right? They are pretty comfortable, at first. If you’re like me and you rub your eyes often, it will feel weird and you risk pulling them out faster than before. You don’t wear mascara with them, so it made my makeup application in the morning a breeze. I don’t wear foundation or anything besides a little eyeliner, mascara and lipstick on a daily basis, but I didn’t feel like I needed the subtle eyeliner, so I generally just threw on some Revlon Lip Butter (in Candy Apple or Raspberry Pie) and I was good to go.

The only time I really felt uncomfortable with them was in the morning when I woke up–it felt harder to open my eyes. It was almost as if they were stuck together! 

They held up really well–until all of a sudden, they didn’t! I planned to take photos after a week to show the wear and tear, but there were none left by the following Monday! Two or three fell out until Sunday afternoon, when I was lying in bed watching the Olympics live feed and it felt like one would fall off every time I blinked! By the time the rainfall of eyelashes had ceased, they looked so patchy that I just pulled out the remainders. All I had to do was place some lashes between my fingers and twist and they’d come off easily and painlessly. I was disappointed, because I expected them to last for two weeks! In fact, I recently got a text from Fabulash saying that I should come in for my touch-up appointment (which they either offer free or cheap). I have no falsies left to touch up!

While ultimately, I feel getting them done in a salon is a waste of money (it would have cost me over 100 dollars without Lifebooker!), it has given me a desire to master applying my own fake lashes. I’ve seen great tutorials out there, and E.L.F. makes individual false lashes for about a dollar, so why not?

I am slightly disappointed that not one person commented on my eyelashes during that week–not even my boyfriend, who presumably pays at least a smidgeon of attention to my face! Maybe eyelashes are one of those things that nobody notices except you, but they can transform the way you feel about yourself instantly. I’d love to try multi-colored or bejeweled eyelashes–I wonder if people would notice then!

Do you wear false eyelashes? Have you ever considered getting eyelash extensions? Would you or would you not? Join the discussion in the comments! 

Written by Jess Mary Aloe

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