Lashings!

“If eyes are the window to the soul then eyelashes are…”  Would you believe curtains? …how drab!

Personally I think drapes sound better but even that falls short of just how brilliant professionally pimped eyelashes can be.

Whether you’re looking to add a little pizazz or boldly flutter your inner sex-kitten, even a little bit of eyelash can go a very long way.

  • Have you had enough of short, wispy eyelashes?
  • Do you find yourself lusting after other people’s long, voluminous eyelashes?
  • Wish you had sexy eyes with long, curvy lashes to flutter?
  • Are you over wearing that clumpy, thick mascara?
  • Want that “I woke up like this” look?

Well in case you’ve been hiding under a rock or hibernating somewhere I’m here to tell you that the answer you seek is now widely available and very easy to get.  All you have to do is make an appointment and lie the heck down.  You even get to close your eyes and have a little rest while your goddess eyelash dreams come true!

Eyelash lifts and eyelash extensions are now not only extremely popular but have advanced to a very high professional standard.  The advances in both the products and the techniques mean there’s a look for every eye, and it doesn’t have to be a scary experience.

Now before you rush out and get lashed there are some things you should know about eyelash extensions.  Here are some simple tips to get you in the know.

Classic Lash set

What type of eyelash extension is best? 

There are different ways to perk up your peepers, some like to keep it a bit more al naturale with a lash lift and some like to take it straight to the top, enter extensions!

The Eyelash Lift  

For the more al naturale the eyelash lift is the way to go, think perm for your lashes adding length, definition and of course, curl.  Everything about the eyelash lift is using your own eyelashes so there is nothing fake about it.  You can only work with what you’ve already got so you can’t go expecting a custom designed look, but you can expect more curly lashes and striking eyes. 

Eyelash lifts work well with a tint for added effect and are the answer for someone looking for a low maintenance option.  You will definitely notice a difference to your lashes with this technique.

Natural Lash Lift

Eyelash Extensions 

If you’re up for the real ‘peeper-popping’ look then getting eyelash extensions is a no-brainer.  You can pump up the volume for a dramatic, movie star look or keep it lighter with less and add a touch of sexy.

Eyelash extensions add the length and volume we paint on daily with our mascara but without the clumps!  Actually they can do a whole lot more than that and you can practically choose the end result.

As one would expect, eyelash extensions are available in different fibres and quality.

Synthetic/Acrylic Lashes

There’s the cheaper variety which are synthetic lashes.  Synthetic or acrylic lashes are thicker and courser in feel and have a shiny glossy look. They are more obvious when on the eye.  Although synthetic lashes are a strong fibre and hold the curl, they are not the most natural looking or best for the job. They also lack the staying power and don’t last as long on the natural lash meaning more regular infills. With new techniques and improvements in the lash industry this type of lash is being phased out in many of the top salons and lash/brow bars.  

Silk Lashes

Silk lashes are lighter and more realistic and natural in appearance.  The silk lashes are man made silk fibres – natural silk is so delicate it would breakdown quickly and have little to no staying power when adhered to your own lashes.  The man-made silk lashes however, are very popular and give a lovely feathered appearance when applied.  They give a soft look over their synthetic counterpart.  Silk lashes can be used in what’s known as the ‘fanning’ technique (more on that later).

Faux Mink Lashes 

Faux mink lashes are for those of us who are really after the upper end of lashing (Beyonce is famous for favouring mink eyelash extensions).  The faux mink is just that, a fibre that is made to look like mink fur.  It’s faux because who wants to be a part of animal cruelty, let alone having it adhered to your eyelashes!  Faux mink lashes are darker and glossier than the silk lashes and are more tapered at the ends adding a bit more drama to the end result.

How many options are there?

You can have eyelash extensions applied to achieve a variety of looks (think Jessica Rabbit, Betty Boop or Kim Kardashian) so it’s best to have an idea of just how long and thick you really want them, before you commit.  And don’t forget heavy, if you opt for the OTT dramatic look.  In most reputable salons or lash/brow bars the technician will insist on starting lighter to test the water – that’s wise folks!

Extensions are all adhered to your own lashes but there are different techniques

Fanning

There is the ‘fanning’ technique’ (mentioned earlier) where bundles of 3 to 6 lashes in one are adhered to your own lashes creating a thick voluminous look. Depending on the result you are after they can be maxed out to a super dramatic look, like one for a special event, or even used to fill in natural gaps in your own lashes (for those who aren’t born with many lashes to start with).

Classic

The classic eyelash extension is when individual lashes are adhered to your own lashes, one by one.  This gives your eyes more volume and thicker lashes but with a very natural look.  You can use this style to create a cat eye effect with thicker, longer lashes on the outside of your eye or have them placed giving you a doll eyed look.

Half sets and full sets are a thing too – half sets being about 50 – 60 percent of your top lashes meaning a lighter end result.  Don’t be surprised at how much even a half set of extensions can change your look though.  Remember the difference a light slick of mascara can make.

The classic extension is a great starting place as you can always up the ante at your next appointment once you’re used to wearing extensions.

Mix it up with a ‘Hybrid’

If you like you can opt for the hybrid style and have a mix of the classic individual lash extension with fans interspersed to fill out any gaps in your lashes or to add a bit more volume or drama to the end result.  Not as dramatic or thick as the full fanning technique but more than the classic full set.

Who doesn’t love choices?!  But definitely a reason for finding a great technician and reputable salon.  Get it wrong and you’re up for wearing them for a few weeks or paying extra to have them removed.  Some of us don’t have the right natural lashes or  eyes to handle a full fanned voluminous look and a good, reputable technician wouldn’t apply them.  A bit like cosmetic surgery I suppose …I’m sure you get my drift!

How are eyelash lifts and extensions done? 

Eyelash lifts are set using a solution like a perm. A mold is used on the eyelid and the eyelashes are curled up and over the curve of the mold where they are neatly separated.  First the perm solution is applied and then the setting solution.  It usually takes between 10 – 15 minutes for it to set the curl.  There are different sized molds for different results.

Eyelash extensions are more fiddly and take skill to apply properly.  Single individual lashes are dipped into an adhesive glue and then applied to your own lashes one by one (or the fans if you’re opting for that technique).  This is why it takes a while to get done, especially the first set.  You can expect it to take anywhere between 1 – 2 hours depending on whether you are getting a full set or half set and also the skill and experience of the therapist.  You might as well get comfy on the table and prepare for a little nap, good things take time!

The set up

How long will it last?

Eyelash Lift

The lift generally lasts longer than extensions at around an average of about 8 weeks.  Some people will get less mileage and some will get more (it really depends on the life cycle of your natural lashes) but the 8 week mark is about the standard time before needing another treatment.

Eyelash Extensions 

Extensions must be maintained regularly with infills about every 3-4 weeks.  As your natural lashes fall out and grow the extensions will become thinner and over time a little bit messy or start to show gaps where they have fallen out with your natural lash cycle.

Contraindications

As with most things there are some things to be mindful of, or some cases where you should avoid having eyelash lifts and/or extensions done.

  • Allergic reactions to the glue are probably the most common problem experienced with eyelash extensions.  This can cause stinging, discomfort, itchiness, redness and swollen eyes.  If you feel any sort of discomfort you must have the lashes removed immediately.  The longer you leave them on the worse the effect will be on your eye.  This alone is a reason to do your research and make sure you start with a reputable salon and technician who know what they’re doing and use salon grade products that are safe 
  • If you have had an allergy to the glue used in eyelash extensions previously then stay away from eyelash extensions in the future.  It is likely to recur.
  • If you are pregnant you might want to think about leaving it until after bub – the glue has chemicals in it and this might be something you’d prefer to avoid (it’s up to you)
  • If you have undergone any sort of eye surgery in the previous six weeks
  • If you have had an eyelash lift in the previous four to five weeks – wait at least six to eight weeks before you have another lift

Caring for your eyelash extensions

Like anything the better you care for your eyelashes the longer your results will last. There are definitely rules to follow if you want to get the best out of your pimped up lashes.  Here are the general maintenance tips.

  • Don’t get your eyelashes wet in the first 12 hours (24 hours is even better). Shower before you have them applied and then no swimming, showering or crying (seriously) for the day following.
  • Don’t rub your eyes or pull on your lashes – even if you just want to keep feeling how amazing they are, don’t! 
  • Avoid using oil based eye makeup, especially eye makeup remover.  Remember no rubbing!
  • Give them a gentle brush every morning and night using a clean mascara brush (with no mascara on it), this prevents them from looking messy, much like brushing your hair. 
  •  Get regular infills – the time is different for everyone but a good rule of thumb is to get infills every 3-4 weeks.
  • You can use mascara (if you REALLY insist) but don’t use waterproof mascara. You probably won’t need mascara if you have eyelash extensions. 

Words from a pro

The best way to get the real low down on what to expect or what you really need to know is to talk to a professional.  I met with Jacqui Arnold (Jax), Head Beautician at Esstudio Galleria in Chippendale, Sydney.  

Jax has been doing eyelash lifts and extensions for 6 years now and is an expert in the field, having trained with one Sydney’s best technicians in the trends early days.

Jax says: “I work predominantly with the classic and hybrid techniques because I prefer a more natural look for my clients.  I seem to attract clients who want to enhance their eye feature rather than have massive long lashes.  Sometimes I will use the hybrid technique to give a natural fuller look which helps with enhancing the eye.”

On caring for your new eye enhancements Jax says: “The most important thing is to care for them properly in the first 24 hours by keeping them dry.  Then for a longer life avoid any oil based eye makeup and don’t rub your eyes.”

Jax’s tip: “A gentle brush every morning and night helps to freshen them up, it won’t make them last longer but keeps them looking fresh between infills.”

Jax says: “I work predominantly with the classic and hybrid techniques because I prefer a more natural look for my clients.  I seem to attract clients who want to enhance their eye feature rather than have massive long lashes.  Sometimes I will use the hybrid technique to give a natural fuller look which helps with enhancing the eye.”

On caring for your new eye enhancements Jax says: “The most important thing is to care for them properly in the first 24 hours by keeping them dry.  Then for a longer life avoid any oil based eye makeup and don’t rub your eyes.”

Jax’s tip: “A gentle brush every morning and night helps to freshen them up, it won’t make them last longer but keeps them looking fresh between infills.”

Jax is offering readers a special offer at Esstudio Galleria in Chippendale for eyelash extensions February 2020 – get 20% off either a classic or hybrid full set and 10% off your infills in Feb, Or Book in for a Lash Lift and Tint for 20% off. BOOK NOW t&c Not to be used with any other discounted offer.

The bottom line is, if you want to take your eyes from good to great or great to freaking brilliant then get them pimped, you won’t be sorry.  

Eyelash lifts are waaaaaayyy better than a slick of mascara and eyelash extensions are a total game changer. 

Do it – you know you want to!

Written By Wendy Gregory aka Girl Wendy, freelance writer and lifestyle blogger (girlwendy.com).  A legal practice manager by day, a mum by night and a passionate advocate for authentic living.  Writing is the champagne to my oyster, it feeds my soul and is what I love to do.  I’m a little bit ‘anything goes’ and particularly enjoy guest writing articles and content; travel, beauty, health and lifestyle writing are my faves.

THEM BROWS – HOW TO ROCK THE FULL BROW TREND

Cara Delevingne. Demi Lovato. Lily Collins. Audrey Hepburn. Emma Watson. Rita Ora. I love them. Every single one of them. Why? Look no further than their incredible eyebrows. The full-brow trend has been around for a couple of years now and it doesn’t look like its going anywhere fast. That’s great news if, like me, you’ve been bestowed a thick, fluffy pair by the eyebrow gods. But for some, this means undoing years of plucking, threading and waxing in a quest to grow the ever elusive ‘power-brow’.

The key to making this trend work for you is to work out where your arch belongs. The easiest way to do this is to grab a pencil and slant it from the bottom of your nostril to the middle of your iris. Follow this line until you reach your eyebrow – that’s where your arch should sit. If you can nail the right shape for your face, then you’ll be working your brows like nobody’s business. Just remember that your eyebrows are not twins – they’re sisters. They aren’t identical and they’re not supposed to be.

If your eyebrows are a bit fair go to your nearest salon and get an eyebrow tint to darken and define those babies. Too sparse? No dramas – pick up a brow pencil or powder and fill those suckers in. Just remember that you don’t actually need a colour that much darker than your natural colour – one shade should do it. The last thing that you want is a pair of big, dark caterpillars sitting on your face. You can finish off the look with a brow gel to set them for the rest of the day.

Sydneysiders – check out Esstudio Galleria’s Face Frames package; Eyebrow Shape, Eyebrow Tint and Eyelash Tint all for $60