Earlier in the week, a male friend of mine asked, “when did eyelashes the size of feather dusters become a thing?” Though long, dramatic lashes have been trending the past few years, most people will be surprised to learn eyelash extensions have been around, in one form or another, since the turn of the century. By the 1920, false eyelashes were commonplace on stage and screen.
In more recent times, eyelash extension procedures have been perfected, with clients choosing everything from length and material to thickness, style and degree of curl. The procedure is painless but it takes about two hours, costs around $150-$200 (full set) and regular maintenance is required every 4-6 weeks. If you don’t have that kind of time or budget, there’s some tried and true tricks of the trade to get the look for less (less commitment, less money, less time).
- Lash tint: this treatment darkens your lashes and adds some fullness. I treat myself to a lash tint from time to time with Samantha at JF3 Salon (along with a brow tint). The whole process takes less than 10 minutes, is just $25 and it lasts more than a month.
- Growth serums: Latisse might be the best known eyelash growth serum (thanks to Claire “My So-Called Lashes” Danes). It’s the only FDA-approved formula and is available by prescription. I’ve never tried Latisse because frankly, I’m not that committed. However, I’ve trialed two other popular serums: RevitaLash and Rodan + Fields Lash Boost. What they have in common: both are applied nightly directly above the lash line, the formula should last you at least 3 months (6 month supplies also available) and are around $150 sans any discounts (and vary slightly on mL). RevitaLash is vegan, cruelty-free, and gets fantastic reviews. While I admit I don’t typically use MLM products, I had heard Lash Boost gets results so I gave it a try and my lashes did grow, but the product also irritated my eyelids at times. I liked RevitaLash better on many levels.
- YUMI Lash Lift: This keratin lash lift and enhancement technique lifts, curls, tints and boosts your natural lashes. Think of it as a perm for your lashes (thoughts and prayers to those of us who survived the perms of our youth). I had a Yumi Lash Lift done with Cathy at Archbeauty Skin Care Salon and Brow Bar Boutique in Middletown ($120 first time, $150 thereafter). Clueless about the logistics, Cathy told me the treatment would be about 90 minutes start to finish (that surprised me), so I was glad I had an podcast lined up (probably Pod Save America…or Bitch Sesh). Laying on the treatment table, I closed my eyes and relaxed as best I could while I felt my eyelashes and eye area be gently cleansed and eye masks applied. A series of solutions were applied and I might have drifted off before it was all done. Admittedly, one of my eyes kept watering, so my treatments lasted a little longer than usual but the results were instant. While not identical to the drama of lash extensions, the impact is clear and lasts 6-12 weeks.
A lift, tint or added length via a serum is best accentuated by a good mascara, and there’s only about a million out there. Almost every beauty editor still swears by the tried and true: Great Lash By Maybelline (the ‘ol pink and grey tube). It’s been around for 40 years and never disappoints. But last time at ArchBeauty, I picked up the just-released GrandeMASCARA Lash Boosting Mascara for $25.The Italian-made mascara not only provides extreme volume and length, but conditions your lashes with every application. At first, the brush seemed to get build-up easily, but after about a week of us getting used to each ohter, you couldn’t pry it out of my hands.
Sara at ArchBeauty, an expert whose owned the boutique for nearly 10 years and has even more all-things-skin experiences, also recommends the GM Collin Sublime Collagen Treatment for an all around eye experience. Sign me up.