Eyelash Extensions: Yea or Nay?
I spend a lot of time inside my head thinking about beauty. Not just cosmetics and skin care (which I do think about, a lot), but beauty as a concept. Why do we think some things are pretty, and others not so much? How much of a role does the media play in this, and at what point are we to stop listening?
Because of this, I also spend a lot of time inside my head bucking traditional beauty trends--why should certain silhouettes, hair lengths, and celebrity-esque visages get all the love? Unless of course, it's a beauty trend that actually make me feel beautiful... Then all bets are off.
One of these trends, in particular, is eyelash extensions. Nah, I don't need them to feel beautiful. I try to cover that by taking care of my skin, working out, and limiting my pizza intake to once a week. But the lashes--just like the brow appointments and the manicures--don't hurt when you're looking for an added boost.
I was hesitant to try Flair Beauty and Lash Studio. I had a bad Groupon experience at some cheap place a few years ago, where the hour-long application felt more like a scene from Fire in the Sky than a beauty treatment. The lashes were stiff and unnatural looking, and I wasn't given any information on the proper way to care for them. (Yes, there is a way.)
But Flair's co-founder and COO Jessica Shin--a makeup artist and eyelash stylist in her own right--made certain my experience was nothing shy of perfect. For her, eyelash extensions are a beauty essential.
“In Korea they say 'Ssang-uhll,' which means bare or natural face and culturally, Koreans want to show that they look beautiful naturally,” says Jessica “even the Korean cosmetic industry, which has hit a boom in many international markets are trying to tackle the concept of natural makeup. I believe that semi-permanent makeup and eyelash extensions aid the natural foundation of every woman’s natural beauty; just as a home must have a great foundation before being decorated."
Located in Midtown, right around the corner from Fifth Avenue, the space is clean and calming. I was warmly welcomed by Jessica and her highly trained staff, and then, based on the shape of my eyes and my social agenda, we had a thorough conversation about which eyelash length and shape was right for me. Then, I settled in. And I mean settled.
The first application took close to an hour an a half. So...don't go if you're short on time. It's a slow process, but thankfully so, as they use non-damaging adhesives to carefully bond individual silk or mink lashes to your real lashes with a giant tweezer contraption.
Jessica and my aesthetician explained how they should be cared for (no sleeping masks, sorry) and that oils are your eyelashes worst nightmare. I left feeling like an expert and also a kewpie doll (in the best way).
If you can believe it, the lashes are as natural as false lashes ought to be and they're comfortably fit. Voila! Longer, fuller, darker lashes. I didn't wear eyeliner or mascara for three weeks and it was pure heaven.
A few FAQ's:
Did my eyelashes fall out? No. I mean, I lost a few, yeah, if I pulled a straggling lash off, but it hasn't left me with chunks of empty eyelid space.
Is it uncomfortable? No. It feels a little strange when patting my face dry after a shower, but I can't really feel them anymore.
Is it a lot of maintenance? Not really. There are things you should and shouldn't do if you want to get the most longevity out of your lashes. But aside from brushing them with a wand a couple of times a day and avoiding rubbing your eyes, there's not too much to it.
How often do you go? Flair recommends that you go every three weeks for upkeep. Then you just get a refill instead of a full set. However--it's not cheap (rightly so). It's a habit--like all beauty luxuries--that you have to weigh with the pros and the cons.
My take: It was perfect for holiday-party season and it will serve me well come summertime. Need to splurge on yourself? I'd highly recommend it.