As someone who looks like a squinty ferret when not wearing mascara, I understand the power of lashes.
Who’d have thought having multiple tiny hairs strewn across your eyelid would make so much difference?
Those with naturally long, dark and curled lashes will never understand the need for tinting, falsies, extensions and lash lifts. But for those of you looking to turn your stumpy, straight or blonde lashes into something Bambi-worthy, here’s a rundown of your options to help you decide which is best for you.
What is a lash lift?
A lash lift is kind of like getting a perm, but for your lashes. So if your lashes have length, but no natural curl it’s a good option for you. Most lash lifts will also include a tint, resulting in a beautiful curl and darker colour.
What happens at a lash lift appointment?
A lash lift appointment will take around one hour, during which you’ll be lying down with your eyes closed for the majority of the process. Natalie Papadopoulos, owner of The Parlour Room says, “if you are claustrophobic sometimes this can feel uncomfortable but our therapists stay in the room with you for the entire treatment.”
Pads will be placed underneath your eyes, and the first solution – used to “break down the bonds of the lashes so they can be separated and lifted into the exact position we want them to stay” – will be applied.
A second solution is then applied to set the lash bonds back and leave you with the desired curled effect. If your treatment includes a lash tint, this will usually be the last step.
How long will a lash lift last?
“A lash lift can last anywhere from 4-8 weeks, depending on your own hair growth cycle.” says Natalie.
“The lashes will stay lifted until they naturally fall out. When new hairs come through they will return to your previous shape.”
FYI your lashes fall out all the time, you just don’t really notice because new ones take their place and it’s very sporadic.
Is there any post-care?
“There is absolutely no maintenance required for a lash lift.” said Natalie. “All you need to do is avoid any water (swimming, shower etc) and any oil makeup removers and eye creams for the first 24 hours after your treatment.”
“This is why this treatment is so popular as it’s super easy and safe.”
Are there any downsides to a lash lift?
“Some clients say they feel a slight itch or tingle in the eye; similar to that of an eyelash tint. This is normal and should not be harmful to the eye. If for any reason someone did find some discomfort we can remove all products straight away.”, says Natalie.
What are lash extensions?
Lash extensions are a treatment that adds additional lashes to your lash line using medical grade adhesive. The glue is very strong to allow the lashes to withstand longer, but it also means it can be used sparingly and therefore be as undetectable as possible.
What happens at a lash extensions appointment?
Your appointment will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how many lashes you’re having applied and the look you are trying to achieve.
Before starting, you’ll choose what type of lashes you want, how many you’d like and the style of curl. Similar to a lash tint, you just lay back and let the technician do her thing. She’ll be attaching the lash extensions to your lashes, not your lash line.
“Application is generally very relaxing, you won’t feel much at all besides the technician gently combing through the lashes and separating them,” says Ebony, who is a Lash Technician at Elegant Lashes. “Most people enjoy a nap during the process.”
“When your appointment is over, your eyes may feel a little bit sensitive to the light in the room.”, adds Ebony.
“As far as the lashes go, they are so light you’re likely not to feel them on your eyes.”
You may be more aware of them once you try to sleep, but you will slowly get used to the feeling.
How long will lash extensions last?
“You’ll need to get regular infills every 2-3 weeks, depending on how fast your lashes shed naturally.”, says Ebony.
“To keep them from growing wild and looking sparse, maintenance is a must. If you have a few hanging on and don’t need an infill, pop down and see your technician to get them taken off safely.”
Whatever you do gals, do not pull them off! As Ebony says, “bald eyes are not cute.”
Is there any post-care?
“If your technician uses a nanometer to cure the lashes at the the end of your appointment, you can get them wet a few hours after your appointment,” says Ebony.
Other than that, your technician should take you through the proper care routine — such as brushing your lashes daily, staying away from oily face cleansers, makeup, serums and mascara.
“Invest in a good oil-free lash cleanser and avoid pulling and rubbing your eyes.”, says Ebony.
“Clean and oil-free lashes are happy lashes.”
Are there any downsides to lash extensions?
If you have overly sensitive eyes or an allergic reaction to the glue, lash extensions may not be for you.
“We advise clients to do a patch test over a 24 hour period to help weed out these issues.”, says Ebony. “But generally most people find them very comfortable and gentle on the eyes. “
A good technician will also advise if you need a break from extensions, depending on the condition of your natural lashes.
“Using a lash serum, taking vitamins to encourage healthy hair growth, getting regular infills and taking good care of your lashes will definitely help you get the most out of your extensions.”, says Ebony.
What are false lashes?
False lashes are either a strip set or singular set of lashes that you apply to your lash line temporarily using an adhesive. They’re usually only worn for a few hours and can be easily removed.
If getting a lash lift or lash extensions sounds like too much hassle for you, false lashes are a pretty low-fuss option (once you get the hang of applying them).
How should I apply false lashes?
False lashes are usually a DIY job, so learning how to apply them properly will make your experience a lot more pleasant.
Before bringing out the glue, place your chosen lashes along your lash line and if they’re too long, trim the edges. You don’t want the falsies to be longer than your eyelid, because then they’ll have nothing to stick to and weigh down the rest of the lash down (effectively removing what you do manage to stick on).
If you find using your fingers too finicky, try using a pair of tweezers or a lash applicator.
“I love using the 1000 Hour Eyelash Applicator,” says Tegan Martin, former Miss Australia and 1000 Hour Brand Ambassador. “It makes it so easy to pop my lashes on quickly and when you are going to as many events as I am, fast is good!”
“Another tip is to always use minimal glue and let the glue half dry before you apply.”
How long do false lashes last?
False lashes will usually only last a few hours, as the adhesive is not overly strong (because it needs to be removable), however, you can wear the same set multiple times, depending on the quality. The key is to remove and clean them properly, making sure all traces of the adhesive are gone.
“I usually use an oil-based product and massage it in to remove the lashes, then shampoo the lashes gently and leave to air dry before reapplying.”, says Tegan.
Are there any downsides to false lashes?
Other than being tricky to apply, there isn’t really a downside to false lashes. The fact that you can apply and remove them as needed makes them pretty versatile.
If you really struggle with the application and only need them for a special occasion, take them with you to your makeup appointment and ask the artist to apply them for you.
Words by Samantha McMeekin.