Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Guide to Long Lashes

I'm obsessed with eyelashes.  In my opinion long lashes are definitely the best beauty asset, second only to beautiful skin.  Here's my guide to the many options available to maximize your lashes:


False eyelashes are by far, the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way to enhance your lashes (aside from mascara, that is).  They range from dramatic to natural.  I'm a huge fan of false lashes because they can totally transform your look.  The individuals are great on the outside corners for an everyday look and are super easy to apply.  The full lashes take a little more practice.  There are a variety of affordable styles at any drug store and you can get more dramatic styles from MAC and beauty supply stores including ones made with feathers, metallic threads, and human hair.  These are generally more expensive, so better saved for a special event.  However I will let you in on a little secret, Walgreens, of all places has a fantastic selection of feather and costume lashes (that are just as good as some of the nicer varieties) during the Halloween season for super cheap, and I always stock up on them.


Photo Credit: Elinor Carucci for NYMag

A few years ago I had the opportunity to get free eyelash extensions with a friend who's company did PR for a lash salon.  I jumped at the opportunity since there was a lot of hype about them, and the service ran around $300 for the first application and $150 a month for upkeep.  You think for that price it'd be worth every penny.  Well it wasn't.  Save your hard earned money.  The application takes a good 30-60 minutes, and they will glue individual lashes to the base of your lashes promising you a "fuller, longer" look.  Maybe it was just me (the technician, a little old Japanese woman, kept telling me my real lashes were already so long naturally) but the difference was far from dramatic.  You did get a little extra length, but it only could be noticed from a profile, not the front.  There appeared to be no difference in fullness.  Also you cannot, and are told not to use an eyelash curler when you have them, because they are glued at the base and will break off.  Without curling them, I felt like my lashes were somewhat longer but going down into my eye, instead of an up and open look, so what was the point?  It gave me "tiny eye" which contradicts the point of long eyelashes.  Also you couldn't rub your eyes, which got really annoying in the shower, something you would never notice until you are required not to do it.  Every time I washed my face I lost lashes, no matter how careful I was. If I had actually paid the $300 dollars I would have been fishing those things out of the drain!  I was so annoyed with them that I pulled the rest out before the week was over.  Regardless, at the rate they fell out on their own, there was no way those were lasting a full month as promised.  Very disappointing.  Never again, and never will I recommend them to anyone.  


These are two separate services, but I recommend them both together for the best results.  I highly recommend them, the services are totally awesome, although I don't do it regularly.  Eyelash perming and tinting is just what it sounds like, a licensed esthetician will roll your lashes onto tiny little rollers and apply a mild, eye safe perming solution that is left on for 15 minutes or so (your eyes are closed during this whole process.)  However if your lashes are on the shorter side, they may not be able to perm them if they are too short to get on the rollers.  When finished they will follow with a tint which will dye your lashes darker.  The benefit to tinting afterwards is it relaxes the perm just a little bit so they aren't over curled.  The end result is beautiful dark curled lashes.  Basically you look like you have mascara on without makeup, and it really brightens and opens your eyes.  I recommend this to anyone considering an eye lift surgery as a non evasive alternative, because it really gives you "doe eyes" which are pretty, opposed to "deer in headlights eyes" (which are scary, and also a common result of eye lift surgeries).  The only downside to this service is that after 4-6 weeks when you start to shed you eyelashes and new ones come in (part of a regular growth cycle that many people are unaware of) you end up with old permed lashes and new straight ones , which together can be kind of crazy and spidery.  However, I say go with it and rock the Twiggy look until they return to normal, then get them permed again if you wish.  Lastly I want to advice that you use caution when getting this service, don't see just anyone, make sure you have a personal recommendation (Yelp doesn't count.) I get mine done at Flirt Salon in Burbank by Sandi or Meredith who do an excellent job. They also give really facials and waxing services.


Revitalash is a great product developed by a doctor that helps you grow longer, fuller lashes.  Unlike Latisse, which I have not tried, you don't need a prescription to obtain it.  You also don't run the risk of having your eyes turn brown from blue, like Lastisse mentions as a side effect, although there is a small risk of eyelid pigmentation for some users.  Basically you put it on at night like you would eyeliner along the lashes.  Use it nightly and you will see results within sixty days.  I don't know the exact science of it, but I believe I was told by a beauty insider that it slows down the lash growth cycle, so you are able to grow longer lashes before they shed and fall out.  It really works, and is worth a try if you aren't overly concerned about the pigmentation risk.  I have had issues with melasma in the past (hyperpigmentation of the skin due to birth control hormones) so I would think I'd be more susceptible to the risk, but I haven't had any problem with the product.  It's available at various beauty retailers, including Flirt Salon


Last, but not to be overlooked, you can get a fabulous ingenue gamine look by drawing on lashes (especially the lower) a la Twiggy.  Double, triple, or quadruple coat your lashes with mascara to finish the look.



  1. I Likey. I used revitalash in the past and it worked great. I'm not sure they make it anymore you know where to get it?

  2. I just bought some at Flirt Salon. They definitely still make it because I know a few other people that are using it currently. :)

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  4. Long lashes are definitely the best beauty asset, second only to beautiful skin' – I agree! Just look at the difference in that photo. It’s a great way to achieve a doe-eyed effect, which a lot of girls are aiming for. It’s no surprise that mascara has an instant makeover effect when applied. Thanks for sharing this great guide!

    Glenn Lowe @ Knight and Sanders