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Style & Living Beauty

This Is What It's Like to Get a Lash Lift

"They’re kind of like a boob lift, but for your eyes," said my eyelash technician as I sat down in the chair to embark on this journey. 

By Wendy Rose Gould

I made a vow to myself to lay off the lash extensions after a year-long obsession (and it truly was an obsession) left my poor eyelashes brittle, broken, and stubby. Don’t get me wrong — I felt like a damn beauty queen every time I woke up in the morning with those heavy, compliment-worthy lashes fluttering back at me in the mirror. But to be honest, though, I started to miss the routine of applying mascara, and I knew the bi-weekly, hour-long appointments and regular expense wasn’t sustainable or ideal. So in January, I had them removed for good.

It took a couple months for my lashes to fully regain their health, but they’re back to normal now thanks to gentle washing and an over-the-counter growth lash serum. Recently, though, I’ve started craving just a little more drama in the eye department. I’d heard murmurings of lash lifts — and figured it could be the low-fuss solution to my longing for an impactful change. And thus, an appointment was made at Hourglass Cosmetics in NYC’s SoHo. Spoiler alert: I love my lift.

What To Expect at Your Lash Lift Appointment

“They’re kind of like a boob lift, but for your eyes,” said my eyelash technician as I sat down in the chair to embark on this profound journey. And just like that, I knew I had made the right decision. She briefly outlined what the 45-minute long lift process would be like, asked if I was ready to proceed, and then tilted my chair back.

If you’ve ever had lash extensions, then you’ll probably feel pretty comfortable with this process. If you haven’t, it may feel a little odd having someone meticulously comb through each and every one of your lashes. Personally, I find it extremely soothing — sort of like getting your hair played with or like getting a facial.

First, the technician will apply an undereye patch that hydrates the area while also keeping your bottom lashes out of the way. Next, a mini rubber roller is applied right at the upper lash line and a pre-solution gel is painted on to your lashes. (There are several sizes of rollers depending on your lash length, and the technician will usually determine which size is best for you.) Next, each and every single lash is separated, and then the lift solution is applied. This smells sort of like a perm solution, and I was worried about it potentially stinging or itching. I personally did not experience any discomfort, but some have reported a bit of itching as the solution dries. Once the solution has fully set it’s rinsed away, and your lashes are instantly lifted.

The entire process from beginning to end takes about 45 minutes, and your eyes are closed the entire time. I asked my technician what would happen if I opened them during the process and she basically said it would mess everything up, but that she hadn’t had anyone ever do that in her chair before. At the end of my appointment, I was instructed to not wear mascara or immerse my face in water — goodbye, makeup remover wipes and taxis in the rain — for the next 24 hours.

The Results

I wasn’t sure what to expect when she handed me the mirror, but the difference was joltingly dramatic. It looked as if my lashes were both darker and exceptionally longer, which is because the thickest part of them was now elevated. Check it out:

I was dying to see what my lashes looked like with mascara, but I dutifully waited for 24 hours as advised. Throughout the day, though, I earned two noteworthy compliments about looking “very well rested,” which was ironic because I was particularly burnt out due to it being the tail-end of New York Fashion Week.

When I finally was able to apply mascara, the results were even more dramatic. The tips of my lashes are light — almost translucent — and so painting them black made them seem very long and very full.

I will say that mascara is much trickier to apply now since the lashes almost touch my eyelids, so I do mascara first, then the rest of my eye makeup. I also had an experience where I slept on my lashes a little wet and they were all funky and bent. I freaked out, but after washing my face in the morning they bounced back to their normal, lifted selves.

The results are expected to last anywhere from four to eight weeks depending on your lash growth cycle, and the cost is about $150. This is cheaper than any lash extensions I ever received, making it a cost-effective, less cumbersome alternative. Another bonus is that the solution is infused with keratin (a protein found in hair), so it strengthens your lashes while lifting them. Having seen my own lashes in pretty terrible shape after serial extensions, I can attest that my lashes look and feel very healthy. I can see this becoming a more consistent part of my routine, and I highly recommend checking it out if you, too, are craving a little more oomph in the eye department.

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