Image: Paula Joye
There are more women with eyelash extensions than there are letters in the word ‘Kardashian’.
It’s become the new fake tan, the new Shellac, the new ‘set and forget’ beauty service that saves women time.
I’ve always been a little dubious about the procedure, but two women whose beauty acumen I admire are total converts and persuaded me that in the right hands extensions were not only a time saver but a game changer.
Then there’s my youngest sister, Stephanie, who is a also completely addicted. She’s always suffered from bad allergies that give her watery, red eyes. The false extensions have created a natural protection and helps keep dust and pollen out of her eyes, which has totally turned around her hay fever symptoms.
So I put myself in the expert hands – Sydney’s Lash & Lacquer salon – to road test a full set of semi-permanent eyelash extensions.
The road test
The Promise: High quality silk/synthetic or mink lashes are individually bonded onto your existing eyelashes to add length and volume.
The Process: It’s not nearly as time intensive as I thought, and there’s zero discomfort. I chose the most natural curl and length in a synthetic lash. I lay down and closed my eyes for about 40 minutes while the technician glued and layered the lashes one by one to my eyes.
The Results: If you’re looking for instant gratification, this is your beauty service. Your eyes don’t just pop – they jump out and slap you in the face.
In the photo above, I’m wearing zero eye make-up and tinted moisturiser. The lashes somehow makes you look ‘done’ even when you’re not. I had them applied just before Christmas last year, which meant I spent all of January mascara-free – the lashes were brilliant for swimming, surf and warm weather stuff.
Honestly, the up-keep (once a month) is too much for someone like me because I’m hopeless with salon appointments, but I will absolutely do it again over the holiday months. The extensions are perfect for weddings and honeymoons.
The Cost: It’s not a cheap service, nor should it be for the skill level required. Lash and Lacquer extensions are $110 for a half set and $150 for a full set with infills starting at $50. A set should last up to four weeks. (To book, call (02) 9389 7713)
What you need to know
I had a lot of questions about the process so I asked Gaynor August, owner of Lash & Lacquer about the dos, don’ts and nevers of eyelash extensions.
How are the eyelash extensions applied?
A single natural eyelash is isolated and a lash is glued to the top of your own natural eyelash, approximately 1-2mm from the eyelid. This is so that neither the glue nor the lash has any contact with the skin.
How long does the application take?
For a full set of lash extensions, it takes one hour and 15 minutes. Two week infills take 30-45 minutes, depending on the loss of your own lashes. A three week infill takes 60 minutes.
What is the difference between mink and silk/synthetic lashes?
Despite what the name implies, Silk Lashes are not made from silk – they’re synthetic. They are shaped and curled to the desired length and made to look natural and full.
Mink lashes come from the fur of live minks without any harm to the animal. These are the most natural-looking eyelashes you can get. They are light, full, and generally regarded as superior to all other lashes.