beauty

Everything you need to know about getting a 'lash lift'.

Long, curly, thick lashes – that’s the dream, right? But when your lashes are short and straight, even the best mascara isn’t going to give you the eyelashes you really want.

Eyelash curlers can help and yet half the time the curl won’t hold, even if you do heat it first and hold it for 30 seconds.

And it’s at this point you might think about getting eyelash extensions. But if you’re turned off by the time-consuming upkeep, then a lash lift might be just the solution for you.

What is a lash lift? Well basically, it’s a perm for your eyelashes.

As beauty therapist Lauren Marks from A World of Beauty explains, it involves placing a curler and applying a solution to your lashes to give them a perfect curl that is not too over-the-top for people with longer lashes.

“First you remove all the eye makeup. Then what we do is adhere a rubber rod to the top of the eyelid with special safe glue and then you use a special tool to carefully adhere the lashes to the rod so they are spaced out and there’s a nice natural look to them,” Lauren explains.

“Then you apply the solution to perm the lashes and you leave that on for between seven to ten minutes. Then you remove the solution and then we apply a neutraliser – it’s what’s used to rebalance the Ph levels in the lashes so they’re not brittle or break or snap.

“Once that’s been on for six minutes you wash that off, gently remove the rods, dry with a cotton tip and you’re good to go.”

As someone who very much sits in the straight-lash category (and the holder of a gift certificate to a salon), I was keen to give a lash lift a go.

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I found the process was simple, quick enough and not at all uncomfortable. The results were perfectly lifted lashes that curled upwards from the base. It was like I’d just used an eyelash curler, but instead of dropping when I applied mascara or after a few hours – they stayed that way, upright and perky.

The best bit is – there’s zero aftercare.

Unlike with lash extensions where you’re trying to avoid wetting your eyes at all costs for several hours and keeping your face from the shower spray after that, you can wash your face straight after a lash lift or apply makeup.

Another reason you may prefer it to eyelash extensions is that it won’t damage your natural lashes.

“This is completely safe for your natural lashes as well. The chemicals that you use are completely safe to be used around the eyes and they’re completely safe for your lashes as well because you’re using the neutraliser,” Lauren says.

And if you’ve ever had an ‘eyelash perm’ and want to know how this is any different… it’s a change in the shape of the rods that ensures longer lashes won’t be curled so much they touch your lid.

Listen: While you’re at it. Why not tint your eyebrows? (Post continues after audio.)

Before you get too excited about your new lashes though, keep in mind that a lash lift lasts about six to eight weeks. This is simply because your curled lashes fall out and are replaced by your regular untreated ones.

Lauren says that if you want to maintain your curled lashes, you’ll have to wait until all your treated ones have grown out – so eight weeks.

The treatment costs between $55 – $110, depending on what salon you go to.

For me, getting my lashes regularly lifted isn’t an expense I want to add to my beauty routine just yet. But I’d definitely get it done before my next holiday as I was happy with the way my eyes looked before mascara and saving precious minutes for swimming and cocktail-sipping is worth the $55.

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