Mia Timpano – October 8 2006
I use mascara to achieve fabulous lashes. Jennifer Lopez doesn’t. She has mink lashes bonded to her existing ones.
They’re eyelash extensions and everyone in Hollywood and their chow has got them. Oprah. Naomi Campbell. Nicole Kidman. Madonna’s are studded with actual diamonds and are rumoured to be worth some US$10,000.
Enough. What are they and how do you get them?
The procedure is relatively simple. You choose what length of lashes you want (there are different lengths, from 6mm to 14mm). You choose the colour (brown, blonde, auburn, purple, blue and even green are commonly available). Then you are put on a table, whereupon your beautician cleans and preps your eyes. The beautician dips each individual lash in a bonding agent and applies them to your own individual lashes. Each eye requires between 25 and 40 new lashes, depending on how full you want yours to appear. This entire process takes between one and three hours.
The bonding agent dries over the following 48 hours. In that time you must avoid direct contact with water, such as swimming, steaming and washing your face.
So. Now these Jennifer Lopez lashes are attached. How long do they last?
Assuming you sleep on your back and don’t rub or otherwise stress your eyes, the lashes should last as long as your own natural lashes. Your own lashes tend to fall out after about 10 to 12 weeks. But given that the false lash extension is usually bonded onto a 5 or 6 week old lash, you only actually have some 5 or 6 weeks of wear in the new lashes. For this reason, beauticians recommend touch-up sessions every fortnight.
Eyelash extensions originated in Korea. Not entirely suprising, given the emphasis Korean girls place on their lashes. There, having your eyelashes professionally permed every month is common. Extensions were a logical progression. The trend subsequently spread amongst beauty salons in Europe, the US and now in Australia.
The benefits of eyelash extensions over traditional false lashes are obvious. For one, they appear to be natural. The lashes are commonly made from a synthetic hair, which is similar to human hair, and taper at the tip, just as a natural eyelash does. Two, no mascara is required. No make-up remover is required. In short, no day-to-day maintenance is involved.
Very well. Let’s talk bucks.
Well, to my mind, extensions are financially a bitch. Your Sanctuary Sydney, (02) 9360 5000, charges $175 for a full set and $275 for a “super luxurious set”. Eyelash Boutique Gold Coast, (07) 5532 9975, charges much the same: $150 for a full set.
This is to say nothing of fortnightly touch-up sessions. Your Sanctuary charges $8.50 for each individual lash “in-fill”. Eyelash Boutique charges a $50 minimum for an “in-fill” session.
J Lo sells millions of albums and designer perfume. I don’t. Nor do I have her bankroll. But seductive lashes are by no means out of reach, even for the skint. I am very partial to Rimmel Xtreme Volume Comb Mascara, $14.95. It creates thick, sumptuous lashes that appear much like false lashes with a single application.
M.A.C. has a wide selection of beautiful traditional false lashes, including full, flared and half-lash sets for $18. Consider also Napoleon Perdis individual false lashes, $15. I have found these, well-placed, are especially Bambi-like.
To make false lashes blend well with your own lashes, try brushing a single coat of clear mascara over them.