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For all those who would rather be caught with their skirt tucked in their knickers, than leave the house without mascara - listen up!
Lash extensions (individual lashes painstakingly applied to every one of your natural lashes) are top of the pops when it comes to a semi-permanent solution to fake the effects of mascara – think added drama, more volume, colour depth, curly lashes and/or longer ones. Hello waking up looking not only totally acceptable and ready to leave the house, but better than you would following even your greatest ever mascara attempt.
Like all beauty treatments, it’s a jungle out there and not all technicians, not to mention lash extension materials, are made equal! To de-mystify, we went straight to the top and spoke to the lash queen herself, Daxita Varghela. Always ahead of the lash curve (excuse the pun) she’s developed a full repertoire of services catering for every lash extension worth knowing about and was, of course, the first to bring the latest innovation, Russian Lashes, to the UK (more on this life changing process later). She has a cult following and I can certainly attest that she works her magic impossibly quickly - her hands deserve some super insurance premium, for sure.
But which lash material do you go for?
1. Synthetic: Dramatic and glossy, but also firm (a little fake looking) and very heavy on the natural lash. These are not advisable for continued use long term and rarely used these days.
2. Silk: Mid-weight lashes which last longer than synthetic ones; they can look natural but do also still have a degree of density and drama to them.
3. Mink: As the name suggests, they’re top dollar in the lash world. Light and fluffy, these are lashes which deliver natural or dramatic, long-lasting effects and won’t weigh heavy on your natural ones.
The length of most individual lashes range from 6mm to 17mm; even if you’re well endowed with naturally long lashes, you probably won’t want to go much longer than a 12 if you want a believable end look.
The degree of curl ranges from an ‘L’ bend to a more natural curl. You can mix different curl ranges to achieve different effects. For example the B and C mix will likely give a natural look, as if you’ve used eyelash curlers.
When it comes to application there are different techniques:
Classic Lashes – by both name and nature, the classic is where a single lash is attached to each and every one of your own lashes. In the case of a ‘full set’, extensions are applied to all of your lashes; in a ‘half set’, lashes will be applied to most of your natural hairs but leaves some uncovered for a more natural look (and a cheaper treatment).
Russian Lashes – This is the latest technique (sometimes referred to as 3D or 6D lashes) and uses very light extensions. This means that up to 6 extensions can be applied to each of your individual natural lashes, depending on the look you are after.
The effects are something else. But be warned the process can be very long (up to 3 or 4 hours in some cases) UNLESS you can get to a pro of all pros, like Daxita. She can apply a full set in around an hour. I kid you not, she added 450 lashes across my natural lashes THAT quickly. It can be quite tedious lying still for hours on end, so for me the speed of application meant the whole process was super relaxing (it didn’t hurt, feel uncomfortable, or make my sensitive eyes sore at any point). Even my mother, who is first to let me know when something is a beauty fail, didn’t realise they were extensions and commented on how great my eye make-up was. If you can fool your own mother, you know you’re on to something clever.
Mirror Lashes – Daxita tells me these are coming soon and will entail the application of 1000 lashes. Yes, you read that a right! As soon as they hit and we’ve trialled them, we’ll let you know…
How long do they last?
Depending on the number of lashes applied, they can last up to 6 weeks. In my case, the Russian set lasted 4 weeks. Easily. I did then go back for a small maintenance top up at 4 weeks (20 minutes to pimp them up) but I definitely could have gone longer without needing to reach for any mascara. These are addictive. I challenge anyone to give them up after a single application.
How to get the best lashes for you
Make sure you go to a reputable technician, who properly understands the shape of your eye (if you’ve got big or round shape eyes for example, a cats eye shape, with long outer lashes at the corner, might not work as well as other shapes), takes into consideration your natural lashes (how strong they are, curly they are and their natural length) and above all listens to the type of look you are after (drama scales can vary considerably).
Daxita is highly skilled in this area, she sizes up your face quickly and really tailors her service to ensure you get a bespoke finish and result which will enhance your features, balance your face…generally make you look a thousand times better than you usually do!
How to maintain them
Daxita was very specific on this and she is right to be. Maintain these guys properly and they really will go the extra mile (or weeks) – and make the investment worth it!
1. In the first 24 hours, avoid steam. Don’t get your eyes wet at all – this means a shower with the window open and a careful cleanse of the face around the eye.
2. Use a clean mascara wand each day to comb lashes on the top (NOT underneath). This will keep them in check and stop any going AWOL or sideways. You want to be careful not to tug on the glue at the base of the eyelashes or on your natural eyelashes themselves as this can cause damage.
3.To give them a bit of curl, comb them from the top and then lightly press them upwards towards your brow bone, using your fingers.
4.Cleanse them occasionally to get rid of any dirt or eyeliner/shadows - or even mascara if you’ve been naughty and put some on over the top. To cleanse use baby shampoo and massage on gently, avoiding any scrubbing or pulling.
5. Eye makeup is not an outright no-no, but you need to avoid anything that contains oil (which, sorry peeps, is a lot of it). Lots of kohl eyeliners and shadows have an oil base so try to go for one which doesn’t. In my experience a bit of shadow didn’t make any difference but it can catch and congeal in the glue - so will require cleansing in the evening.
And in the meantime, why not find your perfect mascara?