For those of you who don’t know, lash extensions are a thing and it is something that any person get. The only requirement, book an appointment. The process also requires patience and the willingness to pay the steeper fee attached to such a luxurious service. Though this isn’t something meant only for special occasions, some women have this service done regularly, up keeping it as part of their regular look. In fact I have gone years doing just that. I deem them a more grown up process and less work then applying false lashes daily with glue and tweezers. Not to mention they tend to look more natural. Though if you want a more dramatic look and the option to remove them as needed, I suggest sticking with the falsies.
I haven’t solicited this service in years, so thought it would be a nice treat for my impending trip to Japan. A way to look like I am wearing makeup without the need to actually apply any. Yes I was doing this more out of pure laziness than for its beauty benefit.
I have been to this location, as well as their now closed South Granville location. The setting was I remembered, but with some slight changes. The black and silver chandelier that hung with crystal bobbles in the centre of the room and the ornate velvet accented wallpaper to match were a staple. Their trademark white and black. This chic look definitely catered to their clientele, women who appreciate the finer things in life.
They specialize just in lash extensions, but sell accessories along the lines of what women are looking for in fun and funky beauty products. Naturally, false lashes in a variety if patterns and extremes were available for purchase, including the mirrors and the glue needed to adhere them. And if you find this process too hard to do on your own they will apply it for you too. They also sold sparkly hair accessories, branded nail polish, and the newest trend: metallic tattoos.
I checked in with the clerk and was offered a small bottle of water. It came labelled in their brand. Then I was directed to take a seat while I waited the next available specialist. As I sat I watched. It looked like there was a newer employee learning today. She had a more senior member check her work and sign off on her results. As the client she was working on I would find it difficult to feel confident in her abilities. She she needed to start somewhere, but she would be practicing on my face. Where I was paying full price and expected perfection. Luckily I would not get this or any other newbie. I was extremely thankful for the technician that was assigned to me. Her name escapes me now, but she had stunning red hair and the cutest Cupid bow lips. If work station arrangement were similar to salons, she had first chair, the one closest to the window for all those looking in to see. She was a makeup artist by trade with still hands that marks a professional. During my experience she explained all the steps and checked for my comfort, even reassuring me when we were almost done, and that they were looking full.
I was directed to lay on one of their loungers, suggesting I make myself comfortable. Though this would not be an easy task to accomplish. I did not like lying on the stiff plastic sheet that spread over each couch. The crunch and squeak of plastic each time I had to re-adjust my position reminded me that I was uncomfortable on them. However I understood their need. Given the regular rotation of clients and each keeping their shoes on, there needed to be a way to keep the furniture clean. I remembered years back when the couches were white or black and could clearly see discolouration on the former. The gathering of dirt and grime in patches where hands laid and soles of shoes stood. Now the couches were a dull grey and the plastic would keep them and their side pillows that way. The chemise allowed you to lay down, but no matter what I did, I could not get my neck comfortable at the angle they need me to be. Head over armrest. I had to remind myself this was not meant for comfort. It was a practical way to give the technicians access to your my head and closed eyes. That it was more important to have things comfortable for them as they need to have their heads bent and arms erect for hours at a time.
You choose the look if your lashes from a menu of four. She referred to a black and pink card with drawn examples and creative write ups on each one. This was new, I don’t recall being given a selection many years back. Hearing want I was looking for she directed me to the second most dramatic set, reassuring that she will cater it to my eye shape. Longest lashes at the centre and shorter ones fanning out at either sides. She even laid an example to test, and check for my approval of length. Once again I was never given this option during my original stint with lash extensions. Maybe it was just her being thorough, either way it was a nice touch. Nice to have the option, and nice to know what you will be getting. Worst is to be caught off guard when you finally open your eyes an hour after.
Make up on our off, your choice. Given this would be my last time to wipe my eyes, I choose the later using my own make up remover pads. Gel pad infused with aloe and vitamin e are adhered to the bottom of your lids. They help to keep keep your bottom lashes separate, which is critical to the gluing process; while simultaneously reducing dark lines under your eyes. Any stray lashes were tapped down over it. And depending on the folds of your eyes you might also need the top of your lids tapped for maximum lash exposure.
And it begins. This process takes time, appointments are scheduled for 1.5 hours. It takes patience and time to painstaking adhere each extension lash by lash. A commitment for both parties involved. And even though you as the client are on your back, essentially resting, it is still hard to lie still. I, like many others napped. It helped to past the time. Though this was not done purpose, but I caught myself mouth gaped a few times. Enough that I began worrying about the way I looked, and the potential sounds or smells that may be emitting from my mouth. After all she was so close to my face. She on the other hand had nothing to worry about. If you want to avoid the above or if you just can’t sleep, the girls were more than ready to small chat with you.
After each strand is pains taken laid and adhered to an existing lash, the tech then used tweezers to manipulate the curl, holding each down for several seconds. This ensures a natural bend towards the ceiling. When firm, all the tape around my eyes was gingerly removed. It had them watering, but as necessary as it was unavoidable. I was then asked to open my lashes to see if any of my bottom and top lashes were stuck together. A few were, but were easily freed by the strategic use of tweezers.
This whole process then ends with sealant being applied to seal in your new look. The estimated longevity for a set is three weeks, but things can be done to elongate this time frame. The first is to avoid rubbing your eyes, which includes washing them. Here, cotton swabs and makeup remover pads are your best friends. Any jostling of your lashes could lead to them twisting and settling into an undesired position, or worse breaking off along with your original lash. Most, like myself just avoid makeup all together while having them. Once again I have them to replace the need to wear eye liner, their thickness acts like a lining over my lid, opening them wide with a natural look. For additional staying power the purchase and use of their “lash potion no.9” serum is recommend. My technician bundled, and sold me on this one for about $35. I have been taking her suggestions so far and now saw no reason not to accept this one too. She recommended brushing some on daily. Then allowing them to dry for 15 minutes before brushing them out. She gave me disposable mascara wands to take home, to do just that.
You get addicted seeing yourself with them on. It’s something you are willing to upkeep because you look so fabulous with then. I only stopped because I found myself in water often and not being able to rub your eyes freely when wet becomes a hassle. Those who shy away from the service fear loosing natural lashes in the process. Yes it is a genuine concern and it probably does happen a few times, but nothing great is had without a cost.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Given that the basic full set runs at $80 this may not be something everyone can afford. If that’s the case I suggest trying it at least once, but saving it for a special occasion. A wedding, a prom, a romantic getaway. You are worth it. Once again, there was a year where I wore and reapply these individual lashes regularly. However for cost and convenience sake I did eventually ceased the appointments. In the long run I saw them as a unnecessary indulgent, and something to partake in only for the right reasons. For example, if I have the money and my laziness wins over logic. Don’t deny yourself.
1150 Hamilton Street, Vancouver BC