Lose the Mascara

Everyone has that part of their body that irks them. For me, it’s my tiny, blond eyelashes. I have tried every product out there to twist these invisible hairs into halfway respectable lashes: eyelash curlers, over-priced mascara with fancy wands, liquid eyeliner, you name it. It’s all time consuming and a mess to take off at the end of the day. So what’s a lash-loving girl to do?

Eyelash extensions have been the secret beauty weapon of celebs for a while now and in the past couple years they have found their way into the eyelids of Fairfield County women. So what exactly are eyelash extensions and where can you get them? I went to my favorite hair salon, Christopher Noland Salon and Beauty Spa on Greenwich Avenue where I booked an appointment with Zuzana, the salon’s esthetician and “eyelash whisperer.”

There are three different types of eyelash extensions that Zuzana’s clients choose from:

  • Mink — these are real mink and feel as light as regular eyelashes
  • Synthetic Mink — the darkest and thickest eyelash extension
  • Xtreme Lashes — in between mink and synthetic mink

Zuzana chose the synthetic mink for me and she recommends this for most of her clients, unless they are nervous about a dramatic change and want to start out with something more natural. I personally could not wait to add some major oomph to my lackluster lashes so was totally on board with getting the best lashes of the bunch!

If you are going to get fake eyelashes, remember that your eyes must be totally clean beforehand. That means no makeup, eyeliner, or mascara!

Getting eyelash extensions is not exactly pleasurable, but it’s not horrific either.

The Christopher Noland spa treatment room is as serene as possible and as you lay on the comfy massage table, you feel so relaxed that you might actually fall asleep. That said, you are having pointy fake eyelashes glued on to your eyelids so it’s not a totally zen experience. The process takes a while too, about one to one and a half hours. When I was finally able to open my eyes I blinked some tears and felt like I had eyelashes stuck in my eyelids. After less than a minute it felt fine. Or perhaps I just forgot the discomfort when I looked in the mirror and saw my absolutely fabulous lashes blinking back at me!

I was a little nervous that I might look like Tammy Faye, but the lashes were perfect and made me feel instantly beautiful. Friends and co-workers complimented me on looking great and it was only until I pointed out my lashes that they realized the secret to my newfound beauty.

Unlike fake eyelashes that you have to pull off like a band aid at the end of the night, the eyelash extensions very gracefully fall out over time, much like your natural lashes might fall out one lash at a time. Most of the lashes stay in for a blissful two weeks. In that time, I never once picked up a mascara wand or eyeliner. It was such a pleasure to wake up to gorgeous eyes that required absolutely no maintenance! Aside from sleeping on your back and being more careful when washing your face, there’s really nothing about them that gets in the way of regular life. I still wore my contacts and Zuzana reported that some of her clients even swim with them (although I did not try this myself).

I am so over mascara now, but at $150 — $250 a pop for eyelash extensions (depending on  how many lashes are applied) I can only afford luscious lashes for special occasions — so I’m counting the days to my next big event!

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