I’m pretty damn obsessed with eyelashes. Not in like a creepy, hoarding-the-ones-that-fall-out kind of way (what) I mean more that I have 400 mascaras, would take my favourite mascara to a desert island if I was forced to take only one beauty product, etc etc. Of all the makeup things you can do to your mug, making my eyelashes look long and Bambi-like is my favourite.
However, I am also a lazy shit who likes to spend as little time as possible putting makeup on. I wear it every day, but it’s a very rushed bathroom affair and not an hour-long vlogger type of application in the slightest. So one of the most annoying things for me is getting my naturally straight and blah eyelashes curled up and loaded with mascara for length and fullness. I use a scary eyelash curler every day and I haaate it. I routinely clamp my eyelid in it and it’s horrific.
I’d heard tons about eyelash lifts and eyelash extensions. I knew extensions weren’t for me – a friend had them done and frothed hard, but also told me awful, high maintenance tales of not being able to rub her eyes and having to be extra careful with all these specific rules. Haha, nope! I hate rules!
But lash lifts intrigued me. The promise of curled lashes 24/7 with little to no maintenance required? Sign me the hell up as long as it doesn’t hurt or scare me.
I decided to give a lash lift a whirl. I headed to Amy Jean Brow Agency in Sydney for their Keratin Lash Elevate treatment. It costs $130 including lash tint, but lasts around 8-10 weeks which means the out of pocket isn’t too insane.
Lash lifts work like this – your lashes are permed so they look naturally curled, and as those permed lashes naturally fall out over time, the ones that grow through have your natural shape. So you do have to go back every 8-10 weeks for a new lash lift, but in the between time you don’t have to do very much to maintain the look.
First up, I chatted to my lash technician about the curl level I wanted to achieve. She offered three lifts – the first would be extremely natural, just a slight lift up and out. The second, slightly more curled – she referred to it as “Bambi eyes”. The third would be a full curl. I went for two because I am a sucker for anything referred to as “Bambi eyes”. Like hello yes I want to look like a baby deer at the end of this, thank you.
Next, I had to lie back and have two under-eye treatment pads put on. They’re stuck on top of my bottom lashes which isn’t a GREAT sensation, but it’s not too bad. Just a bit irritating but they need to be there to keep those bottom lashes away from what’s going on with the top ones. THEN these crazy stick-on gel pads are put right above my lashes, and my top lashes are painted up onto them. Here’s what it looks like:
Then it’s time for two different weird concoctions to be put on my lashes. To be fair I have no idea what these are, but I assume they are the perming solution.
The entire time I have to keep my eyes closed, which is kind of an uncomfortable experience – a bit claustrophobic, although I do have some mild claustrophobia issues so maybe another person wouldn’t feel as weird as I did. That being said Amy Jean Brow Agency was a really relaxing place to get this done – it was all nice spa music and burning candles. So you can kind of just pretend you’re meditating.
Finally, my lashes are tinted.
Lash tinting looks gross, huh.
Even though I was lying there for around 45 mins to an hour, it didn’t feel that long – each step was around 10 minutes, so you’re sort of having things applied and then removed so often, the time goes a lot faster.
At the end my lash technician gives me a special mascara that’s a keratin product designed to enhance healthy lash growth so your new lashes come through stronger. Nice.
Here’s a terrible close up photo of what they looked like a week after the treatment, with not a scrap of makeup on.
So you can see they look curled, but not UNNATURALLY curled, right? Here’s them with literally one lick of mascara, and it’s been 3 weeks since I had the lash lift done so you can see a COUPLE of teeny lashes coming through straight under there.
Also please ignore my eyebrows I’M DUE FOR A SHAPE, OKAY.
They’re so looooong. Extremely long and lifted, right? Honestly, that is one swipe of mascara – the biggest change I’ve noticed is I have to use a LOT less mascara unless I want my lashes to look OTT as hell. Which of an evening – hell yeah. But of a work day, no thanks.
Can anything go wrong? Well, kinda.
“Nothing will go wrong when a trained artist correctly lifts, extends and sets the lashes. But a novice may overlap or not set the lashes into the correct position. This can cause the lashes to look frizzy,” explains Amy Jean.
What about RULES? Like I said, I hate rules, so I was pleased to discover the only real rule was a bit of 24 hour after-care. I was told to try and avoid getting water on my lashes for a day – apparently it wasn’t TOO much of a drama if a little went on them, but to avoid steamy, long showers and dousing them in water. I basically washed my face with a face wipe that night and the next morning, and then it was business as usual after that.
That is the great thing about lash lifts – you can rub your eyes, get water all over them, whatever. It’s your natural lashes that have been permanently lifted, so you really can’t ruin them. Sure, if you rubbed your eyes aggressively all the time you might see your permed lashes falling out faster, I guess? But for a low maintenance person this is the shit.
I’m totally hooked and can honestly say I’ll be doing this again. SEE YA, SCARY METAL EYELASH CURLER.Image: Getty Images