SUPER HUGE CLOSE UP. So, as a big fan of make up and enhancing (read: improving) my face, it wouldn't surprise you to know that I am a big fan of lash extensions. Eyelash extensions? Like fake eyelashes glued onto your own? Pretty much. Like hair extensions but for your eyelashes! Whether you think it sounds genius or jawdroppingly weird, I've had lash extensions done several times before but I recently had them done at Primalashes in Mayfair where I tried a new kind of eyelash.
First, if you're not familiar with the process, let's cover the basics
How do eyelash extensions work?
How do eyelash extensions work?
So you may have seen those Eyelure kits in Boots, there are either cluster lashes or individual lashes available. You can get cluster lashes applied in a salon for about £20, but they don't look as natural as individual eyelash extensions. And, having trialled every type of false lash under the sun, I can tell you now - nothing compares to individual lash extensions from a salon.
Individual extensions get placed directly onto each lash and depending on the look you want, you may get 2 or three placed on the lash. You can also get different lengths and different levels of curl!
I normally have eyelash extensions done before summer holiday or for a special occasion. The first time I ever had eyelash extensions was for my grad ball many, many... many years ago. I love the effect because they look so much more natural than false eyelash strips and you don't have to worry about them peeling off and ending up on your lip or somewhere.
How do they get put on?
First of all, to prepare for extensions, your eye make up is removed and then a little adhesive pad is applied to the bottom eyelashes to keep them down and stop them sticking to your top eyelashes. When I've had this done at some other salons, they use surgical tape which feels like masking tape holding down your lower lashes! I much preferred these lovely pads at Primalashes.
With your eyes closed, your technician isolates one of your eyelashes before dipping a false lash into some glue and then places it onto your own.
Normally I wear lash extensions made of silk or fibre but this time at the Primalashes salon, I was trialling the Siberian Mink eyelashes which are actually made of fur! They're collected via brushing and are a lot lighter than traditional eyelash extensions.
The lovely Priscilla from Primalashes was more than happy to let me sit back, relax and enjoy the experience. The great thing about the Primalashes salon is that you're lying on a reclining sofa which is a LOT more comfortable than some of the other salons I've been to.
I brought extension-newbie and fellow Depop-per Nikki along to trial the lashes too. Nikki was completely new to eyelash extensions and was keen to find out more - but worried that it might hurt, or might be weird. I assured her that the result would be AMAZING, so she came along and also had a set done.
Check out the before and after photos!
I was SO pleased with the result. As a veteran extensions wearer, I can see that Siberian Mink lashes are super fluttery and fluffier than normal eyelash extensions. They're thinner and lighter than normal lashes so the result is really full, yet not heavy at all.
All eyelash newbies out there - Nikki loved her results too, she'd gone for a more natural, curled look but she was really surprised that she couldn't even feel the lashes on. So there you go folks - straight from a lash extension first-timer! It doesn't hurt, it doesn't feel heavy and the results are AMAZING.
How To Look After Lashes
Semi-permanent lashes can last for at least three weeks if you don't abuse them. You should avoid mascara and oil based products though because they can actually weaken the glue so that the lashes move or fall out quicker.
I didn't use mascara (as if I need it with THESE babies!) and switched my cream makeup remover to an oil-free version like this Simple Eye Makeup Remover.
You can see that the lashes are still definitely hanging on in there, some of the lighter ones have fallen off so the look is less fluffy but the remaining look is still ten times better than my normal lashes. I STILL don't need to wear mascara with these!
The best thing is not having to put on mascara every day, not having to curl my eyelashes and not having to rub my eyes to take off my make up every day. I've saved both time, money and my skin!
The only watch out with extensions is that you need to remember not to rub your eyes! This is the hardest one for me because it's a natural reflex first thing in the morning! However once you get used to it, it's fine.
My top tip? It's important that you comb your lashes every day to stop them from getting tangled. Over time, once the glue weakens, your lashes can occasionally twist upon themselves so you end up with a lash pointing in the different direction! It is easily prevented and fixed by brushing your lashes daily with either an eyelash comb, or a mascara brush. You can just ask for a mascara tester brush for free from any beauty hall.
When you start to get gaps, you can go for infills back at the salon or you can remove them. You need a special remover like this Eylure Lift Off, which is an oil based remover that dissolves the glue - just saturate a cotton pad and hold it against closed eyelids for a few minutes and the lashes will just slide off!
And of course, the biggest question... will my eyelashes fall out?
If looked after correctly, you shouldn't lose any more eyelashes than normal. However if you don't look after eyelash extensions or end up pulling at them and you can end up pulling out more of your lashes than normal. Being honest, I probably lose more lashes then I should because it's SO tempting (and satisfying) to pull at them.
However, on the other hand - I still think it is totally worth it because they last for so long and you don't have to worry about make up. That's why I've had eyelash extensions done so many times! This is the first time that I can literally leave the house without worrying about putting on a scrap of make up. Oh wait, except for my skin...and my eyebrows.. but you know what I mean!
What's the cost?
You can get a basic Silk set from £50, which I think is actually a really great price seeing that the cheapest I've had them in a salon is £65. Oh - and you can get £20 off with ZOE1 and book online easily at Primalashes.com.
You can get Groupon deals for lash extensions but the quality isn't as good (remember the masking tape bit I mentioned?) Here's a picture of a set that I once last year for £20 via Groupon. Definitely not as good.
So there you go - a beautiful set of lash extensions, courtesy of Primalashes on New Bond Street. I will DEFINITELY be getting these again before my big summer holiday.
You can get £20 off a set of lashes when you mention my blog or use code ZOE1 at Primalashes Salon.