By now, I’m sure you’ve seen postings on the internet and maybe even from your favorite beauty bloggers about the hottest new trend in lashes: The Lash Lift.
A while back I tried Lash Extensions, but really wasn’t a fan of them, so the idea of having a little extra and semi-permanent curl sounded like a great alternative! The service ranges from $50-$70 from what I can tell for a treatment that should last anywhere between 6-8 weeks.
I’d read about it on Popsugar and even watched a quick video of the procedure. My favorite beauty blogger Kate from The Small Things got one recently, and it looks GORGEOUS! I knew my instincts were right. I NEEDED to try this!
I went to Google and found several places in my area that did Lash Lifts and settled on a salon on the West side of Denver. Excited to get the process started, I scheduled the appointment for just a week out.
On the day of my appointment, I elected to not wear my contacts, as I was certain the chemicals being close to my eyes wouldn’t mix well with my contacts, and I was right! The technician advised that she would have had me take them out had I worn them. I was so excited to get things started as you can see from the pic I took just an hour before!
After exchanging pleasantries, I proceeded to settle into the treatment bed. Very similar to a wax appointment, you lie down for the procedure. I asked a few questions before getting started. Questions that, in retrospect, should have made me walk away from the procedure all together.
- When I asked what happens if the lashes turn out too curly, I received the reply – – You just have to wait until it relaxes. Turns out, there is a massive list of recommendations you can find on the internet.
- When I asked if I should be doing a lash lift considering I was using a lash growing product, I was told that she wasn’t sure. Correct answer: there is no reason to pause.
When you’re laying on the table for any procedure, you can always get up and walk away. For some reason, I didn’t. I stayed. I wanted those pretty, pretty lashes I’d read about on the internet… and because I ignored my instincts, my results have been quite the ordeal. When your provider doesn’t have any answers to basic questions and/or does not position themselves as a specialist, you definitely should walk away.
The procedure itself took about an hour. She applied the perming solution, using a tiny rod. The scent was very reminiscent of the late 80’s when I used to rock a spiral perm. It didn’t hurt, but it was definitely uncomfortable. Someone manipulating your lashes, combing them repeatedly, and putting pressure on the eye area just feels weird, which is to be expected. I felt some slight burning, but nothing of concern. Like my grandmother used to tell me, “It hurts to be beautiful.” So, I hung in there.
When she was done, I looked in the mirror and I thought my lashes looked INCREDIBLE. They were long, curled and really opened up my eyes. As I was leaving, I came back in to ask some aftercare questions (as no recommendations were made) and was told there were no restrictions and that I could proceed as normal. This also raised a flag for me. I mean, hellooooo….
Regardless, I left the salon… thanked everyone for their time, and headed home with my curly wet lashes. Note an important detail: My lashes were WET.
By the time I arrived home, my lashes had dried…. and dried MUCH curlier than they were previously. The best way I can describe them is rather than being an upside down J shape, they were more of a backwards C shape. I was seeking the J, not the C. Not the C at all. Imagine if your lashes are in the shape of a C, they don’t look long. They don’t look lustrous… and adding mascara is a COMPLETE mess. Also fun, my bottom lashes are crimped.
The other thing that happened over the next few hours is that my eyelids began to swell and my eyes got really red. With lids puffing up, I assumed an allergic reaction and proceeded to take some Benadryl (and a nap.) I also decided to wash the area really well. The technician actually left some residue on my lids, there was some in my brows, and I decided to fully clean my lashes, hoping for the Legally Blonde style results we all remember being explained from the movie. I even added mascara to see what they would look like. HOT. MESS.
They’re just kind of weird. Notice the crimping on the bottom lashes. They literally flip up at the ends. The lower lashes were completely covered during the procedure, so I’m not sure when/how they got curled. But they’re definitely crimped. Without mascara, they look normal-ish, but with mascara… it’s just ugly. And, note the puffiness of the lids and the redness of the eyes… sigh.
And, if you’re wondering: These babies haven’t budged a bit since Wednesday despite my extreme attention to them. I’ve been adding lash enhancer, vitamin E, castor oil, shampoo. I’ve even carefully scrubbed them with a shampoo my hair dresser gave me that supposedly strips hair. NOTHING.
So, now I wait for 6-8 weeks. I hope to hell that I’m more like 6 weeks, and I’m researching thin non-volumizing mascara so that I can add a little something without making a complete mess. I’m also searching for a heated lash curler that maybe I can use as a mini straightening iron. Considering the way my eyes reacted to the solution to begin with, I’m not even interested in getting them chemically straightened. I think it would just be too much at this point. (Again, sigh)
Know that they don’t look scary and it’s not like I’m embarrassed to leave the house. The average person looking at me doesn’t even notice. Yesterday morning, I had brunch with my friend Bev… and she noticed my puffy eyes, but not really the lashes. They actually look better without mascara, so I may just go sans mascara for a while. Or, perhaps wear a lash strip so that it’s not as noticeable. I’m definitely not putting mascara on my lower lashes for at least the next few months and I only plan to wear mascara when I have meetings/social events/etc.
So, that’s my story of trying the latest craze. Know that I 100% know that some salons can make this magic happen (as in Kate’s case), but I share the other side + a few recommendations:
- Do NOT get a lash lift without a referral
- Ask Questions. Reserve the right to walk away if anything seems off. I should have.
- Request a Skin Test – Most of the online resources I found (I’ve read them ALL after this mess) indicate that the technician should do a skin test 24-48 hours in advance to make sure you are not allergic to the product. This was not a part of the protocol at the salon I visited.
- Do NOT have this service performed if you have chronic dry eyes – I have this, and it has been amplified significantly as a result of the procedure.
- When in doubt, just use your eyelash curler.
So, that’s my story: An alternative to the rosy stories I’ve heard from everyone else. Make good decisions out there, and by all means, take care of your eyes!
** Update on this experience: This post has been extremely popular, and sadly because many of you are ending up with terrible results (like I did!) As an update, I’ll share with you that over time, my lashes did go back to normal after about 2-2 1/2 months. A year later, they’re healthy again and I’ve seen great results from using R&F Lash Boost over the past few months. I pair the Lash Boost with Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions mascara which has become my favorite mascara for adding a little length and holding the curl from the lash curler (bonus: It’s the easiest to remove too!)
My lashes are no longer fringed (thank goodness!) and while I still have to use my lash curler, it’s FINE. I’ll take that every day over experiencing this again. Be careful out there, y’all!