My mother didn’t have any eyelashes. Well, actually, she had some, but they were very thin and sparse. I remember her applying mascara and being a kid, I sometimes snickered at the “Minnie Mouse” effect it gave her eyes.
Back in my mother’s day, lash extensions probably didn’t exist or if they did, they were a really exclusive, well-kept secret of moguls and movie stars. Fortunately for anyone willing to make a bit of an investment, anyone can have the lashes they’ve always dreamed — even if nature didn’t provide them. Lash extensions are not just available, they’re accessible.
Modern lash extensions nothing like the strips of fake lashes you glue close to your lash line over your own lashes. Those not only look fake, but they unfailingly fall off . To me, false eyelashes feel like you’ve taped roller blinds to your eyelids. Lash extensions are applied one lash at a time with a tweezer and special glue onto your own lashes so they look natural If lash extensions are done correctly, you won’t even feel them.
My natural lashes are not that bad, but nothing special. Still, I wondered what it would be like to have really beautiful lashes that stayed on day and night, in the shower, when I was sleeping, that would be there when I awoke and looked in the mirror…etc….A visit to Makeup artist Christian Zamora, not only transformed my own lashes, but gave me a lot of insight into how these lashes are applies, how they feel, and how they perform. Christian Zamora’s studio at 1133 broadway suite 724 in Manhattan, where he also offers expert makeup application to celebrities, brides, and fashionable people around New York City. But his real claim to fame (and a lot of his business) is applying lashes to enhance and supplement a client’s own lashes.
I had no idea that so many people (including many I know) were already wearing lash extensions. I just assumed that mother nature had endowed them with much nicer lashes than mine (silly me! ). If they are done correctly, you don’t even know that you have them on (an initial worry as I have really sensitive eyes). You can have a natural look or go all the way to lush, drag queen, but once you have the look you love, it’s easy to get addicted because you no longer have to deal with curlers or mascara. it’s almost effortless. As one of my friends simply put it: “lash extensions are a bit like crack.”
What is the Process Like? Lash extensions are made of one of three types of materials ( mink, silk or synthetic). Since I was a “first timer” and I have sensitive eyes and wear glasses, Christian used silk, the lightest and thinnest type. Mink is the thickest and the most lush and he tends to use the synthetic on women who like to wear the most makeup (younger girls go for this a lot).
I admit, I was nervous, but Christian has the friendly and casual demeanor of his Oklahoma roots. He immediately put me at ease. Before I hopped on his spa-style table to undergo a lash transformation which I knew might take up to two hours, I told him that I as a beauty editor, one of the items I never review are false eyelashes because I just don’t like them and I worried that I would find the lash extensions uncomfortable but I’d be stuck with them until they wore off. Christian explained that I probably wouldn’t even know I was wearing them, but for the record, if you get extensions applied and don’t want them anymore for any reason, they can be removed.
Christian carefully explained the entire application process, answered as many questions as I could think of, and talked about maintenance. In fact, once you have lashes in place, they’ll last up to six weeks or so if you take care of them. You won’t need mascara, but you also have to be careful what products you put on your face (glycol, for example, will loosen the glue). Lash extensions won’t harm your natural lashes, only enhance them, but if you are over a certain age, you might also want to use a lash enhancer to keep your lashes healthy, and no matter how much you love the look of lash extensions you shouldn’t “overdo” them by wearing them for years. Like gel manicures or hair extensions, you need to give your own body parts a chance to take a break now and then.
Satisfied that I wouldn’t end up looking like a drag queen or a carnival clown, I let Christian begin applying the lashes to my own. Christian is a licensed cosmetologist with over a decade of experience styling hair, creative makeup application, and custom lash extension application. He was certified, trained to to lash extensions, but has taken him years of practice to refine his personal technique, which allows him to make his lash extensions look so natural. Most people who are used to lash extensions would probably ask for thicker lashes than I got, but since I wasn’t sure how much lash I could tolerate, Christian started with a light fringe and told me I could come back for more, if I wanted them. The sun was streaming in the window, we chatted about our favorite brands of makeup, soothing music was playing, and Christian was so charming and fun to talk to, I relaxed. I told Christian I felt like all I needed was a tropical drink and I could believe I was at a resort (he laughed).
Soon enough, the process was completed. Christian handed me a mirror, and I couldn’t believe my eyes (pun not intended). I had lashes…and they looked so much better than my own!!!!! In that moment, I realized just why people adore lash extensions. In the moment I kneew….I could be hooked.
Maintenance: After I left Christian’s studio, I happened to meet up with a friend who is also a beauty editor and a lash extension lover. She liked my new look, but wondered why I didn’t go all out and get even more lashes. I told her the truth, that I was scared that I couldn’t handle too many at once, and also, I was going away to the Caribbean in a couple of weeks and I wanted to do a trail run. Perhaps I’d consider adding some more when I returned, but honestly, I was very happy and this amount was comfortable for me. In the end it is what works for you that matters.
I kept looking in the mirror and was so excited to wear test the lashes. But reality hit me when I returned home. I wanted these lashes to remain forever, and I knew they wouldn’t last long if I didn’t take really good care of them. My eyes tend to be dry, and itchy and sometimes I rub them without realizing it. And, although I don’t wear a lot of eye makeup, I worried about washing my face. What if I washed my face with something that dislodged the glue? I like to sit under a hot shower and that had to change as well, because too much water and soap beating down on those lashes wouldn’t help them stick, either. While I no longer needed to wear any mascara (great!) I also stopped wearing a lot of eye products and eye makeup that I thought might dislodge the lashes when I tried to cleanse the makeup and products off my face. In short, I became much more conscious of my face, my eyes, everything surrounding the lashes.
The Bottom Line: Although I review and write about beauty, unlike a lot of my beauty colleagues who take their time applying their makeup, I am low-maintenance and tend to do my beauty routine in a few minutes. I honestly prefer that. For me, lash extensions are an extra worry that honestly stressed me out (just a bit), although I loved the way they looked. As your lashes grow out, the extensions will fall off, but every time I lost one, I felt kind of sad. If you want to keep your lash extensions going strong you need to go back for touch ups, but I didn’t want to impose on Christian’s generosity for more lashes, and I also wanted to see just how long it would take for all them to disappear so I could write this article. In the estimated six weeks, like Cinderella’s coach, predictably, my lashes had reverted to the pumpkin” they naturally are from the “gleaming coach” they magically once had been.
If you’d like to give lash extensions a try (or you just want to have your makeup done by a true expert whose work has been on the faces of everyone from moguls to models) nd you live in New York City or You will be visiting, call the christian zamora studio 212.266.5160 (1133 broadway suite 724 ny,ny 10010) or visit the Christian Zamora Studio Web Site: http://www.christianzamora.com/
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