There are many things I like about my face, but eyelashes are not one of them. The fact they're light strawberry blond is half the issue, easily enough solved by a coat of mascara. But the real problem is their downward-facing angle, fanning my eyes like fringe. No miracle mascara can ever get them to curl up, and as a result, my eyelids appear droopier than they really are.
This is why, when I discovered earlier this year that my brow salon offers lash lifts, I got curious. My salon, Michele Holmes Studio, lists only one kind of lift, the Yumi Keratin Lash Lift, which sounded great on paper: promising a gentle, natural-looking lifted look that lasts around two months. It better be great, I thought, pondering the $165 price tag. I booked a session, and a week later, arrived at the salon ready to be transformed.
Here's one thing you absolutely need to know about a lash lift prior to your visit: go to the restroom beforehand. (Better yet, as soon as you arrive at the salon.) The process takes a little over an hour, during which you're lying down with your eyes closed. Second tip: Prepare to be really zen, as you really, absolutely, cannot look at your phone for the duration of the session. I opted for simply eavesdropping on conversations other customers were having, though some people might like to listen to podcasts or music. Sara, my technician, was very gracious about the boredom factor and asked me questions to lighten the mood.
The treatment itself wasn't at all painful or uncomfortable. I wear contacts, opting to take them out ahead of laying down to let my eyes rest. First, Sara placed small discs on my upper eyelids and soft cotton pads under my eyes, which immediately made me sleepy. Super zen. Then, she proceeded to apply the keratin, lifting my lashes and securing them to the discs. After a while, a tint was added and cleaned up, involving many gentle movements and steps I couldn't really discern. Towards the end, I was starting to get antsy to know what the result would look like.
When the discs were finally removed and I was free to see again, Sara gave me a mirror, and I experienced a real makeover moment. Not only did my eyelashes look rounded, lifted, longer, and-dare I say-flirtatious, but my whole face appeared more open and awake. The tint made my eyelashes look naturally darker, accentuating my eyes. See a before-after comparison (not of myself) from the salon below. Note: Lash lifts do not involve any extensions. It's all your natural lashes.
For weeks later, I'd constantly do a double take when looking in the mirror at my long, curled, natural lashes. Since this is not like getting eyelash extensions, the comedown period is subtle, and your lashes aren't left ruined or sparse. As soon as the lift stopped performing its magic (about 8 to 9 weeks after the salon visit), I immediately booked another appointment. This time, however, I'd definitely give the restroom a visit beforehand.