Full, long, dramatic, fluffy lashes…we cannot seem to get enough of grooming those simple hairs on our eye lids. I am not exaggerating; in 2014 Ardell Fashion, a leader in the eyelash extension industry, established in 1971, achieved 15.6 million U.S. dollars in sales.
The look of one’s lashes have become a necessity, like toothpaste or a hair dryer to beauty mavens in-the-know, and not without good reason.
The influence of the Kardashians, Kim specifically, and her super long, thick lashes, make her camera-ready all day, which is a good thing, because we see her a lot; and even Kim K is not able to fend off the inevitable process of aging. Those of us not famous for reality TV, may have started to notice that our lashes get thinner with age. This is due to hormones, wear and tear and simply, living.
The eye area really takes a beating because this is the area of the face that tends to show age the earliest because of lack of oil glands, thinner skin than the rest of the face, and all of those wonderful life expressions we make. On top of that, the eyelash thins, so you may find yourself in an uphill battle against looking “tired”.
Rodan + Fields, the dermatologists behind Proactiv Acne products launched Lash Boost, part of the Rodan + Fields anti-aging regimen that is a nightly serum applied to the lash line before bed. The promise is longer, thicker lashes in just 4 weeks of regular use. They launched at the end of 2016 and sold out….fast.
I have known women who have had great success with this product, and I have known women who forget to apply the product and prefer to apply lashes. It is preference after all, and isn’t it a beautiful thing to have choices?
AlphaLuxe Eye Lash Research
I have been on a hunt for the best way to groom my lashes for the past four months; research, if you will, and I had to share my findings with you.
If you thought the world of lashes was mindless and frivolous, well, you would find yourself wrong. This is big business, and supply and demand are rampant. But do not worry; I would not let you be overwhelmed. Read on to learn what the right choice is for you.
Salon Semi-Permanent Extensions
Loving an instant gratification, I took a trip to my hair salon for some semi-permanent extensions. As a matter of fact, I made four trips and tried different types of lashes. I also visited my favorite local salon and went another three rounds there.
The most wonderful aspect of a salon lash application is that the lashes stay on for several weeks. Touch-ups are recommended every three weeks, and you do not have to apply and remove lashes at home.
Once your lashes have been applied, you are instructed to skip mascara, and any other oil products, which will counteract the glue that holds the lash in place.
The second benefit is that a good technician will know how to place the lashes for you so that you sport the most flattering fringe for your individual eye shape, giving you one less thing to think about.
Full Set or Half Measure?
Your technician can also help you determine if a half or full set is right for you. This is dependent on not just the shape of your eye, but on your current lash condition. If you have long lashes, a half set may give you more volume. If you have sparse and short lashes, you may welcome a full set. These decisions are made prior to the application.
Lashes are available in synthetic, silk and faux mink. Size availability ranges from 6mm to 17mm. Once selected, the lashes are applied one at a time using a semi-permanent glue that will not usually irritate the eye nor damage the natural lash. Make sure to speak with your technician about allergies and sensitivities, because like most things, “one size fits all” is not the ideal gamble.
Synthetic eyelash extensions
Synthetic eyelash extensions are made from a polished, acrylic material, they are a little shinier or glossier than the mink or synthetic, and when applied quite thickly, the result is more dramatic. I am told that the silk and mink last longer. While they come in a wide variety of thicknesses and curls, and can be applied to look very natural, these are most popular with ladies wanting a more dramatic and made-up look. They hold their curl extremely well due to their firmness. Synthetic are my least favorite because I find them uncomfortable. When I had the synthetic lash I found myself more aware of my eye area than I would like. I recommend wearing these for a one-shot deal of something really special, but not a long term solution.
Silk eyelash extensions
These are finer and more flexible than the synthetic type. This option usually lasts longer than their synthetic counterparts, and often yield a more natural look. These are my favorite option, as I do not feel the weight of the lashes, like I did with the synthetics. They also last a long time, I went four weeks before my first touch-up.
Faux-mink lash extensions
Faux-mink lashes made from man-made fibers are very soft and very silky. They do loose the curl more easily. I liked this type of lash as they felt weightless, but I found I had to use my eyelash curler to keep the lashes curled. Note that the application of this type of lash takes longer, and for me, that is a deal breaker. That brings me to time.
I try to avoid using the term “never,” but I never have enough time. If you are like me, sitting for an hour with your eyes shut is debatably either a true luxury or pure torture, depending on my mood, and sitting for two hours is almost impossible, so this was not a long term solution.
Over the past four months I was able to try each of these lash extension types, I let them fall out and went back to old faithful: the at-home application.
At Home ‘Do It Yourself’
If this is the route that works better for you, fear not, a guide for how to determine your eye shape is here for you too.
I took a tour of the beauty counter to find the best lashes to have in your beauty arsenal based on your individual needs.
Just as for semi-permanent applications, not all false lashes are created equal. I spent far more hours on browsing false lashes than I would care to admit, and here are the winners:
1) Trish McEvoy Instant Pick Me Up Lashes, $22
If you want to enhance volume and length while keeping a “natural” look, these are the lashes for you. They are made from natural hair and the results are “realistic”.
2) Battington Lashes Harlow 3D Silk Lashes, $28
For a fuller lash effect, these hand made lashes are cruelty free, made from ethically sourced silk, and you can get up to 25 times use out of a pair! The volume effect will give a dramatic effect that will help your eyes to stand out.
3) Lash Star Visionary Lashes 006, $25
Synthetic mink lashes add length and volume with intricate layers that create a 3D effect. The cotton band makes for comfortable wear and lashes can be worn up to 25 times.
Note the above lashes are sold without adhesive.
How to Determine Your Eye Shape
Should you choose the at home application option, make sure to also consider your eye shape. This means you have to take a good look in the mirror and sort out what would best suit your perfect peepers.
A few tips to help you:
Almond Eyes are slightly pointed at the ends, with a wider center. Most lash types look great on this shape eye.
Round Eyes can be determined by If you can see most of your iris. You want to avoid heavy lashes and go with lighter and longer fringe options.
Mono lid eyes are where the skin covers the upper eyelid and no crease is visible. Mono lids look fabulous in layered and fluffy lashes to help open the eye.
Close set eyes can be determined if the space between your eyes is shorter than the width of one eye. Focus on lash placement by using lashes on the outer corners of the eye to give a more wideset appearance.
Hooded eyes have a crease with a very prominent. Placement is very important so that the eye does not look smaller, and you will want to apply lashes most prominent at the center of the pupil. Fluffy works well on this eye shape.
Deep set eyes are often large and sit under the brow bone. Length in lashes is key as is a great curl.
You may have thought lashes were simple, but like most things in life that are worth anything, the quest for the right lashes for you takes some time, thought and consideration. Whichever route you choose, the most important factor is to be comfortable and happy! That is the mark of true beauty!
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.