Illustration by Genevieve Pizzale Image by: Alexandra Donaldson
Our fashion and beauty editor tried this treatment to give her short, flat lashes a bit of lift—here's what she thought.
When I got eyelash extensions I loved the way they looked. They opened up my eyes, looked almost natural and made it easy for me to forgo my mascara and eyelash curler. But I found them to be too high maintenance for my taste. And they aren't a very affordable treatment to keep up.
It was with this low-maintenance mindset that made me excited to try a lash lift. Although it won't give you the added volume or length that lash extensions will give you, it will curl your lashes offering a more open-eyed look. Here was my experience.
First off, I'm going to tell you that I really like the look of a lash lift. I often find that I don't want to leave my house without at least a bit of mascara, and a lash lift lets me forgo that from day-to-day. Plus, when I do add mascara my lashes look even bolder thanks to the lift. I got the lift done right before a hot-weather vacation, and it definitely served me well. Not worrying about makeup when it's so hot and you're in and out of the water? I highly recommend it.
Left: Before, Right: After
These photos were taken directly before (left) and directly after (right) my lash lift. The lighting changed in the hour I was undergoing the lash lift (the after is obviously darker), but otherwise, the photos are the same (edited only for clarity and lighting).
What I found most amazing was just how much more volume it looks like I have with the lash lift—it almost looks like I'm wearing eyeliner! That, plus how long my lashes look thanks to a bit of curling, I particularly love. Make sure to scroll to the end to see a close-up of the difference.
Jane Zhang, skin and lash specialist at Lac + Beauty, did my lift and she recommended this as a great treatment for anyone who has short or flat lashes and for those who find themselves curling their lashes every day.
My lash lift experience
First, your technician will remove all traces of eye makeup—the lash lift solution won't work if you don't have clean and bare lashes. Zhang explained that there are two steps to the lash lift and that usually they are left on for about 13 minutes each. If you're a lash-lift-virgin (like I was) she'll leave each solution on for up to 15 minutes.
But, to start, Zhang separated my bottom lashes using an under-eye patch to make sure that they didn't interfere with my upper lashes. Then, she applies the silicone patches to my eyelids, which is where she'll apply all of the solutions—never at any point is any solution touching my skin or eye, it only touches my lashes. Before applying the solution, Zhang applies a water-soluble glue to the silicone patches and brushes my lashes up so they adhered. The silicone allows for the shape to look more natural, instead of a severe 90-degree angle.
The glue application was the only point that felt even slightly uncomfortable to me. Although the glue never touches your skin or eye, you may feel a bit of a stinging sensation. Fight the urge to freak out—the glue isn't in your eye.
Left: The undereye patches are applied, Right: The silicone patch is placed on the lid with the glue
Then, the first solution is applied. This is the curling solution and if you've ever had your hair permed, you'll recognize the smell. As I mentioned it stays on for about 15 minutes, and the worst part is definitely the smell. But otherwise, it's not uncomfortable and I actually found myself getting sleepy.
After the first solution is removed the second one is applied. This is the setting solution, which makes sure your lashes stay curled! It stayed on for the same amount of time as the first and feels about the same.
Left: The curling solution, Right: The setting solution
After, Zhang removed all the product and while I kept my eyes closed, she made sure to wipe my eye area thoroughly before I was allowed to open my eyes. Then she applied a bit of oil (which might explain why my lashes look a little darker in the after photo) and that was it! All-in-all it took about an hour.
Top: Before, Bottom: After
As I mentioned above, I'm a fan. I already have plans to get my next lash lift in three months. At $70 it's not cheap, but it's also not terribly expensive if you like the way they look. I especially recommend thinking about doing it before your next vacation—it's the perfect way to embrace a more laid-back beauty regime, while still feeling a little bit made up.