I got my first lash lift and didn’t use mascara for almost three months.
We’ve talked about false lashes before (see our 1,2 lash review), but today we’re covering a procedure that throws falsies to the wayside and is considered a life hack for those that love make-up. I did have some apprehensions about trying the procedure (again, see our1,2 lash review); I prefer to avoid (semi)permanent procedures done to my body. But I was in Colombia for a family vacation and there is a lash renaissance going over there. I thought “when in Rome.”
A lash lift is a cosmetic procedure in which a series of chemicals are combed on to the lashes that works as a glue to keep the lashes “lifted.”
Press play to see what it looks like
The lash renaissance I mentioned is real. All over Medellin there were studios dedicated to just lashes and eyebrows. And we’re talking fully staffed with teams of 8+ beauticians completely booked and crowded. Of course, their bread and butter is lash extensions, but your humble narrator had a pretty bad experience with that a long time ago- maybe more on that later. So I opted for a lash lift thinking it was a fair compromise between natural beauty and applied cosmetics.
I went to a studio that was highly recommended by a family friend. The studio was very clean and dedicated to brow and lash work: stations with massage-type beds and overhead spotlights. All staff wore scrubs, face masks and latex gloves during all procedures. And the best part, and probably the main reason I decided to get the last lift was the price: $25. This service is typically $75+ in the US. The low price is due to the standard of living in Medellin, but also because of the market competition.
The procedure itself took about an hour. You are asked to lay down and keep your eyes closed throughout. Tape is applied over your eyebrows and side of your eyelid to stretch it out. From there, a small silicone bar is placed on the lid, right above the lash line. This bar will serve to shape the lashes, as the glue will paint your lashes onto the bar. I was given the choice between a round and triangular bar. The rounded bar would give the lashes a tube kind of shape, whereas the triangle brought your lashes straight up at a 45 degree angle. I chose the rounded bar because my lashes were too long to be combed straight up (it would just look creepy).
A series of chemicals were applied to the lash to create the glue. The entire time my beautician was combing and picking at my lashes to make sure they didn’t clump up. Once the hour was was up, all of the tape and silicon bars were removed from eyes, and my beautician brushed out my lashes. I was instructed to not apply anything to my lashes 24 hours and to continue brushing them throughout the day.
My sister during her lash lift application
Personally, I felt fine throughout the procedure. There was a little burning sensation every time a chemical was applied - not because the chems were in my eyes; I’m just sensitive. I did feel that I still had residue glue on my eyelids after the procedure. Those first 24 hours, I had to constantly apply oil because my eyelids had a hard time opening or my my lashes would literally stick on to my eyelid. I also made the mistake of going out that night to an outdoor party. As you can imagine, between the dirt and wind, my lashes were all over the place. When I went to bed that night, I have no clue what happened because I woke up and all my lashes were stuck to my eyelids (strange as I don’t sleep on my stomach). With time, the residue glue disappeared.
Rocky start aside, once brushed out, I loved my lashes. There really was no need to apply mascara. I know some people do to make their lashes look darker, but I didn’t think it necessary. I held my breath thinking that this no-maintenance lifestyle was just a short-lived fantasy. I’d spoken to others that frequently got lash lifts and they told me they’d have to get touch-ups every three weeks or so. That sounded too expensive and the opposite of what I was going for. But to my surprise, my lift lasted two months. Imagine, two months where all you had to do was get out of bed, brush your lashes and you’d be ready to go out.
A few days after the lift
Due to the rocky start, some of my lashes set in a crooked way (shooting to different locations, one was actually curly). But I really attribute that to my going out that first night. A somewhat con was that I could not easily apply eyeliner because my lashes were so long that they curled towards my eyelid. So every time I’d apply eyeliner, my lashes would get in the way, meaning I’d have to apply it by stretching my eyelids to leave some space between my lashes and lid. In other words, not only did I not use mascara, I barely used eyeliner. I could only pull off little wings to the side.
Pardon the bad quality, but them lashes though! Two weeks after!
Leave it or Need it
If you can find an affordable, credible beautician, I’d suggest you get them done for a long trip. I personally would not recommend this for a big event like a wedding because the lift has a more natural look for everyday wear. Also would not recommend splurging on this on the regular - especially if industry standard touch-ups are needed every three weeks. You’re better off just investing in mascara vs. dousing your lashes in chemicals.