One by One
Women are getting eyelash extensions for prettier eyes and – wink, wink – a more natural look than mascara.
The Charlotte Observer July 29, 2011
By Cristina Bolling
Having always struggled with super-short lashes, Rachel Huang of Charlotte resorted to stick-on lashes from Nordstrom to boost her look for special events.
She was on a business trip in Texas more than a year ago when she spotted an ad for lash extensions at a salon. So the 28-year-old Bank of America business manager did a little research.
She ended up in the SouthPark lash salon Ten by Ten Lashes, where lash stylist Trish Upton first applied about 50 Xtreme Lashes brand lashes to each eye. (“A baby set,” Huang says.)
Now Huang no longer spends precious morning minutes plumping up her lashes with mascara. Instead she’s taking advantage of a trend that’s big in Hollywood and has made inroads in the Carolinas.
Unlike the lash-boosting drug Latisse – which requires a prescription – semi-permanent eyelash extensions are applied at a salon, where a licensed cosmetologist glues synthetic lashes onto individual eyelashes one by one. The looks can
range from dramatic to natural, depending on the length or thickness of the synthetic lashes.
It’s painstaking work that makes lashes look long and full. Because lashes naturally fall out every 30 to 60 days, maintaining the full effect means monthly touch-ups.
The service isn’t cheap. Full sets of lashes typically start at more than $200, and monthly touch-ups can run $65 or more.
Sara Fodel, owner of the Serenity Lash Lounge in the Cotswold area of Charlotte, applies NovaLash lashes to a growing crop of customers. She’s doing about five maintenance fills a day, with a full set application thrown in. At BodyLase, a full
set of lashes at the first appointment costs $299. Fill-in appointments range from $75 to $110 every two to three weeks.
“Women are tired of wearing mascara, and in the summer with swimming, they don’t have to worry about mascara residue running down” their faces, she said. “They stop wearing eyeliner and they stop wearing mascara.”
And apparently getting the extensions is not in vain.
“I had a lot of people say, ‘I never noticed that your lashes are so long,’ ” Huang says.
Beauty experts say there’s a reason women want thick lashes.
“When you have full, thick eyelashes, your eyes look bigger and it draws attention to your eyes,” says Leah Wyar, beauty director of Cosmopolitan magazine. “It’s a flirtatious look and it’s youthful.”
Stylist Upton, herself an Xtreme Lashes wearer, puts it more simply:
“It’s an instant trip to pretty.”