DRACUT — I was a little nervous as I walked up the long winding stairs to the spa door.
“If Lindsay Lohan can do this, it can’t be that bad,” I said to myself as I reached the top.
But what if I hate the way they look, I wondered. My face must have revealed my doubtful thoughts.
“Don’t be nervous. It’s a very relaxing procedure,” said Mike Cummings, co-owner of More Than Hair Day Spa. “You’ll probably fall asleep; most people do.”
The soft music of Enya whispered through the air and I couldn’t help feeling more relaxed. After all, I wasn’t having brain surgery, just eyelash extensions.
“What I am going to do is attach an individual synthetic eyelash directly to each of your natural lashes using an adhesive,” explained Cummings. “They should last about four to six weeks.”
The trend of eyelash extensions began in Asia and made its way across Europe before landing on the famous faces of many Hollywood starlets, sparking a nationwide trend.
Granted, my extensions weren’t going to be made of mink like JLo or diamond crusted like Madonna, but I was still hoping to add a little glamor to my look.
Some are predicting that eyelash extensions will become as common as acrylic nails one day. Gone are the days of fumbling with awkward glue-filled eyelash strips. Anyone with about two hours and $200 to spare can add a little thickness and a lot of length to their eyelashes with this new procedure. From teenagers to 60-year-old women, everyone is opting for the more natural looking eyelash extensions, according to Cummings, who has been operating a business in town for 15 years.
Cummings, who began offering the service at his spa in December, says he now books a complete set and usually several touch-ups a day.
“The extensions shed with your natural lashes,” said Cummings. “If you want to maintain the look, you have to come in every four to six weeks for a fill.”
The fills take about an hour and cost about $65.
Cummings learned the procedure by attending a seminar given by Nova Lash, the Houston-based company that supplies his product.
I laid on a cushy spa bed with a white towel wrapped around my head, eyes closed as Cummings placed two pieces of tape under each of my eyes. He informed me this is to prevent the new lashes from getting tangled or stuck to your lower eyelashes. After about 10 minutes of poking and prodding, he was finally able to strap them down.
Now for the fun part. I couldn’t see myself, but I was envisioning how ridiculous I must have looked while he painstakingly worked on my lashes. I felt like I was on an operating table in the middle of eye surgery. The bright lights hanging over my head, the “surgeon” staring through a gigantic microscope, one hand holding an eyelash with a set of tweezers while the other dipped the new lash in glue before painting it into place.
“What we do for beauty,” I thought to myself. “Is this really going to be worth it?”
Once the last lash was in place almost two hours later, Cummings instructed me to keep my eyes closed. I didn’t listen. I had this fear that my lids were going to be glued together.
I peaked one eye open and immediately understood my mistake. Apparently, the fumes from the adhesive sting your eyes. More tears and a scolding from Cummings as he explained that the fumes build up in a pocket around the lashes.
“It’s important to untangle the lashes and let the fan blow on your face for a few minutes before you open your eyes up,” he said.
He carefully tweezed my lashes apart, and after a few minutes under a fan I was ready to see my new look.
I took the mirror and raised it to my face, half expecting to see a clown with big glitter-crusted lashes staring back at me. I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. Even with the two big red marks from where the tape had been pulled off, I could see the improvement the longer lashes made.
I felt like a glamorous black-and-white era film star. As I batted my new Bambi lashes, I thought to myself, maybe it was worth the operating room experience after all.
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