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Adventures with Lashings of Lashes

I’ve never really thought about how many eyelashes I have. I mean, who would have the time or the inclination to count them? But what I can say is after adding an extra 280 lashes to the mix a few days ago, I now wish I was naturally blessed with whatever my current magic number is.

You see when my gorgeous friend Steve Supple of Brows by Steve mentioned the fact that he does eyelash extensions recently, I thought back to a woman I met a little while back who had crazy, spidery extra lashes and have to confess I wasn’t too keen on the idea. But when Steve explained the different kinds of eyelash extensions on the market, and the way he works his magic, curiosity got this cat.

As they can apparently last for three or four weeks, I decided they’d be just the thing to get done a few days before I headed off for a month in Greece, and so it was that last Saturday I headed in to see Steve at the Joh Bailey salon in Myer’s Sydney city store.

I’ll admit, even though I was excited, I was a little nervous about the whole process. I’d read one report where a woman compared getting eyelash extensions to a scene out of a Clockwork Orange. When she described having her eyes taped open as the lashes were individually applied, I almost called Steve and cancelled.

But I took a deep breath, trotted in, and you can imagine my relief when Steve explained that he doesn’t go for the Clockwork Orange treatment. God love him, Steve says he always thinks about what he’d feel comfortable having done before he subjects a client to a treatment. So instead all I had to do was keep my eye open and look at a point in the room as he glued the lash extension to my existing lash, then I was free to blink madly before he applied the next one.

Turns out while I have some control over my right eye, my left eye has a mind of its own. It was particularly blink-happy whenever Steve approached it, but he was very patient and managed to get all 140 extra lashes on both the left and the right side.

While Steve doesn’t usually let people peek during the process, I caught sight of my half completed lashes after leaping up to get a tissue to stifle a sneeze. I looked, well, crazy. But after sitting down for the rest of them to be put in, I was able to get up and see my new lashes.

And oh how I love them. They’re full and flirty and delicious and make me feel like a total glamour. For the past three days I’ve been caught by surprise when I see my reflection, thinking shazam! On their first night out they caught the eye of one bachelor who lavished me with attention and asked me out on a date, and every day I’ve had people comment on how great I’m looking at the moment, without being able to put their finger on what’s changed.

Of course now I live in fear of waking up in the morning and finding they’ve started to make their escape. As they’re glued to my natural lash, and as natural lashes fall out and are replaced by fresh lashes, it’s only a matter of time before I end up with virgin lashes again.

But Steve talked me through some dos and don’ts for extending their life. Apparently I can enjoy swimming in salt water, but not chlorinated water, which is just fine by me (if I’m feeling hot hot hot by a chlorinated rooftop pool in Greece, I’ll simply keep my head above water). I also need to avoid oil based products on the eyes, which I can work around. In fact, it’s kind of fun to be challenged to use powders only on my upper lids, rather than resorting to my classic cream shadow make up tricks.

I do have a bit of lash lee way as Steve artfully overlapped them in such a way that if one falls out, the two on either side will cover for it. To be on the safe side, I’m also packing a set of Mac individual lashes so I can do a little short term fix if need be. And then when it’s time to say goodbye, Steve has taught me that by simply applying oil to the lashes, the bond will be dissolved and any shaggy leftover ones will simply let go.

I’m dreading the day, but it’s good to have an exit strategy.

And even better to know that when I get back to Sydney, I can dash back to Brows by Steve and do it all again.