If you’ve ever wanted to know what’s involved in getting eyelash extensions, this is my personal experience…

If, like me, your eyelashes are so sparse that beauty therapists refuse to dye them because there’s “nothing to work with” (real life quote) then you might be considering eyelash extensions.

I’ve just had mine done at Sorbet at Gateway in Umhlanga. I am a big fan of Sorbet salons as they offer a wide range of beauty treatments at really reasonable prices, there’s a Sorbet at (almost) every big mall and they’re open late on weekends.

Here’s what it felt like, how long it took, and of course what a set of eyelash extensions looks like…

I was slightly apprehensive when I arrived, more about ending up looking like a camel, than about any discomfort during the procedure.

That’s because I don’t wear much eye make-up unless I’m going to a real dress-up occasion, and I didn’t want to look a bit like I’d done half my make-up and been interrupted before I’d finished. Eyeliner and a brow colour applied with a sponge-tipped pencil is the extent of my everyday eye make-up regime (I wasn’t blessed with much in the eyebrow department either).

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I rarely wear mascara because I tend to forget about it and wipe my eyes vigorously, or I forget to take it off and wake up with black smears on my white pillowcase.

So I was the ideal candidate for eyelash extensions, and the beauty therapist at Sorbet (she’s one of only two staff members at the store who is qualified to apply them) reassured me that she would choose eyelashes in a size that suited my eye size and shape and most importantly my lifestyle. (Bonang can do long lashes – she has the make-up artists and social life to pull it off, but I don’t.)

Image: parilovv@123RF.com

 

I was wearing eyeliner so it was removed before the procedure began, and my bottom eyelids were taped closed (to protect my eyes from any glue spillage). This means that your eyes are closed for the entire process – about 90 minutes.

Image: Kamil Macniak @123RF.com

 

Individual lashes are then applied with a semi-permanent glue between your real lashes, and my therapist used longer ones in the centre, and shorter lashes on the outsides, to create a natural, fanning effect (it’s quite an art).

Image: puhhha @123RF.com

 

Because my eyes were closed, I didn’t get to see the finished effect until it was done –  and it was quite a WOW moment! For the first time in my life I have eyelashes that I can SEE from a distance, my eyes look open and bigger and best of all, the upward sweep of the lashes hide the 40-something skin on my eyelids that is starting to droop more every birthday.

Image: Aliaksandr Barouski @123RF.com

How to care for your new eyelashes

  • Don’t shower for at least eight hours after the application and avoid using oil-based make-up remover as this affects the longevity of the extensions.
  • Most women book filler appointments every two weeks, as the lashes do fall out over time – but at the same rate as your natural ones.
  • If you look after them really well (I would advise avoiding mascara – you really don’t need it with gorgeous, dark full volume lashes), they can last for up to a month without needing a fill, I’m told.

The price

R770 for a full set of classic eyelash extensions

R455 for a filler (recommended every two to four weeks)

Disclosure: All4Women received these products in exchange for a review.