I'm asked at least once a day if they're real or not. Score!
Is lash envy a thing? Because I definitely have it. The same way some people might lust over another woman's hair or plump lips, I can't help but stare at a full, fluttery pair of lashes. I wasn't born with Disney princess eyelashes—you know what I'm talking about, from Ariel to Jasmine, they all peek through perfectly framed lids—and I've never been happy with how my lashes looked, especially without mascara. But then I finally came across the perfect solution for long, dark lashes that I feel confident in every day—even without makeup.
I wasn't the type to seek eyelash extensions out. The thought of getting them had never really crossed my mind until it became the beauty industry's worst-kept secret and every editor I knew had them. So, obviously, I hopped on board, too. I went to Envious Lashes in New York City for the first time and tried out a relatively natural set, and immediately it changed the way I looked and felt about my appearance. I was hooked. Over time, I went more dramatic with my fringe and dreaded the day that I would need to take a break from my extensions for the health of my lashes. I'm still a big fan of extensions, but in the long run, they weren't for me because of the maintenance. Going every two to three weeks for a fill-in didn't fit into my schedule, and I had to kiss my precious extensions good-bye.
Though my lashes were healthy post-extensions, they weren't as full or long as I'd grown accustomed to with them on. I'd compare it to walking around in heels for an extended period of time and loving the way your legs look, only to take them off and feel stocky with your new flat feet. So, I turned to a lash growth serum. I've raved about it before—because it really is that good—but after a few weeks of using Rodan and Fields Enhancements Lash Boost ($150; rodanandfields.com), I could already see the difference in my lashes. But then it dawned on me that maybe they should be darker...that's where the tint comes in.
In perusing Blink's menu, I saw that they offered a tint and perm (also referred to as a lift) for $90 at their Saks Fifth Avenue location in New York City. After a little research, I thought, "Hey, this could be it." I made an appointment and went for it. The specialist complimented the length of my own lashes and explained to me that although they were already pretty dark, their blue-black solution would add some extra oomph. I was psyched!
I removed my eye makeup thoroughly and she applied the dye with a protective sticker under my eye so that nothing would get in. This part took about 15 minutes, and then it was time for the lift. I could see a slight difference with the dye, but it wasn't as drastic as I had thought (in my mind, the tips of my lashes were super light and that's why they didn't show up, but that wasn't the case).
The perm part takes a little bit longer, so she checked that I was comfortable before getting to work. There are different size "rollers" that they use depending on the length of your lashes, so she chose a wider one for me. This is so the lashes aren't curled too much, which could make them look kind of funky. Once the glue solution—that's what helps the hairs keep their curl for about six weeks— was applied, I sat for about 20 minutes with a dark compress over my eyes to make sure that I wouldn't open up. I felt a little stinging, but it wasn't unbearable, so I kept with it. After both eyes were done, I was very pleased with how my lashes looked, especially without wearing a stitch of mascara!
I was instructed not to wash or rub my eyes aggressively for the first few hours and if I could avoid eye makeup, that would be ideal. I had an event the next morning, so I did wear makeup and it was totally fine. She also told me not to use oil-based products for a week, so I swapped my oil cleanser for a micellar water. And then once the week was up, I was instructed to add a lash oil like BBrowBar Luscious Lash Oil ($28; www.saksfifthavenue.com) because the glue can dry hair out, so this helps keep them healthy.
The biggest difference I can see on my lashes is on the outer corner of my eyes. I always wanted the hairs there to have a more "wide open" look, but they always appeared stubbly. Now I know that it was just because they were too curled and I couldn't get them to look uniform with the rest of my lashes when I applied mascara.
I still apply mascara every morning, but rather than needing to dedicate a fifteen minute routine to get them just so, I swipe on a few coats and they look perfect. And if I'm going to the gym, I don't feel naked, because my bare lashes can stand on their own. If I want a little extra definition when I'm going mascara-free, I'll pop on a few coats of the lash oil for more of a wet look.
Overall, I'm super happy with my lashes after the tint and perm. I might skip the tint next time, but will definitely continue to get my lift. I'm asked at least once a day if my lashes are my own, and I am totally okay with that.