It was a Saturday night, which meant it was time for the smoky eye to come out to play. I curled my lashes and channeled my inner Bella Thorne meets Kim K., hoping I’d achieve that perfect fake-lash-but-not look. And my lashes looked good, but not that good; I craved more.
Then, my friend showed up at the door with her lashes looking fuller and longer than ever before, and I knew something was up. Not only did they look really good, they also looked really real, which was something I was never able to achieve with my $3 falsies — no matter how hard I tried. When I was caught staring at her lashes for an indecent amount of time, my friend admitted they were extensions and I felt obliged to give ‘em a try too.
The following week, I made an appointment at the same salon my friend went to. I forked over $85 dollars (a great deal, apparently) for a three-quarter set of extensions. After an hour and a half of prodding, plucking and gluing, my synthetic extensions were finished. (For a moment in time, I convinced myself my eyes were glued shut and this was The End, but thankfully, I was wrong.) My eyes were (simply?) bloodshot, which is apparently quite normal, as was the sporadic stream of waterworks that kept escaping my eyes post-application.
Despite the weird hardships I endured on the daily — like lot of tears and getting fake lashes stuck in my eyeballs — I became addicted to taking filterless selfies in Snapchat (obviously) and not having to use a makeup app to make my eyelashes visible in photos. Most importantly, I felt confident without makeup, and I dreaded ever losing that feeling.
I followed all of the eyelash extension rules to the best of my ability: I avoided oil, mascara, waterproof makeup and I gently combed through my lashes with a spoolie daily. I tried my best to sleep on my back to avoid bending or misshaping my lashes and removed any makeup around my eye with a Q-Tip. I struggled to draw on my liquid cat eye because my lashes got in the way, but the struggle was worth it in the name of good lashes, so I powered on.
But as my extensions fell out, I noticed that my real lashes were noticeably more sparse, and that wasn’t a risk I was willing to take. I didn’t doubt the skills of my eyelash tech, but I knew that if I kept getting $80 refills every three weeks, I would not only be broke, but it would be a commitment I’d have to keep up for the long haul. Even though my extensions gave me confidence and lashes than nearly reached my eyebrows, I began to understand that something so impermanent wouldn’t bring me steady confidence. Seeing my own lashes fall out with the synthetic ones played out like a tragic metaphor in my head, and I never wanted to experience it again.
As a wise individual once said, there’s definitely such thing as having too much of a good thing (talking about lipstick, pizza or mascara probably). As you might have already concluded from my honest and somewhat dramatic essay, the same sentiment ring true for your lashes, too.
Hero Image Courtesy Chaunte Vaughn