You don’t have to look closely to notice a new look that’s taken hold around the Los Angeles magazine office. Up and down the halls female staffer are busy scanning emails and writing and editing stories out from under long, lush eyelashes. There’s nothing in the water—we actually had it tested (a story for another post)—but the bug for lash extensions is going around, and fast. Why? And what should you know if you catch it, too? Three early enthusiasts—dine editor Lesley Bargar Suter, senior editor Elina Shatkin, and editor-at-large Amy Wallace—fill us in:
Why'd you do it?
LBS: I am so not a high-maintenance person. I get my hair done three times a year, I don’t get manicures, and I wear minimal makeup so this is really out of character for me. But my eyelashes have always been short and blondish—even heavy mascara doesn’t do the trick. I had a few friends who had gorgeous eyelashes and it turned out they were extensions. Finally, a friend of mine got me a half-off coupon for the first full-set application, which was enough to get me through the door. Now, I’m hooked!
ES: Because it looked awesome on Lesley, because I have such fine eyelashes, they're barely there, and because applying mascara is annoying.
AW: Because I'm sick of mascara, which ends up on my face.
Did you have any concerns going in?
LBS: I was worried it would look too fake, that I’d miss rubbing my eyes, or that I’d hate lying still for two hours while the extensions were applied. None of that was true. I now use that salon time as a little afternoon nap.
ES: Just that they would fall out really soon and not be worth the money.
AW: Yes, I have a vague memory of someone saying they got a horrible infection. I don't want a horrible infection, but I do want to be able to see my eyelashes without shelacking them with mascara.
Are you happy with the results?
LBS: I adore them. Not only do my eyes just look more “open” and feminine, but oddly they have made me even less high maintenance. I don't have to wear any eye makeup at all, which allows me to get out the door with a bit of tinted moisturizer and some lip gloss. Plus, if you pick a great salon and maintain them properly, lash extensions last up to six weeks without needing a fill. But you know who likes it even more? My husband. He thinks I look like Brigitte Bardot. I think he’s crazy, but I’ll take it.
ES: Yes! Even though the lashes look a little over-the-top, like I'm wearing a lot of mascara (and I don't wear much makeup to begin with). I'm now super into fluttering my eyelashes. Everyone thinks I'm flirting with them. And maybe I am. But seriously, I like the fact that when I'm wandering around and not dressed up, it sort of looks like I forgot to take off my mascara from last night, which is a slept-in look I've always sort of loved and rarely achieved because I rarely wear eye makeup.
AW: Yes, I am happy. As a friend of mine who also gets them says every once in a while, while crying or sleepily rubbing your eyes, you remember: Oh! There's plastic glued to my eyelids! But you get used to it pretty fast.
Plan on doing it again?
Been doing it every six weeks since February.
ES: If I have the dough, yes!
AW: I've already re-upped once.
Any care tips you'd pass along?
LBS: To clean off any makeup you might have put on, just take a dab of baby shampoo and rub your eyelids—just the lids—with your ring finger gently, stroking down a few times. Rinse, and that’s it. And be careful when cooking! I had a grill flare up that curled the ends in a not-so-attractive way.
ES: Don't blink. Don't sweat. Don't cry.
AW: No rubbing. No fiddling. Oh, and comb them, because they can get unruly.
Would you cut out any other services to make room for this in your beauty regime?
LBS: I’d skip a massage or facial for this any time. It makes such a difference in your appearance.
ES: I don't get many other beauty services, so this is my one splurge.
AW: Yes. I already am pretty skimpy on the manis. But this is a keeper.
Lesley Bargar Suter and Elina Shatkin got their lash extensions at Integrity Lash in Pasadena ($300 for a full set, $95 for a fill). Amy Wallace got hers at Monique Powers Beauty Boutique ($250 for a full set, $95 for a touch up.)