The first time I heard of a lash lift, I didn't really know what to expect — are your lashes lifting something? Do you have to yank your lashes up? How does it work?! Turns out (after a little research and a few panicked questions to a beautician) that it's a super simple treatment that semi-permanently curls your lashes and gives you the ability to take your flirty winks to a whole new level.
SIGN. ME. UP.
But what actually happens during a lash lift treatment? Does it hurt? How long do they last? And is it even worth it?
Here, I have answered all of your lash lift questions, so you know what you're getting into before you go under the, er, tweezer?
What do you need to do before you get a lash lift?
First off, you need eyelashes. As daft as that sounds, you do need a fairly healthy amount of lashes to do this procedure, and ideally not tiny stubby ones. This is because nothing is actually added to your lashes, they are just kind of permed, so you need some hurrr to work with.
In terms of on-the-day prep, after speaking to Inskin Medi Spa, Neutral Bay (where I had my treatment), I was asked to simply take my makeup off before my treatment — making sure, in particular, that there weren't any dregs of mascara left on my lashes.
Going barefaced is also a good shout because you get a real before-and-after thing going on during your appointment.
Is probably good to flag now that because there are multiple stages involved in the treatment, a lash lift appointment can take around an hour to complete. So, don't book in with 20 mins to spare before you have to catch a bus or something — instead, lock in a relaxing afternoon where you have nada to do afterwards.
How do I know which lash lift to choose?
There's less of a selection process involved in lash lifts than there are in eyelash extensions because you're not picking things to add to your eyeballs. Instead, you can just advise your beautician what kind of look you're after. For example you may want to just have a little lift and curl for a more natural look, or a full lift and tint so you make the most out of those little lashes.
For this roadtest I went with the full lift and tint, because YOLO.
What happens during your lash lift procedure?
Being a bit of a beauty noob, I didn't really know what to expect during the procedure, so I asked my beautician to talk me through what exactly was going to happen to my face after I got cosy on the treatment bed. I really recommend doing this with whatever beauty treatment you're doing for the first time — firstly, because it's good to know what's happening when you can't open your eyes and secondly, if you need the loo mid-way through the procedure you can kind of figure out how much longer is left.
Once I was in the know, I got onto the bed and was covered in lovely warm towels which made me one heck of a cosy gal and reminded me to ask the question: "Is it alright if I have a little nap during the treatment?" To which the beautician replied with, "Not a problem." It was then that I knew I'd like this lash lift malarkey.
Firstly, my eye lids were cleaned by the beautician, who ran warm water over them and wiped them down with a cotton pad. Next, a sticky cotton pad was placed on top of my bottom lashes to keep them out of the way — because if the perm juice (not the scientific term) touches them then you may end up with bottom lashes that point aggressively north.
(For those of you who have an irrational fear of things coming towards their eyes — like my 12 year-old self that thought eyeliner was trying to blind me — don't worry, because your eyes are closed for the whole treatment.)
A tiny rubber cylinder is then placed on your eye lid, which is used as a base for your lashes to curl around. Once this was sat in the right spot, the beautician started to paint my lashes with a gooey formula, pressing and sculpting them around the rubber cylinder. Because that is a bit hard to visualise, here's a picture of what it looked like on me.
Though it may look deeply uncomfortable, I can confirm that it didn't hurt or even feel that weird. This is proven by the fact that I definitely drifted off multiple times during my treatment, meaning it was relaxing AF and not some bizarre self-induced torture method.
Once the paste was all on and had settled in, the beautician cleaned up my eyes and checked for any inconsistencies. Then it was tint time! This is a really simple and quick-ish process of essentially dying the lashes just like you would with a cheeky root touch-up at home. It involves painting on the dye, letting it soak in, then cleaning those fuckers up. Why is such a clean-up required? Well, because you look like this during the whole shabang:
Does getting a lash lift hurt?
Honestly, not at all. There's a little bit of tugging when your lashes are getting placed onto the rubber cylinder, but it's just slightly stronger than a mascara wand tug, if ya catch my drift?
Because I was a good little snoozy patient I didn't open my eyes throughout the procedure, but I was told that it would sting a bit if I did as the perming paste/dye can irritate your eye balls. So, keep those peepers shut!
What do your eyes look like with a lash lift?
In my opinion, pretty damn good! They are super natural because they are your own natural lashes, and they have that fresh mascara length and curl without any of the clumpy, smudgy side effects of mascara. WIN WIN.
I will say that it's a bit odd at first to see your lashes that curled and pointed to the sky at all times, and that if, like me, you have inset eyes, then when you have a lash lift your lashes will tickle the tops of your eye socket. But other than that, they're grand!
You can see the lash lift before and after pics here:
How long does a lash lift last?
I was told by my beautician that it would last up to four weeks before they began to drop back down to their un-permed state, but that it would be quicker if I used products on my lashes like mascara and aggressive make up remover. If you're a good lil patient and keep your lashes in good nick then they can last up to six weeks.
Is a lash lift worth it?
FOR SURE. They do set you back around 100 bucks, but they have a huge impact on your face/general mood if you get those happy feels from looking good with zero effort. I haven't worn a stitch of eye makeup since getting them, because it legit looks like I'm wearing mascara all the time.
I actually got mine done before a month-long Euro trip and it was the best decision because it meant I just brought concealer and lip balm with me rather than the whole damn makeup bag. Thanks lashes for doing the heavy lifting there.
Another advantage to a lash lift over eyelash extensions is that there's less of a dramatic drop out period where you are kinda living a half-glam, half-raggedy look for a week or so. With a lash lift they just droop back to their OG form over the course of a couple of weeks — no rogue long spider legs here!
Overall = BIG FAN.