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The Real Deal on Eyelash Extensions

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I never really gave much thought to my eyelashes. They’re just long enough, thick enough, and dark enough to be low on the list of body parts that I worry about (high on that list are my wobbly math teacher arms and my nose—Roman if you’re being generous, angular if you’re not). 

Then I met Jordana Rothman—and Jordana Rothman’s eyelashes—which, really, could have their own Twitter following. They’re exceptional. So exceptional that I found myself reaching out to touch them, completely oblivious to my social gaffe. “Are they real?” I had to know. 

The answer, it turns out, is yes—and no. The short story is that in the summer when it’s hot and sticky, her lashes are unenhanced; in the winter, Jordana goes full on Kim Kardashian with her lashes. Newly enraptured with the wonderful world of lashes, I booked myself an appointment at the just-opened Lash Loft. An hour later, I emerged with a set of natural-looking falsies.

Most people probably couldn’t put their finger on what was different—except to say that I looked prettier and more doe-eyed than usual. I loved the subtlety of my new faux lashes, though full disclosure: This tomboy was ready to go back to normal lashes by day five.

 Here, the dos and don’ts of faux lashes:

Do: Look for a place that looks legit. The Lash Loft felt professional and clean, and the massage table-like beds were the perfect place to spend an hour while my aesthetician Krystal worked her magic.

Do: Consider your options. When it comes to lashes, there are more options than you might think—real mink or faux; black or brown; J curl or C curl. Lash lengths run the gamut from 8 mm to 17 mm and vary in length from .15 to .25.

Do: Know yourself. Krystal likes a dramatic C curl, but I knew I’d feel self-conscious with something so over the top. Instead, I went for the slightly curvy J curl (there’s also an even straighter B curl). In terms of length, I opted for subtley, with 10 mm and 11 mm lashes in the middle and 9 mm lashes closer to the edges.

Don’t: Get sweaty for 24 hours. Skip the gym and the steam room for 24 hours post-application to give the glue a chance to dry.

Don’t: Use oil-based anything. Oil-based makeup removers and eye creams can cause your new lashes to fall off—and your normal lashes with them. Lopsided lashes? Not a good look.

Don’t: Rub your eyes. Rubbing your eyes can cause your lashes, fake and real, to come off. This was a tough one for me—and part of the reason I was ready to go back to my au naturale look by day five.

Do: Get a pro to remove your lashes. Your fake lashes will fall off naturally, but if you’re like me, you’ll be prone to helping the process along—which can lead to bald spots.

Do: Try DIY false lashes. We love Winks by Georgie, which uses a chamomile-infused glue that’s gentle on your lashes.

–Geraldine Campbell

Need more help? Here’s how to fix your lashes in a flash.

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