On the lash!
Pump up the volume! I've had my lashes extended, so no need for mascara – and I love them.
The legendary cosmetics matriarch, Helena Rubinstein, once said: “There are no ugly women, just lazy ones.” Well, I definitely fall into the lazy camp. Not because I don’t want to look tip top, I just don’t have the time or the energy to spend an hour on my face before I head out of the door. Most days I settle for clean, moisturised (if I’m lucky) and presentable. This generally involves my hair looking deliberately dishevelled, and my face getting a quick fix of concealer, mascara and lipstick. On good days, I can even manage blusher and eye liner too.
That’s not to say I don’t aspire to joining the glossy posse. I do. It just needs to be low maintenance. I was then introduced to Jade Jones at The Art of Beauty in Maidenhead – a beauty therapist who specialises in eye lash extensions and semi-permanent make-up. Could this be the glam face-saver, I’ve always needed?
Being a total wuss about needles, I thought I’d give the lash extensions a go. I have a love-hate relationship with my lashes. It’s not that they’re particularly problematic, but mascara tends to run down my face leaving me look like I’m sporting two black eyes.
On the rare occasions I have done battle with false lashes, they have ended up crawling up my eyelid like a spider. And once I tried extensions but ended up pulling them out within 48 hours because they irritated my eyes so much. But oh how I long for long full lashes that miraculously make my eyes bigger and brighter.
Jade operates out of her home, not far from Maidenhead town centre, in an enormous basement room. The salon is softly lit, has all the necessary bits of kit with Smooth FM pumping out musak that’s on the right side of calm and cheese. The space is homely and relaxed, so if you want to rock up in your Uggs and trackie bums, looking like you have rolled out of bed… no judgement here.
Jade trained with the award-winning Eyelash Emporium – winner of the the Beauty Guild of excellence in training – and quit her job as a Financial Adviser in the City in 2015 to focus on beauty. Eyelash extensions are completely bespoke to each individual, so length and style vary but the aim is for you to look naturally glam.
One of the most rewarding parts of Jade’s job has been in helping cancer patients. Some of her clients are battling the disease and come to have eyelashes put on and eyebrows tattooed so that they look normal for themselves and their families while they’re going through treatment. Kinda puts everything in perspective, but just goes to show, putting a brave face on has a deeper meaning.
So what does it involve? It takes an hour to have a full set of lashes applied. Jade starts by taping down the lower lashes before applying hybrid lashes – a combination of classic and volume. The tape feels a little odd to start with, but not uncomfortable. Then lie back, eyes closed, while Jade shines her bright light and is the lash equivalent of Edward Scissorhands as she uses 2 sets of tweezers apply each individual lash.
It’s actually really relaxing and had I not been busy getting the lowdown on all things Art of Beauty by Jade, her previous life in finance and her plans for the future, I’m pretty certain I would have checked out… Zzzzzz.
One hour later, the job is done. Jade warned me the pumped up volume might be too much for my taste. But hell no. Say hello to to beautiful, volumised lashes. No mazzy required, just wake up in the morning and off I go. It was love at first flutter.
Maintenance is pretty low. Keep your eyes dry for 24 hours, but you can get the extensions wet after that (no shower dodging) to keep them clear of dust and dirt. Do not rub or scrub the eye area. No need for mascara, or eyelash curlers, although as the lashes naturally shed, you can slick on a coat of mascara if you want to.
As far as I’m concerned this is the ultimate lazy girl beauty treat. The lashes last 2-3 weeks, but many of Jade’s clients pop back for a shorter appointment to have infills every fortnight. And you’re good to go again.
A full set of Hybrid lashes costs £60, 2-week infills, £25; 3-week infills £30. The results are so good, I’ll be on the lash again soon.