It all started with Groupon, an app full of irresistible coupons that you have to buy. I was lying on my couch, as I do when I ignore my university responsibilities, and it sang to me. $39 for full eyelash extensions. My body didn’t know how to react. I felt excited, nervous, anxious, even a little nauseous. Should I really do it? I’ve never been the type of person to worry about my facade too much- aside from Coles bought make-up (yes, I am basic). Which is part of the reason why I clicked that little ‘buy’ button.
I work in a posh suburb where almost everyone seems to have lip fillers, eyelash extensions, Gucci bags, and so many frosted rings that they pass as knuckle dusters. I wouldn’t say I was trying to fit in, but the aesthetic I am constantly surrounded by had clearly started rubbing on me.
So I went. I took the plunge, I bit the bullet, I caught a tram all the way to the birth of my new eyelashes. The lady was nice. She was working out of a shoe-box closet at the back of a hair salon. Of course, what else does $39 buy you.
‘Which one you want?’ she asks. Honestly, I didn’t know what she was talking about.
Judging from my bewildered expression, she brought out some laminated examples. I asked for the natural ones. Little did I know I’d be getting a different style on each side.
‘Uh, regular?’ I say. Apparently that meant something to her, I had no idea what I asked for. I lie on the plastic coated bed and pray that I’ll still have my natural eyelashes by the end of this experience.
Shining a light in my eyelids, she begins to lay white sticky pads under my eyes, trapping my lower lash line as she went. Imagine getting little paper-cuts around your tear ducts. That’s what it felt like every time I blinked. Then came the glue. My friends voice popped in my head don’t open your eyes whatever you do, the glue is potent. Naturally, I squished my eyes a little tighter to prevent glue seeping into the creases. This just made the glue pool and seep into my already throbbing tear ducts.
The trick was to play dead. Don’t move your eyes and nothing will rub. If you’re lucky, like I was, you’ll fall asleep. That was the best part, not having to be present. In her defence, the end result was beautiful. Aside from the fact that my left eye had a ‘natural’ shape, and my right had an ‘exotic’. At least now I know that exotic looks the best.
I left the shoe-box room feeling on top of the world. I was ready to bat my eyelashes at every shop window reflection. That is, until a fake eyelash got caught in my eye. Burning, stinging, unbearably uncomfortable- but surprisingly fine once I popped it out.
I loved them for a week, until the inability to put on eyeliner or rub my eyes overwhelmed me with irritation. I waited one more week before attempting to take them out myself. I was not prepared to spend more money unless I really had to. When it all got too much, and I was sick of peering out of my eyes only to see specks of black, or not being able to wear my glasses without tapping on the lenses with every blink, I tried to find solace in Google. How do I remove eyelash extensions.
Coconut oil seemed to be a common remedy. Ha Ha! Thank goodness I am a millennial and have an unhealthy amount of coconut oil in my house. I lathered it, I rubbed it, I used so much coconut oil that I discovered you can see through it without burning your eyes- an interesting but irrelevant find to the task at hand. Only two eyelashes came out. I was so furious that I decided to pull one out and almost fainted at the sight of four natural eyelashes hanging at the bottom of it.
Myth BUSTED. Coconut oil does not solve all of our issues, and I am so embarrassed to even have believed that coconut oil could have dissolved high grade eyelash glue. I booked in to my nearest salon to remove them. $30 it cost, and the solution to remove them was even more painful that the glue itself. I was blinking out eyelash glue for the next few days, and noticed a few patches that were looking thin.
Well, it was an experience that I asked for, and it was an experience that I got. Here is how I rate it:
Price: $69 for professional eyelash extensions, and a $20 martini to sink down the regrets.
Look: Honestly, they did look good, and I felt more confident not wearing any other make-up.
Feel: horrendous. The little spikes where the fake eyelash and real eyelash always got caught in towels. Washing my eyes was a nightmare, and getting shampoo in my eye was soul crushing. Not being able to rub my eyes m
ade me realise how much I love rubbing my eyes. I could go on, but I’ll let you discover the rest for yourself.
Would I do it again: Regrettably, yes.