In our never-ending quest to look perennially preened, outsourcing our lash care (i.e. swapping out our own clumsy, smudgy mascara job for a professional treatment) has become a fully-fledged addiction. And while we’ll always love the falsies-esque effect of extensions, there is a more natural looking – and cheaper – offering that has captured our attention: the lash lift. We turned to Sharon Lee, whose eponymous salon has been tending to the brows and lashes of celebrities and well-heeled beauty obsessives for decades, for the lowdown on all things lash lift: how it works, how to care for it best, and how to find a good practitioner.

How does a lash lift work?

Essentially, your own lashes are permed and tinted. Sharon Lee elaborates: “The process itself is the lashes being placed gently and precisely over a rod and layered with various solutions, followed by custom colour application.” The result? Fluttery, dark lashes – so no need to whip out your curlers or mascara each morning.

What are the pros and cons of a lash lift?

With a myriad of lash-enhancing treatments out there, how do lash lifts measure up? Sharon Lee explains: “Compared to extensions, lash lifts are actually a much healthier option as they lack the inclusion of formaldehyde-based glues.”

“They don’t damage the natural lash, are far less time consuming, and don’t require the costly infills. Win, win, win.”

That said, the treatment isn’t for everyone: Sharon Lee rules out those with active eye irritations or infections, while those with eye sensitivities should consult with an expert before opting for the treatment.

How to get the best result?

It’s vital your practitioner thoroughly analyses your lashes and adapts the treatment accordingly. We have to understand the type of lash we are dealing with in order to best decide the correct rod, angle and duration for processing. All of these decisions made right make for a fabulous result,” shares Sharon Lee.

As for at home care? “We recommend steering clear of mascara for a day or two,” advises Sharon Lee. “But there are actually mascaras that we offer that are impregnated with active ingredients that help growth and provide more longevity to the lash lift results.”

How to fix a lash lift gone wrong?

And how do you know if you’ve got a dud job? “A bad treatment is immediately evident as the lash won’t sit right or there is disparity between the lashes,” says Sharon Lee. “There will be no continuity between the overall lashes and in some instances they can be cooked. A solid artist will be able to ensure nothing goes wrong but even if it does, he or she will be able to immediately correct.”

If you’ve spied a few lashes that are twisted, don’t fret – it’s relatively normal, and even avoidable. “This can happen the first couple times you have the service but it’s also more common with weak lashes that have had extensions for an extended period of time.” Investing in a strengthening, reparative eyelash serum, and spacing out your lash extensions, can both help to keep your lash lift in good nick.

How to find a good lash lift practitioner?

As with so much in life, you can’t go past word of mouth. Sharon Lee suggests asking your most fluttery-lashed friends who they visit as a sure bet for getting excellent quality work. Her other tip? “Instagram is always a good reference as you can see work that you like and reach out directly to book.” And of course, there’s always our handy Go-Tos directory that can help you pick the best practitioner in your area.

Story by Tess de Vivie de Régie. Holding image credit: Instagram @the90ssupermodels

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