Long, luxurious lashes may seem like only a dream to some. For years, mascara has been the go-to beauty product for lengthening and adding dimension, but it can be admittedly tiresome (especially when swimming or watching our favorite sad movie!) False eyelashes are sometimes a solution, but seem to fall off rather easily or be a bit difficult to apply on one’s own. Enter semi-permanent eyelash extensions. Commonly made in three types (synthetic fibers, silk and mink), this is one beauty product that appears to be on the rise in popularity. “Lash extensions make getting ready in the morning easy and simple. No mascara is needed because they are already curled and black,” says Lauren Pavelka, Eden Prairie make-up artist and owner of Lovelo Beauty, LLC. Pavelka, who specializes in lash extensions and is certified through Lavish Lashes, says that in addition to giving a more dramatic look, “many women choose to get them done because they are a lot easier than applying mascara and other eye makeup every day.” Brooke Boland can attest to this. As a hairstylist, mother of two and long-time client of esthetician Niki Robison at The Hair District in Eden Prairie, Boland typically has limited time to get ready. She raves about the mascara alternative, saying, “I love my lash extensions. I feel glamorous and put together, yet they are so natural and feel comfortable.” Robison specializes in intricate brow shaping and lash extensions at The Hair District. Having been trained under The Aveda Institute and renowned beauty stylists such as Damone Roberts, Robison notes that unfortunately, eyelash extensions are not for everybody. “You have to have hair and lashes,” she says. Clients with sensitive and itchy eyes are also not advised to try them, because of the chance of an allergic reaction to the glue. But if none of these apply, Robison says lash extensions are completely safe when applied correctly. The application process itself can be intricate and tricky, but both Pavelka and Robison say that for the client, it’s a comfortable experience. “The first time you get extensions applied, it takes about 2 hours,” says Pavelka. While the client is lying down with her eyes closed, each lash extension is applied one by one, and Robison says that even though she’s right-handed, she must use her left hand equally as to “isolate” the lash. There are typically three types of lash extensions available: synthetic fibers, silk and mink. “Synthetic are the most stiff of all three types, silk are softer and lighter, and mink are the softest and lightest they come,” says Pavelka, who works with all three types. Robison adds that, in her experience, “lots of people like the mink.” Extensions vary in lengths, sizes and textures, so it’s important to consult with your lash artist about which type would work best with your individual eye shape and natural lashes. Should you choose to try out lash extensions, Robison stresses that the eventual removal of the lashes must be done by a professional. “If you remove [the lash extensions] yourself, you will damage your real lashes,” she says. Pavelka suggests letting the extensions come off naturally if possible: “Trying to force them off is only going to put strain on your own lashes. It is better to let them go naturally.” All of the lash experts agree that experience is the most important thing when looking to add some extra length to your eyelashes. “It’s an unregulated service, which is why you have to be careful,” says Robison, who suggests seeking out estheticians or hair stylists for application . This lack of regulation is tricky, but Pavelka says that consumers shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions: “[They] should definitely look for the most skilled lash artist they can find, someone who has been trained through a certified company and someone who has had lots of experience applying lashes or can show them several pictures of their actual work.” Finding an experienced professional can be a bit more time consuming, but worthwhile, as Pavelka says that incorrect application of the lashes can cause pain or even result in a loss of your natural lashes.Looking for a spot to try out some lash extensions? Check out these salons and stylists: Bare Skin SpaFull silk set: $350, half silk set: $150, full mink set: $400, half mink set: $200. 7912 Mitchell Road, Eden Prairie; 952.937.0495; mybareskinspa.com Kati Standal, The Parlour Salon & SpaNovalash eyelash extension set: $100+, fills up to 4 weeks: $50, fills over 4 weeks: $75. 7924 Victoria Drive, #206, Victoria; 952.679.4805; theparlourgirls.com Lauren Pavelka, Lovelo Beauty, LLC.Full silk set: $300, full mink set: $350, fills range between $100– $150 depending on location and lash type. 952.847.7612.; lovelobeauty.com Niki Robison, The Hair DistrictFull set: $200 (discounts available), fills: $80. 12573 Castlemoor Drive, Eden Prairie; 952.903.5353; nicolerobison.com Salon SpatoriaFull set: $135, fills: $45. 1750 Tower Blvd., Ste. 106, Victoria; 952.443.1652; salonspatoria.com Spalon MontageFull set: $250+, additional maintenance: $80+. 600 Market St., Ste. 270, Chanhassen; 952.915.2900; spalon.com Today’s Hair StudioFull set: $125, partial set: $80, fills: $50. 250 W. First St., Waconia; 952.442.6464; todayshairstudiowaconia.weebly.com UrFabuLash, Lorenzo’s SalonFull set: $200, fills from 1 to 6 weeks: $15– $100. 16360 Wagner Way, Eden Prairie; 952.368.9060; urfabulash.com
Lash Extensions in the Southwest Metro
Lash extensions are becoming a popular alternative to mascara.