I was at happy hour a few weeks ago with some girlfriends when I noticed my friend’s lashes. They were super full and dark and curled.
“Did you get lash extensions?” I asked her. “Your lashes look fabulous.”
“Nope,” she said. “I just got them permed and tinted. I’m not even wearing mascara.”
What? I had to find out more. Lucky for me, my friend Liz Bruhin of Lizzy B’s Skin and Lash was already an expert.
Turns out it’s called a “Lash Lift.” Liz performs the service where you actually get your lashes tinted, then permed to curl upwards, and treated with Keratin to make them stronger. I was intrigued, and immediately booked my appointment.
I showed up at her treatment room on First and C Avenue ready to go.
“The entire process only takes about 40 minutes,” Liz explained. “It should last 6-8 weeks depending on your lash cycle and how your lashes grow. When you notice them start to straighten out, then you’ll know it’s time to get it done again.”
Cool! So what exactly does the treatment entail? Liz tints your lashes darker, then actually perms them with perm solution with tiny little rods, then applies a Keratin treatment to strengthen and condition the lashes. But would they really look that awesome?
“It’s great for moms who are busy that want to look put-together, but don’t want to throw makeup on,” says Liz. “It’s a life saver.”
Hold it. So I wouldn’t even need mascara? I was doubtful. I’m a major makeup person. I rarely emerge barefaced, and I never, ever skip mascara.
“You really shouldn’t need it,” Liz says. “You can just throw on some lipgloss and you’re good.” I guess we would see!
Well, let’s get started! Liz applied a cooling eye pad with collagen underneath my eyes, and also it keeps the lower lashes from getting caught up in the perming treatment.
Liz tinted my lashes, and then measured to see which size rods to use with the perming solution. (Yes, there are actually little mini rods! And the perming solution has the same smell you love and remember from the 80s.)
And it’s important to get your lashes done with the right products. Some places use products with super burly ingredients.
“Not all lash lift products are considered the same, just like any sort of facial products or makeup,” says Liz. “A lot of this stuff comes from overseas and is made with super toxic ingredients. So make sure you ask. I use products from a company in Utah, so it’s made here in the U.S. so they have to be more compliant.”
Great point! You don’t want to mess around with toxic chemicals by your eyeballs.
When she applied the perm solution, it took me right back to Texas in 1987. At this point, my eyes were actually clipped shut. It was totally comfortable, but I could smell the fumes and my eyes got a little irritated. When she gave me a small fan it felt a lot better.
“I love this treatment because it doesn’t damage your lashes at all. Because of the Keratin treatment, it actually strengthens it,” says Liz. “It’s not like lash extensions where you are adding the weight of a lash to your own eyelash, which can actually cause a lot of damage.”
Liz explained that people who do lash extensions for long periods of time wind up with barely any lashes left. Turns out the lashes can actually break.
“Lash extensions look great for a while, until your natural lashes start to fall out,” says Liz. “Your natural lashes actually atrophy from the weight of the lash being put onto it. If you do it a couple of times here and there, it’s no big deal, and I still do those treatments. But you don’t want to do it on a regular basis.”
Turns out this treatment has gotten really popular over the last two years. Liz thinks this is because the extensions are so damaging, and the upkeep and expense is huge.
Finally, Liz removes the perm solution and I can open my eyes again. And hello! My lashes look like I just curled them with an eyelash curler, but a lot better. They are also significantly darker.
Liz told me to not get my lashes wet until the next morning, and to avoid using any sort of eye makeup remover with oil in it. And that’s it! I could continue to use Lash Boost (which I love) and basically go about my life as normal.
Of course I couldn’t resist applying a coat of mascara—and BAM—my lashes looked amazing. I noticed over the next few days I just looked more awake and bright-eyed when I woke up, and didn’t really feel like I needed the mascara as much. One time I even just put on a lipgloss and emerged with no makeup. (This almost never happens.)
So although I’m still using a bit of mascara, I definitely don’t need it as much, and my lashes are looking pretty radical.
Would I do this treatment again? Absolutely. Knowing that I am actually strengthening my lashes while getting a super rad lift, curl, and darker lashes is pretty amazing.
But what’s the pricing like? For the lash lift, tinting and Keratin treatment, it’s $135. Compared to getting lash extensions (which is super time consuming as well) I think the price is pretty good. I will definitely be back!
I love that I look more awake and festive with minimal makeup; I love that the treatment is NON-DAMAGING and STRENGTHENING; and I love that it requires no post-care.