Confession: I am beyond obsessed with whatever it is that makes Hollywood’s movers and shakers look, well, nothing like the rest of us. I’m addicted to Life & Style and Allure — if Heidi Montag’s had it nipped and Madonna’s had it tucked, I probably read it first. Rachel Bilson swears by $1,300 jars of La Mer? Why, I love Rachel. Rachel has great skin. Off I go to the nearest Bergdorf and Bloomie’s to feign interest in making a massive purchase, scoring a few samples in the process.
So it should come as no shocker that my most recent fascination came in the form of eyelash extensions. Paris Hilton, Molly Sims, Ashley Tisdale and Danielle Jonas (yes, the eldest JoBro’s wifey) all swear by ’em. So when I randomly won a Twitter contest hosted by @WEtv (don’t hate — I dig the channel’s Golden Girls reruns) for a free Xtreme Lashes application, I. Was. Psyched. I never win anything, let alone a fancy schmancy $300 procedure! Luckily, I live in NYC and immediately requested Xtreme lash stylist to the stars, Cheri Wroblewski of Lash Boutique. If I’m going to spend two hours having someone poke and prod at my eyelids, I want the best.
As requested, I arrived at Cheri’s midtown Manhattan lash studio at 9 a.m. on a Thursday, sans eye makeup. Professional and sweet, Cheri took one look at me, stated that I have gorgeous “cat eyes” (hey, I’ll take it) and said she had the perfect lash look in mind. Apparently, the “looks” can range anywhere from natural to dramatic to OMG-my-lashes-touch-my-forehead. I lay down amidst a cluster of itty-bitty jars of synthetic lashes, and Cheri placed a pair of soothing anti-wrinkle pads underneath my eyes. I closed my eyelids and instantly relaxed. She quickly worked with both hands and two teeny pairs of tweezers — isolating one of my lashes with one hand and placing a single lash extension on the base with the other, using a hi-tech medical adhesive. It was literally an eyelash extension. I was in awe. Throughout the next hour, I barely felt a thing. Sure, there was the occasional tug, but nothing crazy. No irritation whatsoever. When she was finished, I sat up, looked in a mirror and squealed like your little sister at a Justin Bieber concert. I’m not exaggerating when I say that my face was completely transformed, and I wasn’t even wearing makeup (obviously a daily ritual for me, see first ’graph). Cheri the Miracle Worker had meticulously applied nearly 200 individual eyelashes in just over an hour! I thanked her, left a generous tip and skipped five blocks to work, batting my lashes at anyone who dared glance my way.
But wait, you ask: How long do they last? Where can I get these hair-like little bits of heaven? Can I still wear mascara? I did my research, and Xtreme Lashes seem to be the best (just make sure you use a trained stylist or they can end up looking wonky). They can last anywhere from two to three months and cost an average of $300. Yes, you can apply mascara to the tips of your lash extensions, but truthfully? You won’t need it.
The final verdict? Hell yes, these babies are worth every penny. Would I spend the $150 it costs to maintain them via monthly “refills”? Probably not. But I do recommend them for special occasions — prom, your wedding, your nephew’s bar mitzvah… that Match.com date, happy hour… On second thought, maybe I’ll just stock up on Ramen and PB&J in exchange for eyelashes. I’m kind of in love.
–By Tina Smithers