Hello…do you like? No, I’m not wearing the latest super-duper mascara. These Bambi-esque lashes are extensions courtesy of NX Lashes.
Last week I visited their clinic in London’s Belgravia (just a stone’s throw from Victoria station) for a set of these natural looking lashes. I know what you’re thinking: why do I need extensions when my natural lashes are long? Mine are precisely 11mm in length as my expert stylist Becky informed me, but they are quite sparse on the outer corners and poker straight so a set of lash extensions has added length and thickness without the need for coats of mascara.
NX Lashes prides itself on enhancing your lashes so they blend in with your natural ones. The salon uses soft synthetic fibres curled to replicate a natural lash (yay for animal lovers as other sources for lash extensions are silk and mink). You can have ‘L’ or ‘C’ shaped lashes depending on the look you want to achieve. Becky chose ‘C’ which like the shape of the letter suggests is curlier.
From the moment you lie down on the bed, you keep your eyes closed till the process is complete. With tweezers a single lash is intricately attached to each natural lash with an adhesive at about 1mm away from the root. The correct length and thickness is used accordingly and the entire process can take up to 2 hours for a full set (or me it was an hour as I had an enhanced set applied consisting of approximately 60 lashes per eye).
The lash extensions will last on average without maintenance between 4 and 6 weeks in accordance with your natural lashes life cycle and will drop when your natural ones shed. With maintenance you can keep them going indefinitely and typically you will lose a third every 3 weeks.
They do not ‘break’ and they won’t affect the new growth either. For maintenance new lashes are attached where your natural new lash springs up.
You cannot use mechanical lash curlers, only heated ones if really necessary. There really is no need to curl them and your natural lashes are lifted and ‘curled’ with the lashes but you may need to use a clean, dry mascara wand to separate them as sometimes they do get stuck together during sleep.
For the first 48 hours you’re not supposed to get the lashes wet while the adhesive sets (use a damp flannel to wash your face). You’ve also got to avoid excessive rubbing, sleeping on your side or on your stomach, eye make-up, waterproof mascara or eyeliner and oil-based eye make-up removers.
Once this period has passed, you can continue as normal but steam rooms/saunas should be avoided where heat will affect the longevity of your lashes. You can swim in them and I managed to get my brows threaded but it was a bit touch and go so I would groom those brows before getting lash extensions (sadly I didn’t get the chance myself!).
If you can’t tear yourself from using mascara then only apply at the ends (not root to tip) but NEVER use water-proof mascara. Waterproof mascara or any type of oil based mascara can dissolve the bonding agent and shorten the life of your eyelash extensions causing them to fall sooner.
I’m in awe at how sharp Becky’s skills are – just look at how they blend in with my natural lashes. You couldn’t tell, could you? And they survived a windy day too. I’m sure you’re wondering how they feel. Well when I opened my eyes after application, I could feel the lashes but soon after, I forgot they were there. They are amazingly weightless.
So how are these different to strip lashes other than a professional customizing and applying them with precision? Strip lashes are glued to your lash line and must be removed after one use but they are very fiddly to apply and take a lot of practice. Also there is a risk of tearing your real lashes when ripping the falsies off, and half way through a night when a strip is making a bid for freedom, well that’s not a good look.
There are some things you should allow professionals to take care of – bikini waxes, hair cut and colouring and definitely lash extensions. Some can’t live without lash extensions but such dedication is costly, which is why these are great for special occasions and perfect for brides who want enhanced beautiful lashes without the obvious fakery and the hassle of strip lashes. As a swimmer, however I do like to use the sauna and steam room so regular lash extensions would hinder this. It is nice to know this is something you can choose to have whenever you please.
Prices for custom NX Lashes start from £80 with a full set of lashes (100+ per eye) at £160. Becky applied the enhanced set of lashes which costs £80. A full consultation takes place before treatment and aftercare is provided too.
*I was invited by NX Lashes as a guest for review purposes.