Want to wake up with dark and voluminous lashes (and no, forgetting take off last night’s make-up doesn’t count). Eyelash extensions have gone from fringe to mainstream in the past decade or so, allowing wearers the freedom of ‘naturally’ long and luxe lashes without the bother of applying falsies or burning through multiple tubes of mascara.
Lash extensions were pioneered by Hollywood celebrities at around the turn of this century. A few years later, around 2005, lash salons and technicians started to pop up in Australia capital cities. Today there are some parts of town where the numbers are giving coffee shops a run for their money – and many multi purpose beauty salons also offer the service.
Put simply, lash extensions are individually applied fibres, attached to the base of each natural eyelash with specially formulated glue. Fake lashes are applied one by one. Extensions last between three to four weeks and shed with your natural lashes.
If you haven’t tried them yet, give them a go before your next holiday. You can swim, sweat and sleep in them – and just think how effortlessly glam you’ll look by the pool. But buyer beware; there are lashes, and then there are vegan lashes.
At most salons, you get to choose between synthetic, silk (no thanks) and mink. Why mink? Well, they’re fluffy, pretty and virtually weightless making them comfortable to wear. Some salons tout them as ‘cruelty-free mink’, claiming the hairs are collected by brushing the animals, not by killing them. But that won’t wash with vegans, because even if it’s true, the mink are kept in pretty depressing situations, in cramped wire cages where they exhibit clear signs of stress. (You can read more on the PETA website about this.)
Some salons are now offering ‘faux mink’ lashes, which are man-made fibres designed to imitate real mink fur. Faux-mink lashes are light and fine, and feel exactly like your own lashes. Some salons market themselves as 100 per cent vegan friendly. As with most things, it’s a case of asking the right questions before you book.