Lash extensions vary considerably, as different practitioners use different quality lashes, glue, hygiene methods and offer private or non-private rooms, so what do you look for for the ultimate lashes?
I was introduced to lash extensions when I was doing ocean swimming many years ago. Might sound like a crazy co-incidence, and it is a bit, but I was told lashes would eliminate the need to mascara and actually make my swimming and make-up routine easier. And this proved to be true – once I found the rigtht goggles to wear in the pool and the right way to wash the lashes.
But I also discovered I needed to locate the right lashes and the right salon. There are huge variances in size, quality, the time they last, how thick or straight or curly they are – the list goes on.
And the price for a full set can vary from $130-$500. That’s a huge difference.
But the first step is to find the right salon for you, and to do that there are a few critical aspects to consider.
I recently went to Fancy Lash where I felt the owner, Kathy Duong has nailed a lot of the critical elements:
Kathy is from Vietnam, where some of the best beauty experts for lashes as well as nails and even waxing are trained. Go into any high end salon in London, Paris, New York or Sydney and you will find Vietnamese beauty therapists working.
She moved to Australia several years ago and set up in Adelaide where she had family but quickly realised Sydney was a better fit for her.
“As soon as I arrived I visited every lash outlet in Sydney to see how they were doing things and how I could do things differently and improve,” she explained.
Everything from the type of chair or bed you lay on, the types of lashes used, the experience of the beauty therapist, the application time, and how long the lashes last, are all important factors to consider.
How to ensure your lash extensions work for you:
The Size, Set Up and Location Of The Salon: You are going to have to visit your lash extension salon regularly if lashes become a part of your routine, so it needs to be close to home (or work), and it needs to feel calming. Some women prefer to be in a chair, others on a bed. I prefer a bed so I can really chill out. And I prefer a private room which can’t be see from the street and I don’t want to see other women having their lashes done either.
Experience: You really want a therapist who has been doing lashes for at least 3-4 years. This just means they know what to do and how to deal with any issues that come up (eg your natural lashes falling out, the lashes not lasting long enough, glue allergies etc).
The type of lashes they use and where they are from Sydney lash expert Kathy explains; “After trying over 50 brands, I’m confident about the products that we offer. Most of products in the market at the moment are manufactured in China, Korea or Vietnam. I found this type of hair is not the best one because it’s too shiny and can look fake. After a long time searching, I found a brand which is manufactured in UK. The hairs are soft, natural black. We want some one looking at your eyes and saying ‘your lashes look nice, not your extensions look nice’.”
How full do they make your Lashes? Many salons only fill 80% of your lashes, but ideally you want 100% filled and they will last longer (some last up to 5 weeks). Note this can take 2-3 applications as the therapist gets to know your lashes and the shape, style and look that works for you.
Price: It is really important to know and agree on a price up front. There are well known lash salons in Sydney who have stung clients by giving them hefty bills of hundreds of dollars when they leave ( it happened to me), so take care to check online reviews before you go and make sure you are clear on what the charges will be.
Travel Warning: Pre covid I travelled a lot, and having my lashes sorted whilst away was always a problem. It is helpful to have the length and thickness of the lashes your therapist uses in your phone so the therapist can match them, but I have never had a truly successful infill whilst away.
Renae Leith travels the world writing (www.renaesworld.com.au). She has had a colourful media career as a journalist in many magazines and newspapers, and spends her time writing, consulting to new businesses, running, doing yoga, swimming & cycling.
She's likes healthy eating, but thinks chocolate cake is just as important as kale chips.
She spends most weekends writing, and hanging out with her gorgeous twins.