Katharine Hepburn was born in 1907, she lived to the ripe old age of 96 and she was a screen goddess. Then a few years later, Audrey was born. She was legendary beauty and she influenced women’s style for many decades. After Audrey we received Marilyn Monroe, Vivien Leigh, Ava Gardener, Sophia Loren and many, many more of these beautiful starlets. They transcended time. They still to this day and have most women trying emulate them because they were and are stunning, really stunning.
So what did they have in common? Number one, they certainly had enough powerful men hanging on their arms. From Errol Flynn to Laurence Olivier, even reaching as far as JFK, these women owned their beauty and used it successfully. Number two, they could obviously act, Katharine Hepburn was particularly brilliant. But what else was it? What stood out on pictures and film? What made them so pleasing to the eye? Honestly, I don’t really know, but I am starting to think it was their eyelashes. In fact I am starting to become sure of it.
Eyelashes are my personal demon. Years ago, before I was introduced to extending them, I was happy with a curler and thick mascara. But not anymore, no way. Now they have to be as long and as feminine as possible. When I look in the mirror, I want fluttering baby bird wings protruding from my eye lids. I want them to be the thickest and blackest eye decoration my town has ever seen. However, this is not an easy process. You can’t just walk into any beauty salon that advertises eyelash services and expect them to be done. You have to do your research and a lot of it. First of all you have to decide what you are looking for, because the choices are endless. We have 6D, 4D, 3D, Russian and classic semi-permanent choices. Then you have strip lash, individual lashes, lash FX and weekend lashes. But even this list is not exhaustive. Actually, it goes on forever and it can confuse even the most beautilicious of us.
Two years ago I had my first set of semi-permanent lashes. I had no point of reference but I thought they were fantastic. The technician took about an hour to glue them on to my own lashes and they were priced at twenty pounds. I was sent away fluttering with the promise of a six week shelf life. They lasted about fourteen to twenty days and to be honest, I was happy. But, I couldn’t get my head around spending twenty pounds on eyelashes every two weeks. So I didn’t get them done again.
Then, out of the shadows came my perm-a-lashed contemporaries. Women started to always have lashes on, they always looked SO glamorous. Damn it, these girls even looked good getting out of bed. I started to research again. The more I found out about this beauty treatment, the more interesting it became. I wanted them. But, I wanted them bigger and better than anyone else’s. So I hunted down several technicians and tried each one out. Along with the cost of the actual treatment, it should be mentioned that I pounded many pavements and travelled with several bus drivers as my chauffer’s on my quest. I went along to my first appointment excited. I knew I was going to be pretty.
Alas, it was not to be. She took three hours and glued my eyes together. When I finally made it home, my eyes streaming and myself in a stumble, my husband wanted me to see the Doctor. I managed, with the use of Vaseline, to get my eyelids to open and behold, what a sight I saw. I had huge red eyes with black spider legs pointing out of them in all different directions. I couldn’t brush the lashes as the glue was so thick. There was nothing I could do with them to make them look attractive, so one by one I pulled each of them out. Obviously my own lashes came out with them. So that was me, bald in the eye area.
One month’s growth later and I started again. This time I went to less of a technician and more of a salon with several different application processes. It was more expensive at forty pounds but surely nothing could go wrong this time. WRONG. They seemed nice enough, but when I got up in the morning they were less on my eye and more on the pillow. I kept trying to fan them out with a mascara brush. Just to make them look less sparse. It didn’t work and my running total was now eighty pounds in the search to find the perfect lash.
To cut a long story short (literally,) I pulled them out again and promised my hubby I would give up.
A few more disastrous visits (I couldn’t give up of course.) I had one attempt with strip lashes which ended up on my forehead and was at home arguing with myself and my husband about it again. I found myself agreeing that I was really ready to stop, when I stumbled on the 3D Russian eyelash fairy of The Wirral (where I live.) Now this sounded like a trip that I couldn’t turn down. I made an appointment and got myself over to her pronto. These lashes were by far the most glamorous thing I had ever seen. Long, thick, brilliantly applied I thought I had cracked it (or rather my fairy had dusted me magically.) However, again within a few days I had managed to lose half of them. BUT, instead of giving up, my lash fairy summoned me again and did another set for free. This time I got a little longer out of them. Then I had another set, and another set until finally I have lovely long fluttery eyes all the time.
What I found out, through her perseverance and attention to detail, was the fact that she is good and she loves her job. I also found out the actual problem was mine, not theirs. With the blasting my face in the shower and rubbing my eyes when tired, the way that I toss and turn in bed, and forever pick, pick, pick where I shouldn’t, I was sabotaging my own eyes. Granted, in the early days I did have a few dodgy sets, but now, with the help of my lash fairy, I am never let down. When I was too ill to attend my Christmas appointment recently, I had a full on breakdown at how I would ruin Christmas photos without my lovely lashes. She fit me an appointment in when I got better, thank goodness. My selfie taking was restored and my Christmas outings are well documented, with perfect wide-eyed pictures.
I know that most of this may sound a little extreme. I mean after all, they are only eyelashes. So I will tell you exactly what happens when you splash out on them, thus making them so essential in the future. Firstly, they hide any imperfection on your upper eye. I have a pocket of swelling that only I can see on my right eye. My lashes hide it making me feel a lot better. Secondly, men stare at you. I am happily married, but I love, love, love getting stared at in the street. After I got over the initial shock of attracting attention, I tested the ratio of stares with lashes to stares without. It’s a good ninety percent more with lashes. How FABULOUS is that? Thirdly, you can wear any clothing and still look glam. For example, if you wore a bin liner with lashes to a club, it would be a fashion statement. Fourthly, you only have to wear minimal makeup. This is great for two reasons. Number one, you can tell your partner how much you save on MAC now and two, you save time and energy not catching flies whilst you apply mascara.
I am not saying rush out and get them now. I don’t want everyone doing it or it won’t be special anymore, but if you do decide you want to awaken your Jackie Kennedy within, do the following:
- Homework, You need to learn how to maintain your little fairy wings. You need to make sure you use someone who loves their job. They are always the one at the back who don’t say much. Lastly, read reviews and have a patch test.
- Make sure you know what you’re paying for and what you have asked for. Oh and if your ever in my area of the northwest and fancy a little pick me up. Head on over to my lash fairy. She really is the best around. NEVER use a cheap technician unless you want to look a lot worse than before you started.
Clearly I have an over-active interest in eyelashes and I am hoping this article is useful for those flirting with the idea of them. But, pinky promise, if you learn any more than what I have written. Let me know ASAP. I just can’t get enough of those movie star eyes.
My Lash Fairy is called Becky Dath and she runs The Lash Lounge on The Wirral. If you are struggling to find your own, you can borrow her, BUT she must be returned to me promptly with no damage