Lash Lifts Are The Low-Maintenance Alternative To Lash Extensions

 In short, a lash lift is a perm for your eyelashes, that provides lift and curl for weeks. To get more details, ELLE tapped lash artist Paula Ocot from tattoo studio Laurel NYC to explain everything you need to know about getting a lash lift.

A lash lift is a perm for your lashes.

The secret to a good lash lift? A safely formulated chemical solution. “A lash lift is essentially a perm for your lashes that offers eye-popping results by creating a natural curl and lift to your lashes,” Ocot says. “Everyone has different lash lengths and growth direction. Some lashes grow down while others grow straight out. The lash lift process creates a natural eye-opening lash swoop that lasts for several weeks.”

It requires little preparation.

Arrive at your appointment au natural. “Come with a clean face and refrain from wearing any eye makeup,” Ocot advises. “Thoroughly wash your eyes with soap and water. If you wear mascara on the regular, specifically waterproof mascara, it’s recommended to stop use for at least 3 days prior to your appointment as it can leave a residue that prevents lashes to adhere to the adhesive.”

Expect noticeable results.

Get ready for lots of compliments. “A lash lift will enhance your eyes by making them look more open and awake,” Ocot says. “You can also ask your artist to tint your lashes after they’re lifted, for darker and thicker looking lashes. Be ready to say goodbye to your mascara and lash curler and shave some time off of your beauty routine.

You can customize your lash lift.

All lash lifts are not created equal. “Your artist can alter the ‘tightness’ of lash curl and add a tint to make the lashes look darker and thicker,” Ocot explains. “During the consultation process, you and your artist can decide what look would best suit your eyes: a soft and natural lash curl or a tighter lash curl for a more dramatic look.

The process is pretty straightforward.

Have an idea of what you want your lashes to look like. “Every lash lift service starts off with a consultation,” Ocot says. “During this consultation, your artist will ask for your desired results and assess your natural lashes and eye shape. Based on your answers, the artist will then pick the appropriately sized silicone curling rod to shape, lift and curl the lashes.”

Then sit back, close your eyes, and relax for about 45 minutes. “Your artist will begin by thoroughly cleaning the eye area,” Ocot explains. “Once the eyes are cleaned off of any residual makeup and oils, a silicone curling rod is placed with a gentle adhesive on the eyelids bordering the lash line. The natural lashes are then curled over top of the rod and set with an adhesive.”

Your eyes will be closed throughout the session, so try listening to a podcast or music. “Once the artist ensures that all lashes are combed up and separated in place, a lifting lotion is applied to the lashes,” Ocot adds. “The lifting lotion will then mold the lashes to the shape of the curling rod. Following this, a setting lotion is applied which sets the lash shape into place. Finally, a nourishing lotion is added to add moisture back into the lashes.

Lash lifts typically cost $100 – $120 per session.

Pricing depends on which salon you go to, but the treatment is generally more affordable than lash extensions. Always make sure your lash artist is a licensed professional.

Results can last up to two months.

A lash lift will typically last about 6-8 weeks. Of course, this all depends on how you take care of your lashes.

The upkeep is low-maintenance.

The first 24 hours are crucial. “Keep your lash lift dry. No water, sweat (no heavy exercising), steam or sauna for the first 24 hours,” Ocot advises.

Keep your hands off! “Try not to rub your eyes too much as you can alter the curl with excessive rubbing of the eye,” she says. Ocot recommends using a clean spoolie to brush your lashes daily, to keep them airy, fluffy, separated, and tangle-free.

You can wear eye makeup and mascara but avoid waterproof formulas. “While using mascara isn’t necessary if you want to enhance your lift, sticking to water-based mascaras are the best option,” Ocot says. Water-proof eye makeup can weaken the effect of your lift and leave a residue. Only use oil-free makeup removers and cleansers.

Lastly, help your lashes stay healthy. “Nourish your lashes 2 to 3 times a week to keep your lashes hydrated,” Ocot says. She recommends castor oil for keeping hairs strong.

ELLE

Everything You Need to Know About Microblading Your Eyebrows

Whether tweezers hit you hard in the ‘90s and the brow grow-back never happened, or you just don’t feel like filling in your eyebrows every morning, microblading can be an easy solution for full, perfectly groomed, natural-looking eyebrows.

But while the term “microblading” is fairly colloquial these days, the in-salon procedure (and what happens to your eyebrows after the fact) can still strike up a ton of confusion. What is eyebrow microblading, exactly? Does eyebrow microblading last forever? Will you end up with Instagram brows? The questions are endless.

What Is Eyebrow Microblading?

Unlike an eyebrow pencil that you wipe off at night before you go to sleep, eyebrow microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo procedure where a special handheld microblading eyebrow pen is used to draw on strokes that mimic the appearance of real brow hairs, Aava explains. While it’s a similar process to getting a tattoo, the ink that is used is far less concentrated than that of a regular tattoo and is specifically formulated for the microblading process.

Who Should Consider Microblading?

While there are thousands of eyebrow products on the market, those that tend to opt for microblading want fuller, natural-looking eyebrows but don’t want the hassle of filling them in every single morning, or the worry that the pigment won’t last all day. “If you benefit from a brow pencil, then you will benefit from microblading,” explains Aava.

However, if you are pregnant or have any medical contraindications, Aava says you should not microblade your eyebrows.

How Long Does Microblading Last?

Not forever, but way longer than your waterproof eyebrow gel, that’s for sure! In fact, according to Aava, microblading can last anywhere from one to three years, depending on your skin type, lifestyle, sun exposure, and the products that you use. However, touch-ups are commonly needed about once a year, especially for those with oily skin, as the ink tends to fade and blur faster.

What Happens During a Microblading Appointment? 

After the area is sanitized and numbed, Aava consults with the client on the eyebrow shape that will be drawn on. While you can bring in pictures like a haircut, Aava says that in order to create a true natural-looking brow, she likes to follow the direction of the natural brow hairs and takes into consideration the client’s face symmetry and age. She also consults with the client on the pigment of the ink, which she explains is chosen based off of the natural color of the brow hairs and the skin’s undertone.

Then, she moves onto drawing the strokes in using the microblading pen, which can take anywhere from 30-40 minutes, depending on the eyebrow area. After the eyebrows are finished, she applies an aftercare ointment to help healing and a follow-up appointment is scheduled for four to six weeks later. At this appointment, she is able to tweak the final result if needed.

What’s the After-Care Like When Microblading Your Eyebrows?

This isn’t a suggestion to take lightly, as it can have a direct impact on the brow look you end up with. To prevent blurring or fading, Aava suggests keeping them dry from water and sweat for a week or longer, and to refrain from wiping. She also recommends applying her ointment once a day to speed up healing.

Right after the treatment is done, the brows will be darker and slightly red, but the redness and the pigment will slightly fade in color as the brows heal. “Besides them being darker while healing there isn’t any major side effects,” says Aava. “Infection is always possible if you don’t take care of them and don’t follow proper aftercare. All the instruments are disposable in our office, so chances of infection happening is slim to none. Just choose your artist wisely.”

Do You Still Have to Use an Eyebrow Pencil After?

That’s up to your personal preference. “If you wish to add more to match more dramatic makeup, you are more than welcome to add more pencil,” says Aava. However, you should wait the recommended one week (or longer) before applying product.

Who Can Perform Microblading?

There’s not much regulation when it comes to microblading, so you truly have to use your best judgment, do very thorough research, read views, and check out photos of the salon and the artist’s work. You’ll also want to actually go into the salon to check out the facilities sanitation, as Aava says that’s where the chances of infection can increase.

It’s commonly offered at salons or specialty eyebrow boutiques, and microblading artists usually have to undergo some sort of training. For example, Aava is a cosmetic tattoo specialist, and many other microblading experts are also estheticians.

How Much Is Microblading Your Eyebrows?

Your geographical location, the artist’s skill level, and how much microblading actually needs to be done to your eyebrows can all impact the final cost of your procedure. It can range anywhere from $250 to $1,500. 

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