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Ah, the things we do for the sake of vanity! I’ve listened to my friends’ personal experiences (and sacrifices) with eyelash extensions, so I told myself I’d never do it.

Never say never, they say! In August, I finally gave in to my first eyelash extensions, courtesy of Lash Wishes, a designer eyelash extension studio with two branches in Manila.

My fellow Beauty Minister Nicole (second to the right) and I (middle) bonded with the lovely ladies of Lash Wishes.

The Glorietta branch of Lash Wishes. There’s also a waxing studio called Bare Skin right next to it. How convenient!

You can customize everything from the number, length, thickness, and style of the lashes. You may go for a simple classic look, or something crazier, like cat eyes, which is what I opted for.

The prices vary. It can go as low as P800 to as high as P2,000, depending on the customizations you select.

The process: Like placing your order at your favorite bubble milk tea shop, there’s a menu that allows you to select your lash length, thickness, and style (ex. classic, glamour, cat eye, feather extensions, 3D lashes, and even Swarovski crystals), and number of lashes you wish to put on. Once you’ve customized your order, the lash lady assigned to you ushers you to a spa bed. You lie down and close your eyes as she layers your eye area with cloths and other essentials needed for the process. You are not allowed to open your eyes for an hour or so. I actually fell asleep during my session.

The immediate feeling: I initially went all-out by asking for 105 lashes per eye, but the lash lady said my lid size could only handle a maximum of 80 pieces on both lids, so she stopped at that number. As someone who’s never had eyelash extensions before, I felt the heaviness on my lids as soon as I opened my eyes. I was wary of the list of precautions and care instructions they gave me because I’m clumsy by nature. When I saw myself on the mirror after the process, I said, “Va-va-voom!” My Cleopatra-like eyes looked pretty good!

See the difference?

See the difference?

Pros:
1. It saved me time from doing my eye makeup. In fact, I didn’t need to put any eye makeup (except for a few sweeps of eyeshadow once in a while) during the three weeks I had them on. The volumized lashes were enough to make a statement—no need for eyeliner, mascara, or blends of eyeshadow. I just groomed my brows, added lipstick, and was ready to go!
2. I looked like a doll with my cat eyelash extensions. Even when I was fresh out of bed, my made-up lashes gave my face an extra oomph.
3. I got a lot of compliments from people who noticed my doll-like eyes.
4. Trying my best to comply with the rules and care guide, I had the lashes on for three weeks, which means I didn’t use mascara, curler, and thick eye makeup for that duration. For girls who are more careful, the lashes would last longer, maybe 1-2 months with regular maintenance.

The menu. Select your customizations here.

Cons:
1. The first three days were the hardest! I had to adjust the way I slept and was always wary of the rules (no rubbing the eyes, no sleeping on your face, etc.) as I went about my day.
2. My first shower after the process was difficult. The lashes collected a lot of water on my eyes, so it was hard to see. As I stepped out of the shower, my eyes were so red from irritation. I used a lot of Eye Mo during the first week.
3. Even after a week of getting used to my extensions, washing my face was a tricky process. I had to figure out a way to completely wash off the oil and dirt from my face without tugging the falsies. Cotton buds became my go-to cleaning tool.
4. Because I am clumsy, I wear contacts, and would often go against the rules (eep, sorry!), a number of lashes would fall off regularly (at least two lashes a day). By the second week, half the lashes had already fallen off.
5. By the third week, the lashes were so uneven that I had two options: get a touch-up or have the lash extensions removed completely. I opted for the latter, but went DIY using some techniques I found online. For rookie Bellas, I recommend having them professionally removed to minimize the breaking and tugging of your natural lashes. My lashes looked sparser after going DIY, but grew back after a few weeks.

LashWishes3

Would you give eyelash extensions a try? I have a friend who wore eyelash extensions for three straight years! She was addicted to her doll-like eyes, so couldn’t live without them for a long time. As for me, I need to give my sensitive and tired eyes a break. I wouldn’t do this for months to years at a time, but now that I’m looking at my natural lashes, I do miss seeing those doll-like peepers.

For more of Kate’s travel adventures, visit her blog, Kate Was Here, or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Beauty Directory:

Lash Wishes 2/F South Wing, SM Mall of Asia, +639164066272; Cinderella Basement, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati; facebook.com/lashwishes

Photos courtesy of Lash Wishes. Additional photos by Kate Alvarez and freerangestock.com.

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