Welcome to the Month of Me, where every day in January we’ll be publishing a new fashion, beauty, or wellness article featuring a first-person account of shaking up an old habit, pushing beyond a comfort zone, or simply trying something new. Follow along for 31 days of storytelling, including what it’s like to quit alcohol for 100 days, try Beyoncé's very strict diet, or completely overhaul your closet.
For the record: I like my face, and I don't think it needs changing. But you know what else I like? Gorgeous, full eyelashes. I'm one of those girls who wear mascara to the gym. I honestly feel 100% more equipped to do life when I know those little hairs around my eyeballs are on point. Who's with me?
Therefore, I'm a mascara enthusiast and have even tried my hand at wearing falsies on the daily. But I guess when it comes down to it, I'm just more committed to convenience than serving epic looks. I haven't dipped my toe into the more permanent solutions up to this point, partly out of fear of damaging my already-decent-looking lashes and partly because these things tend to be quite expensive and time-consuming.
So when Sugarlash Pro, a company that specializes in lash-lifts and extensions, reached out with the opportunity to test its signature lash-lift service in the comfort of my office (where I spend more time than I spend at my own home), I jumped at the chance. Yes, this is essentially a perm for your eyelashes, but I'm no stranger to perms and hair treatments. I grew up in the 2000s when black women were all about relaxers, and, honestly, all kinds of women were still down with a good perm. (It was a wild time.) Could a lash-lift be the answer to that coveted I-woke-up-like-this confidence? Would it shave any time at all off my morning makeup routine? These were the burning questions I was eager to answer. Read on to learn all about the full experience from start to finish.
I was instructed to come ready with a clean face and told that I would not be able to get my lashes wet for a full 24 hours after the lift. I did wear makeup that day since I had a few meetings and didn't want to look tired, so I needed to do a deep cleanse to make sure there was no trace of makeup left behind that might interfere.
I dug into my collection of cleansers and grabbed three that would effectively remove every stitch of eye-makeup residue. And knowing it would be the last time I'd be able to thoroughly wash my face until the following day, I decided micellar water, a concentrated eye-makeup cleanser, and an allover foam cleanser were all necessary.
Then came the actual treatment. My Sugarlash Pro technician showed up to my office carrying a folded-up table (kind of like a massage table) for me to lie down on during the service.
The first step was to cover my bottom lashes with an adhesive eye mask to keep them out of the way. Then, she applied a soft silicone cover with a gentle glue on top of my upper eyelid to act as the apparatus for the perm. So far, so good.
Next, the technician spread the same glue all over the surface of the silicone cover before brushing my lashes back and completely flush against it. A little curling rod at the base of the silicone eyepiece created the shape my lifted lashes would later mimic.
Now that my lashes were plastered into the appropriate position, it was time to apply the actual lifting agent: three layers of chemical creams, which marinated for about 30 minutes altogether. Honestly, I think I fell asleep or at least slipped into a deep meditative state as I concentrated on keeping my eyes firmly closed. It wasn't uncomfortable at all, but I will say the smell caught me a little off-guard. It was similar to the familiar smell of a chemical hair relaxer because that's essentially what this substance is.
After the perming cream was removed, I could instantly tell that my lashes had been altered. The second I opened my eyes, I could feel my them grazing the bottom of my brow bone, so I knew they were standing taller than usual. It was similar to when you open your eyes too wide with wet mascara on and you can feel the inky-black gel transfer onto your eyelid. So before I even looked in the mirror, I knew my lashes were, as the kids say, popping. When my technician handed me a mirror to examine my face, I was floored. My fringes were standing in full bloom like I'd just used a lash curler and a really good mascara.
Overall, the lash-lift went off without a hitch, and I'm beyond pleased with the results. Although I don't feel like I could skip mascara altogether in my morning routine, I do see a major difference in my bare lashes. They look like they've been curled, even when I'm fresh out of bed. And as far as damage to my delicate lash hairs, I haven't noticed any. In fact, I've seen no change in the texture or health of my natural eyelashes. I'd caution anyone with highly sensitive skin to consult a physician before having their lashes permed, as the keratin cream used is pretty strong and could cause a reaction. Also, be prepared for some residual glue from the process to linger on your lids until you can go in with a real wash. I'm antsy, so I found myself picking at the stuff for 24 hours.
The Sugarlash Pro team explained to me that the ideal candidate for a lift is someone who already has good length to their lashes, so that's definitely something to consider before taking the plunge. For a service that can cost upward of $150, you definitely want to be sure that the results will be up to snuff. There are Sugarlash Pro partners all over the world who can help you determine whether a lash-lift is the right solution.
Maintenance-wise, I was advised that the lash-lift should last for six to eight weeks, meaning that I might be looking at two full months of beautifully permed lashes. According to my Sugarlash Pro tech, I'll know it's time for a touch-up when I see some of my lashes starting to revert to their original, less pronounced state.
Not ready to commit to a lash-lift just yet? Shop these lash-extending products instead:
This OG lash-growth serum combines vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids into a serum that promotes naturally longer, thicker-looking lashes. You'll have to be consistent about application, but the results are worth it.
If dense, glossier lashes are on your wish list, you might consider adding this gel by Talika to your regimen. One savvy Amazon reviewer came through with the major pro tip to store it in the refrigerator, which helps preserve the natural botanical formula.
While wax is one of the ingredients that help mascara stick to your lashes to make them appear longer and thicker, it can be a pain to remove. This formula by Maybelline is wax-free, making it much easier to remove.
These premium silk lashes have quickly become a staple in the kits of celebrity makeup artists for stars like Olivia Palermo, Kate McKinnon, and Natasha Lyonne. They offer a bit more flexibility than your standard strip lash, and the strip is substantially thinner, too.