My name is Bella, and I have just three obsessions in life: charcuterie boards, The Great Gatsby, and my own eyelashes. I obsess over the first two items on this list because they're incredible, whereas I obsess over my lashes because I want them to be incredible. My eyebrows are fairly straight, but I love a super curled lash, so I'm eager to share my lash lift review now that I've finally given the treatment a go. If you're unfamiliar with the idea of a lash lift, it's basically a perm that results in stunningly curled lashes. (If you don't know what a perm is, watch the court scene in Legally Blonde and get back to me.)
To be clear, I tried pretty hard for years to get my lashes to hold a good curl. Eyelash primers helped my hairs look long and lush, but you could still only see them if I was looking down or from my profile; from head-on, my lashes weren't the most visible. Even the most impressive eyelash curlers couldn't keep them lifted for more than a few minutes, and although a heated lash curler did majorly change the game for me, I was looking for a more permanent alternative, so I don't have to keep buying batteries (real talk).
Here's what my natural lashes looked like head-on before my lash lift:
After trying full-on lash extensions once before, I decided the maintenance wasn't worth it for me, so when my sister told me she'd gotten a lash lift instead, I was instantly intrigued. I decided to try out the process for myself when offered a complimentary treatment at the Hourglass Cosmetics store on Crosby Street in New York City, where the ultra-glam and ultra-kind makeup artist Yoli Cotray gave me an Hourglass glow-up. She walked me through all the steps of my lash lift before starting the treatment, and even though I knew I was minutes away from having chemicals applied thisclose to my delicate eyes, I felt excited — not nervous at all.
Here's a look at everything needed to get the process started:
"A lash lift turns your own eyelashes upward, which adds length, height, volume, and gives the appearance of having longer thicker lashes," Cotray explains to me as we begin the procedure. "The advanced technique is designed to boost and lift the lash and offers a low-maintenance alternative to lash extensions. Also, with lash lifts, you can apply makeup, wash your face and eyes thoroughly, in addition to sleeping comfortably, without disturbing the curl."
With that, we were off to the lash-lifting races! After removing any surrounding makeup and using moisturizing under-eye patches to hold down my lower lashes, Cotray selected a silicone rod to put my lashes against, and placed it on my skin, close to my lash line, using an adhesive.
She selected a slightly tapered rod, as the lashes toward my inner corner are sparse and she wanted to ensure they would fit:
Once the rod was glued down, she took her time detangling and separating my lash strands, as a hairstylist would before cutting bangs, so they could be glued to the rod.
Cotray used Hourglass' exclusive Curator Lash Instrument ($78, hourglasscosmetics.com), which really did the trick, and the whole process felt like practically nothing.
TBH, I was at peak relaxation by the time Cotray let me know it was time for the perming solution:
She applied a lifting lotion using a small brush, and kept it on for about eight minutes. After removing it with a damp cotton pad, she then applied a setting lotion in a similar way and left it for another eight-ish minutes. During the process, I tried not to think about exactly what was happening. As someone with mild anxiety, I figured, the more I focused on the chemicals near my eyes, the more uncomfortable I'd be, so I chatted with Cotray and kept my eyes shut tight, and before I knew it, my eight minutes with the perming solution were up, and the rod was removed with another wet cotton pad.
After this, Cotray applied some lash conditioner to nourish, and voila, my lashes were perfectly permed:
Peep the before-and-after photos, won't you?
I know, right? The above is what my lashes looked like right away with absolutely zero makeup. If you're ever near Hourglass Crosby, you better hit up Cotray, because her work is seriously amazing. My only restriction post-treatment was to not get my freshly-curled lashes wet for 24 hours, with was super easy.
It's been a week now since the treatment, and they still look just as fantastic. If I get up close and personal in my magnifying mirror, I can see that not everysinglehair is curled to perfection, but the difference is honestly incredible and has saved me so much time getting ready. Now I look forward to swiping on mascara, instead of dreading applying my daily falsies.
Here are my lashes a week later, coated with the Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara ($28 hourglasscosmetics.com), of course:
Cotray tells me that a standard lash lift can last anywhere between six to 12 weeks, depending on how quickly new, unpermed lashes grow in. To think, I'd spent years curling and re-curling my lashes, applying and reapplying falsies, still to be unsatisfied, when a quick, 40-minute lash lift gave me the curled look I wanted with ease. Consider me a lash lift convert, people! I definitely see myself making regular appointments from here on out and singing the treatment's praises to pretty much anyone who will listen. The thought of chemicals near my eyes did give me pause at first, but it was a painless, seamless experience, with hugely satisfying results.