You know what they say, eyes are the window to the soul. These days, there are so many different ways to enhance them, but we all know one thing: A little lash goes a long way.
Mascara is all fine and good, but even the best waterproof products struggle to stay put during a sweaty summer and lots of swims, plus it can only do so much to improve upon the length and thickness of your natural lashes.
In the interest of science - and upgrading my lash look - I took it upon myself to compare the holy trilogy of lash enhancements: False lashes, lash lifts and lash extensions.
For the purposes of this study, I have broken down my analysis into the very complex categories of 'the good', 'the less good' and 'the wow factor'. Plus, I've tried to figure out which treatments work best for different lifestyles.
If you know someone who never looks tired no matter how hungover they are, always has the air of being 'put together' and takes flawless photos from every angle, they're either an alien or they're rocking lash extensions.
If you've got the time and the cash, this option will be earning you compliments left right and centre. How long they last varies based on lifestyle and lash cycle, but if you take care of your extensions they are meant to last around 4-6 weeks.
In my opinion, most of the time they start looking a bit ratty around the 3-week mark, but I do sleep on my side and wear eye makeup a lot, which doesn't help.
The lovely Ashleigh at Lash + Brow in Auckland sorted me out with a classic set and made the process really relaxing, quick and easy. My eyes were a bit stingy and red for a little while afterwards which is pretty normal but not the nicest bit of the experience.
I went in totally make-up-free and seeing how much those long curled lashes transform your bare face is pretty amazing. Ashleigh also gave me a special brush and a little pot of baby shampoo to maintain and gently wash my lashes.
I have really big eyes, which sometimes give goldfish energy but also provide a large canvas to carry a strong eye look. The lash extensions give me the lashes I feel I was supposed to have, rather than the ones I was born with.
- Wake up looking amazing for at least 3 weeks
- Cuts your getting ready time in half
- Someone else does the all work for you
- You can wear them swimming and for being active if you're careful
- People will be able to tell you've glowed up but can't put their finger on why
The less good
- Require maintaining and rebooking appointments
- Can't wash your eye area like you normally would and can't use oil-based eye makeup remover
- Can't wear mascara
- Watching lashes fall out feels like losing $2 a pop
- Not the most comfortable process
The wow factor: 9/10
Who is it for?
Brides, birthday gals, and anyone looking for ultimate impact and a dramatic eye look who doesn't mind splashing some cash.
This one's for you if you've been blessed with the long lashes of a baby giraffe or you've been religiously applying your lash growth serum - but it still produces results for the stumpy-lashed among us, too.
Lash lifts are essentially a perm for your lashes. They make your eyes look bright and open by slightly lifting and curling your lashes, and they last a really good amount of time - about 6-8 weeks depending on how you look after them.
The ladies at The Lash Room took me through the process for this one, and they are super knowledgeable and lovely. It's quick and painless, and you can often get a lift + tint combo for less than the cost of lash extensions.
One thing I didn't know before getting this treatment is that it's pretty much essential to use a hydrating lash serum afterwards, as the chemicals can make sure lashes dry and spindly otherwise.
I loved how no mess, no fuss the lash lift was, and loved the freedom to be able to add make-up and dunk my face in the ocean (not usually in that order) without worrying about ruining them.
- Long lasting - 6-8 weeks
- No mess, no fuss
- Wake up looking great
- Low maintenance
- No chance of losing lashes
- Can still wear mascara for extra oomph
The less good
- Not as much impact as other options
- Can dry out your lashes
- Need good natural lashes to start with
- Need to use a serum at the same time to prevent drying
The wow factor: 7/10
Who is it for?
Tired mums, outdoorsy babes and busy people with a packed schedule, or just anyone looking for a low-maintenance option.
Many of us know the struggle of applying a false lash, but we also know how effective they can be once they're on. They've been around forever - but the technology is getting better by the day. We're talking magnetic lashes, water-activated lashes (yes, really) and lashes with an invisible band.
Ardell kindly supplied me with a bunch of these goodies to give them a try, and while I can't say the anxiety of getting them on has completely gone with these new styles, it is a hell of a lot easier than it used to be. They have been an absolute lifesaver for me at last-minute events where there are bound to be a lot of snaps taken - as evidenced below:
Ardell's Magnetic Megahold lashes are flexible and trimmable, so they can be adjusted to fit all eye shapes. Because they use a magnetic band, I find they're a bit less fussy and more sturdy than normal lashes when it comes to application. You just apply the liquid magnetic eyeliner instead of glue and the lashes legit just stick to that - it's basically magic. These guys also hold up to multiple uses much better than your average.
It's also worth checking out the Aqua Lashes - which also require no glue. You just dip the lash band into water and apply it to your lash line. Be warned though, once they're on, they ain't going ANYWHERE.
The Naked Lashes are an ideal solution for a more day-to-day look - sometimes less really is more. They're light and a little shorter than the more dramatic lashes, and their 'invisband' technology means they fit snugly on your lash line and blend right in.
- Temporary and easily removed - you can take off your eye makeup properly
- Can be quick and easy if you get good at it
- No appointments needed
- So many options to choose from depending on the event/the day/your mood
The less good
- Not great for the environment
- Messy and sticky
- Can fall off, leaving you looking like a broken doll in photos
- Not super practical for the beach or outdoorsy times
The wow factor: 8/10
Who is it for?
Budget beauty lovers with a good amount of patience and a steady hand who want an affordable and temporary way to transform a makeup look.