Long, luscious lashes are, without a doubt, the name of the game: Every mascara on the market promises to lift, lengthen, and volumize those butterfly-like wisps for bigger, more-open eyes. A perfectly curled set of long eyelashes are considered the ultimate feminine touch, after all.
And yet it’s not just mascara wands that work the magic of (essentially) performing SLT for your fringe—there are a handful of treatments that exist purely to embolden your lashes. In fact, some are even dramatic enough that you can give your mascara a rest (at least temporarily). Below, lash gurus sound off on the cadre of ways you can lift and highlight your eye line.
Keep reading for the 411 on lash treatments.
For a full-on eye-line makeover: lash extensions
Unlike hair extensions, those of the lash variety are more subtle—but they’re still the most direct route to add mega-drama to the lash line. “Eyelash extensions are used to enhance your natural lashes,” says Sabah Feroz, lash technician at Blink Brow Bar London. “They’re like hairs that are attached to your natural lashes using an adhesive.”
It’s painless to apply them, she says, and you may even fall asleep during the treatment (since they’re fastened one-by-one in order to secure them to your natural lashes). They can last up to 6 weeks, but you might find that once they’re gone you’re in a phase of regrowth. “The artificial lashes will fall away along with the natural lashes due to the natural hair loss cycle,” says Feroz. Price: Starting around $100
For the busy girl: lash tint
The lash tint delivers an inky effect on eyes (doing for your fringe what a lip stain would do on your pout) in a more lasting manner than mascara. “A semi-permanent tint is applied to the natural lashes while the eyes are closed,” says Feroz. She notes that it can make your lashes appear longer and more open overall.
And there’s no pain either. “There’s no sensation, though you may feel wet lashes as the dye is applied,” says Feroz. “And it works for all, whether you’re looking to darken the lash line or help your lashes to simply look fuller overall.” Plus, for those with blonde hairs, you can even ditch the mascara.
“A lash tint will last up to four weeks, then it fades away,” explains Feroz. To help it stick with you even longer, try avoiding harsh makeup removers, particularly those with oil, which will break down the dye more quickly. Price: Approximately $20-$30
For the smaller-lashed: lash lift
A lift is an easy, pain-free way to open your eyes. “Lash lifts are ideal for those with straight or downward-facing lashes,” says Yoli Cotray, makeup artist and eyebrow artist at Hourglass Cosmetics.
It’s the most complicated of all treatments—but that’s not to say it’s an over-the-top procedure. “The esthetician puts a silicone rod on the eyelid and applies an adhesive to bond your lashes to the rod, ensuring that they stay in place,” explains Cotray. “A lifting solution is then applied to the lashes, following by a setting lotion.” The finished result is like a perma-crimp in the lash line, which means you can give your eyelash curler some much-deserved PTO. The whole thing takes about 45 minutes and the lift lasts from 6-8 weeks. Price: Around $100-$150
For the no-fuss lady: mascara
Of course, there’s always mascara. “Mascara is one of the most universal makeup products,” says Chanel Temple, global makeup artist at Hourglass Cosmetics. “Everyone can wear it. It opens up the eyes, makes lashes look bolder, and overall gives some life to the face.”
Whether you want to add volume, length, or darkness (or, hey, even adding a pop of color), mascara can help. And with a couple of layers, you can also achieve emboldened eyelashes. “You’re one layer away from a powerful, bold lash,” says Temple. And all it takes is a swipe. Price: Starting at around $5
For drama on-the-go: strip lashes
Also known as fake lashes, strip lashes are good for a quick look. “They’re a temporary, yet perfect, solution for that day or evening out,” says Feroz. “Strip lashes are attached to the upper eyelid, close to the lash line.” She notes you can reuse temporary lashes if you take them off properly as well as wash and return them to their original packaging. Price: Around $10
Pain level? Nada. Drama though? Yes.
For your actual tresses, this is the exact order to apply your styling products based on your hair texture. And this is why you should care about your scalp health—even if you don’t have flakes.
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