Friday, November 12, 2010

Lovely Lashes

I am not super-skilled with eyeliner.  I attempted false eyelashes once for Halloween and decided the glue and precision required was not worth it.  Then I discovered eyelash tinting.

Freshman year of college during orientation, all the girls in my section of the dorm got together and shared "two truths and a lie" about themselves (great icebreaker...).  One girl told us she had gotten her eyelashes tinted... and I thought it was ridiculous.  I mean, can't you just wear mascara?

Fast forward several years and I'm trying out a lash tint at the Benefit boutique on Armitage in Chicago.  Benefit may be known for their Brow Bar (my low tolerance for pain says "no" to waxing, but just ask my younger sisters who are brow-obsessed how awesome they are at Benefit).  But I can't help but be "wowed" by the lash tint, which is about $20-25 at Benefit.  The boutiques are only located in certain cities, but many other salons across the country offer eyelash tinting as well.  (As an aside, I want to get an airbrush spray tan at Benefit too... everyone who has gone there comes out looking sun-kissed and natural - for only $40 to boot!)

So here's the eyelash tint process: I take out my contacts, the Benefit woman applies Vaseline under my lower lashes and on my lids to keep the dye off of my skin.  She then places white paper-like half-moons under my lower lashes and asks me to close my eyes.  Good-bye to vision for exactly 14 minutes!  (Be sure you are hydrated - it can be a little disorienting to close your eyes for that length of time and still hear everything going on around you - and it's usually smart to not be hungover, as I was the night after my bachelorette bar crawl - yikes, that was a long 14 minutes!)  The woman brushes the dye onto my upper and lower lashes, sets the timer for 7 minutes and then adds additional dye before the last 7 minutes.

Sit back and relax... and look creepy :)  If you have a buddy to keep you company, the time passes more quickly, even if it is awkward to talk to a friend with your eyes closed.  My eyes tickled a bit with a "peppery" sensation, but it's not painful (remember, I can't deal with pain).  When the wait is over, it's time to rinse off the excess.  I hold a few tissues under my eyes and look up while the Benefit woman squirts saline solution over my eyes and asks me to blink, then wipe.

Without mascara!

With mascara

The result of this unusual experience - dark, full eyelashes!  The first few days, it looks like I am wearing eyeliner since the dye settled in between my lashes, but that eventually wears away. As for my eyelashes, the effect lasts for up to 4 weeks - both upper and lower lashes that are dark without any makeup (especially helpful for beach vacations!).  Even though I'm blonde, my eyelashes are naturally fairly dark... this tint still makes a significant difference.  I like to add mascara on top to increase the look of fullness and give my lashes some shape.  My two faves: CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume for everyday and Revlon Grow Luscious for special occasions and nights out.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I am not receiving anything from Benefit to blab about this awesome service... just wanted to share this fun beauty tip!


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