Going on the Lash
Last week I wrote about camp but really, there aren't many beauty accoutrements more camp than false eyelashes. And there aren't many words more pretentious than accoutrement.
As is typical of beauty's unrelenting machine of upkeep, the need for ordinary false eyelashes has mutated into eyelash extensions, whereby synthetic and even "Siberian Mink" lashes are glued onto real ones strand by strand in a salon. I had it done last week by the good people at Love Those Lashes. You can choose from a number of styles, ranging from "The Audrey" ($250) to the "The Crawford" ($300). They typically last for about two weeks, at which time it's recommended you get a "refill", which costs $85.
According to Love Those Lashes owner Debra Stone, the trend began in Korea about a decade ago before moving to Japan and then the US. It's been here for about three years but is still a relatively underground practice. I asked for "as natural as possible" and found the experience relaxing. I mean, I was lying down, eyes closed for an hour - not too shabby. But after it was over, I looked in the mirror and there she was: Liza Minnelli blinking back at me.
That afternoon a co-worker called me "Madame Lash" and my extreme self-consciousness (normally at "orange" level) reached an ultimate peak of red - as did my face. In the three days following, every time I said hello to someone I preambled, "I'm wearing eyelash extensions - that's why I may look weird." Clearly, I had no concern about sounding weird.
But then, on the evening of the fourth day, a work colleague looked deep into my face and told me, "You look hot but you're not wearing any make-up. What's going on?" We may never really know what was going on that day as the colleague was drinking wine at the time. But when I offered the explanation of eyelash extensions she agreed, "That must be it!"
By day five I loved them. By day six I couldn't imagine my face without them. What would become of me when they grew out? I'd just be some ordinary person with normal lashes! Unspeakable! It was at this moment I gained precious insight into the mind of plastic-surgery addict Jocelyn Wildenstein because, let me tell you, what might start off looking freakishly weird on your face can become a completely acceptable feature if you just give it five days.
If that is too much, try out a few of the at-home alternatives below, including "brush on" eyelashes which add a tremendous amount of volume, a "Turbo Lashwand" that heats and sets your lashes, a gigantic mascara for enhancing your lashes and, finally, good old falsies, to try on at your leisure. But if you won't settle for anything less than the extensions, go to lovethoselashes.com.au for salon locations and prices.
Beauty Society "Enormous Mascara", $54, at Mecca Cosmetica. ModelCo "Fiber Lash" brush-on lashes mascara kit, $48. ModelCo "Turbo Lashwand" heated eyelash curler, $35. Mecca Cosmetica "Eyes Wide Open" eye-enhancing individual lashes, $20.