By Miette L. Johnson
I am a complete novice when it comes to lashes, keeping a basic curl-and-coat routine. During the day I want to wear as little make-up as possible, avoid the dreaded panda-eye, and still want to feel pretty when I'm running around.
The treatment: Daxitas reputation precedes her; shes a Beauty Ed favourite and my first choice to test out semi-permanent lash extensions. Im greeted by her personally at Atherton Cox in Marylebone, and taken downstairs to her compact lash den. Daxita walks me through the different shapes available, and I choose a pretty style that will elongate my lashes on the outer corners and eliminate the need for any liner.
Her work is swift (fastest in London, she reckons) and the process takes a mere 40 minutes. She starts by removing any residue from around the eye area, and then protects the lower lash line by fixing them down with gel pads (sounds uncomfortable, it isnt). Next, individual lashes are gently glued along the top lash line of each eye. I feel the pressure, but its more relaxing than irritating. Finally, she combs out and separates the lashes, removes the under-eye gel pads and hands me a mirror to check her work.
The results are surprising; a full set of full, flirty lashes that look like my own, not false at all. I love them.
The rules: No water for 24 hours, no oil-based product ever (it breaks down the adhesive, shortening their lifespan), and when cleansing, wipe away to the outer corners, never onto the lashes. They should last 4-6 weeks, and to maintain them, I should come back for a fix-up in three. For the first hour, Im vaguely aware that I have something glued to my eyelid and I have to resist the urge to itch. Im surprised I can feel my lashes being caught in the wind. But after that, I barely notice theyre there.
I go on holiday for ten days, and really test them out; sunscreen, sweat, saltwater and chlorine. I lose a few lashes, which is normal, but the look stays the same. Im complimented several times on my pared-down look, but only one person asks me outright if I have extensions. Upon my return home, I opt to have a maintenance appointment to trial my lashes against my regular beauty routine. Daxita commends my careful care and the process is repeated, but quicker. She removes any lashes ready to fall off, and replaces them. Im in and out in 25 minutes with the same result as before. This set lasts even longer, as my day-to-day life is easier on my eyes than sun, sea and salt. Im hooked.
Pros: Its now been months since Ive worn mascara, and Ive effectively stopped wearing eye make-up of any kind. In fact, I feel like I need very little make-up at all, so my entire face is getting a break. I feel pretty and feminine, even when Im running, and I dont wake up with puffy eyes or have to deal with smudging, ever.
Cons: The cost of the original set is a bit pricey, so its important to be disciplined with upkeep. Washing my face so carefully also took some getting used to, as I felt like I couldnt cleanse my eyes properly (Ive since discovered micellar water does the trick)
Verdict: Im now a complete convert. I love the look, the ease and the freedom of lash extensions, and Daxita makes the whole process swift and painless. Highly recommended.