For the Love of Lashes

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One of the first steps in getting ready for my trip to Miami for the bachelorette party and a summer wedding the weekend before was getting my lashes done! Courtesy of Neroli Salon & Spa here in Milwaukee, I was able to get a full set of eyelash extensions. Although I wouldn’t say that I took my first “lash nap” like I’ve heard so much about (I had too many questions for my esthetician, Taylor), I definitely understand why it’s called that and how people could fall asleep during this lengthy service.

For my eyelash extensions, I visited the Neroli location in Bayshore. It was a rainy Friday morning and I had the day off! I’ve been to this location many times as I have gotten my haircut & colored here in the past. This was my first time visiting the spa on the second level, and it was just as welcoming and comfortable as the salon below. I was already a bit tired from traveling earlier in the week and was excited to start my day off with a relaxing spa service. When it comes to self-care for me, it can include many different activities that nurture my soul through a focus on my internal and external well-being. This morning’s self-care routine was more externally focused, which is important for me to look and feel my best.

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I’ve wanted to try eyelash extensions for a while. My lashes tend to be on the lighter side, a little thin, and not as long as I might like. I’ve heard good things from friends who’ve had them done in the past or who consistently get theirs done, so it seemed like a no-brainer. My previous experience with fake lashes has been unpleasant and a bit traumatic TBH so I was a little nervous going in, but I remained optimistic this experience would be better.

Time for the trauma…if you have any issues with things going near or in your eyes, I would scroll down a bit as I share this story…

For a wedding that I stood up in last summer, the makeup artists were offering to add fake lashes for a minimal charge, so I opted in to complete my look! I was the last girl to get her makeup and lashes done for the day, and I was excited for my turn as each girls makeup and lashes looked gorgeous.

Up until my turn, everything had gone smoothly.

After she started to apply the lashes, she came back near my eye without an audible warning and my eye twitched (as any human would do) and some of the glue got in it. Once the tears started forming, more of the glue started to seep and eventually my eye was burning and my lashes were sticking together. After successfully getting my lashes apart and I rinsed my eye, the makeup artist commented that was the first time it happened all day.

Welp, almost made it.

After that debacle, she finished applying my makeup and lashes and I was ready to go for the wedding. They made it through the ceremony and then came dinner. The salads hadn’t even been served when my first clump of lashes started sagging into my eye. I found that it can be quite distracting trying to listen to the speeches when your lashes are falling off. Clearly, it wasn’t meant to be. I unfortunately had to pull them off so I could enjoy the rest of the reception, but I wasn’t super happy with my even thinner lashes for the next few weeks after that.

Needless to say, I was a little nervous going in to my next experienced with fake eyelashes, but I remained optimistic. I did have almost a year to recover (haha) from that experience, and I knew this time it would be a different process and outcome.

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Before Taylor started applying the extensions, she asked me questions about how I wanted my lashes to look – length, shape, volume, etc. For someone who’s lashes are light-colored and typically has to cake on the volumizing/lengthening mascara to make an impact, I wasn’t sure how to answer at first. I knew I wanted them to look natural, have a bit of a curl, but I didn’t want them to look like a black fan across my eyelids. Taylor knew exactly what I meant and quickly got started. She also mentioned that when I came in for my next appointment, we could take note of anything I didn’t like and make tweaks to the sizes/types of extensions she applied along my lash line.

Here are a few before pictures of my eyelashes. Not a lot of length, kind of thin, and a little bit on the lighter side. You can probably tell why I was anxious to try out eyelash extensions despite my issues with fake lashes in the past. Besides the obvious perk of not having to apply mascara everyday, except to my lower lashes when I feel like it, it’s a nice way to feel more confident in a no-makeup look since my eyes are already making an impact!

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This process was SOOOO different than what I experienced in the past. I was relaxed, comfortable, yet anxious to see the final product. Taylor was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and skilled, so I knew I was in very good hands.

First step (besides snapping the necessary before pics) after deciding what I wanted my lashes to look like, was to prep and clear the work area. This involved lightly taping down my lower lashes so they don’t get in the way. It was probably the most uncomfortable aspect of the whole service, but it wasn’t really that uncomfortable. I was good with anything to make sure my eyelashes didn’t stick together again. Besides taping my bottom lashes down, Taylor also extended a few longer pieces of tape up to my hairline to make a pseudo-eyelift. A super cute look, I know!

And then she got to work! Applying individual lash extensions to my individual lashes, first the right eye and then the left.

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Did it hurt?

Not at all! As I said, the most uncomfortable (which wasn’t actually uncomfortable) part was taping my lower lashes down and I got used to that after a while.

Truthfully, while Taylor was attaching the extensions, I barely felt a thing. Her process was so smooth and I could tell she was very experienced. I felt some slight touches while her hands worked here and there, but all soft and light on my forehead.

How does it differ from the fake lashes you can buy at the store?

Fake lashes at the store are typically applied on one long strip or in small bundles of lashes. For a full set of eyelashes extensions at a salon, each extension is individually attached to a single eyelash. That’s why it takes a bit to apply and why they look so natural, because it’s literally an individual extension on one lash. Taylor said that on average, 100 extensions can be attached to each eye. Crazy!

How long did it take to put them on?

The full service lasted a little over 2 hours, which is why they call it a lash nap. I think in the future, I could see myself getting so relaxed that I could take a nap.

How long do the eyelash extensions last?

The staff at Neroli recommended coming in to get them filled 2-3 weeks after application. That may seem quick, but it really depends on how you take care of them, how many you lose throughout that time, and how you want them to look. Obviously, the longer you go, the more eyelashes you’ll have that will fall out.

Is that how these are removed? They fall out?

Yes and no. Well, yes, but it’s not the only way they can be removed. You naturally lose eyelashes all of the time and new ones grow in, so it’s not surprising that you can lose some of your eyelash extensions through the natural loss of your eyelashes.

If you find that the extensions aren’t your jam or you just wanted to get them done for a special event and don’t want to continue getting them filled, you can book another appointment to have them removed safely, protecting your natural lashes. The last thing you want to do is just pull them off yourself at home.

How do you take care of them?

For the first 24-48 hours, you’re supposed to avoid getting them wet so that the adhesive can fully set and the extensions build a strong bond with your eyelash. That can be easy if you shower before your appointment and avoid having your eyes have direct contact with water for the next day or so. Taylor mentioned she has a client who will wear swim/ski goggles in the shower if needed to protect her lashes, which is always an option! If I had one, I totally would have worn a snorkel in the shower to protect my lashes. But mostly just because it sounds fun…

After the first day or so, then you’re good to go for showering, swimming, underwater basket-weaving, whatever! Taylor provided me with 3 eyelash brushes (one for at home, makeup bag,  purse, etc.) and advised me to use them throughout the day when I need to brush them and at least once a day where I get the brush wet to clean them.

Besides that, it’s really just being careful with your eyes so you don’t rub them off or lose too many unnaturally. It’s been about 2 weeks since I got mine on and I still think they look great. I have lost a few of them in that time, but there’s still so many left, it’s hard for tell!

Any unexpected positives?

I was pleased to find that I not only don’t need to put mascara on, but I don’t need eyeliner on my top eyelid. The eyelash extensions are pretty concentrated at the bottom and a dark enough color that I can get away with it. It makes it super easy to rock a natural, minimal-makeup look now and I love it. Before, I would hate leaving the house without mascara or some eyeliner on so I consider that a win!

Not too surprising, but I’ve gotten a lot of compliments and questions about my eyelash extensions. I definitely don’t mind the positive feedback and I love sharing about my excellent service experience at Neroli!

How about unexpected negatives?

I don’t know if I realized how often I get the urge and rub my eyes. It’s important to not rub them too hard or directly on the lash, because then you’ll be more likely to lose them.

Also, I knew this about a few of my lashes already, but you do start to notice if any of your eyelashes grow in funny or aren’t quite straight. The brush helps to keep them tame and in line, but some of mine don’t always sit nicely!

I also do get a little sad when I realize I’ve lost one, but it happens! I never used to really notice when I lost an eyelash so that heightened awareness is new.

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During the service, we took a few minute break between each eye. I grabbed some water and stretched a little before we moved on to the left eye. From the looks of it, the right eye was already looking good! What a difference between my eyelashes with and without the extensions.

On to eye #2…

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Finished! I was loving the look of my new eyelashes! Looking at the side by side pictures after of what my lashes looked like before and after is just crazy. So much more length, volume, and POW! with my extensions on.

Keep scrolling for a few more views of the finished product. If you’re considering getting eyelash extensions or have anymore questions, feel free to leave them in a comment below or to reach out to me. I would definitely recommend Taylor and the team at Neroli Salon & Spa here in Milwaukee. If you’re not local, make sure you find an experienced esthetician and salon in your city to get yours done.

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*This post was sponsored by Neroli Salon & Spa and I received this service complimentary. I’ve always had an amazing experience with this business, however all opinions are my own!*

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