ESC, Eyelashes Diana

Jenna Williams for E!

Oh, the allure of long, full lashes—they enhance the eyes, bringing added depth and intensity to the so-called windows to the soul. 

So if that's the case, I—creature of frustratingly fine, short eyelashes—live in a boarded-up house. Attempt to bat my lashes, and I look like I have a nervous tick. Oh, hey, handsome guy by the bar! Oh, no, I don't have a neurological issue.

I've always had the desire to try lash extensions—the seldom-discussed enhancement that celebs rely on for countless red carpet looks—but the high price point, required upkeep and risk of stripping my natural lashes gave me pause. Still, I took up a friend's recommendation to try Noir Lash Lounge—purveyor of lash extensions for an exclusive A-list clientele and, surprisingly, many a Seattle Seahawk wife.

The Process
On arrival, I was met with a glam bar full of lash products. Clients were lying across couches as technicians hovered over their heads. Before I could tell my technician, Alicia, that I wanted more natural-looking extensions (I'm not trying to look like I'm going to da club), she recommended I stick to finer extensions. She emphasized the importance of getting extensions that my natural lashes could support. Opt for a pair too thick, and breakage could ensue. I ended up choosing the mid-tier Lashtastic service, priced at $80 a set.

ESC, Eyelashes Diana

Jenna Williams for E!

I was instructed to come sans mascara, but Alicia did a quick cleanse anyway. This being my first foray into the extensions game, I was surprised to find out that the technician actually applies extensions to lashes one at a time. Beauty may not be pain, but it sure is tedious. And I'm not going to lie: I did nod off a few times as Alicia combed the sparse desert that is my eyelashes, looking for every single, thirsty hair. 

The Initial Reception
Ninty minutes later, I awoke bright eyed with new lashes. Light-weight and comfortable, the extensions felt so much more natural than fake lash strips. I was instructed to keep extensions dry for 24 hours, which meant no face washing. The thought of oil, bacteria and ensuing acne was overwhelming. Thank the product lords for facial wipes!

Salon owner Joyce Poon suggested avoiding the use of mascara because most formulas are made for human hair rather than the synthetic fibers used for extensions. Apply your drug store mascara to extensions and you'll get major clump.

The Results
Because I didn't have to curl my lashes or wear mascara, I started to wear less eye makeup and spent less time on getting ready. Soon, I was only wearing sunscreen and BB cream as part of my AM routine. I was mastering the art of the no-makeup makeup trend with barely any products at all. I didn't care if I may have looked bare; I felt fresh-faced with a newfound sense of confidence.

ESC, Eyelashes Diana

Jenna Williams for E!

The Apprehension
About two weeks later, as my extensions started to fall out, I could see that my natural lashes were shedding with them. I started to panic. Was I losing the few precious lashes I had in the first place? According to Poon, it's all a sign of healthy, professional application. Extensions fall out with your natural hairs depending on your hair-loss cycle, which generally ranges between two to eight weeks, she said. Because lashes are so tiny, many don't even notice any loss at all. 

The Final Verdict
After a month of fuller, longer lashes, I was back to my normal length. Although I was back to wearing more makeup, it's still less than what I wore before. Even though the extensions gave me more, it also taught me to find the beauty in less. 

Would I try extensions again? Absolutely. Can I afford the time and money to consistently fill them? Unfortunately, no. But given the bountiful results, it's no wonder why the celebs do.

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