Eyelash Perms are a Thing (Of Course I Tried It)

"The Good Ole' Days" for my eyelashes

"The Good Ole' Days" for my eyelashes

Hi, my name is Katelyn and my eyelashes are limper than cooked linguine. I’m not really sure what has happened in the last few years to curse my previously beautiful lashes. In highschool and college, they were always on fleek– full, curly, mascara-ed – I had my eyelash game together. But I think adulthood sucked the life out of them, and I’ve tried everything to rekindle their magic – heated curling, expensive curlers, serums and fancy mascara, powdering them first – you name it, I probably tried it.

When I came across an article about eyelash perms (also sometimes called a “lift”), I was intrigued. My sister does hair and makeup for a living and had a terrible experience with eyelash extensions, so I thought a lift might be a safer alternative, especially for someone like me, who is allergic to almost everything that touches my face.

Like all good detectives, I looked on Yelp for some “reliable” lash boutiques. I picked one less than a mile from my apartment and booked an appointment. I showed up with a clean face, a little nervous about sitting still for an hour. Nora met me in the lobby and took me back to the most comfortable twin sized bed ever. I was covered in a comfy, plush blanket and told to close my eyes. She put silicone pads under my eyes and on my eyelids, while she told me about the process: The perm may not take the first time, depending on the lashes, and no part of the procedure should cause pain. No water can get on your face or eyes for 24 hours and no makeup for 6-8 hours. The perm can last from 4 to 6 weeks, and it’s recommend to re-perm as soon as new growth starts coming in, or the lashes start to return to their normal shape.

Nora brushed my lashes back onto the pad on my eyelid by slicking them back with a gel. She then applied the smelliest perm solution ever known to man and made small talk with me for fifteen minutes or so. There’s something about beauty treatments – hair cuts, getting your nails done, laying down for an eyelash treatment – that gets you talking. My sister always says cosmetologists and estheticians are practically psychiatrists. With my eyes closed, I started confessing all my eyelash sins to Nora, telling her how I blame the Houston humidity for my fragile, straight lashes. She asked me if I slept on the right side of my face, and I told her I did. Apparently, my loss of lashes is from sleeping on that side. Nora also told me that hormones play a huge role in eyelash and other hair growth, and that birth control can effect the curl, texture, and quantity of your lashes – WHAT? I started birth control a few years ago, so I can blame my limp lashes on that, like many other things in my life. *Eye roll for birth control. Join me ladies.*

After my time was up, Nora carefully cleaned the gunk from my eyes, brushing my lashes apart. The hardest part of the procedure was staying still, but I wouldn’t consider it painful at all. I continued to keep my eyes closed until she finished and handed me a mirror.


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I was shocked at the difference. My eyelashes have good length, but you can almost never tell because they stick straight out after just a few hours. The before and after shots really say it all!

That night, I cleansed my face with wipes and went to bed excited to put mascara on in the morning. I didn’t sleep great that night, trying to stay off the right side of my face. But the next morning, I didn’t use an eyelash curler and applied a few coats of mascara – ya’ll. INSERT PRAISE HANDS EMOJI! Just look at the pictures above -- I'm a believer.

I decided to take photos once a week of my lashes to see the progress, some with makeup, some without.  Week 4, the curl suddenly relaxed, and I made another appointment. My second appointment did not go as well. I was booked with another eyelash tech, who used saline solution to clean the gel from my eyes, and they lost their curl in less than 24 hours. Luckily, the salon has great customer service and let me come in again to fix the error. Hello again, my little beauties!

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Will I continue to go in every month for a $75 lash lift? At this point in my life, my answer is yes. My side hustle allows me to have more of a disposable income, and I feel so pretty, flirty, and confident when my lashes look SUPER FLY. I would recommend trying this procedure if you feel stuck in your eye makeup routine – just make sure you trust the salon you go to.