As the UK continues to stay in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, salons up and down the country remain closed to customers. The social distancing measures mean many are missing their usual appointments including lash extensions, haircuts and colours and even pedicures. However, there are ways to recreate the professional look at home.
The semi-permanent alternative to single-use fake lashes has become one of the most booked treatments on the high street.
But as lash bars stay firmly closed for business, sales for DIY alternatives are rocketing.
A spokesperson for Lola’s Lashes, the leading magnetic lashes brand, revealed that business is booming: “Lola’s have seen sales rise by 500%, selling one of their innovative magnetic lash kits every minute as consumers can’t get to the salon for their falsies.”
So what are the best ways to give yourself lash extensions at home? First things first: if you had your lash extensions applied before lockdown, you’ll need to ensure they’re fully gone before trying to apply any additional lashes or else things could get tangled – but the good news is you can remove your lash extensions at home if you want to get rid of the final few.
However, while many people think an oil-based cleanser will do the trick – as lash extension wearers have to avoid oil-based products to keep them intact – the experts say it’s not quite so simple.
Natalie Piper, International Trainer at Lash Perfect’s lash bars, commented: “Never use oil-based products like Vaseline, cleansers, coconut oil etc, as the oil will break down the bonds of the glue over time but will not remove the lashes easily. Trying to remove lashes using these products will cause damage to natural lashes.”
Instead, the lash pro recommended using an at-home remover to safely and gently remove any remaining extensions, such as the Lash Lockdown Care and Removal Kit with its Easy Lift Gel Remover, £39.95, which can do the job in just 15 minutes.
Natalie explained that you should remove extensions from one eye at a time, keeping your eye shut and wiping in a downwards direction with a damp tissue.
So you’ve removed the straggly extensions that were left from your last salon visit – now you can choose the lash-boosting product that will get you through lockdown.
The latest false lash technology is a huge step up from fiddly products of the past. While magnetic lashes initially came to the market in the form of a pair of stip lashes with a magnet strip that you sandwich your own lashes into, they were difficult to master.
However, the newer models use a genius trick of a magnetic eyeliner together with lashes that stick to the magnets.
Makeup artist Emma Osborne, ambassador for leading brand Lola’s Lashes, commented: “Lola’s magnetic lashes are so easy to apply; you just add an eyeliner to the top of your eyelid and wait a minute, then starting from the inner corner gently place them on top of the eyeliner, as close to the eyelid as possible – and voila.”
Lola’s Lashes start from just £20 and are reusable so you get bang for your buck.
Osborne, who has worked with a star-studded client list including Chrissy Teigen, Nicole Scherzinger and Emma Watson, thinks they’re the best alternative to salon extensions.
“They are very natural looking, lightweight, and they have the wow factor. They have four styles to choose from, from natural everyday to something a little more dramatic.”
What’s more, they can be reused over and over again as you’re not worrying about crusty glues that come with standard falsies.
“Fuss free, mess free – there’s no long term damage to your natural lashes, so with at least 30 applications and being very well priced I think magnet lashes are definitely the way forward,” agreed Emma.
Of course, the original ‘lash extension’ was the strip lash – so if you’re just looking for something to pop on for your next Zoom call or the Friday night quiz on Houseparty then they’re a great temporary option to make you feel more like yourself.
Lash Perfect have a new In a Strip range, £12.95, which makes a good copycat version of their understated semi-permanent extensions.
The reusable lashes are applied with glue, but have a flexible band and create an instant 3D lash extension look – plus they’re available in black or brown, so whether you want extra oomph or you have fair hair and need something subtle the brand has it covered.
For an even more subtle finish, brands such as Eylure and MAC have individual false lashes so you can apply them one by one, much like your salon treatment – all you need is a steady hand.
While a mascara will never give you quite the same wow-factor as your salon extensions, there are formulas which create the same effect.
Max Factor’s False Lash Revival Volume Boosting Primer, £12.99 does a brilliant job of boosting your lashes before you apply your mascara. Think of it as a way to supercharge your usual go-to volumising or lengthening mascara for an instant lash lift.
Fibre mascaras are another option – formulas that contain tiny fibres that are almost like brushing on additional lashes, which set in place once you apply with the wand. Try L’Oreal Paris False Lash X Fiber Mascara, £11.99.
It’s understandable people want to look and feel their usual selves while the pandemic takes hold of the country – and arguably even more so as part of a self care routine. However, experts have also been reminding customers that they should leave the salon treatments to the professionals, and stick to products that are designed to be used in the comfort of your own home.
That way they can still feel their best while also staying safe, and look forward to returning to the beautician’s chair when the crisis is over.
Lesley Blair, Chair of British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology (BABTAC) said: “While customers are currently looking for alternatives to beauty treatments that can be done at home, we urge consumers to only use products designed for at-home use, as beauty salon treatments should only be carried out by trained professional – because the untrained individual doesn’t have the the oversight into how to use them.
“We of course want people to look good and feel better, but safety is of paramount importance.”