Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mad About Lashes (A Review on Lash-Enhancing Methods)

Cliché says that eyes are the windows of the soul. I say that long, beautiful lashes make these windows worth looking into.

Long lashes, even in Jane Eyre’s time, were regarded as beautiful; an asset that only the fair ones possess. So it’s sad to say that if you are not gifted with such, it’s either you make the most out of your other features or remain sorry for the rest of your life.

Thank God that in the past two centuries, human ingenuity has paved the way for the creation of the mascara and the eyelash curler. This tandem enlivens dull eyes as the mascara makes the lashes thicker and the curler, aside from curling the lashes, opens up the eyes to make them look bigger and brighter.

Personally, I am settled on Clinique’s double lash effect mascara. It’s a yearly present from my aunt that I look forward to. Maybelline products are also tried and tested though I do not necessarily patronize them. (FYI, Maybelline manufactured the first commercially-viable mascara). L’Oreal’s 2-Step Volume Shocking Mascara was only good for some time. It takes a lot of skilled practice for one to actually enjoy it. Disaster usually strikes when the second coat is applied.

While we owe the creation of high quality mascaras to chemistry, we must thank technology for coming up with eyelash curlers that superbly and safely curl the lashes. For a longer effect, we now have battery-operated lash curlers that heat when we use them. Shu Uemura is undeniably the world’s favorite curler (another proof that Japan’s place in technology extends to cosmetology). At PhP 1,500, it takes just one careful press to give one’s lashes a pretty look. What sets it apart from the 100-bucks curlers on Watson’s shelves is that they are designed with ultimate precision for a perfect and safer finish. FYI, even the hinge is patented; to ensure that Shu is the only curler which has the right amount of pressure applied to lashes.

Hence, as any self-confessed kikay-slash-shoppaholic would say, the item—even if it’s expensive, is actually an investment.

However, one can never be satisfied with one’s beauty tools especially when beauty counters become wider and even more diverse and salons having longer menu of services—offering us girls with more and more options for looking good. That’s why when eyelash perm was introduced a couple of years ago, women flocked Piandre, Let’s Face It and every other salon which offers the service. For 300 to 600 pesos, depending on the salon, one can have semi-permanently permed lashes (usually lasts for a month to 3 months). That’s less hassle in primping up. A good mascara is just needed to compliment the work of the salon.

I loved the effect of perming on my lashes. However, the love affair was just short-lived. It subsided when one day, as I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized that my lashes have become thinner. When the perm wore off, it was almost impossible to curl my lashes. Sad to say, the same thing happened to my two friends.

That’s why I do not really recommend eyelash perming to anyone.

Another lash technology which has become so popular here in Manila is the eyelash extension. Say goodbye to false lashes that are hard to glue and scary to use (coz you do not want it to end up as a garnishing to your meal while you’re out on a date). Lash extensions last longer (for like 2 months) and as they are individually glued to your lashes, you won’t have to worry about your losing your lashes while bathing or while working out in the gym.

I haven’t tried this one but I’ve heard a lot of raves about it. The only problem about getting those extensions is that they have the tendency to stray from the natural direction of your lashes. So it requires frequent salon visits for re-touch.

The cost of getting extensions ranges from P1,500 to P2,500 depending on the salon and the length of the effect. Here are some tips that you should not dare to ignore:

1. Check the credibility of the salon where you are going to get it. I suggest that you rely on word-of-mouth; the feedbacks coming from persons you directly know, who got the same service that you are planning to avail of.
2. Make sure that the glue that they are going to use is safe. In Mikaela at The Fort, the glue that they use is US FDA approved.

Since all the lash-enhancing systems above have flaws, it can be expected that none of them can satisfy the desires of the beauty-hungry. What’s close to perfection is the eyelash weaving extensions.

This is actually the most expensive lash-enhancing method but you know reader, when beauty calls, one must actually heed it (as long as it can be afforded). I got my first weave at Jackie’s in Paco, Manila. I LOOOOVED MY EYES INSTANTLY. All I needed was a bit of concealer, pressed powder and gloss for me to say that I am already made-up. The effect of the weave was that my eyes seemed to have a natural liner. The picture beside explains all these.

The process took around 2 hours and the glue kind of hurt my eyes for a day. Jackie makes the lashes of some celebrities and diplomats. She charges P2,500 for weaving but I was lucky that because of my girl friend, I got a pretty big discount. Yes, I really loved it.

Sad to say that it needs much effort to maintain these uber nice lashes because aside from the per visit cost of 500-bucks, I also have to travel all the way to Paco for a re-touch. So I decided to have them removed at Mikaela for P500.

I gave my lashes a rest for one month. Then, because I thought that my eyes looked bald without the weaved extensions, I decided to go back to Mikaela for the same procedure. It took them around an hour or less for the weave. My eyes didn’t hurt a bit since my eyes were pretty much behaved (no blinking). My lashes looked more natural though it’s really, reaLLY, REALLY NICE because they used human hair and not synthetic lashes like that of Jackie’s.

Copying from Mikaela’s brochure,

[Lash weaving extensions are] more durable and long wearing eyelash extensions. These extensions are attached using the “hair weaving” technique that is safer… and is more natural looking. Extensions are individually weaved to the eyelashes making it more durable and long-wearing. Now, you don’t have to worry about retouches done every so often and NO bald spots in your lashes or misaligned lashes…

The cost at Mikaela’s is more expensive at P3,500 and P50 per strand of hair for the re-touch. (They give a special price when you’re a regular). For maintenance, I have to be extra careful in washing my face—I totally avoid the eye area and clean my lashes every night.

My eyes enjoyed its new look for 2 months but I choose to stay away from any more lash-enhancing procedures. Though the lash weave is supposedly safer, still, it made me lose some lashes. I maintain that I am happy with the service and everything else, but unless you’re a movie star, maintaining such lashes is not practical. I am giving my lashes a good rest and when they’re back to their original state, I’ll be off to beauty bars!


Please also read this post: Mad About Lashes 2.
My post on eyelash transplant surgery: Good news to all who are just so mad about their lashes!

Shopcrazy also has a very nice feature on last extensions and weaving. Click here to check it out. Please read the article down to the very last comments. You might be dying to try the Mikaela Growth Conditioner. (Posted: April 10, 2008)


  1. Very interesting, I might say! Im a total sucker for EYELASHES and right now, Im just trying to find time when I can have Semi-Permanent Eyelashes. Would that be the same as Eyelash Extensions or is that a different thing altogether? And since I also wear contact lenses, what can you recommend for me so I can enjoy having beautiful lashes (with a non-irritating adhesive, most preferably) and fully opened-up looking eyes? Thanks Beauty Guru:-)

  2. Hi there! I'm in a hurry lang. I'll post a reply within the weekend. Keep on viewing! =)

  3. Hi there! I haven't heard of semi-permanent eyelashes yet. Where are you going to have them? For as far as I know eyelash extensions weaving (they have to be weaved and not just glued to your lashes), is the best lash enhancing method. It has a semi-permanent effect. As for the adhesive, I'm more comfortable with that which was used at Mikaela's. It's US FDA approved. You just have to be good. No talking and stuff so your eyes won't blink. I also use contact lenses. I take them off before going through any procedure. Would you need Mikaela's contact number? Thanks for visiting my blog. =)

  4. hey... do you have Mikaela's number? was trying to find it online, but no luck. thanks :)

  5. Hi ursassychick, you can call Philosophy by Mikaela Salon and Spa at 892-1574, 818-5401 or 818-7469.

    That's the one located at 832 Arnaiz Ave (Pasay Road) in Makati. It's owned and operated by the same person/s who own and operate Mikaela at The Fort.

  6. Btw, Mikaela at Fort's number is3866723 or 8561924.

  7. Hey where is jackie's salon in Paco and what's the contact number? Thanks.

  8. Hi there. My bad, I already forgot where exactly Jackie's salon is. It's in an apartment along Paco's main highway.

    Anyway, here's her number: (0922) 808-7815. Let me know if it's still working.