So, I got my eyelashes dyed and permed. I know, it sounds crazy — and honestly, the concepts are totally whack — but hear me out. I am an eyelash-obsessed beauty writer. There’s nothing I won’t do to have long, thick, luscious lashes. From curling them every single day to wearing a ton of mascara to using eyelash-curler hacks to make them insanely long, I am definitely dedicated to having a strong eyelash game. When I found out that you can actually perm and dye your lashes, creating semi-permanently curled, black-as-night eyelashes, I knew I had to try these salon services myself.
I have to admit that while the thought of having perfect eyelashes 24/7 thrilled me, the actual process totally freaked me out. As someone who — let’s just say — doesn’t do well when people get near her eyes (I’ve been known to pass out at eye doctor appointments!), I had about a million questions for Tracy, the owner and lead lash lady at Eye Candy SF, where my transformative eyelash experiment would take place. After she answered all of my questions and put me 100% at ease, I was ready to do this. This is what happened when I got my eyelashes permed and dyed.
EYELASH PERMING & DYEING
The first thing Tracy did was measure my lashes to see what type of cotton rod she would use (the rod creates the curl and lift). If you use a rod that’s too big or too small for your eyelash length, you could over curl or be left with no visible change at all, so this step was key. The rod was sticky so my lashes would adhere to it. I closed my eyes for what would be, in total, about 30 minutes.
Carefully, and individually, Tracy gently pulled each eyelash around the rod (which was placed on top of my eyelid, right above my upper lash line). This felt weird — at first, I did NOT like it at all, and I got anxious about what I was getting myself into, TBH. But after Tracy calmed me down and further explained in detail exactly what she was doing, I felt so much better, and quickly got used to the brand new feeling on my eyelids. After all the eyelashes were perfectly placed on the sticky rod, Tracy applied the wave gel, which is what creates the semi-permanent curl in your lashes. Remember: My eyes are closed this entire time; I didn’t feel this stuff at all. I let the gel work its magic for about ten minutes. Pretty chill.
After my lashes were permed, it was time to dye them. Eye Candy uses a vegetable-based dye, which definitely was a relief to hear, because of the obvious sensitivity of the eye area. Again, I shut my eyes for this process. Tracy carefully applied the black dye to my lashes — she straight-up smothered them in this stuff — so that there was no chance of me not being left with the inky eyelashes of my dreams. Honestly, the eyelash dyeing was more uncomfortable than the perming, but it was still totally tolerable (even for a wimp like me). After a few minutes of not feeling anything, I started to feel like I had a little shampoo in my eyes. That slight sting was definitely present, but again, I was expecting it (you ARE dyeing your eyelashes, after all), and it really was pretty mild. After about 10 minutes of letting it soak in, Tracy carefully washed it off.
I was so happy with how my lashes looked right after these two salon services. They were noticeably bolder thanks to them being jet-black from root to tip, a characteristic they were definitely missing before this service. And they literally looked like I had just curled them with a super legit eyelash curler. You can see in the picture below of my lashes right after Tracy finished the perm + dye. It looks like I have mascara on, but I don’t!
Tracy told me that they actually start to look even better after a day or two when they “fluff out.” Whatever this meant, I wanted my eyelashes to be fluffy *for sure,* and let me tell you: She wasn’t kidding. On day two, my lashes relaxed a bit and fluffed out, and looked like I had curled lashes with mascara on 24/7. IT WAS AMAZING! Having curled, black eyelashes in the shower? YUP. Flawless lashes after spin class? Most def.
If you’re looking to lighten your makeup routine for spring, you should consider splurging on a salon service for your lashes. It’ll allow you to wear less eye makeup (which will improve the health of your lashes) and save you time getting ready. Just make sure you’re 100% comfortable with the salon and lash stylist you choose — these are your EYES we’re talking about, so don’t cut any corners. Honestly, if Tracy and her staff (pictured in their adorable salon above) hadn’t been as comforting to me during my initial five minutes of anxiety, it would not have been a good experience. Overall though, I was a big fan of having my lashes permed and dyed, and recommend it to anyone who’s after seriously perfect lashes.
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Lashes: Eye Candy SF
Photography: Brittany Griffin