False eyelashes have always freaked me out. So when the invitation came from Winks Boutique in Toronto for a lash extension appointment, I wasn't sure what I was going to get. I was worried that I would come out looking like a drag queen. Luckily, I was in the hands of owner and Toronto Eyelash Queen, Yonette who reassured me that she was just going to up my glam factor with 35 natural-looking mink eyelashes. Each eyelash is meticulously applied by tweezers and the steady hand of Yonette. A natural set includes 35 lashes per eye, however 55-75 lashes is becoming the norm. Celebs have influenced the rise in the lash extension trend with Brooke Shields and Claire Danes both repping for prescription eyelash cream, Latisse.
So what exactly is holding my $122 mink eyelashes in place? "Medical grade glue" replies Yonette. Ooooohhhh wow. "So I really shouldn't wet my eyes then?" I ask. "Some clients even wear swim goggles in the shower" says Yonette. I laugh and then seriously consider where I can buy goggles on the Danforth. False eyelashes have given me the depth that mascara could never achieve. Yes, it's fun and frivolous - but you end up feeling and looking great! Lashes can last up to two months with proper maintenance. Touch-ups after two weeks are available at $8 plus the price per lash. The procedure is not invasive and your eyes are closed the entire time.
Winks Eyelash Boutique has become so popular that they have moved from their starter location across the street (since 2009) to the expansive space they have been in since March 2010. They have recently moved again to a space in Yorkville.
A natural-looking set of 35 Polished Lashes per eye start at $90, Silk Lashes at $115 and Mink Lashes at $122. They are applied one-by-one and look seamless. Lashes will naturally fall out when your real eyelashes shed.
Maintenance things you should note: do not steam your face, swim or go for a steam bath up to two days after the application. Avoid contact with water on your lashes for the first 12 hours. Buy yourself a water-based make-up remover and use a Q-Tip to remove eyeshadow around the eye.
Things you won't need after your lash application: mascara, lash curlers or eyeliner. You should generally avoid rubbing your lashes or eyes. So far so good. I'm on day two and everything still looks intact. I never bought the swim googles, I use the handheld spray in the shower and use face wipes before I go to bed. My glam factor has been upped and I don't look like RuPaul.
So what do you think? Would you ever try eyelash extensions? Maybe for a special occasion?
Winks Eyelash Boutique, Toronto
70 Yorkville Avenue