I have booked myself onto a yoga retreat abroad next week.
On our honeymoon at Christmas I pointlessly bought a whole make up bag and barely used any of it.
I’ve learnt my lesson and I am determined to pack light next week as hot weather, thick suncreams and humidity don’t mix well with make up and it’s lovely to give your face a total break from products from time to time.
With that in mind I checked into Elysian Brows, on South William Street, for a bit of lasting lash and brow maintenance.
When it comes to eyelash extensions I have had some bad experiences. I have really sensitive skin and my eyes seemed to get irritated by the glue very easily.
Over the last few years training, technique and products have advanced hugely and with the idea of being able to leave behind any brow products and mascara at the forefront of my mind I decided to revisit.
Ethical eyelash extensions
One thing I was disappointed with was how tricky it was to find a salon that used synthetic lashes. Actual ‘Mink’ lashes might sound glamorous but, I can assure you, where they come from is not.
Elysian Brows have salons both in Dublin City centre and Greystones and they were one of the few salons that had vegan and cruelty free lashes and glue, as well as dye for brow tint.
They are also renown as being the best in the business so I was very excited to check them out.
I had a full set of luxury semi-permanent eyelashes applied and the process took just under an hour and a half.
I had to lie with my eyes closed and to try not to talk in case it moved some of the protective padding under my eyes but I have a very long list of podcasts I was keen to catch up on so I just slipped in my earphones and almost dozed off.
Taking that approach made it feel like a really relaxing treatment. I think if I didn’t have my headphones I might have found it hard to lie still for the length of time required so I would advice bringing something to listen to.
It’s meticulous work and not the kind of thing you would want anyone inexperienced doing so close to your eyes.
Within the 90 minutes I felt transformed. My therapist has applied just slightly longer than my own lashes and they looked curled naturally lush and full.
I was advised to brush them regularly and avoid any oily eye products or removers.
I have to say I am honestly thrilled with the result. They also don’t itch or irritate my eyes at all. I know that’s a niche problem but it really turned me off before.
How much do they cost?
A half set of lash extensions costs €90 and a full set lash extensions is priced at €120.
Cruelty Free Lash Serums
If you are after a more organic approach there are a ton of lash serums on the market. I’ve also read just applying Castor Oil really helps growth too.
NYK1 Lash Force Eyelash Growth Serum (£34.95) is the No.1 best-selling lash serum product on Amazon and it’s also completely cruelty free and vegan.
It works by stimulating blood flow to the hair follicles, creating more protein, vitamins and nutrients for the lash and brow roots ultimately producing more growth.
The addition of B Vitamins make the lashes and brows stronger. You have to be diligent with a product like this but it’s very handy to slip into your handbag and have with you on-the-go and it barely even takes 30 seconds to apply it along both lash lines.
Within 2-4 weeks your lashes will start to be thicker, darker, fuller and up to two times longer by weeks 6-8.
Lastly one little gadget I recently picked up is the M2 Beauté lash comb (€20). Whether it’s fanning out your mascara or getting rid of clumps this is a very handy little piece of kit.
It’s designed to fit perfectly around your eyes and lifts and separates for a really natural look.
Holly White is a Fashion Journalist and Broadcaster, and blogs on all things fashion, style, wellness, beauty, health and fitness on www.Holly.ie.