If you know me, you’ll be aware of my lash fascination. Not the massive spidery ones, which I think can look a bit incongruous once you’re past a certain age. Maybe some can pull it off – I can’t.
I just want natural-looking, lush lashes and I want to be able to wear no make-up on holiday and at the gym. Anyway, if you believe the fashionistas and follow catwalk trends, natural, full lashes and no eye make-up are trending this season.
So I jumped at the chance when NKD asked me to try LVL lashes for free (LVL stands for ‘Length, Volume, Lift’).
That said, I was a little nervous going in the Saturday before my birthday just in case something went wrong. I’d already had the patch test the week before (you have to have a test 24 hours before a treatment) so I’d nothing to worry about, but I’d been too busy to do my usual research. So I wasn’t as relaxed as I’d have liked.
The whole thing took about 45 minutes to complete. Lying back comfortably with eye shields on, I was talked through what would happen.
LVL is really a modern-day version of the old-fashioned lash perming, which used to be a popular treatment in the 80s and 90s. And I took a trip back in time to some of the hideous perms I’d had a few decades ago when I smelt the solution.
Apparently one of the problems with traditional lash perms was that they made your lashes curl round back on themselves, which often gave the end result of your lashes actually looking shorter.
But LVL lifts and straightens your lashes from the roots, so that they appear much longer. A tint is also applied to give the appearance of longer, thicker lashes.
The more relaxing bit: my eyelashes being gently combed back and upwards. I might have nodded off because I can’t remember everything the therapist did.
My immediate response was ‘wow’. My eyes looked wide awake, with upward-curling lashes that I just can’t get with my eyelash curlers alone. And I’d gone for blue-black dye so my lashes looked very dark right to the tip.
Better than that… I wore no make-up on my lashes the day after and my eyes looked defined. They looked good first thing in the morning and later in the day, too, when I usually look a bit tired.
So, low maintenance, looks good all day, every day, no spidery effect, no false lashes. What’s not to love?
To be realistic – this treatment is all about enhancing your natural lashes. If you’re after a much more dramatic look either because you wear a full face of make-up daily or have a big occasion coming up, then semi-permanent lash extensions may still be better for you.
I will also take the therapist’s advice and keep my lashes conditioned. Maybe that’s because my personal memory is that perm equals dry hair. Anyway well-conditioned lashes grow naturally thicker, so it just makes sense.
You can’t wet or rub your eyelashes, apply cream, have a sauna or facial or swim for 24 hours. Or wear mascara. So check your diary and plan ahead.
Also, my eyes were a little blurry, not for long and it blinked away, but I wouldn’t go rushing off to drive home just in case. And maybe next time I won’t wear my contact lenses.
The follow-up treatment
The results are supposed to last 6-8 weeks and I will be booking in to have it done every couple of months. I always look for value for money: LVL is in my ‘essentials’ category now – probably every two months and definitely before a holiday.
In my opinion, LVL is best combined with Revitalash (my hero product) and monthly HD eyebrow maintenance (shape and dye). Far better, in my opinion, than spending hours applying and removing heavy, fake-looking eye make-up.