By Candice Sabatini

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No matter what your makeup style – from naturally demure to a smoky eyed Glamazon – there isn’t one of us who doesn’t want long and luscious lashes. While we might be satisfied with our eye shadows, and firmly set with our foundation, mascara is probably the one beauty product we’re always changing in hopes of finding a new one that will give our lashes the WOW factor.

For the past few years, the individually glued on lashes have been garnering devoted fans. They add so much drama to your look, much more than even the best mascara and they never look fake, like the ones we apply at home. It’s a pricey investment, so I went to an expert, Courtney Akai, makeup artist and owner of Courtney Akai Lash Boutique on 5th Ave here in NYC, to get the skinny on those fabulously lush lashes. Courtney carefully and patiently applied the lashes. It was so relaxing I almost fell asleep during the process. When she was done and handed me the mirror, all I could say was “OMG! Big WOW!” They look amazing and I don’t have to bother with mascara – except on the bottom – for the next couple of months. I wake up in the morning and look like I already have my makeup on. This is addicting!

Beauty News NYC: Courtney, what’s the process of applying these lashes and how long will they last?
Courtney Akai:
The lashes are applied one by one as you lie comfortably on a spa table. It takes two hours for a full set of upper lashes to be applied. The lashes are permanently glued onto your individual eyelashes and there’s no way to detect where the glue meets your natural lash. There’s no telltale “bulb” or edge-line like when you apply the ones you buy for home application.

BN: How much length and volume does it create?
Your lashes can be 50% longer and 30% thicker. Once you have these lashes applied, you do not use mascara or an eyelash curler. You can use mascara on the bottom, as most people don’t have the extensions put on the bottom lashes.

BN: Why not?
Because application to lower lashes has to be done with open eyes and it’s a little uncomfortable, and they don’t last as long because different glue has to be used.

BN: Tell me about the lashes and the glue. Are there differences in quality?
The lashes are synthetic, (mink is available if you want) but look completely natural. The glue is really the key thing to ask questions about. I only use Novalash Glue because it doesn’t contain formaldehyde. The cheap glues made in China contain formaldehyde which is really bad for you and can irritate the eyes.

Note: If you don’t live in NY and can’t get to Courtney, ask your local lash spa what kind of glue they use. You can also go to the Novalash website and find a lash spa in your area that uses the Novalash glue.

BN: How long will the lashes last and is there any special maintenance?
The lashes are glued to your natural lashes and stay on for the growth cycle of the lash. That’s usually between six to eight weeks. To maintain a full look, I recommend getting a fill-in approximately every month. You do need to be careful to not get moisturizers or eye creams on the lashes as they can break down the adhesive bond.

Courtney Akai
501 5th Ave (42nd St)

Nova Lash –

Originally published February 2011

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