Eyelash Extensions Are Taking Over Philly Right Now
A few years ago, blowout bars started popping up on every corner in this city, thus elevating the standard for party/date/everyday hair. (Seriously, one coworker has friends who get blowouts twice a week – as in, they no longer wash their own hair or even own shampoo.) Now, though, the newest kid on the beauty block is lash extensions, with lash-centric companies sweeping into salons and offering wear-everyday sets that, well, might just make mascara a thing of the past.
Lash extensions are hardly new, but in the past, they’ve usually been relegated to special-occasion primping. But recently, Philly spas and salons have been bringing in lash experts in droves, offering a range of wear-everyday styles (think just a few on the outer corners of your lashes) alongside full-blown Russian mink sets (think five synthetic lashes to every natural one on your lids. Talk about fringe). It’s safe to say Philly is starting to get a little lash-crazy. Here are four local companies riding the wave.
Who: Lash Bee
What They Offer: Cleo Bee (extensions at the outside corners), Busy Bee (every other lash), Lash Bee (one extension per lash), and Queen Bee (fullest set, will make you look like you’re always wearing liner).
How Much: $150 to $300 for full set; $45 to $135 for touchups (you’ll need these about every two weeks; you really can’t go longer than five weeks without a touchup).
How Long It Takes: 60 to 180 minutes, depending on the fullness desired.
Know Before You Go: Bring headphones, and have a good podcast or playlist lined up to zone out to while your lashes get an upgrade. Also, they offer a membership program in case you get addicted.
Where: Lash Bee operates at Anjuthreads, 1126 Walnut Street, 2nd floor, Midtown Village, and About Face Skin Care, 1015 Chestnut Street, suite 1205, Market East.
Who: Lash Bash
What They Offer: Classic – Flirty (65 lashes per eye on outer corners), Vamp (85 lashes per eye), Vixen (105 lashes per eye). Russian – 2D to 4D (two to four lightweight extensions per natural lash), 5D (five lightweight extensions applied per natural lash).
How Much: $225 to $350 for full set; $45 to $135 for touchups.
How Long It Takes: 60 to 180 minutes.
Know Before You Go: This company (started by a UPenn grad!) offers a Russian Volume service, which gives lashes a multidimensional, feathery look.
Where: Now at 21M Salon, 13 South 21st Street, Rittenhouse; opening December 1st at 1716 Sansom Street, second floor, Rittenhouse.
Who: Salon Thalia
What They Offer: Over 100 lashes per eye. Touchups recommended.
How Much: $300 for full set; $75 for touchups.
How Long It Takes: 60 to 120 minutes, depending on fullness desired.
Know Before You Go: Lashes are applied by Zaq, a former OR nurse who became an advanced stylist with lash extension company Xtreme Lash. He takes a sterile, clinical approach to his lash application, using a surgical scope to apply the individual lashes a millimeter away from the base of your natural ones so as to protect your hair follicles. (Did you know lashes are glued to your lashes, not to the skin?)
Bonus: For a limited time, take 20 percent off your first full set application.
Where: 1520 Locust Street, Rittenhouse.
Who: Lacquer Lounge
What They Offer: Full set of lashes. Touchups recommended.
How Much: $200 for full set; $75 to $90 for touchups.
How Long It Takes: 120 minutes.
Know Before You Go: The length and style of the lashes depend on the client’s natural lashes. Beware: Lash extensions that are too heavy or long will ruin your natural lashes, making them fall out. Eek!
Where: 501 Fitzwater Street, Queen Village, and 2051 Walnut Street, Rittenhouse.
Before you balk at the prices (we did, too), keep in mind how delicate the eye area is – and how close it is to your brain. “Infections of the eye can lead to the brain. Be so careful about who you choose for your lash applications – they can cause permanent damage,” says Zaq. He also recommends going with synthetic lashes, because natural materials like mink or silk can actually grow bacteria and cause infections more easily. Always make sure your lash stylist is licensed in cosmetology, esthetics, or nursing – it’s required by law in the state of Pennsylvania. The saying “You get what you pay for” has never been more true in this case, so maybe for this service, you shouldn’t take a gamble on the cheapest lash extension deal out there.