I had never really considered them. In fact, until recently I had never seen any that I liked. Tammy Faye Baker was always the image that stayed in my head and that was way over the top. NOT Diva Approved!
Honestly, I do admire them on beautiful celebrities. But I always thought that those were "special" and cost prohibitive. So, needless to say, they were off my Diva radar. That is until I became friends with Alicia. Her eyelash extensions are simply beautiful. And when she bats those eyes, OMG! Men just melt.
Alicia had a lot of good advice and answered all of my pressing questions about her lashes, but I was still very very nervous. The more time that I spent with Alicia on her visits to Chicago, the more I considered having them done. Then a few months back celebrity makeup artist, Tia Dantzler did my face for a Jet magazine photo shot and I was hooked.
There are so many words to describe how eye lashes extensions made me feel. Glamorous, Beautiful, Fabulous, Girly, Feminine... The list just goes on and on. I concluded that they were DIVA approved!
I called Alicia immediately, "We have got to find me a place to get lashes!" I exclaimed. Alicia is always game for new adventures, her "just do it" spirit is one of the reasons I love her so much. Anyway, she I and hit cyberspace and started tweeting. People were responding from all over the U.S. Alicia, living in Los Angeles, received a ton of west coast recommendations. I received recommendations from places that range from $30 to $300 around Chicago. It was all so overwhelming just trying to make a decision.
Then I remembered Brittany's lashes. She's the national coordinator for the Ambassador program for the Red Pump Project. But Brittany explained that her lashes were strips and she removed them each night and reapplied them in the morning. Glue in my hand near my eye was not a good idea. NOPE! Out of the question.
I became so obsessed with lashes that I was making a stop at the Mac store right before each speaking engagement. For Real! One night after a gig I wanted to keep them on because I had another speaking engagement the next day before Mac opened. But it is not advised to sleep in strips. You should have heard Brittany trying to explain to me how to glue the lashes over the telephone. Too funny! I needed my reading spectacles just to see what I was doing and you cannot apply lashes with reading glasses on your face. Glue was everywhere.
It had been confirmed. I was definitely getting eye lash extensions. My budget was a huge consideration in the deciding factor of where to get them, but so was my health. I have AIDS and I'm not confused that my immune system is not good. I didn't want to take a chance on an Asian nail shop so I settled on Amazing Faces. Her prices were in between. Maureen is a licensed esthetician who specials in permanent makeup, lashes and no chip nails. (More to come on the no chip. I'm currently putting Maureen and no chip polish to the test.)
Brittany came with me for moral support. First, Maureen taped my bottom lashes down so they wouldn't interfere with the work being done on the top lashes. I have to admit, I was a little claustrophobic with my bottom lashes taped down, even if they were anti-winkle beauty pads.
This is what my face looked liked before the lashes were applied. I was not allowed to talk which was also torture. LOL! But when you talk you change your face structure. During the lash application I felt absolutely nothing. I knew she was working but there is no pain involved at all. She applied the lashes individually with a permanent glue that will last approximately 3-4 weeks.
This is what my face looked liked after the lashes were applied. They seem to open your eyes and complete your look. I simply LOVE them! Now I am going to be honest. They do take some time getting used to. If you have used the strips then the individual lashes will be a breeze. They are comfortable to wear, but those first few days you do know that they are there.
The only thing that changed in my daily beauty regimen was using an oil-free makeup remover. Mary Kay's brand was highly recommended. I called my Soror for that hook-up! Other than that, I wash my face and apply make-up just like I did before I got the lashes applied.
Yes, this was a big plunge for me, but you only live once! The great thing is that they are semi-permanent, you can always change your mind, at no additional cost. After I got my lashes it was a call for celebration. Brittany and I made our way to Tavern on Rush for a light dinner and my wonderful assistant Jenna joined us. The suspense was way too much. She just had to see. All in all, everyone agreed that my new eye lash extensions were Diva Approved!
Note: Photos by Jason E. Jones Photography