Tested: eyelash lengthening

With the promise of gorgeous, fluttering eyes, Karen Iley has her lashes extended - but will she be happy with the result?

Tried & tested

I have a friend who always looks polished. Whether she’s climbing out of a swimming pool or just slobbing around at home, there’s something about her that screams ‘style’. I finally discovered her secret when, just recently, she was looking a bit below par. ‘Oh, I need to get my eyelashes done,’ she explained.

The first (and last) time I wore falsies was a couple of decades ago for a fancy dress party. I recall peeling off the sticky plastic and slapping them on my lids, feeling like I had a couple of dead spiders on my eyes. I also distinctly remember the agony when I yanked off the one remaining set (the other was last seen bobbing around in a glass of apple juice). But celebrities such as Cheryl Cole and Kim Kardashian have sparked a renaissance in big and fluttering lashes, a look not seen since the 1960s, so I put such stinging thoughts aside and head to the POSH salon at the Address Downtown Burj Khalifa.

I lie down on the treatment table while the therapist, Asyla, takes a look at my lashes. I’m blonde, so she tints them to match the falsies – a process that takes around 15 minutes. POSH uses hypoallergenic synthetic lashes by Alessandro – a German brand known for its quality – but I’m more than a little surprised when Asyla pulls out five boxes of fakes. Each box contains around 90 lashes and is marked with the length, thickness and varying degree of curl. I shun the full twirlies, and opt for the natural-looking half-curl.

Asyla decides on a combination of sizes seven to nine (this roughly corresponds to millimetres) which are pretty tame compared to the size 13 whoppers we giggle over. Using both singles and four-in-ones, she slowly sticks them onto my lids, one lash at a time – a painstaking but pain-free process that takes less than an hour (I nod off, so I can’t be precise). After that, it’s a little blast with cold air, a five-minute wait and I’m good to go.

The result is surprisingly good, apart from a temporary, and common, blueish tinge around my sockets from the tint. Framed by lovely thick lashes, my eyes are now the focal point of my face. I do a few test blinks to make sure I can lift my lids under their supposed enormous weight, and discover that not only do they look pretty natural (only better), they feel normal too.

Apparently the lashes will drop off naturally, and the moulting process begins almost immediately, although with around 150 lashes on each eye it will be a while before I (or those around me) notice. If I begin to look a bit patchy, probably in about three to four weeks, I can head back and get them retouched.

A week later and I’m still blissfully mascara-less. A few hawk-eyed friends have noticed something different and have asked if I’ve had a makeover or even a sneaky lift. Cheek! I do lose one or two lashes every day, particularly if I use make-up remover, but I can swim, shower and bathe as normal. Will I go for the refill? Well, while I would love to look as immaculate as my friend, the falsies are pretty expensive to maintain permanently, but I would definitely consider it ahead of holidays or a special occasion.
POSH Salon, The Address Downtown Burj Khalifa (04 436 8728; salon@posh-dubai.com; www.posh-dubai.com). Open Sat-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 2pm-8pm. A full set of eyelash extensions costs from Dhs600, with refills from Dhs200. An eyelash tint is Dhs50

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