People often say that eyes are the windows to the soul, but I am a big believer that life is a bit more bearable when your lash game is on point. For as long as I can remember, I have nursed a serious obsession with long eyelashes. In my personal beauty regime, my eyelashes take the longest – first curling them with a spoon (yes, it’s a thing) and then applying anywhere between four to six coats of two different types of mascaras (yes, I love them that much).
The idea of lash extensions sounds nice but also very high-maintenance. Not to mention that in most salons, the extensions (be it synthetic, silk, or mink) glued onto your actual eyelashes are bonded together by formaldehyde-based adhesives, which sounds horrifying. I mean, heaven forbid you are allergic to the glue like poor Kirstin Chenoweth (read: no one wants “eyelid lips”). Perming and tinting eyelashes seems a bit more palatable since you’re working with what your momma gave you, but I am fairly apprehensive of applying chemicals anywhere near my eyeballs so I have resisted giving it a go. Needless to say, I practically cried out with glee when I was asked to try out Thuya, a cleaner and healthier eyelash perm and tint solution approved by both the FDA (aka tge US Food and Drug Administration) and Canadian government.
Stepping off the fifth floor of Abdoolally House into The Right Spot, a centrally located day spa offering coconut oil massages, 7-free mani/pedis, natural waxing, not to mention lash and brow grooming, the mood lighting and calming ambiance instantly transports me out of the chaotic mid-morning rush and into a luxurious urban sanctuary – a perfect respite to turn off that smartphone and tune out the world. I am guided to a private room where my technician, Jharana, has me lie down to get started.
The Right Spot is the only salon in Hong Kong to carry Thuya, a global cosmetic manufacturer specializing in eye products. The Barcelona brand with a dedicated R+D laboratory uses fruit dye exclusively, which is much gentler on the eyes than vegetable or other chemical dyes. One caveat: despite the fruit-based solution, anything mixed with a peroxide solution (peroxide is what makes the molecules stick to the hair, which is needed to perm and dye anything) is not all-natural and will contain chemicals. Thuya isn’t exempt from the process, but what sets this Spanish company apart is that its product line does not contain any coal tar; an ingredient banned by the FDA and Canadian government as it has the potential to cause serious injury.
As I shut my peepers to get my lashes dyed first (you start off with squeaky-clean, dry, mascara-free lashes), Jharana applies a coat of petroleum jelly under my eyes as a shield so that the dye doesn’t stain or irritate the skin. While the process does not hurt one bit, the feeling was more like when you get soap in your eyes – tolerable, but slightly annoying. After about thirty minutes, they are done, cleaned up and ready to get permed.
Brushing glue onto my lids, Jharana places a small rod against the top lash line between my lid and upper lashes. Think of a hair curler, but for your eyelashes. Two solutions are applied in 15 minute increments: the first, to break down the hair and the second, to rebuild the shape around the rod to form the curve. Your eyes are closed during the entire process and again, while it does not hurt at all, it does feel a bit awkward having movement take place on top of your eyelids. That being said, I am given an eye mask on and when I wake up after a refreshing power nap later, I’m all done. I take a look in the mirror and immediately notice how much longer my lashes appear (and they’re all mine!). As an Asian lady with naturally darker lashes, there isn’t an astounding difference in the tint but I do notice my eyes stand out more than usual. Three days in, my daily beauty regime doesn’t take as long now that there isn’t a need to apply mascara in my every day- that means way more sleep! Though I can’t wait for an opportunity to dress up to see how long my lashes will be with mascara! Who needs fakes? Until next time – peace, love, and lashes.
Images courtesy of Pexels, The Right Spot