Eyelash extensions: beauty boon or waste of time?
puttin' on the ritz
A ritzy new spa debuts in White Plains
The largest spa in the county recently opened in White Plains at the 42-story Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, the tallest building in the county (and the largest structure between New York City and Albany). The spa, which includes 11 treatment rooms, his-and-her lounges with saunas and steam rooms, a full-service salon, and spa boutique, resides on the 9th floor of the ritzy adjacent hotel, taking up 10,000 square feet. It is decorated in the requisite serene neutral colors and tastefully elegant marble, with an eye-catching wall of water at the entry, but what knocked our spa sandals off were the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer drop-dead gorgeous views of downtown White Plains. Go for the signature winter “Ginger Warm Up” that begins with a foot scrub and wrap followed by a soothing and warming body massage ($200 plus tax and gratuity for 90 minutes).
Three Renaissance Square, White Plains
Before you plunk down $300 for long lashes, think really really hard: how badly do I want this?
The first hour into the eyelash-extension application wasn’t so bad. I had become inured to the creepy feeling of having my lower lashes taped down to keep them from sticking to my upper ones. It was actually kind of restful, listening to classic rock on the radio, stretched out on the treatment bed while the aesthetician, deftly wielding two tiny tweezers, painstakingly separated my lashes with one hand while dipping each extension into glue and attaching it to the individual lash with the other. Lash by lash, alternating between eyes. It didn’t hurt, but by hour two, I thought I was going to crawl out of my skin. Or shoot myself. Who has this much time on her hands to devote to her eyelashes?
A whole lot of people, it seems. When I Googled the topic, an incredible 829,000 citings popped up, with reports that Jennifer Lopez had had hers made from mink; that Madonna spent $10,000 for a diamond-encrusted set. And like all glam things, the fad of extending what nature gave you, be it breasts, hair, or now, eyelashes, has trickled down to the masses. For about $300 (and two-plus hours’ time commitment) for a first-time application, with $100 monthly touch ups (and one hour) required to keep the look going, women across the country, and Westchester County, are flocking to salons for the process—just to avoid the arduous task of…what? Applying mascara?
When I returned to the office, well rested but bored out of my mind, the reaction from my colleagues was mixed from “looks fake” to “looks great.” I thought they looked too dark for my complexion, but hey, they’re temporary and will shed with my natural lashes over the next few weeks. Or so I thought.
One week later: My lashes seem to be clumping together at the roots, making pointy little spikes, kind of like Twiggy’s mod look in the ’60s. My daughter helpfully points out that it looks like I did a sloppy job of applying mascara. Or just got out of the pool. Great.
Two weeks later: I wake up with the lashes crusted with “sleep.” Showering helps only a bit and I have to gently towel my eyes clean, which takes half the lashes off. Now I’m liking the look a little better. And it is nice not to have to wear eye makeup.
Three weeks later: Just a few stragglers remain, valiantly hanging on at odd angles to the rest of my lashes, despite my efforts to remove the little buggers.
Four weeks later: Free at last! Will I do this again? Not a chance. Bring on the Maybelline!
ask the expert
Why Does Men’s Skin Look Younger Than Women’s?
It just doesn’t seem fair. Women use all the expensive products, and have all the fancy facials, but it’s men’s skin that seems to look younger—without all the fuss. We asked Dr. David Bank, director of the Center for Dermatology in Mount Kisco, why this was.
“Men have thicker skin, which means they have more collagen and elastin—the substances that make for a youthful appearance,” he explains. “Second, most men shave every day, which gives them a daily exfoliation. Regular exfoliation stimulates fresh collagen production and encourages cell turnover, making the skin look younger.”