This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.
Grace and I are off on Monday to Corfu to view some wonderful new holiday villas (more about that when we are back). So there is frantic rushing around in our two households to get ready for this pre-summer trip. The reason I say pre-summer is that we are not quite body-ready for a beach holiday! I am all for not wearing makeup on holiday, however you can scare your fellow holidaymakers in those first few days when you are looking pale and pasty. So you need to enhance a little but without taking bags of makeup that just melt in the sun.
In my case lashes are the first port of call. I have long straight lashes that no amount of heated curlers, curling mascara can do anything with. They look ok for about an hour and then they droop again. So I thought I was stuck with long straight lashes until I was told by the ladies at Look Fabulous Forever (make-up for women over 50 – click here for their website) about LVL lashes. LVL stands for length-volume-lift, and the idea is simple: a therapist uses a setting serum to straighten your natural lashes at the root (making them look curled up), and then your lashes are tinted, creating the appearance of mascara. The best news is it lasts for 8 weeks, depending on how quickly your lashes grow, no more mascara and it costs £50.
I googled LVL lashes and found a salon near me in Twyford, London Road Beauty, and, once I had a patch test, I was ready to go. My beautician Tiffany, who is the owner of the salon, was meticulous and it took 90 minutes, which is longer than the time advertised. However I drifted off at one point as Tiffany was so good at applying this treatment. It never went in my eyes so it did not sting at all.
The treatment began with the therapist cleaning my lashes, then putting a shield over my lower lashes to make sure they were protected from the perming solution. Then you close your eyes over the shield and you keep them closed for the rest of the treatment, so make sure you are really comfortable.
Then she combed out my lashes and put silicone shields on my upper lids. These shields determine the level of lift and there are three options to choose from: most dramatic (small shield), average (medium) and least dramatic (large). Tiffany advised small as my lashes are so strong and take a lot to get them to curl. She gently pulled my lashes up onto the shield, and applied a perming lotion to the roots. After leaving it on to set for around 10 minutes, she applied a neutraliser to the roots for five minutes, then applied the tint to darken my lashes.
The last step was a moisturising serum, which helps the lashes come off the shield. Then I could open my eyes and I was thrilled with the results however it takes another 24 hours for the full effect and I must not get them wet during that time. I have a conditioning serum which I have to apply twice a day which makes them look gorgeously shiny and this conditions the lashes and is also anti-fungal so promotes healthy lashes. I couldn’t be more pleased and it means no mascara and no panda eyes when I go swimming in Corfu. So first part of my preparation for my holiday done!