When I was first approached by a NovaLash representative regarding their eyelash extensions, I was a little surprised. The words “sporty” and “fake eyelashes” don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but they made a compelling argument as to why the extensions are perfect for active ladies. It went something like this:
- NovaLash extensions are waterproof, sweat-proof and last indefinitely with proper care
- Extensions shorten the time necessary for daily beauty routines because they make it unnecessary to apply eyeliner or mascara
- They provide women with an instantly sexy, “finished” look, even during and following a workout
So, after a little arm twisting (I kid), I decided to accept their offer of a free extension application. Here’s what I discovered:
About the lashes
NovaLash was founded in 2004 by Sophy Merszei, a biologist and cosmetic chemist who worked with a team of physicians and scientists to create the safest possible eyelash extension and adhesive products. Their Platinum Bond Adhesive and LashLiner have received awards for quality and safety, and due to this commitment to quality, NovaLash became the first global distributer of eyelash extensions. Consumers can feel confident that when they use NovaLash products, they’re paying for cosmetics backed by extensive scientific research.
Price: The first full set costs between $200 and $300. Monthly fills cost $35 and up, depending on the salon and the number of lashes that need to be replaced.
I arranged an appointment with one of NovaLash’s Advanced Trained Stylists, Joyce Afshar. Joyce has a cute studio in Portland, Oregon, not too far from Portland State University. She was friendly, welcoming and forthcoming about the procedure, which helped to bolster my confidence.
Prior to our meeting, Joyce had instructed me not to wear makeup to the lash appointment, but what I didn’t realize was that the lotion I applied to my face had gotten in my lashes. Right off the bat we were delayed getting started because my lashes needed to be cleaned off.
Side Note #1: When they say not to apply makeup, that means facial lotions and products as well. Head to the appointment with a completely clean face.
Once things got underway, the process was simple and painless. After applying pads to my lower eyelashes to prevent the upper lashes from adhering to them, I simply laid still with my eyes closed while Joyce went to work. Music was playing in the background, and Joyce and I engaged in friendly small talk. Had I not had so much coffee to drink before the appointment, I’m sure it would have been an incredibly relaxing experience.
Side Note #2: The lash application isn’t a short process – I would highly recommend making a quick trip to the bathroom before starting your session.
After about an hour, I asked for a break to visit the restroom. Joyce had to stop the everything, allow the adhesive to dry enough to remove the pads from my lower lashes, then check to make sure the lashes weren’t sticking to one another. I took my quick break, then underwent the pad-applying process a second time. Going through it twice was a little tedious, but had I taken a bathroom break before getting started, it wouldn’t have been an issue.
After an additional hour of eyelash application, the process was complete. Joyce combed my lashes a final time and directed me to a mirror.
I was floored – the lashes looked long, thick, beautiful…and natural. While my lashes have always been dark, they’re not very long, so it was really incredible to see them look so fantastic without a thick coating of mascara.
After a final thank you to Joyce, I was on my way out the door looking fabulous, despite my makeup-free face.
Pros of application process: Simple, painless and relaxing
Cons of application process: Time – it took more than two hours
Living with the lashes
Honestly, living with the lash extensions is fantastic. I’m a low-maintenance kind of gal who works from home and doesn’t need to get “done up” very often, but I still like to look my best when I step out in public. The NovaLash extensions make me feel like I look pulled together, even if all I’ve done is apply a coat of lip gloss. Plus, the maintenance is easy, which is another huge benefit. I simply clean them at night during my regular face washing, then I comb them out in the morning to prevent them from tangling. Super easy!
There were a couple surprises that I wish I had known about before heading home:
- Lash loss. I knew that I would lose a few lashes over time (NovaLash suggests getting a “fill” about once a month), but I was surprised to see a few fall off just two days after application. My guess is this is fairly normal, but it definitely caught me off guard. Luckily, it didn’t affect the overall look – two weeks after application my lashes still look long and full.
- Getting them wet. The eyelashes are waterproof and can be worn while swimming, but you do need to be careful about accidentally getting them in your eyes. I was completely caught off guard by the pain I felt when washing my face during my first shower post-application. I just turned my head into the stream of water as usual, but a few of the lashes must have bent into my eye, causing stinging pain. After drying off my face and combing the eyelashes into place, the stinging stopped and everything was fine. I learned my lesson and have been more careful about protecting my eyes during showers and I haven’t had a problem since.
Side Note #3: After speaking with a NovaLash representative, the stinging in my eyes was probably due to fumes from the application process because my eyes weren’t sealed all the way shut. That explains why it hurt during the first shower, but not afterwards.
With the exception of those two small issues, I don’t have a negative thing to say about the extensions. They’re lightweight, look natural and don’t interfere with my day-to-day life while enhancing my overall look. What’s not to love?
I would absolutely recommend NovaLash extensions to women who are on-the-go and looking for ways to cut down on their daily prep time. They make a woman look and feel her best without requiring much day-to-day effort.
That said, NovaLash extensions don’t come cheap and their upkeep requires a monthly visit to the salon. Definitely make sure you can fit the lashes into your beauty budget before taking the plunge. If you think you can swing the cost of the monthly fill, but you’re not sure about the initial investment, consider asking for a gift certificate for Christmas or your birthday – it would be a great way for family and friends to pamper you while also providing you with a practical beauty enhancement.