A New Year, A New You

Splurge on Yourself with Eyelash Extensions

By Natasha Habib

This time of year, many women make resolutions to improve their appearance, from working out more to stepping up their wardrobes. If you’re looking to reinvent yourself in the New Year, you’re in the right area. Just south of Dayton in Centerville, you can get the same eyelash extensions celebrities wear.

Kimberly McCabe, Xtreme Lashes Eyelash Extensions advanced lash stylist and certificated trainer, operates Dayton Lash Extensions inside Bangs Salon and Spa. Xtreme Lashes, according to their website, “has been the exclusive provider of eyelash extensions for celebrity events including the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, the Emmy Awards, Cannes Film Festival and the Latin Grammy Awards,” and McCabe herself has been trusted with providing celebrities at the Academy Awards with picture-perfect lashes.  She said her favorite celebrity to work with at an awards event was Glee cast member Rosanna Pansino, who played a Cheerio Cheerleader.

“For any event, [celebrities] have more than just mascara on,” said McCabe. “It might not be our brand, but it’ll be some sort of eyelash enhancement. Nobody just wears their own.”

The Young and the Restless actress Julia Pace Mitchell, who plays the character Sofia Dupre, even comes to Dayton Lash Extensions from Los Angeles on a regular basis for her lashes.

Synthetic lash extensions eliminate the need for curling, eyeliner and mascara, simplifying morning makeup routines, but they look and feel natural. During a consultation, McCabe works with clients to select from 17 different lengths, three different thicknesses and four different curls to achieve the lash-look clients are going for.

“There’s pretty much every color you can think of,” she said. “Obviously the most popular is black, but there are reds for redheads and coffee browns or anything anybody would want. And sometimes you can mix them for a very soft look as well.”

These lash extensions are not like the strip falsies you can pick up at the drugstore. Instead, each lash extension is attached one by one to a natural upper lash with a medical adhesive, about one millimeter away from the skin.

“Most of the time, you want to make an eye look more youthful and more open,” said McCabe. “So you apply the lashes in a way that helps pop the eye open and lift the corners up to give more of a cat-eye rather than a heavy look …”

“Even people with good lashes can get even better lashes. Extensions can make their lashes longer, thicker and very individual looking.  Unlike mascara, which often looks clumpy, extensions are perfectly separated, smooth and curled … They’re really kind of for everybody.” McCabe said her clients range from teenagers to women in their early 70s, but the majority of her clients are in the 30-40 age range.

“In my opinion,” she said, “I think that’s the time when a lot of people start investing money into themselves. A lot of times their lashes are thinning, their eyes aren’t quite as bright, makeup doesn’t go on the same as it used to, and this gives you a sort of instant eyelift and a more youthful appearance.”

Cheaper than an eyelift, a full set of initial lash extensions runs for $250 and it takes around three hours to apply. The extension will permanently stay on a natural lash, but natural lashes shed and grow back about every 60 to 90 days, so every few weeks you’ll need to come in to replace those. Fill-ins take about an hour and cost $70.

Despite the downturn in the economy, McCabe, who ran her own salon in Minneapolis, has found that many women will stretch out the time between their hair and nail appointments but keep up with their lashes more regularly.

“Lashes have been one of those few things that have been economy-proof,” said McCabe, noting that even though Dayton is not on the same scale as some of the larger cities she’s worked in, she’s been staying very busy with lash extensions here.

Holiday parties and special events like weddings and honeymoons have many women seeking a smudge-proof, waterproof and semi-permanent way to enhance their eyelashes, but most of her clients are repeat customers.

“I would say about half of all the people that think they’re just gonna come in and get [lash extensions] one time will wear them for a while afterwards,” she said. “They’re very addicting.”

And before you think lash extensions are just for the vain, McCabe said she also sees women who have recently finished chemotherapy and could use a confidence boost while growing back their hair.

“A lot of times what happens is that even when the hair starts to come back, it comes back a lot finer and less of it, so in that case lash extensions are great,” she said. “It’s heaven-sent for that.”

Dayton Lash Extensions is located at 894 S. Main St. in Centerville. For more information, visit the website daytonlashextensions.com, find them on Facebook or call (937) 823-7878; or go to xtremelashes.com to read more about the product and see videos and photos.

Reach DCP freelance writer Natasha Habib at NatashaHabib@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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