I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with false eyelashes. I am absolutely useless at applying them so there has been many an evening where I have been getting ready for a night out and after several failed attempts have ended up swearing and throwing them back in the drawer never to be used again. On the other hand, the few times I have managed to get them on successfully I've loved the way the extra volume and length transforms my eyes. So for that reason I do continue to buy them, thinking "oh maybe this different brand or type of lash will be easier to apply" but the same thing happens and I've ended up with a sad little collection of unused lashes that are gathering dust in my makeup drawer. Fear not my sad wee lashes, things are looking up......
Let's rewind to last Friday evening where I spent a couple of hours at The Makeup and Beauty Studio in Newington (my old stomping ground from uni days) with Gillian, Jade and Leanne. We were there to find out more about Lash Republic, a false lash brand based in Australia who are just about to launch in the UK, with The Makeup and Beauty Studio being the only salon in the UK to stock the lashes (how exciting?!).
There are couple of really interesting things about Lash Republic; first of all, the lashes are made from human hair so they feel really nice and soft, and more importantly they look a hell of a lot more natural than most other brands on the market. Actually, Christine the makeup artist at TMABS who was introducing us to the lashes on the night explained that she was drawn to Lash Republic as she was looking for a false lash alternative for brides and bridesmaids that didn't look really OTT and tacky, so it fitted more with the natural makeup look.
The second interesting thing about them is that they have a really cool selector tool that allows you to 'try before you buy'. This is such a genius idea that I can't quite believe no one has thought of it before. Basically there's a little wand next to each of the lash varieties (of which there are ~20 in store, with tons more on their website) so you can hold it up to your eye and see if it suits you. Me and the other girls had great fun trying loads of different lashes on before we chose our favourites, there was such a wide range from little partial lashes (for the outer corners), to spiky lashes, to short lashes, to ones that were darker at the outer edge, and to big dramatic volume lashes - something for everyone. I think I went back and forth with a couple for ages before finally getting Christine to make the decision for me.
I ended up with Au Natural Extend*, which as the name suggests, is a very natural looking lash that simply extends the length of your own lashes and gives a little bit of extra volume. After a quick tutorial from Christine we set to work applying our own lashes, with a little help from the Eyelash Placement Tool. This looks a bit like a hair clip, and allows you to grip the lash so you can hold it steady to apply the glue (no getting glue all over your fingers) and then guide onto your eyes with minimal faff.
Normally the application process bit fills me with fear, but I don't know if it was the few glasses of prosecco I'd consumed or the fact that I was in a beauty salon with a professional on hand if help was required, but I have to say I actually managed to get them on pretty easily. It took me a couple of goes with my left eye (this one is always harder for me to do for some reason) but in general I coped quite well. The final result looked really natural, basically like I just had lovely long lashes. It's amazing the difference a simple change like that makes though, it really made my eyes pop. Totally on my way to becoming a lash addict now, ha!
It was a really fun evening basically getting to play about with false lashes for a few hours with friends in a nice salon, whilst enjoying a few glasses of bubbly. I'm not normally one for going to get beauty treatments done but it's definitely made me want to do more things like that, especially in a group as you can have a bit of a giggle and a gossip along the way.
In fact this weekend Christine at The Makeup and Beauty Studio is hosting several events just like this as part of the launch of Lash Republic where you can enjoy some bubbly, take part in a few tutorials, and try out the lashes before taking home your favourite pair (as well as receiving 20% off any other pair you want to buy on the day). Tickets can be purchased from Itison via the link below. Whether your're a lash pro who is keen to try out something new, or a lash newbie like me who wants to try learn the art of false lash application then this could be a fun wee treat!