Batting Her Eyelashes

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As never happens, I was invited to a black-​tie charity event. Already possessing a fetching black ball gown, I thought I was sufficiently prepared. A close friend, however, said I just MUST get eyelash extensions for that “little extra pizzazz.” Maybe I would finally make the P-​G “Seen” column!

Always on the lookout for such extra pizzazz, I began my online research and found DekaLash in Wexford. After glancing at the stunning models on their website, and their equally stunning lashes, I was hooked. Mostly excited, and a wee bit anxious, I made my appointment.

My lash artist, Emmy Halley, sensed my anxiety and sought to put me at ease by asking, “So what is your typical lash regimen?”

Huh? Clearly, I’ve been taking my eyelashes for granted. I treat them like my ankles. They’re there, they do their job, and that’s it.

We had some big decisions to make regarding style, length and curl. Emmy quickly eliminated the “Cat Eye”, “Wisp”, “Doll Eye” and “Fierce Drama” style categories and settled on the “Natural”, a smart choice since it’s difficult to get more “natural” than I am — in the winter months my beauty routine consists of meticulously applied chapstick.

We weren’t done yet, though. On to curl type: C — “Natural”, D — “Out and Up”, or CC — “Extreme Curl?” Again, Emmy comes through with the perfect fit — C.

The final decision was length. Emmy asked my opinion of 10 millimeter. I had no idea, but it was kind of Emmy to ask my opinion. “Sure!” I exclaimed, brimming with confidence, and excited to get started.

As I laid down and sunk into the plush lounge chair, Emmy explained the whole procedure, which would take about two hours. After taping my bottom lashes down with ultra-​soft medical tape, she separated each of my upper lashes with tweezers and using a powerful adhesive, glued a lash extension on top of each existing lash (if the existing lash isn’t broken or weak) starting from the base. The average upper eyelid has around 200 lashes. No wonder it takes two hours. “You have strong, full lashes!” she said, and I was happy to impress.

I have been working out, Thanks!” Considering she had super-​pointy tweezers near my eyes, making her laugh wasn’t a good idea. But being a professional, Emmy withstood my humor and I remained unscathed.

I learned that most women nap through the lash application, which is incredible, since it felt like I was on the receiving end of a relentless onslaught of “butterfly kisses.” Not necessarily a bad thing, but almost impossible to sleep through.

The time flew by with small talk, then the big reveal. Expecting a “Tammy Faye Bakker”, I was shocked and relieved to see I now was the proud owner of long, beautiful, thick lashes. My eyes really popped, and I looked like a million bucks.

Then it hit me — the same feeling I had when we had our kitchen renovated — the rest of the house looked decrepit by comparison.

My face now had to catch up with my eyes. My eyebrows seemed even wilder and more uneven, and my wrinkles, which had never bothered me, seemed deeper and more obvious. And what was up with my lips?

In order to maintain my new lashes, I had some after-​application rules. They can’t get wet for 24 hours. Always looking for a loop-​hole, I asked if swim goggles in the shower were an option, and was gently told “we don’t recommend it,” as the steam from the shower would prohibit the adhesive from curing properly.

I also should avoid sleeping on my stomach, rubbing my eyes, and wearing makeup that contains oil. Sounded easy enough.

The next morning I found 15 or 20 lashes in my sink – I forgot that pesky “no rub” rule as I was putting in my contacts, and for the first time in 15 years, slept on my stomach, resulting in a several lashes bent at crazy right angles. Luckily I worked a little magic with my lash brush and they were back in full “curl mode” once again.

I returned to DekaLash for my two-​week “touch up” with Emmy and I think I even snoozed a bit.

The black tie-​affair was great — my new lashes and I had a wonderful time. Next time I go to DekaLash, I will definitely be choosing “Fierce Drama.” I may even buy tinted chapstick.


Elizabeth Wiethorn

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and lifetime Pittsburgher who resides in the North Hills. She has worked in adult literacy, at a financial investment firm, as a kindergarten teacher’s aide, as a debt collector, and even as an entrepreneur. Her BA in English from the University of Dayton and her MBA from Duquesne University provide her with the unusual combination of being able to “cook the books” but also write a concise, grammatically-​correct statement denying all wrongdoing. She finds humor in the everyday and loves to laugh, especially at other people. All emails praising her undeniable talent can be sent to .

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