When we finally get out of quarantine, we’re going to need a full-body makeover.
In between, I got your back.
We’ve covered women’s hair, men’s grooming and nails, but today it’s all about my personal favorite: eyelashes and eyebrows. Whether you’ve got lash extensions that are starting to get wonky or eyebrows that need a little love, I enlisted Rebecca Daletto, for some help.
Daletto is a licensed cosmetologist and brow and lash technician who also does color services, makeup, spray tanning, waxing and nails at RD Salon and BlowDry Bar, Scranton and Clarks Summit, and RD Brow and Lash Bar, 324 Penn Ave., Scranton (not to be confused with RD Salon owner, Rosey DeAntona).
Here’s how to keep your lashes and brows (whether they’re God-given or cosmetically enhanced) looking good at home. Plus, some ways to fake it.
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Whispy mega fill. This beauty came to me a few months ago with extremely damaged, broken and gapped lashes from lash extensions that were far too heavy. I went from barely being able to put 3 lashes per lash of the lightest weight lashes to 10-12D fans (10-12 lashes per lash) Research your lash techs girls. Bigger isnt better and cheaper is cheap for a reason!
Obviously, in order to keep your eyelash extensions in good shape, you need to properly take care of them. This means keeping them clean (without oil-based products) as well as avoiding wearing mascara, using heavy moisturizers and creams, not sleeping on your face and not touching the lashes. Other things such as avoiding hot, steamy places like hot yoga, steam rooms, etc., are easier to abide by during quarantine.
The best news is that, since the extensions are meant to grow out with your natural lash, they typically do not need to be removed. However, sometimes a lash that is in the telogen phase aka the end of its growth cycle where it has disconnected from the root and is ready to fall out, it will hang on a little longer than normal. In this case, the extension will be on the tip of the natural lash and have grown out significantly which results in the extensions flipping in odd directions or hanging down from the weight since it is no longer fully supported on a natural lash. In the salon, Daletto would gently remove these and replace them with new extensions. At home, it can be left alone to fall naturally.
If someone wanted to remove their lashes at home gradually, Daletto’s best suggestion is to do the opposite of maintenance. Use oils on them or an oil-based remover or use mascara. Apply heavy night creams right on the lash line. They’ll be off in no time, she said.
Trying to remove them at home will result in some breakage and premature loss to your natural lashes, she warned. If they absolutely must be removed, it requires tons of patience. Take a long, hot, very steamy shower or use a face steamer to soften the lash adhesive. Then, melt a bit of coconut oil just enough to liquify. Place it on the lashes with the eyes closed and let it sit. However, since this is not a professional remover, it won’t dissolve the adhesive. This won’t be a quick process and can take upwards of an hour. If there is any tension, leave it alone, as its not ready to come off yet. Tugging or pulling causes breakage and premature lash loss. When they are ready to come off, they will slide right off, Daletto said.
Keep natural lashes healthy by taking vitamins for hair, skin and nails vitamins or using a lash growth serum. These have done wonders for her clients who wanted heavier lashes than their natural ones could support as well as her “lash rehab” clients (those who came with broken and damaged lashes thanks to poor work elsewhere).
Unfortunately, without false lashes, you can’t make natural lashes look like lash extensions, Daletto said. Nothing will give you that full, thick look an extension or falsie can. However, to make your lashes look their best, use an eyelash curler and look for mascara with a wand that has lots of closely packed bristles to avoid clumped, spidery lashes.
Also, always curl before mascara, or else you will be scheduling an extension appointment with Daletto because you ripped out some lashes. Before applying the mascara to your lashes, clean the brush off a little. Set the wand at the base of the lash and wiggle it from to right to left as you sweep upward to the tips. Repeat this two to three more times. Daletto also prefers to let the mascara dry completely in between coats.
Certain brow services are thankfully meant to last a few months (microblading and powder brows) so you shouldn’t run into any issues with your brows besides overgrowth. Daletto said unless you have successfully waxed and tweezed your brows for years, leave them be.
“Most people get tweeze happy and just do too much,” she said.
(I agree with Daletto. Unless you know for a fact you’re great at it, at-home waxing is a no from me, dawg. As a reformed tweeze-aholic, I get in the brightest light I can find and ONLY clean up the strays outside the perimeter my stylist has artfully created for me.)
If you’ve recently gotten your brows cosmetically tattooed, hair removal may damage freshly tattooed skin, which is not yet fully healed. Wait it out before reaching for the tweezers.
The best way to fake fuller brows is a powder formula, especially for beginners, Daletto said. They’re more forgiving and they’re easy to clean up. Daletto recommended finding a shade that is slightly lighter than your natural color and using a dense short-bristled, skinny brush to sweep the color on within the lines.
It doesn’t need to be a specific brow product, either.
“On a day I decide to use powder my go-to is a dark brown eyeshadow from my old school Too Faced Chocolate Bar (Eyeshadow) Palette,” she said.
Under the orders from Gov. Tom Wolf, all non-essential businesses must remain closed indefinitely until at least May 9, which means your beauty industry pro will be out of work during this time.
There’s still some ways to show love, though. If you’re going to buy products, buy local.
Help your stylist or salon by buying a gift certificate for the same price as your normal service. For example, RD Salon & BlowDry Bar is offering 25% of all electronic gift cards at rdsalon.square.site (with the code “RDSALON”), which can be used at any of its locations when salons re-open.
Some no-cost options including leaving reviews; liking and commenting on posts on social media, or tagging or referring friends.
The only way we get by is by helping each other. And, when this is all over, please don’t forget the role beauty and grooming pros play in your life.
Gia Mazur is an award-winning staff writer and beauty obsessive who joined The Times-Tribune’s Lifestyles department in 2015. She’s a product enthusiast who can’t live without an eyelash curler. A proud Virgo, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Pillow Talk is her go-to. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9127; @gmazurTT