In August I will be the recipient of an award from the local business newspaper – The Business Examiner. Each year, The Business Examiner, holds a Top 40 Under 40 event celebrating business persons under the age of forty in Tacoma. This year, my business partner and I are among the recipients! The event includes a photoshoot for all the recipients and the resulting images get shown on the website and at the event. So of course we did what any sensible business owners would do when on the receiving end of a MAJOR AWARD (careful, it’s fra-jeel-ay)– we put eyelash extensions on the business account.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, eyelash extensions are individual fake lashes that are applied with careful hands, tweezers and glue to your real eyelashes. The effect is that you have somehow magically grown giant cow length eyelashes. Unlike a standard set of fake eyelashes that glue on to the eyelid above the lashline, these look integrated into your own lashes. Basically, your eyes now look like every mascara commercial on TV.
The Stats: In my neck of the woods they cost about $100 (plus tip) and last about two weeks. At two weeks you can get a “fill” appointment that can cost $50, but wait until three weeks and that will cost more. They take about an hour and fifteen minutes to put in and you must be ok with having your eyelids taped in place and have someone poking around on your lash line.
The Pros: As I said, your eyes now look like a mascara commercial ALL the time. This is great when you just woke up and have no make-up on. Somehow, I look delightfully rumpled instead of my normal slightly dead. Since one of the rules is that you can’t wear mascara on them (impossible to clean without taking them out) there is less make-up time involved in getting ready. And for the most part, people really can’t figure out what you’ve done to look so smashing.
The Cons: My eyes were a bit red and others report a stinging sensation on the first day. For me, I just felt like I had grit in my eyes for the first two days. Also, every once in awhile one of the falsies twisted around and stabbed me in the eyeball. Youch! They do have to be treated GENTLY. If you’re a side sleeper, be prepared to lose a few early after they get ground into your pillow overnight.
Conclusion: If you’re looking at a week with multiple events, particularly ones where you’ll be featured in photos, eyelash extensions might be the way to go. My business partner had the awards photoshoot, a family picture photoshoot and a high-school reunion in the same week – that’s the kind of week that makes the cost and effort worthwhile. I probably didn’t need them for one photoshoot, but I’ve enjoyed batting my giant lashes for a few weeks.
I was going to say that I was in an on-going search for mascara that gives my lashes the appearance and silkiness of toddler, or one of those ridiculous boy who have won the genetic jack-pot of eyelashes, but don’t have any use for them. But to be perfectly honest, after the last debacle of a mascara purchase I’m simply looking for mascara that doesn’t leave my face covered in speckles of black.
This month I moved on to Scandal Eyes Show Off by Rimmel. It had a fancy looking brush and exciting packaging design. I base many of my purchasing decisions on packaging design. My theory is that if you’re the kind of company that can hire a decent graphic designer and then ALSO pay to get their design printed, then chances are that you make a decent product. Surprisingly, this works fairly often.
However, in this case I was disappointed. The mascara was clumpy. It was flaky. The weird ball brush tip actually got in the way when applying. Either I needed to use only the ball tip or I need to cut it off so I could use the rest of it. None of it was so hideous that I threw it away and ran out to buy a different tube; it was just mildly annoying. And for these reasons, Scandal Eyes does not receive the Carrie Mae seal of approval. On to the next mascara!
When I received the usual fistful of useless bits of dead tree along with my receipt from Walgreen’s I almost chucked the entire lot in the trash, but decided to do the environmentally responsible thing and chuck them in the recycling at home. Imagine my surprise when, once home, I realized that one of the coupons actually had value to me. That never happens. It’s always twenty coupons for spam and baby food or spam baby food. I read and re-read the coupon, checked the fine print – it really was a coupon for a FREE mascara. But, but, but… I love FREE. And mascara – I love mascara! This can’t be right. I read the coupon again. Yes, it definitely said free mascara.
The next week, I trotted in, picked up my mascara, handed in my coupon and waited for the other shoe to drop. Nope, still free. I walked out with a tube of Revlon Ultimate All-in-One mascara and floating on a cloud of euphoria that can only be generated by free make-up products.
A week later that cloud had evaporated under the wilting heat of real life testing. This mascara is possibly the worst mascara I have ever used. At first glance it looks OK, the formula seems a little thick, but hardly unsual. But two hours after applying I look like the member of Our Gang known as Freckles. The mascara leaves a nuclear dust cloud of black particles strewn across my face and clothes. I would have less mess on my face if I simply threw the mascara brush at myself. This more than any other product I have ever owned has caused people, including strangers, to say, “Um… you’ve got a little… something?” while tapping awkwardly at their face.
Conclusion: Yes, I got free mascara, but I got what I paid for. Definitely NOT Carrie Mae approved.