A lash extension primer

Courtney AkaiLush, long lashes give women a natural allure and sex appeal that men find hard to resist. There is a reason you will never see a Kardashian or Real Housewife without fabulous eye-enhancing fringe.
The go-to lash expert for celebrities and style-setters is Courtney Akai of NYC Courtney Akai Lash Boutique. She hand applies single lashes to create drama and allure, without compromising the desire to appear natural.
Here are Courtney’s tips:
A full set of extensions can lengthen lashes up to 50 percent, and increases the thickness twofold.
"It’s one of the few non-invasive services that can have a big impact, but still looks natural. I have clients who have been asked if they have had plastic surgery. The effect from just a partial set of extensions can be that much of a transformation," says Akai. "Lashes can change the shape of one’s profile, in the most flattering way possible."
If lash extensions are properly maintained, they will require less upkeep than most mascara, which tend to run and clump, especially as the day or night wears on.
The type of look you can achieve with semi-permanent extensions will depend on your own natural lashes. For instance, we cannot do a Kim Kardashian look on someone with short, weaker lashes because it will not hold up well.
There are different lengths, thicknesses, curls, and lash materials (synthetic, mink, silk). You should speak with the lash stylist and discuss the look you want. Then carefully listen to what they recommend for your lashes.
To maintain the lashes, we recommend a touch-up about every three to four weeks to keep them nice and fresh. Lash extensions do not ruin your own lashes. For many clients, extensions are better for their weak lashes because they stop using the curler, mascara, etc.
Our cost depends on the half-set or full set. Both are top lashes, but a full set is much fuller. Half-sets are $150, $200, or $250, depending on the stylist. A full set runs between $300 and $500.

The lowdown on Latisse

Dr. Deb Sherman and all about LatisseFew things make a women feel more beautiful than long, full, sexy lashes. Did you know that most off us bat them reflexively when we flirt? For years I have tried every trick in the book to enhance my own skimpy fringe. Then I found Latisse! Finally, the long, dark full lashes I had always longed for. It took about four weeks to work and then, voila – I had lashes to bat!

If, like me, you have been lash-challenged and have wondered about Latisse, Dr. Deb Sherman, an oculoplastic surgeon and board-certified ophthalmologist, will answer all your questions in our exclusive Q&A.
DD: How does Latisse work?
DS: We don’t know exactly how Latisse works, however, we believe it does so by increasing the growth cycle (anagen phase) of your eyelash hair cycle. Anagen is the growth phase of all hair. We believe that it increases the length of the anagen or growth phase and the number of hairs in this growth phase.
DD: Why do you need a prescription and where can I get one?
DS: Latisse is a prescription medication to grow eyelashes longer, fuller, and darker. Latisse needs to be prescribed by a doctor to assure the proper treatment and use. The active pharmaceutical ingredient in Latisse has been studied in clinical trials for its safety profile and effectiveness, and Latisse has been evaluated and approved by the FDA to grow lashes for those with inadequate or not enough lashes.
Any licensed doctor can prescribe Latisse. However, not all doctors may be familiar with it. To find one who is, use the “Find-A-Doctor” tool on Latisse.com.
DD: Is it very expensive?
DS: While the prices do vary slightly across the country, one Latisse kit costs on average about $120. It includes one bottle and 30 pairs of applicators.
Here are some cost saving pearls:
Visit Latisse.com to get updates on special discounts and promotions. Your readers should also note that Latisse has launched a philanthropic campaign visit — Latissewisheschallenge.com — which benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation. With a minimum $20 donation, women can receive a free trial certificate for Latisse, which they can also take to their doctor to see if Latisse is right for them.  My patients feel good about giving to a great cause while getting a $120 lash growth product for a $20 donation. It’s a win-win! Also, ask your doctor whether he or she offers any additional discounts or knows of any local events that may offer discounts!
DD: How long does it take to work?
DS: Remember that your own hair and eyelashes grow at a relatively slow rate. I tell my patients that they need to be patient when using Latisse, as the growth is gradual over time. Patients may start to notice longer lashes after about a month, and experience full results in approximately four months. This is similar to the clinical trial results. But individual results may vary. But after four months of use, my patients really like the fact that their new longer, thicker, darker lashes are their own lashes. To maintain the longer, fuller and darker lashes, continued treatment with Latisse solution is required. Just like it takes some time to work, if use of Latisse is discontinued, the eyelashes will return to their previous appearance over the course of several weeks to months.
DD: Are there bad side effects from Latisse? If so, what are they?
DS: In my practice, most of my patients tolerate Latisse well. The adverse events I have seen in some of my patients, such as itchy eyes and eye redness, are consistent with those most commonly reported in the Latisse clinical trial. In fact, in the clinical trial, approximately four percent of patients experienced these common side effects.
Anyone considering using Latisse should also be aware that it may cause other, less-common side effects, which typically occur on the skin close to where Latisse is applied, or in the eyes. These include eye irritation, dryness of the eyes, redness of the eyelids, and skin darkening. Skin darkening (or hyperpigmentation) causes areas of skin to become darker than the surrounding skin color, but has been reported to be reversible after discontinuation of the product.
One of the most common questions I get asked about Latisse is whether or not it will turn eyes brown. Increased brown iris pigmentation, which is the medical term for darkening of the colored part of the eye, has occurred in patients when the same formulation of the active drug ingredient in Latisse, bimatoprost, was instilled directly into the eye as a treatment to lower elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Iris pigmentation was not seen in Latisse clinical studies, but Latisse patients should be advised about the potential for increased brown iris pigmentation, which is likely permanent.
When I reviewed the data where this risk came from, and understood that it occurred in the clinical trials when it was used as a glaucoma medication instilled directly inside the eyes, I felt comfortable recommending it to my patients to use it topically on their upper eyelids to grow their own lashes.
Full safety information is available at LATISSE.com and you should also talk with your doctor.
DD: Will Latisse grow hair on my face if it drips on my cheeks?
DS: It’s not likely to happen if you apply it properly, taking care to blot excess Latisse when it touches any area outside the upper eyelid treatment area. It’s important to apply the treatment as per the packaging instructions, taking care to blot excess Latisse when it touches any area outside the upper eyelid treatment area.
DD: Can I use Latisse to grow my brows?
DS: Latisse has not been studied or approved for use on the eyebrows. Latisse is only approved to grow lashes longer, fuller, and darker for those with inadequate or not enough lashes, also referred to as eyelash hypotrichosis.
Check important safety information and prescription information about Latisse at www.latisse.com and www.allergan.com.

How to flutter your lashes like a star

 Anne  Gravel -Lash QueenThis morning I saw network news report on lash extensions; it’s story we brought you over year ago. Check our archive if  they interest you. Editor Anne Gravel is our staff expert on the subject. Fang Wang of Toronto does the most fabulous job on them. There are now so many places to get them in New York and Los Angeles that you can and should price shop! Atlanta has many experts too.

There is no doubt lashes are hot! I have tried extensions and they look fabulous. But darlings, except for the most special occasions, I am a mascara girl. I have tried them all.  And mascara can be pricey. So what is a recessionista beauty to do? Fear not. Two of my all-time favourite mascaras at any price can be found at the drugstore.
For thick, flirty, sooty lashes Cover Girl Lash Blast is fabulous. The big over-sized brush and thick formula will give you lashes to rival any thing you can find at pricey department store stores. You may need to take care to avoid clumps, but you will have vavaoom lashes.
L’Oreal Paris New DoubleExtend
Finally! Affordable tube mascara for under $15! I like this mascara better than many of the pricier tube mascaras I have tired. The combination of a nourishing basecoat and the lengthening gel “tube” coat results in long, elegant, clump-free lashes. Using a new technology of gel polymers, this mascara makes lashes look up to 80 percent longer; I think they look amazing!
Both of these mascaras are long-wearing, smear-free and easy to remove. How flirty-fabulous is that?
West Coast Editor Alice Farnsworth likes a lighter look in her mascara. She swears by Maybelline New York Great Lash, as do many beauty editors. Contributor Svitlana Nalywako demands a natural look in all things; she likes Maybelline New York Define-A-Lash.