The cosmetic game has really changed since I was a kid. My daughter talks about makeup using words like highlight, bronzer and contour. She watches YouTube tutorials like it is her J-O-B. I can’t seem to take myself seriously enough to think that three more steps of smoke and mirrors would be a visual game changer. Do any of those things erase the last twenty years of sun, gravity and aging? Didn’t think so.
Since 14 my glam routine has included foundation, eyeliner, mascara, blush, eyeshadow and powder. All of the tried and true products that can make me look less mom tired. I thought I had a pretty good thing going. My daughter may think it’s odd that I don’t use primer or setting spray but last time I checked neither of us are doing a catwalk in the near future.
I am the mother of four. If I am going to try a new product it is going to be because it makes my life easier. The most time consuming part of my cosmetic routine has always been mascara. I don’t have luxurious lashes by any stretch, so historically I need 4 coats of a mega-volumizing mascara to make my eyes pop. And heaven forbid if the clumps take over and I have to wash my face and start over.
Then I heard about lash extensions. There is a technique where someone can attach a faux lash to YOUR sad, underachieving lash, giving it a very natural looking boost. Which seemed exceptionally better than where I read that the Parisians used to sew hair into the eyelids without anesthetics. The only thing that gave me pause is the price tag for a new set of lash extensions.
But then I counted up my Christmas cash and made an appointment. Shut up and take my money.
I showed up not really knowing what to expect. In all of my excitement I forgot to research what the process would entail. Hannah seemed super nice and knowledgeable. She was going to change my mundane mom life for the better.
She had a spa bed in the middle of her charming, little room and she asked me to climb aboard. Easy enough. Next, she cleaned my eye area because hygiene was imperative. Then Hannah explained that she was going to tape down my bottom lashes so they didn’t get in the way. This was sort of a weird feeling but nothing that I couldn’t handle.
Hannah explained that the process for a new set of extensions would take about an hour and some change and during this time I would need to keep my eyes both closed and still. In theory it sounded like she was requiring me to take a mid day nap. Most people would jump at the opportunity. Why can’t I be like most people?
Hannah was all ready to begin and asked me to close my eyes. Which for about the first five minutes wasn’t weird at all. The problem is I am not a person who relaxes well. It is just not my thing. Call it nervous energy. I need to be doing something. I am the person who has to play Candy Crush AND scroll social media as I watch TV.
At about the six minute mark things got weird. It was nothing that Hannah did. I blame my brain. I started hyper-focusing on the fact that I could NOT open my eyes, even if I wanted to. And suddenly, I wanted nothing more. But I am a rule follower and Hannah had been very clear in her expectations.
Also the room was too quiet. There was background music playing on low but Hannah worked in utter silence. She had told me before that many clients choose to nap, so she works quietly. I made a couple attempts at small talk. Which, it’s super weird talking to someone whom you barely know, while your eyes are closed. But her responses were short and to the point. Not conducive to chit chat.
The next thing I knew I was trying to talk myself down from a full on panic attack. I actually pictured myself leaping off the bed and bolting down the stairs, making my escape. Why was it so hard to chill? Should I tell her that I needed a break? I didn’t want to drag the process out any longer than necessary. Maybe I could stage a “fall” from the bed? That didn’t seem completely irrational.
I am mentally tough. I had to talk myself down from the ledge. I began a silent conversation with myself. Beauty comes with a price. I had WILLINGLY signed up for this. I was not going to embarrass myself/pass out/die on this spa table. Hopefully.
Slowly, that panicky feeling began to subside. I kept thinking about how I had a brand new appreciation for the sense of sight. As the procedure went on I managed to force myself into relaxation. Which sounds like a crazy way to explain it but that is exactly what happened.
Once the irrational fear passed I was left alone with my calm thoughts. The problem is when you are lying on a bed, in a strange room with your eyes closed and you aren’t in the throws of a panic attack, the line between wake and sleep becomes blurry. I found myself questioning which state I was actually experiencing. I am a side sleeper. Surely I was not asleep on my back.
Until I woke myself up snoring. I had been asleep. Now Hannah was judging me and my snoring. But I couldn’t look at her to observe her judgement because I still couldn’t open my eyes. Should I joke about how I had just snored? Or pretend like Hannah was the crazy one? The minutes seemed to tick by slower and slower. Was Hannah even still in the room? Was that even her real name?
Then she said: Okay! I am all done! Slowly open your eyes.
Before and after! Notice you can actually SEE the smile in my eyes in the bottom pic? Because the ordeal was over!
Apparently an hour-twenty had passed and my lashes looked AHHHHmazing. And no one died. But I had to get out of there pronto. So I threw money at Hannah and exited stage right.
The looming problem is with lash extensions you have to get what is called fills. Which, luckily take half as long. But before that task rolls around again I have to get a solid plan. Or maybe a shot of whisky.
Because Tonja left alone with sightless-silence is a horrifying state of mind.