From cheap drugstore steals to vibrating and spinning indulgences at the department store, mascara is usually the one thing women say they can't leave the house without.
And now that extensions, conditioning treatments and growth drug Latisse are becoming increasingly popular -- and are all options I've tried -- I decided to jump on the flirtatiously fluttering bandwagon to give the latest lash sensation a go.
Named LashDip, the product is the creation of Jessica Harley and Gina Mondragon, who call it "the modern woman's answer to mascara."
How the treatment goes down: You lie back and close your eyes, as the technician ever so lightly nudges up your top lid to apply a mascara-like ink to your lashes. The pliable formula allows the lash to be sculpted in an upward curl, and with as little or as much thickness and length as you want. After several minutes, the ink dries to a glossy hold.
The brand claims the semipermanent finish lasts for up to six weeks, and is waterproof to showering, swimming and sweating once completely set, which takes 24 hours after initial application. While the product sets, you'll have to refrain from swimming or getting hot water on your lashes so as not to interfere with drying.
As with all things beautiful, there's some maintenance involved. The brand urges you to refrain from using an oil-based makeup remover, so that the molecules don't break down the product. (I used Neutrogena's Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover.) I also received a clear sealant wand after my application, which I was instructed to brush through lashes once a week to maintain a brilliant finish.
There are also some no-nos. When wearing LashDip, you're advised to avoid using an eyelash curler (I found that you don't need one), to refrain from sauna and facial steam use (I committed this atrocity without noticeable effect), and to abstain from rubbing and pulling at your lashes (obviously).
So how did my LashDip experience fare?
First of all, understand that I asked for a more dramatic look; I would live in false lashes if I had the time, energy and some fabulous reason to do so. Another client who received the same service requested a natural look, and I was struck by the visibly different results we both ended up with, despite coating our lashes in the same product. My more voluminous request simply required more layers of application, just as a mascara would.
For the first two weeks, I was astounded by my perfectly curled, thick, long and jet-black lashes. What an exhilarating experience to walk out the door without having to fuss with mascara, a separating spoolie brush or eyelash curler. Freedom!
And the best bonus was that I also had it applied to my lower lashes. No woman has ever coated her bottom lashes without summoning smudge, flake and raccoon eye by day's end. But LashDip maintained that fresh just-touched-the-wand-to-my-lashes effect on the bottoms for weeks, with nary a smear in sight!
It was also liberating to enjoy peaceful sleep without waking up to mascara bits on my pillow, and I sure didn't miss the mascara removal process that I realized took up several minutes of my day in front of the bathroom mirror.
My LashDip results stayed bunny beautiful for about two and a half weeks before I noticed some wear and shedding. Because eyelashes have a natural 60-to-100-day life span, shedding and texture changes are inevitable, no matter how carefully you take care of them.
While the remnants of LashDip can last for up to six weeks, the brand suggests you return for a touch-up refresh every two to three weeks -- and therein lies the catch. With all of the amazing results you'll experience, it does take time and money to maintain them.
My initial application of top and bottom lashes took about an hour and a half, and my touch-up about 30 minutes. I did double-task by sneaking in a nap during the procedure, which may be a plus for you busy wonder women out there.
I could also see LashDip as a worthwhile indulgence for a wedding, honeymoon, special vacation or similar occasion when having the look of gorgeous lashes without any work for a couple of weeks is something you -- and, ahem, a good-looking someone else -- could especially appreciate and enjoy.
While fees for the service can differ around the country due to the varying cost of living, Harley tells me that initial applications range from $100 to $200, while touch-ups can range from $60 to $90.
But if you try them once, you'll likely have a new desert-island beauty product. That is, if you'll be rescued within a couple weeks.
To see before and after pictures with lash-growth drug Latisse, check out our review here.
Watch the video below for our easy tips to apply false eyelashes like a pro.