I decided I would try the Hollywood Lashes Semi-Permanent Lash Extensions after driving past the salon for several weeks, wondering if I should have them done for my holiday in Greece.
I have never had anything like this before so I wasn't sure what to expect, but the process of the beautician applying each lash extension, one by one to my own lashes was actually quite relaxing as I didn't know how I would react to someone fiddling around near my eyes.
I wasn't overwhelmed by the resulting lashes. They were more obvious than my own lashes but for me the whole effect wasn't obvious enough. I do think this may have been the beautician's interpretation of what I would like though because I treated my daughter to a set a few days later and she arrived home with a long and lovely set of lashes that looked totally glamorous.
On holiday, my own semi-permanent lashes basically took the place of mascara. My eyes never looked naked at the pool or the beach which meant I didn't have to worry about being waterproof.
Around day five of the holiday though, I started to find the odd stray lash extension, which was strange because they looked very false and seemed to leave a big space where they had fallen from. A couple of weeks later, my Hollywood Lashes Semi-Permanent Lash Extensions, along with my holiday, were a distant memory.
I wouldn't become hooked on continually having these lashes because I don't think, for me, the effect was dramatic enough for them to replace a good quality mascara, but for a holiday I might try them again, if only to avoid the panda-eyed effect around the pool.
I actually looked up on the internet to find out if there were semi permanent eyelashes out there as I loved wearing falsh eyelashes so much but was sick of them only lasting a few days maximum and I came across the Hollywood Lashes website. I spent a while reading about the lashes and getting more and more convinced I needed them so then looked to see which salons did them. At the time I was living in Leeds and I found a salon called Boudoir Beauty that offered them so i immediately called them up and made an appointment to have the lashes applied.
When I went to have my lashes done, I simply had to lie down on a kind of bed (like in a doctors) and the lady put some protectors over my bottom lashes to keep them out of the way and also a band around the front of my hair to prevent any hairs falling down and getting stuck to my eyelashes. Then I was asked to close my eyes while she got to work. Around an hour and a half later she was finished and gave me a mirror to have a look, I was really happy as she had done them perfectly with longer ones in the outer corners and more lashes applied to give them a voluminous look without being too 'drag-queen'. I was told not to get them wet for 48 hours and then just not to use eye make up remover with oil in it.
I had quite a few comments from my colleagues at my work place about my eyelashes and 2 of the girls actually went and had theirs done at the same place as they thought mine looked so good (commission please I think Boudoir Beauty! Haha). I also met my boyfriend at a stage when I was constantly wearing these lashes and he would always go on about how lovely my eyes were (kept it quiet for the first few weeks about the lashes lol).
When the lashes are being advertised, it states that they last up to 3 months but I found that they looked really good for about 2-3 weeks then more lashes would start shedding and I would need to have them redone. If you don't fiddle with your eyes and the lashes I reckon you could probably get away with about 4 weeks before you would need them refilling.
I personally never got a refill as they were only about £20 less and obviously the lashes that aren't refilled will need refilling a couple of weeks later so I would always go for a new full set.
I think the eyelashes look fabulous and are definitely worth the money considering you pay around £15.00 a time for normal false lashes that last 1/10th of the time so if you do the maths there it is worth your while. In Leeds I was paying £55.00 a time which seems to be pretty reasonable. I am now living in London and have found a place that offers them for £50.00 which seems very good, especially considering its London, so may add more to this after I have tried them out in March (for my holiday)!
A word of warning, these lashes are extremely addictive! I felt bare without them once I'd got used to them and always went to get them done again as soon as I could get an appointment (sometimes not for a few weeks as they are so popular!).
Hollywood Lashes Ltd are a UK company who provide semi permanent eyelash extensions that *can* last up to 3 months. - I would note that personally after 2 weeks of having them applied almost half of them had fallen off, so I don't see how you could wear them for 3 months with no infills without them all falling out.
I have never had any other brands of eyelash extensions applied and was told that Hollywood Lashes are by far the best.
The lashes are applied individually, and each extension is applied directly to an individual, natural lash, one lash at a time via a qualified Hollywood Lashes technician. - perhaps this was the problem with mine, as whenever they fell out I would see that 2 or 3 of by lashes were attached to the 1 extension. So perhaps I had them applied by someone who wasn't the best example of the product.
The spiel from the company is that "Hollywood Lashes are weightless, waterproof, weatherproof and flexible due to a medical grade" I found that I could definitely feel the weight of them when I wore them, I was told that I should avoid getting them too wet (by the beauty therapist) and if I did get them too wet they did seem to fall out quicker.
I paid £65 for a full set of lash extensions which included a promotion of a free infill for the first time I had one. I wasn't told how much an infill costs after the first free one, and since I won't be having it done again I don't really need to know! Salons where I live charge around £65-75 for a full set and £30-40 for an infill. It all sounds fine when you think they are going to last 3 months, not so much when it's every 2 weeks you need an infill. The cost would therefore be approx £170 for 10 weeks use.
What happens at the salon
You will probably have to have a patch test of the glue to make sure you are not allergic, at least 24 hours before the application. I see that you are supposed to have 1 or 2 lashes applied as a test. I was not offered this option I just had a small blob of glue put behind my ear. Assuming everything is ok this is what would typically happen at an appointment -
I asked for the natural look which took about 50 minutes. I was told not to wear any makeup for the appointment.
My eyelashes were cleansed and then dabbed dry. The beauty therapist used a special sticky plaster type pad to stick my lower eyelashes so that if I blinked during the treatment my lower and upper eyelashes wouldn't stick together because of the glue.
Each individual eyelash was applied with tweezers, she told me that she used medium lashes in the middle and the longer ones on the outer edge. Once she had finished each eye she used this hand pump thing to blow air on the lashes which wasn't uncomfortable but I really really didn't like it, it just felt strange and I would have preferred to have just be left to dry!
I get the impression that some of the problems I have had were because the therapist applied the long extensions to premature lashes which couldn't hold them up, they kept drooping in my eye which was really irritating.
It isn't really painful having the extensions done but it is a bit irritating and I did really want to blink all the way through the treatment!
Once the treatment is complete, you will have to wait for a few minutes with your eyes closed, and then open them really slowly.
Once they were first done I was really happy with them, they looked really nice and I would still recommend them for a wedding or a honeymoon or a big holiday, but for everyday it is a massive amount of hassle. Also since I think the therapist who did mine wasn't really that good I would go on a friend's recommendation if you are having these done as you really don't want them drooping in your eye or waking up to find 10 have fallen out when you are asleep - I thought there was a spider on the pillow! This can look quite uneven, at one point I had one eye that had quite a lot of extensions and the other only had 2 left. I looked a bit mad.
There is usually no need to wear mascara after these are applied, but because they were so droopy I had to.
I would say if you have hayfever it would be a bit silly to get these done as they make you want to rub your eye anyway and with hayfever making your eyes itchy you are just asking for trouble!
Aftercare- you are not allowed to use oily makeup or makeup remover near the eye, do not go near water for at least 2 hours after they are applied and don't let a stream of water like the shower hit the eyes directly.
You also cannnot get your eyelashes tinted or permed whilst the lashes are on, but these can be done before. You have to use only water soluble mascara - I have no idea how you can check this though? My mascara doesn't have an ingredients list. You can't rub your eye either, which you don't realise how much you do until you aren't allowed!
All in all - if you have a great beauty therapist who does this for a decent price and does a good job I think it would be worth getting these done if you need long lashes for a couple of weeks. I wouldn't really bother for everyday as the expense and the hassle really isn't worth it.
In this review, I am going to talk about Hollywood Lashes from two points of view, the customer and the therapist, as I am both to Hollywood Lashes.
About Hollywood Lashes
Hollywood Lashes Ltd are a UK company who provide semi permanent eyelash extensions that can last up to 3 months. Hollywood Lashes were one of the first semi permenent eyelash extension brands and are by far the best. They add definition, volume and length to your lashes, they transform the eyes and are ideally suited to special occasions such as weddings, balls and parties as well as everyday living.
Hollywood Lashes were introduced into the UK in early 2005, the lashes are made of a soft, curved, synthetic material. Each individual extension is applied directly to an individual, natural lash, one lash at a time via a qualified Hollywood Lashes technician.
Hollywood Lashes are weightless, waterproof, weatherproof and flexible due to a medical grade, odourless and quick drying adhesive, designed to be applied to natural eyelashes. This specially formulated adhesive is the perfect bonding agent to create fabulous full, luscious eyelashes which can last up to 2-3 months depending on the life cycle of the client's natural lashes.
Individual Lash Extensions originated in Asia and since the introduction of the treatment to the UK, its popularity has escalated as more and more salons offer the treatment.
The Hollywood Lashes Kit boasts products of the finest quality and are reasonably priced. They are not the cheapest, but not the most expensive, and are by far the best, so I don't mind paying more than other products, and am definately happy to pay less than some companies charge, when their quality isn't even as good.
I trained in Hollywood Lashes last August at Ellisons training academy in Coventry. To apply Hollywood Lashes to a client, you must have attended a training course and have a certificate, which you are provided with on the day.
The application of Hollywood Lashes is not difficult and easily mastered. The main thing with this is practice, rather than knowing what to do. You are provided with a manual to help you if you forget, and I would recommend practicing on as many people as you can soon after, so it sticks in your head. I have been doing this on clients now since last August and am now fully confident, which I was from December.
The Hollywood Lashes training course will teach you through the basics such as client consultation plus every aspect of application. Theory and practical, removal, aftercare and trouble shooting is included in the course.
Hollywood Lashes main training venue is in Leeds. As well the our Leeds training venue they also have venues at Liverpool, Northampton, Shrewsbury, Bristol, Ipswich, Bath, Stockton on Tees, Ellisons at Coventry, Lancaster, Scotland and London along with mobile trainers who can visit your salon and carry out the training there, but this will have an additional cost and there must be a minimum of therapists. The training course is 1 day and is £180 per student.
Training is provided by skilled trainers who hold Teacher Training Certificates City & Guild or equivalent. The certificate you are issued with is recognised by the Guild Of Beauty Therapists who have accredited both Hollywood Lashes and all trainers.
I found the training I did very useful, the trainer knew what she was talking about and was willing to help out. At first I was worried I wasn't going to get the hang of it, but I soon did.
I purchased the Hollywod Lashes kit when I did the course, and have not run out since, I still have plently of applications left and have been using it frequently since August last year. Each kit includes everything you will need to start. In the kit you will get an: Instruction Manual and a CD Marketing Material which includes consultation cards, aftercare advice and pictures you can use to advertise which I have found very useful. This kit costs £295.00 excluding VAT, which takes it to about £320. You don't need to purchase anything on top of this to apply the lashes, it contains everything you need including a variety of sizes of black lashes and a pot each of blue, brown and purple lashes. The coloured lashes only come in one size which is the longest size, so you have to trim them all done once applied and they don't always apply so well but I have never used the blue or purple lashes, even though when I trained I was told they were extremely popular, I think this was a lie! As well as the lashes, you get a selection of glue, lash remover, all the tools you need such as tweezers and scissors and also a black volume up mascara. All the products in the kit are of high quality.
If you run out of any of the products in your kit or simply require more you can order them from Hollywood Lashes. As well as products to use, you can also purchase additional items for retail, such as the mascara and eye make up remover which is suitable for use with the lashes.
Hollywood Lashes also sell marketing material, such as brouchures and posters, although these are quite expensive, for £25 brouchures it will cost you about £20 and for an A2 poster it will cost you £10. Personally, I don't think the poster they sell is fantastic, especially for the price but it's better than a handmade one.
If you have read any of my previous reviews, you will have seen I have reviewed the Hollywood Lashes mascara - Volume Up. As my review stated, it really is excellent and it costs about £9, which isn't unreasonable. It works brilliantly with the lashes, so if you are a customer to Hollywood Lashes I would recommend it, and if you are thinking of doing Hollywood Lashes, it is definately something I would recommend retailing.
I recently placed an order with Hollywood Lashes and they have provided me with some 'Aftercare Kits' which include a mascara, eye make up remover and a eyelash comb. This isn't available on the internet but this actually saved me money than if I had of purchased the items seperately.
Your Natural Lashes
Just a quick bit of information about your natural eyelashes, so you can understand how long they last and why, and also why you can only attach a certain amount of extensions.
The human eyelash growns between 7-9mm in length and they are located in distinct rows on the eyelid. There are 90-160 eyelashes on the upper eyelid whilst the lower eyelid has only 75-80 eyelashes. The eyelashes on the upper eyelid are coarser and longer than the eyelashes on the lower lid. The eyelash grows for approximately 30 days and then rests for the rest of its life. An average life span of the eyelash is approximately 3 months, this is why Hollywood Lashes can last no longer than this, as it is attached to your own lash. For applying Hollywood Lashes, the eyelashes are split into 3 categories:
Mature - These are the longest eyelashes that are fully grow and could be prone to falling out at any time.
Premature - The premature eyelash is relatively new growth and has appeared through the eyelid by pushing out a mature eyelash. These eyelashes are very short and weak and not yet strong enough to carry an eyelash extension.
Healthy - The healthy eyelash has been growing for 2-4 weeks and is strong enough to carry an eyelash extension throughout its life. These are the eyelashes that an extension is applied to.
Applying the lashes
Before you have the full treatment, a patch test should be carried out on you, this is to ensure you are not allergic to any of the products. You should go into the salon 24 hours before the treatment and have 1 or 2 lashes applied to the outer corner of your lashes, most people don't have a problem but if you feel any irritation or swelling, you should contact your salon immediately and you shouldn't go ahead with the treatment.
To apply the natural look it will take you approximately 1 hour - 1 1/2 hours and for the glamour look it will take you approximately 1 1/2 hours - 2 hours. For a natural look approximately 25 eyelash extensions are applied per eye and for the glamour look approximately 35 eyelash extensions are applied per eye. The usual look you will give your client, is shorter lashes on the inside of your eye and longer on the outer corner, but this will always depend on the clients wishes. The application is simple, it is quite fidely but you get used to this. You have to cleanse the lashes, it is always best if the client doesn't wear eye make up prior to the treatment. Then you individually apply each lash, to do this, which one pair of the tweezers, you section out the eyelash you want to apply the extension to, then you select the correct sized extension, swipe it through the glue and then 'drop' onto the lash 1/3 of the way down. Rub it up and down on the sides and ensure the extension is attached. You then have to wait a few minutes for the glue to dry to ensure you don't get the other lashes stuck to it. The kit does come with a 'blower' but I don't like using this, it is quite like a balloon pump and quite large and to blow this in the clients face isn't comfortable, so I leave the lash to dry itself. You carry on doing this for the whole treatment, and as it takes a few minutes to do each eyelash, this is why the treatment takes so long. king sure you apply the extension to the 'healthy' lash will ensure longer lasting extensions. Mature lashes will tend to fall out first and will not have a very long life span and premature lashes will not have enough strength to hold up the extension. Eyelash Extensions are only applied to your upper lashes and never your bottom lashes.
How they feel & look
I have these done myself as well as doing them to clients, so I can also tell you how they feel and look from a client's point of view. Unfortunately, as you have to keep your eyes closed through the whole treatment I can't do these on myself, so I have to get someone else to do them. You must be lying down to have the treatment done, the therapist will tape your lower lashes down with a tape similar to micropore to ensure no glue gets onto these, sticking them together. The therapist will then tape the top layer of your upper lashes up in the same way, this is so they can apply the lashes to the underneath layer first to ensure you get as many in there as you can. They always say doctors are the worst patients, well I think beauty therapists must be the worst clients. I know I am a nightmare when I get these done, for some reason I just can't stop blinking when someone touches my eye, this does cause a bit of a problem, it makes it more difficult for the therapist to apply the lashes, but it can be overcome with a bit of patience, so if you're a blinker, warn the therapist before you start. Throughout the treatment, you don't feel anything, it's quite relaxing really, lying down and having your eyes closed for 1 hr and 1/2, just be careful not to fall asleep!
Applying the lashes, or the glue doesn't sting or irritate your lashes, it is comfortable throughout, I know alot of people worry that it may be painful but it really isn't. If you have ever had your eyelashes tinted, you may have experienced some discomfort or stinging, you won't feel any of that with this treatment. You may get a bit bored, especially as you can't read a magazine, but you will probably have a friendly therapist who will talk to you, or you could always take an Ipod to listen to some music. Even though you are lying there for 1 hr and 1/2, it really doesn't seem that long, it feels more like 1/2 hour. Once the treatment is complete, you will have to wait for a few minutes with your eyes closed, just to make sure all the glue is dry. You will then have to slowly open your eyes. The therapist will then remove the tape from under your eyes, now this is the only painful bit in the treatment, its just like removing a plaster, but it only lasts a second. You will then be able to see your beautiful lashes.
Once you're eyes are open, you don't feel they are there, they don't way your own lashes down. This is why they are so good for everyday wear, you can't feel they're there. The lashes look really natural, even though they are obviously a lot longer than your own lashes they never look fake. They are the same colour and size as your own lashes and blend in perfectly so you don't see a join. As they are individual, they just look like your own lashes, but much longer. They really do make a difference to your face. Your whole eye is opened up and looks fuller and brighter without looking over the top and the best thing is they look so natural. There is usually no need to wear mascara after these are applied, but if you do like to wear quite a bit of make up you may want to still apply some mascara, I did, but only when I was going out. I think eye make up is one of the biggest things to keep you looking awake, and these are great, you can just get up, quickly apply a bit of foundation and go, as your eyes will already look awake and beautiful.
The one thing I must say, is that the therapist can't work miracles, if you have hardly and lashes, you can't have that many extensions, you can only have them attached to what's there so you must be realisitic with your expectations. Also, if your eyelashes aren't perfectly curled and in a perfectly neat line, then the extensions won't be, to be though this makes them look more natural, no one has perfect lines of lashes.
How they last
Hollywood Lashes last as long as your natural eyelash does, which generally is about 3 months, but it would be unrealistic to say that every single extension will last that long. Naturally you will always get some lashes that naturally fall out earlier than others, so so will your extension. When the extensions come out, they don't pull your own lashes out, they come out when that does, which happens daily and is painfree. You will just notice more that an extension has come out, as you know they are there and that you will worry it has come out, but it is perfectly normal. When the extensions come out, they don't look uneven and un-natural, as you have so many in there that it won't be noticable. If you don't treat them very well, and don't follow the aftercare advice, then they also won't last as long. It is recommended that you keep then topped up and attend maintenance appointments, about one every 3 weeks, this will replace any missing lashes and will keep your look full. If you leave them till 3 months, then you won't have them all in and they will look a little patchy, so then you can just trim them down a little bit so they are less obvious and they will all shed naturally in time.
Contraindications to the treatment
If you suffer from any of the following, Hollywood Lash Extensions are not suitable for you, however, if the contraindication is temporary, you can get the treatment when it has cleared up:
Dry Eye Syndrome, Keratitis,Conjunctivitis or any other contageous eye disorders.
If a client has Glaucoma or Cataracts it does not affect a client's suitability to the treatment, they are still able to have it done. Other contraindications to the treatment are:
Weak eyelashes, allergies to the adhesive or tape, styes, cuts, abrasions and swelling in the area, blepharitis, recent operations or scar tissue in the area. Contact lenses must be removed prior to the treatment and if you are suffering from particularly bad hayfever and your eyes are watering, the bonds won't stick so you will have to wait till this isn't happening.
This is the advise on how to take care of your lash extensions, to make sure they remain looking as good as they did when they were first done:
For the first 2 hours:
Do not allow water to contact the eyelashes.
For the first 2 days:
Do not wash eyes or lashes with hot water or steam the face and avoid swimming, jacuzzi or steam bath/sauna.
Do not cover the eyelash area as it may cause eyelashes to curl, break or overlap each other.
Do not get your eyelashes tinted or permed whilst the lashes are on, but these can be done before.
Use only water soluble mascara.
Do not apply mascara on adhesive area as mascara remover will weaken the bonding on Hollywood Lashes.
Use only oil free eye make up remover.
Use in a downward motion, do not rub side to side as this can loosen the bonds.
Most of all, do not rub the eyes.
It is recommended that you book for your first maintenance session 2-3 weeks after the application, where any lashes that have fallen out will be replaced.
To keep up the lashes, you should attend regular maintenance sessions on a 3 week basis to keep the full look. By this time, the premature lashes will have now grown into healthy lashes for you to attach the new extensions to. This cycle will repeat itself month after month so there will always be a constant supply of healthy lashes to apply new extensions to.
Removal of lashes
If you no longer want your lashes in, then they can be removed by the therapist that did them, never try and remove them yourself as you could end up damaging your own lashes. It is a simple procedure and will take about 30 minutes. You can also just have one or two lashes removed, but this must still be done in the same way. In the Hollywood Lashes kit you get a 'De-bonder', which you apply to each lash with a cotton bud and gently loosen the bond. The client won't feel any discomfort at all.
How much they cost to get done
Average prices for the natural look are £70-80 and average prices for the glamour look are £80-90. This does depend on where you are, if you are in London the prices will be much higher and you are looking to pay in the £100's and if you are in more Northern regions, prices tend to be less, so you are looking to pay the lower figure. You will find alot more salons in London do this treatment, and the more north you go, the less you will find it. I do this in my salon in Warwick, but in that area, there is no one else that does it.
How Hollywood Lashes compare to other lash extensions
I have had other semi-permenant eyelash extensions applied to my lashes and Hollywood Lashes are by far the best and in my opinion the only ones that actually last until your own lashes shed. They look so much more natural. Other eyelash extensions that I have had applied look obvious, aren't fully attached to the root and they are too heavy for the lashes, so end up pulling my own lashes out - very painful. It wasn't just the therapist either, I know she is fantastic at her job and it was just the products. Hollywood Lashes have never done this to me or to any client I have done, they all come back.
There are so many differences between Hollywood Lashes and traditional eyelash extensions. For a start the appearance - Hollywood Lashes look natural and soft, just as your own eyelashes do where are traditional eyelash extensions look hard, inflexible and are obviously false. Hollywood Lashes are extremely strong and are permenant until the loss of your own eyelash at the end of the cycle, traditional eyelash extensions are weak and have a short life, it is easy to lose an extension and the loss is noticable. You apply about 25-30 individual Hollywood Lashes where as traditional eyelash extensions are knotted together with a bulbous end, making it more obvious. Hollywood Lashes have a long life, making them suitable for everyday wear but traditional eyelash extensions have a short life span and are not condicive to daily wear and tear. Hollywood Lashes are weightless, flexible, seamless and deceptively real but traditional eyelash extensions are hard, uncomfortable and obvious. And last but not least, Hollywood Lashes last for 2-3 months where traditional eyelash extensions last 3-7 days maximum.
Although it does take a while for them to pick up, everytime I have contacted Customer Services they have been very polite and helpful and have always tried to get me the best deal. This is why I always do telephone orders rather than ordering over the internet. The website does not always have the latest offers, where as if you call them, they will give you them, which saves you quite a bit. They will also tell you over the phone whether an item is out of stock and how long your order will take. They are also very happy to answer any questions you have about the products with great knowledge. I have never had a problem with Hollywood Lashes so have never had to call up with a complaint.
If you are thinking of having semi-permenant eyelashes applied or thinking of training to do them, then Hollywood Lashes are definately the ones to choose. They are by far the best in the market. They make such a difference to your eyes, they really open them, and you don't have to wear make up. They are natural looking and feeling, they are easily applied and removed and they are the only ones that last until your natural lashes shed.
An eyelash extension kit that includes 300 applications, as well as, the latest adhesives in black and clear plus eye friendly removing soloution /