Regardless of how you wear your makeup – red lips, a slick of balm, loads of contour, a little bit of eyeshadow – most of us can agree on the transformative powers of good lashes. I can’t even hazard a guess how much I’ve spent on mascaras over the years. And false lashes are a relatively new but equally addictive minefield. But either way, I can’t get enough of how a fan of lashes can make you look instantly more awake and more glamorous. I hadn’t tried anything in the way of eyelash treatments apart from the odd tint but I really wanted to see what all the fuss was about in terms of two particular treatments – lash perming and mink lashes. Very kindly, the award winning Up To My Eyes salon in Greystones invited me out and I was thrilled to get some expert treatments from Elaine McParland and her team over a period of months and then have the opportunity to compare the two for yourselves. Hopefully if you’ve been considering trying the Yumi Lashes or Mink Lashes, you’ll find this review useful!
Yumi Lashes// The Yumi Lash treatment is basically a perm for your lashes, something I was slightly freaked out about but also excited by. My lashes are long but incredibly straight so the thought of them being curled to perfection was all I needed to know. The process was simple enough, I sat there yakking and relaxing in a chair for just under an hour with my eyes closed while a hydrating patch was applied underneath my eyes and a silicone mould was applied above my upper lashes to allow the process of curling those bad boys like there’s no tomorrow. There’s no discomfort and the whole process is very relaxing apart from the slightly odd smell coming from the perming lotion that’s applied. It doesn’t smell great but it’s worth it. Your lashes are also tinted, meaning they’ll look jet black at the end which is a huge bonus. When I looked at my lashes I was instantly impressed, they were really curled in a way I’d never be able to achieve myself.
The effect lasts up to 8 weeks but a lot of that is also down to you taking care of the lashes and the natural cycle of your lashes. You’re given a serum when you leave and it’s vital you apply it morning and night initially and then at night time to ensure the lashes are soft and conditioned or they can get hard and brittle from the process and are more likely to fall out faster. I was diligent about using the serum and the first time I cleaned my eyes after 24 hours some lashes fell out and I was slightly freaked out. After that though everything was perfect and I totally fell in love with this treatment. I felt really confident without using any mascara but a huge bonus is that it enhances every single mascara you already own even if it’s relatively shite because your lashes are already bloody fantastic looking. It wore off very naturally and I felt like I got more than 8 weeks where I could see the difference. The whole process feels a little hard wearing on your lashes and therefore it wouldn’t be a treatment I’d opt for on a regular basis, but for times when you need that extra oomph, when you’re going on holidays, around Christmas etc. I would absolutely get this done again. The price is €65 (which includes the serum so repeat treatments are €50 as you’ll never get through it after one treatment) and I actually think it’s a really fair price for something that lasts so long. Yep it’s expensive and I certainly wouldn’t have the funds to do it all the time but compared to other treatments that wear off far faster than this, I think it’s worth every penny.
Mink Lashes // After the lash perm had well worn off I popped back out to Greystones to try their famous mink lashes. All the lashes in Up to My Eyes are synthetic which was something I didn’t initially realise and it was the reason I didn’t want to get the treatment so it was fantastic to be corrected and avail of it. This treatment took longer but I was lying fully down for it and honestly it was so relaxing I had to fight sleep for most of it. I was lucky enough to have the owner and lash extraordinaire Elaine apply them for me and she was as light as a feather so I could never even really feel what was going on. A huge amount of lashes are diligently applied over the course of the treatment but they’re done with such care to look natural that the finished look honestly appears both subtle and naturally dramatic. Obviously you can go as big and bold as you want but I wanted something that would look relatively natural on to begin with. The lashes look very natural and I could only tell the difference between my own lashes and the mink ones up close as my own weren’t as jet black. They feel very soft although there’s a little stiffness close to the base of the lashes and you need to be careful to not rub them and dislodge them. These are a very different beast from the perm and you can’t wear mascaras and I was told to be careful even with eyeliner. They’re delicate although over the weeks I found they were more hardy than I had first imagined which was great. I eventually started using my eyeliner every day and was just careful when removing my eye makeup. They are only meant to last about 4 weeks but I definitely got longer than that although by the 6 week mark there were only a few hanging on for dear life. If I was getting them done again I’d definitely opt for a lash tint first to compliment the mink lashes and make my own as dark as them and I think I would go for slightly more drama next time but that’s the beauty of trying them. You can get exactly what you want each time. Overall, it was such a time saver to wake up and already look relatively glam around the eye area and it’s a treatment I’d definitely feel works for big events. The price for a full set is €120 which is considerably steeper than the Yumi lash treatment. It’s a hefty price tag but they’re not just giving you an enhanced version of your god given lashes, they’re injecting them with a full set of extra lashes so it warrants a higher price. The cost means this is a big splurge though and it’s something I’d reserve for family weddings/big events. Depending on your budget you can choose smaller amounts as well but it’s worth noting it’s a bigger spend whatever way you look at it.
So which is best? It’s a tough call. I’d love to try even more dramatic mink lashes to get an even bigger effect and that may possibly sway me but I did really love the Yumi treatment for being easy to care for while still allowing me to wear my normal eye makeup and I love how it improved the look of every mascara I tried (plus it’s better value). The Yumi treatment seemed slightly harder on my lashes and the serum does a great job at keeping them in good condition but you need to be prepared to take a little time to look after them. If like me your lashes are relatively good but just lack that magic sky high curl, the perm is perfect for giving an eye opening effect. If however your lashes are short or sparse and you need something more heavy duty, the mink lashes were incredible and well worth trying if you can afford the larger price tag. Personally, around Christmas I’m going to go for the Yumi treatment again.
If you’d like to learn more, visit the Up to My Eyes website here , contact the team at (01) 2872781 or drop into them at 6 Theatre Lane, Hillside Road, Greystones.
*This review contains complimentary treatments but not an ounce of b******t or guarantee of compliments
So lads have you tried any lash treatments like these or would you be tempted?