If you’re partial to a faux flutter, it’s likely you’ve got an eyelash extension expert on speed-dial. (The Bazaar beauty team are eternally loyal to Edyta Kurowska, if you’re London-based and after a recommendation.) The best can craft a set so fine and natural looking, no-one will believe they aren’t your own God-given lashes.
But while the salon offering has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, many options sitting in the at-home false eyelash market still feature spidery strands and bulky strips making for a rather unappealing proposition (iShimmer's minimalist falsies buck the trend here).
Hoping to finally bring the false eyelash market up to date is Lashify: the at-home kit that bridges the gap between a professional semi-permanent set and a juvenile stick-on strip.
Founded by Sahara Lotti, who has designed, produced and trademarked every component herself, Lashify is the first brand in the market to offer what it calls 'DIY lash extensions'. With 280 patents currently under her belt, her mission is to offer something that looks as seamless as a professionally applied set of lash extensions, at home.
The brand has already become a mainstay on the red carpet, with the likes of Emma Stone, Sandra Oh and Selena Gomez all wearing the lashes at this year's awards ceremonies, from the Critics Choice Awards to the Emmys.
The trick is the ‘underlash’ application method. Where traditional false lash strips are placed over the top of your natural lashes, often leaving an obvious line atop your eyelid, Lashify’s spindly lash clusters are placed beneath your lash line, meaning they blend in brilliantly, and allow you to apply eyeshadow seamlessly, if you so wish.
Sure to be welcome news for anyone who has tried trimming a strip lash to fit the curves of their own eyelid, the Lashify system is designed to be entirely customisable: you can apply as little, or as many, lash clusters as you wish, and choose from a range of styles and sizes, from the most discrete, ‘your lash but better’ minis to full, dramatic styles worthy of the biggest nights out.
How does Lashify work?
So, here is where it gets a little complicated: with so many first-to-market components involved, the Lashify system can take a minute to get your head around. If you’re new to the brand, your first purchase should be the Control Kit, which contains everything you’ll need to get going.
First, apply a thin coat of the Whisper Light bonding solution to clean lashes (don’t use a balmy cleanser or eye cream beforehand). This is essentially your lash glue, and the tube is double-ended: use the black formula to brush lightly through your lashes, and the clear one in your lash line to mark out the base of each lash cluster. Once the bond has turned clear, you are ready to apply your lashes using the Fuse Control Wand. This clever tool is essentially an ergonomically designed tweezer, intended to grip your lash clusters without bending or damaging them, and to allow even the shakiest of hands to apply them precisely.
Place each cluster underneath your natural lashes, just above the root, avoiding the skin of the waterline. Once you’ve applied them all, use the wand to gently press them securely into place. For extra longevity, apply a coat of the gloss-effect Glass sealant.
Lashify: The Bazaar review
I should preface this by saying that I am not quite the target market for Lashify: the last time I wore a false lash was during my first year of university, and I’m not a regular extensions wearer either (although I did make a pilgrimage to the aforementioned Edy for my wedding, quickly seeing why she’s so adored).
As an unwavering faux-lash phobic, I didn’t have a burning desire to road-test the Lashify kit. I’m wary of beauty tools that seem fiddly or frustrating to use, and have never seen a DIY lash strip that didn’t look a little, well, naff.
But an initial glance at the brand's Control Kit quelled my apprehension: the quality of the design is clear to see, and it’s obvious that every stumbling block has been considered. The lashes themselves (I used the entry-level A 10) are slender and discreet enough to look entirely realistic, even at close range, and the bands at the base are impressively fine. Stick to the more natural options, and you'll get a flattering, eye-opening result that's bound to convert any newcomer.
Yes, the clusters are spindly and featherlight – I did lose a couple to the floorboards – but the delicate nature is all part of the plan. Anyone who has experienced a heavy, welded-on lash extension will know all too well the damage they can do to your natural lashes, whereas Lashify is designed to keep your natural lashes protected. Once you're ready to remove, the brand’s Melt Away dual-phase cleanser will sweep them off with no rubbing or tugging required.
My first attempt was admittedly a bit of a mess: I ended up with uneven lashes and one that fell off before we’d ordered dessert. But by attempt number two, it all seemed to start making sense, and in 30 minutes (this isn’t something to attempt after the Uber has been ordered) I had a remarkably natural-looking set of lashes. Within a fortnight, my results were lasting an entire weekend and even had one friend assuming I’d been to a salon.
There were a couple of clever hacks that helped me master the art. The magnifying mirror in the Control Kit is designed to lie completely flat: try placing it on a table, then looking down into it when you apply: you'll be able to see what you’re doing so much more easily. Secondly, ensure you aren't applying your lashes too close to your waterline: around 1-2mm up along each lash is the ideal placement. If you’re shaky-handed, I’d recommend purchasing the brand’s thoughtful practice pack to ensure you don't waste any precious lashes while you’re getting used to the technique.
There’s also a host of extra tools and products to explore on the site, including a menu of different bonding solutions in varying strengths – but I’d see how you get on with the original Whisper Light formula (which comes included in the Control Kit) before investing in anything else. It’s likely all you’ll need.
It’s also important to consider your everyday make-up look when deciding if this is the right product for you: those partial to a dark smoky eye or precise eyeliner may find make-up removal becomes a bit of a chore (and denigrates the glue holding your lashes on).
What’s more, if you’re looking for something to stick on in a hurry, you aren’t destined to become a Lashify loyalist: stick with a trusty lengthening mascara. But when time is on your side, this unique beauty innovation is rather revolutionary: with a little practice and perseverance (and a watch of the slick how-to videos on the brand’s site) I’m sure you’ll be converted as quickly as I was.
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