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We live in a world that’s obsessed with following the newest trends, and when it comes to beauty, sometimes those trends can be really extreme and even a little scary. Needles to the face? No thanks. Putting fillers in my lips? Hard pass. (Can you tell I’m not a fan of needles?) But there was one beauty trend that I’ll admit I was a little interested in trying — lash extensions. I have several friends who are television reporters who wear them daily, and they always look incredible, so I was intrigued to say the least.

When I finally decided to try them, I had no idea what to expect during the process or even what the outcome might look like. I had so many questions, and I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. Would it be painful? Would my eyes feel heavy once they were on? Could I sit still long enough to get them? Would the “glue” hurt? Would they look fake or spidery? How long would they last? What’s the upkeep and about 1,000 other questions! (Look, I’m a journalist — I naturally have lots of questions going into just about any situation … )

One trip to Charlotte Lash Therapy Beauty Bar and all my questions were answered, and I left feeling beautiful.

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Amanda Lesmes and Stephanie Leigh of Charlotte Lash Therapy Beauty Bar

Charlotte Lash Therapy is located in Historic South End at 323 East Blvd., and is owned by two hard-working moms, Amanda Lesmes and Stephanie Leigh. Both are highly trained and certified with several years of experience. My appointment was with Stephanie, and from the moment I walked in, she calmed my nerves and walked me through everything that was happening. She even sent me an e-mail beforehand to prepare me for the day.

To prepare for the appointment, you’ll be asked to take off all eye makeup and make sure there’s no residue left on your lashes or lids. Take out contacts and limit caffeine intake — it can cause your eyes to flutter (something I would have never thought about).

The most awkward part of the whole experience is having your lower lashes taped down so they don’t get in the way. It doesn’t hurt or anything, it just feels strange for a minute or so. Other than that, it’s easy sailing. Basically it’s two uninterrupted hours with your eyes closed under a comfy blanket with music playing in the background. I thoroughly enjoyed not being able to look at my phone or e-mails and take the time to just be still and unplugged.

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The tranquil treatment room and the cozy blankets I fell in love with

For a classic full set of lashes, you’ll typically have between 100 to 200 individual lashes placed on each eye. The lashes are attached to the base of your natural lashes without ever touching your eyelid — and most importantly the extensions won’t damage your own lashes. (Stephanie has the lightest touch, I honestly didn’t feel anything the whole time she worked on my lashes.) A classic full set of lashes starts at $175.

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A close up of the lash application

Once the extensions are attached, your lash therapist will cut them to perfectly fit your eye shape. After your lashes are shaped and dry, you’re all set! You’ll get a small kit with a few disposable mascara brushes for you to keep your new lashes brushed and fluffy.

Charlotte Lash Therapy|

Disposable lash brushes

As for the maintenance and upkeep, everyone’s lashes fall out differently, so Stephanie said clients usually come in for a lash fill within two to three weeks depending on loss. Pricing on fills varies depending on the amount of time it takes to place the new lashes. Click here to see the fill price guide.

Like I mentioned before, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from getting lash extensions, but once I saw the final product I was completely blown away. My lashes were really full, and my eyes were more defined. People have definitely noticed the lashes, but not in a “they look fake” kind of way. More of “WOW! Your lashes look great!” and then I blush and have to admit they aren’t real.

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My before and after pic. What a difference!

I personally didn’t need to wear any eye make up — mascara or eyeliner — with the lashes on, but if you want a more dramatic look, Charlotte Lash Therapy carries a water-based mascara and lash sealant that helps protect the lashes and extend how long they stay on.

If you’re looking for something dramatic to up your beauty game, I highly suggest trying lash extensions.

Charlotte Lash Therapy is located at 323 East Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28203. Hours are Sunday & Monday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To see Charlotte Lash Therapy’s other services and prices, click here.

Thank you to Charlotte Lash Therapy for answering all of my many questions. You can see more of Stephanie’s work, here and Amanda’s here. The incredible photos were taken by Charlotte Lately


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