So, TIFF is currently taking place in Toronto. If you don't know, TIFF is a time when a bunch of celebrities descend on the city to do celebrity things with other celebrities, and normal people continue to do normal people things. Traffic gets bad and people watch movies. That's about it.
While TIFF caters to the beautiful and famous, it's also a pretty pleasant time for folks like me who work in the media. There are lots of parties to go to and lots of free food to eat, and lots of brands who are eager to educate the press about their products while showing everyone a good time.
While I enjoy free stuff as much as the next person, I approach everything with a level head and never write about anything that doesn't wow me. There are plenty of products that are simply "meh" in my book, and they end up getting given away and never having a sentence typed about them.
But if I love something, I will enthusiastically pen an article or send out a tweet. I love sharing good stuff with others and love hearing about it when people love it as much as I do, too.
So let's talk about two of those things I'm currently digging right now, that were bestowed upon me during TIFF celebrations.
- Lash extensions from Winks Eyelash Boutique here in Toronto
- A press-on manicure from imPRESS
THE LASH EXTENSIONS
Lash extensions are a service as opposed to a product you can just pick up in a store, but I wanted to share my personal experience in case you were considering having them done for yourself.
My own natural lashes are alright, but nothing to really write home about. I get really annoyed with applying and wearing mascara, so the prospect of not having to wear it with extensions really appealed to me.
At my appointment, I was instructed to lie down on a paper-sheet-covered spa table, and the eye makeup I had applied that morning was removed. I was told that my natural lashes were beautiful, which surprised me since I've never thought much of them. I was also told that I had more of a natural curl on my left eye since I tend to sleep on that side more.
I then had gel eye patches placed over my lower lashline to keep those lashes out of the way, and some sheets of tissue were placed over my brows to keep just my upper lashline visible and ready for working on. The gel eye pads were a little uncomfortable but not at all painful, and after a while, you zone out.
I was having only 20 lashes applied per eye, for a natural look, which took about half an hour. However, the technician informed me that for full-on, glamorous sets (100+ lashes per eye), appointments can take up to three hours, and clients usually take that time to nap. Zzzz.
Once my eye area was prepped to receive the extensions, small false lashes were applied to my eye with extreme precision using a special sealant. The actual application felt kind of weird, but like I sad before, definitely not painful. Occasionally I'd feel a gentle tug on my lash, but it was never some searing yank. Just a bit of an odd sensation, really.
When the process was over, the gel pads were removed and I was allowed to open my eyes and take a peek. My eyes felt a little dry at first, but after a minute they were back to feeling totally normal, and I was so psyched to look in the mirror and see my brand new eyes.
The lashes looked gorgeous: long and doe-like and curling naturally, without making me look crazy-eyed. I was very pleased with the immediate results and happy that the process felt so clean and professional, and that my eyes were left without any irritation.
It's been almost a week now, and my lashes are still holding up since I've been following my instructions dutifully (like not getting them wet for the first 24 hours). I've loved not having to apply or remove mascara, and apparently I can expect these puppies to last for a little over a week more. With fuller sets of lashes, obviously they last longer, because the shedding process is longer.
I figured to really explain things clearly I'd write up a quick pros-and-cons list of my experiences with the extensions.
- Gorgeous lashes, obviously. Usually to get these kind of results, you have to deal with putting on falsies with glue, and I personally hate applying false lashes, so the extensions are a godsend.
- No mascara needed, as your lashes look thick, curled, and dark after the extensions are applied.
- I can't use my favourite cleansers--oil cleansers--to remove my makeup at night, as the oils can break down the lash sealant and cause the extensions to fall out. Bummer! To remove eye makeup and other makeup, I've found face wipes to be helpful, and then I'll go in with an oil-free eye-makeup remover and a q-tip to really make sure everything is clean and free of residue.
- The price. Quality lash extensions start at about $90 and can go up to $375 or more, and the places that offer deals (like little salons found on Groupon, etc.) usually aren't giving you the good stuff. If you're looking for a bargain, you may get poorly trained, uncertified technicians who apply wonky lashes that can lead to eye irritation. Not good. (Winks here in Toronto is Board of Health certified, so you know you're getting a professional experience.) I'd say if you want gorgeous lashes for a special event, definitely splurge!
Basically, if you've got the cash to spare and you're prepared to take care of the lashes, I would hands-down recommend getting some extensions for yourself. They look beautiful, and they make getting ready in the morning a lot quicker because you can stand to skimp on eye makeup.
THE PRESS-ON NAILS
Obviously a lot more low-maintenance than lash extensions, but just as fabulous. I had the chance to get my nails did with the folks representing Broadway Nails at another media suite I went to, and I left with retro, Malibu Barbie fabulous nails.
I picked out the Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-On Manicure in Behind the Scenes, with Medium Length. The shade of the nails is a bright orange-pink, perfect for hanging on to summer even though it's quickly fading (nooo).
First, my nails were cleaned of any leftover nail polish and then wiped with an included towelette in the set that helps prep nails for being pressed on.
Then we got to sizing. The set comes with 24 nails in various sizes, so you can hold them over your natural nails to find which size fits each finger best. Once we got that sorted out, we got to pressing.
Basically, you just peel and press, and they're on. Done. Stuck. And boy, do they last! It's been over a week and not a single nail has popped off, and even if one did, I'd have the leftovers included with the set to quickly fix the sitch. Woo!
Since the original shape of the nails out of the package was very square (not my thang), we clipped and filed them into a more vintage oval shape. Just like real nails, the imPRESS manicure can be shaped and trimmed to your liking, so if you've been scared off of fake nails because images of claw-like nails dance in your head, fear not. You can trim them down as short as you like (just as long as your own nail is shorter underneath).
Even if you don't want the effect of lengthened nails, I love these just for the fact that they give you shiny, chip-free colour that lasts. Instead of having to touch up chips, these stay looking perfect 'til you decide to peel 'em off.
Don't you love when things are easy?