Thursday, 12 February 2009

Review: Ardell Individual False Lash Starter Kit

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Note: Sorry, still having some image issues, I'll get all of these updated once I get a chance.

Today’s review is for Ardell’s individual false lash Starter Kit.

The kit comes with two colours of false lashes – black and brown – and each one comes in three different lengths. It also has a small bottle of lash adhesive, a bottle of adhesive remover solution to take the lashes back off again, and a pair of pointy tweezers.

When I first got this set, I was really excited to try them. I was going to wait until the weekend to try to put them on, but then my enthusiasm got the better of me and I had to go put them on before bed. I’ll also let it be known that this was my first experience with any sort of false lashes, and that probably has an impact on what I’m writing now.

For maybe a week before they finally came in the mail (They were an ebay purchase) I watched countless tutorials on YouTube on how to apply false lashes, both individual ones and “full strip” lashes. It looked pretty easy, and with the kit things couldn’t go wrong, right?

I’ll say now that applying false lashes is a skill that takes time to learn. Practice makes perfect and all that. For my first time, I’d say that it wasn’t as hard as it could have been, but definitely was not as easy as the tutorials made it out to be. Knowing the correct way to do it, knowing in your head how to go about applying the lashes… well, it’s not the same as actually trying to do it. It took a while for me to get the first few on, because I had to contort myself in a variety of ways just to be able to see my lashline without the tweezers or my hand getting in the way. The next step is to hold the lash against your eyelid while the glue sets for a few seconds. Easier said than done. I kept having to blink. Then the lashes would rotate and I’d have to mess around trying to turn them back.

As I went along though they did get easier to apply, so once you’ve had some practice they should be pretty easy to get a set on.

Anyway, I thought that the best thing about these lashes is that they can be worn for anywhere from a few days, to six weeks, depending on how you care for them. Sleeping with your face squished into a pillow like I normally do will obviously make them detach sooner, as will using oil-based makeup removers and cleansers, that kind of thing.

All in all it took me about half an hour to apply lashes to both of my eyes, and shortly afterward I went to bed. I was careful not to sleep with my face in the pillow, and when I woke up the next morning, the lashes were all intact, except for one which I quickly put back on before getting ready for work.

The lashes themselves do look natural once they’re on, but are kind of dramatic. I used the medium length ones on the outer half of my eyes, and the short ones on the inner half – and even then they were a bit long for my liking. I can’t imagine actually using the long ones, I think it would be way too intense. If applied correctly and maybe if you trim them a bit, they do look good. The main thing I would advise though is to put a line of liquid liner on after applying your lashes, because the “roots” of the false lashes are kind of obvious against your skin, but can easily be disguised by a little black eyeliner. The liner also helps them look less obvious, or at least in my case it did.

Last night is what I thought would be the major test: washing your face with lashes on. I put the lashes on after cleansing, and in the morning before work yesterday I washed my face but didn’t touch the eye area. Last night, however, I had to take off my eye makeup. I was very careful about how I rubbed my cleanser around the eyes, and managed to get it done without disturbing the lashes. So job complete!

This morning was a different story though. I think I’d slept with my eye into the pillow last night, so when I got up this morning and gently washed my face, about a third of the lashes were at least partially detached. I was going to leave them on for another couple of days to see what the lasting power is, but at that time in the morning it really just didn’t seem worth the time to take all the glue off the lashes and reapply them without being late for work. So, I took them off.

First I soaked a face cloth in hot hot water and then held it against my eyelids to try to “steam” loose the lash adhesive. After a few bouts with this about half of the remaining lashes came off without having to use the adhesive-removing solution. The rest were really stubbourn and were stuck on much better, so I went into my room and used a Q-Tip to gently rub the lash removing solution over the base of the lashes.

Just a note: that stuff burned when I got it into my left eye. I tried to rub it on between my natural lash and the false lash rather than just on top, but it just got into my eyes and stung like a mother. Obviously since the solution is designed to be used around the eye area, it wasn’t some kind of acid that blinded me, but it was still not a very pleasant experience. It took about three minutes or so to get the remaining lashes off, which to me meant that if I had glued the rest of them on as well as these ones, then none of them would have come off in the first place.

Another thing I didn’t like about this kit was the lack of aftercare instructions. It had a full set of instructions for how to apply the lashes to a client (Not on yourself, mind) but didn’t give any information at all as to how best care for them when they’re on. How to wash your face, what kinds of items to stay away from, how to take them off again – none of that was included, so it took some internet research to figure out what to do.

All in all it was a decent first experience and I’m glad I bought them and tried them. It definitely does take practice to perfect the application of false lashes and to help them stay on longer than 36 hours. And I commend those of you who have the patience to do it! Personally though I give these things a rating of FIVE OUT OF TEN. Even though they looked natural and would probably last longer if I tried again, I can’t say they’re something I couldn’t live without. The truth is it was fun, but kind of an unnecessary hassle – and the burning sensation from the remover solution was enough to knock off a couple of points.

Next I plan to try some full-strip lashes so I’ll update you on them another time. And of course, if I try the individual lash set again and have a better experience, I’ll update the rating here too, because it’s only fair!

Upcoming Reviews:
MAC Microfine Refinisher
Hanskin Super Magic BB Cream (Blemish Balm)
Shills Black Deep Cleansing Peel-Off Mask
Clinique Three-Step Skincare System

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