Regardless of how short or long your eyelashes are, if they don't naturally sweep upwards then they're highly likely to look shorter than they really are. Perming straight eyelashes to encourage a gentle curl will give them instant length and create the illusion of bigger, brighter, ultra feminine eyes.
Anyone with a particularly busy schedule will appreciate the low-maintenance nature of the eyelash perm. This semi-permanent treatment eliminates the need for eyelash curlers for up to six weeks, making the eyelash perm the perfect pre-holiday treat and a popular option for big events like parties, weddings, proms and photo-shoots.
An eyelash perm is a face-enhancing beauty treatment designed to give straight eyelashes an attractive upwards curl without the daily need for eyelash curlers.
On this page
- The origins of eyelash perming
- What to expect in your eyelash perm appointment
- Would I benefit from an eyelash perm?
- Eyelash perming for special events
The origins of eyelash perming
Who invented eyelash perming?
Exactly who invented the eyelash perm nobody quite knows. Some sources cite France, the world's beauty parlour capital, and others credit Japan due to the fact that eyelash perming became extremely popular there about 10 years ago.
Gap in the market
Although the eyelash perm itself is relatively new, the idea of curling the lashes is something that's existed ever since the first eyelash curler was invented in the USA in the early 1920s. Since then, thousands of mascara brands have developed special formulas designed to give straight eyelashes an upwards lift.
However, the problem with mascara is that it isn't actually magic, despite the fact that its applicator is called a 'wand'. It can't really defy gravity. All curling mascara can really do is prolong the effects created by the eyelash curler itself. Curling mascara formula is usually extra thick and light-weight so that it can set quickly over manually curled eyelashes, holding the curve in in place - much like styling gel for the hair. Unfortunately, the effects of mascara are usually short lived. After a few hours it tends to lose its hold, which gradually causes the lashes to unfurl back into their natural position.
Eyelash curlers too have their disadvantages. If too much pressure is applied for too long on the wrong part of the lash, a strange-looking kink can appear, which gives away the fact that they've been manually curled. In addition to this, the repetitive application of pressure to the lashes can weaken them and lead to eventual damage and even breakage.
The hair perm
The eyelash perm was undoubtedly inspired by the much earlier creation of the hair perm (invented in the 1870s). The hair perm solution used today contains the active ingredient ammonium thioglycolate, which works by breaking down the hair's protein bonds to permanently alter the structure of each strand. During this broken-down, receptive state, rollers are used to reshape the hair permanently into curls, waves or ringlets.
The same chemicals and processes used in the hair perm are used today for the eyelash perm, although extra precautions are taken to protect the skin around the eyes from contact with the perming solution.
Therefore, the eyelash perm filled the gap in the market for a low-maintenance eyelash curling treatment that lasted for long periods of time without causing too much damage to the eyelashes themselves.
What to expect in your eyelash perm appointment
You will be required to have a patch test at least 24 hours prior to your appointment. Your chosen beauty professional will dab a little perming lotion on a small section of your skin to test your reaction. If you do happen to react badly, it's far better for the reaction to occur away from the eyes in a contained area of your body.
Providing your patch test goes smoothly, you'll be invited back to the salon at a later date to have your treatment. Your beauty professional is likely to administer your eyelash perm in a number of simple steps, as outlined below:
- Eyes and eyelashes will be cleansed with a non-oily make-up remover.
- An appropriately sized rod will be selected depending on the look you wish to achieve (bigger rods for a gentler curl).
- A thin strip of glue will be applied to the main body of the rod, which your beauty professional will then bend and shape to fit the curve of your eyelid snuggly but comfortably. Your lashes will then be pushed upwards and secured to the rod.
- Once your lashes are fanned out over the curling rod without tangles or cross-overs, your beauty professional will then apply the perming lotion evenly over every lash using a disposable brush for hygiene reasons.
- Once coated, your eyes will then be covered with either a plastic film or a lint-free pad to generate warmth (heat speeds up the perming process).
- Once activated, your beauty professional will remove the perming lotion with a pad, using a gentle blotting motion.
- Another disposable brush will then be used to apply the fixing lotion over all the lashes.
- Again, a plastic film or pad will be used to cover the lashes and generate warmth. This will be left on for 10-15 minutes.
- After the allotted time, the fixing lotion will be removed with a pad. Your beauty professional will then gently remove the curling rods by rolling them downwards back over the lashes.
- A moisturising product will then be applied to sooth and cool your treated eyes.
- After any excess lotion is removed with damp, clean cotton wool, you'll be ready to admire your new look in the mirror.
Would I benefit from an eyelash perm?
Some people choose to have an eyelash perm before a big event, such as a party or a holiday. Others benefit from having the treatment administered regularly so they can maintain perfectly formed lashes all year round. How often you have your treatment is entirely up to you.
Here are some situations where people benefit most from having an eyelash perm:
Eyelash perming for special events
Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day, so what better way to polish off professional make-up than with exquisitely curled eyelashes? An eyelash perm will keep your eyelashes looking immaculate all day (regardless of any of tears you happen to shed along the way), so you can wake up the next day beside your new hubby looking as bright-eyed and immaculate as you did the night before.
Whether it's a weekend city break, a week in Marbella or a six-week trek through the Amazon jungle, let's face it - there's probably going to be a camera present and your pictures are probably going to end up on the Internet. Before the days of social networking, a week spent make-up free with your hair tied in a scrunchie would have been totally acceptable. Now, it's not just celebrities who have to be lens-ready at all times. An eyelash perm will withstand anything from scuba-diving and mountain climbing to a day spent sipping one too many mojitos on the beach. The treatment will give you the freedom to look great all day long, without having to waste precious holiday time sat in front of a mirror.
Parties are as much about the getting ready process as they are about the event itself. An eyelash perm provides a great canvas for immaculate-looking make-up, and offers a great alternative to false lashes or eyelash extensions.
An eyelash perm to fit your lifestyle
Whereas most people choose to have an eyelash perm for specific events such weddings and holidays, some choose to keep having their treatment redone once the perm fades out at the end of the lash growth cycle.
An eyelash perm could particularly benefit the following lifestyles:
Outdoorsy people -
If you happen to be an avid climber, diver, sailor, or general lover of the great outdoors, you'll know that it can be hard to maintain a regular beauty regime. Wind, rain, sea-water and sweat can all take their toll on make-up - and sometimes even waterproof mascara won't cut it. Many adventurous spirits choose to spend an hour every couple of months having their eyelashes permed so they don't have to worry about looking bad when they no longer have access to make-up or time to put it on.
Even if they do spend their days downing raw eggs and pumping iron in the gym, many female athletes still like to look good. Of course, when heat and exertion causes the surface of the skin to become sweaty and slippery, any make-up present can slide off easily. An eyelash perm gives the face an edge of elegance and femininity even in the absence of make-up, making it a popular treatment for professional sportswomen and avid gym-goers alike.
Models are always required to look good - that's their job. For this reason, many choose to invest in semi-permanent treatments to keep them looking well-maintained and glamorous at all times, both day and night, for minimum effort and maximum impact.
Career women -
Sitting on a packed commuter train at 6am with a curler clamped to your eye is not a good look. For women constantly moving from one meeting to the next, squeezing in time for a make-up touch-up can be a challenge. Sacrificing one lunch hour every couple of months for an eyelash perm can save you time and keep you looking smart and awake throughout the day.
Whether you've got babies or teenagers, feeling beautiful and confident in your own skin is just as important now as it was when you were a teenager yourself. Although eyelashes are only a small part of most women's beauty regimes, they still make a surprisingly big difference to the overall appearance of a face. Having an eyelash perm is a great excuse for mothers to get some much-needed 'me-time'. In the long run having semi-permanently curled lashes will free up time in a busy schedule.
Eastern Asian people -
Many people from Eastern Asian countries such as China, Japan and Korea have narrow, 'mono-lidded' eyes. A 'monolid' is the term used to describe eyes with no distinguishable eyelid crease. This can cause the eyelashes to grow downwards - something that can often make the eyes look even narrower. For this reason, the eyelash perm has proved a particularly popular eyelash treatment in that part of the world.
Types of eyelash curl
The type of curl achieved with an eyelash perm will depend on the length of your eyelashes and on the size of the rod your beauty professional chooses to use.
There are three different sizes of rod:
- 'S' - this is the smallest sized rod and is mostly used on people with shorter lashes for a tighter curl.
- 'M' - this is the medium sized roller used for slightly longer lashes.
- 'L' - this rod provides the loosest curl and is most effective on long eyelashes.
Eyelash perm cost
Like most beauty treatments, the cost of eyelash perming varies according to the location and reputation of the salon. Salons in London and the surrounding area are likely to be more expensive. You can expect to pay anything from £15 upwards for an eyelash perm.
Eyelash perm aftercare
An eyelash perm could last up to six weeks if you care for your lashes properly. You are advised to follow the following eyelash perm aftercare tips:
- Refrain from getting your eyelashes wet for at least 24 hours after the treatment.
- Avoid rubbing or touching the eye area as you could irritate the eyes.
- Don't spend too long in direct sunlight straight after your treatment, as this could weaken the perm lotion.
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