Meanderings of a Beauty Newbie

Allow me to set the scene for you. You’re driving down Greenbrier Parkway, completely overwhelmed on either side of you by all the shopping opportunities. To your left, Greenbrier Mall, standing proud and tall in all its glory, flanked by popular and delicious chain restaurants to curb your appetite after a busy day of retail therapy. To your right, a whopping total of three shopping centers containing more restaurants, boutiques, department stores, tech stores, a collection of newly constructed condominiums, and…. Wait, what’s that back there?

Nestled comfortably between a Sports Clips and Young Chef’s Academy sits a quaint little shop. Well, is it a shop? You’re not sure. You’ve entered Greenbrier Town Place for a hair appointment, or perhaps to enjoy a relaxing hour at the spa, or even to drop off the little ones to children’s cooking class. But there’s definitely something new that you hadn’t noticed before, and it’s caught your attention.

Just above the door is an attractive sign brandishing the name SOHO Lashes, the first word big, bold, and black, the second word feminine, a dainty cursive in a shade of magenta that pops against the cream-colored building. Just above the title is an enticing pair of eyes– with pink irises, no less– garnishing long, flutter-worthy lashes. Peeking through the window, you can tell whatever this business is, it’s no retail store. The setting inside is more similar to that of a salon. Your observations render just one question: What do they do?

Curiosity peeks; You enter the cozy little building. The inside radiates glamour and feminism. To your right, a hand-painted wall mural of a traditional-yet-alluring Victorian woman, eyes closed, lashes fanning out across her face. Just ahead of you is a magnificent display case of black and gold, lights shining down on the pink satin which lines the insides of the shelves. And in front of that, a sparkling desk just big enough to seat one friendly receptionist (that would yours truly).

Your next step after taking in the atmosphere would probably be to ask me for the low-down on SOHO Lashes. And I’d be more than happy to recite my perfect speech of acquired knowledge on the lifestyle and process that is eyelash extensions. However. You are not a passerby who wandered into our boutique inquiring about our services; you are an audience to our blog. And I for one love audiences, so I’m going to be selfish enough to tell you my own story ๐Ÿ˜‰

For starters, I am what we will refer to on this blog as a beauty newbie. The only types of make-up I know how to apply are mascara and chapstick. I know nothing about your natural eyebrow arch or lip line. And frankly, I’ve never even seen an eyelash curler. As far as the eccentricities of feminine beauty go, I am relatively simple. Now, this is not to say that I don’t enjoy looking nice. Where my supply of beauty products might be lacking, my wardrobe more than makes up for it.

Wardrobe notwithstanding, I’m not the most up-to-par girl on the latest lavish beauty secrets. Imagine my bewilderment when SOHO Lashes owner Khadine Ellison approached me about sporting eyelash extensions for a photo shoot. After she explained, I, being the beauty newbie that I am, compared the process to hair extensions: basically it takes what you have and giving yourself a little something extra for your desired look.

The big difference for me was that eyelash extensions sounded way more intricate. Individual lashes? Applied one millimeter away from your follicles directly each natural lash? It sounded like a long process that would require much patience and some steady hands. And the result of this process would basically give you the same full effect that, say, eyelash strips would give you, only they look much more natural, last much longer, and are much safer and lighter on your eyelashes. Now, allow me to reiterate that I am a beauty newbie. I couldn’t have possibly appreciated this service for the marvel that it was worth, but I agreed anyway simply because I like being primped and dolled up by other people. It’s relaxing.

The next day I arrived at the location. There was another model for the shoot there, already finished getting her extensions, and I marveled at her lashes. They were as full and long as Kim Kardashian’s. I was slowly beginning to take into account what I was receiving for this photo shoot, and excitement sky-rocketed. Khadine placed me on a comfy, blanketed bed, something like a massage table only you lay face-up, with a neck pillow to wear for the duration of the procedure. Soothing music played in the background, and the room was nice and warm. Had I not been so wired with excitement, the atmosphere would’ve coaxed me right to sleep.

But I stayed awake and kept up a steady chat with my lash technician, noting the whole time how relaxing the application felt and how weightless the extensions seemed to be. Fast forward about two hours, the lashes were done and it was time to go into make-up. Before I got into the make-up chair, however, I had to catch a quick glimpse at the lashes. That quick glimpse turned into a long, long stare. The entire photo shoot I just kept blinking, impressed beyond belief. The best part for me was how my lashes felt naked, but looked fully dressed! And for those of you who’ve had extensions before, I don’t need to tell you how inadequate your natural lashes can feel after you’ve had a taste of lash heaven.

So can a beauty newbie become a beauty newbie lash addict? Stay tuned to find out ๐Ÿ˜‰

-D.R.

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