Monday, May 24, 2010

Aye, Aye, Ayelashes, Lucy!

I’ve written that I was prepared for losing my hair, which I was.  I have way cool wigs.  And, I’d thought that I would be ok losing my eyebrows & eyelashes.  Which, I really am, since there’s so much help out there, no one ever need to know that your eyelashes & brows are becoming extinct. 

Getting the knack to apply false eyelashes is another thing entirely.  Even before cancer, when I dressed up to go out, I tried to put them on.  I was never able to, but back then, it didn’t really matter.  Now, well, let’s just say I can count every lash I have left.  Coupled with my disappearing eyebrows, false eyelashes are no longer an option.

So I purchased a “starter kit”, which promised to be a foolproof way to take your lashes to fantasy lengths.  Groan.  I know for a fact that there is nothing foolproof in my hands.  Anyway, here’s what the kit looks like:
Can you see the little claw thingy?  That’s the applicator, for “ease of use” – giggle.  I’ve had 5000 piece puzzles that were easier to do.  But, I pressed on.  Below are the actual instructions.  Unfortunately, I didn’t read most of them before my first attempt at fantasy length eyelashes.  I mean, really, how hard could it be? 

Oh, yeah; I’m Lucy – duh!

1)    Gently peel off the lashes from the lash stand at both ends.
There’s nothing gentle about getting those lashes from the plastic restraints upon which they’re glued.  Let me rephrase that – SUPER glued. 
You have to put some elbow grease into the process, which generally results in some tearage of said lashes.  Either that, or some of them get tangled or maimed in some form or another.  Getting a prisoner out of solitary would be easier.

2)    Flex lashes a few times before application.
They should probably say that you should flex them in the SAME direction, & with no force whatsoever.  I ended up with one that was twisted so badly, one half was looking north & the other south.  Sigh.

3)    Trim lashes to fit your eye.
This would have been useful information to read (or, actually paid attention to) BEFORE I put the lashes on.  The pair I had must have been made for a pair of Cyclops.  I applied the glue (more information about that next), but had about half an inch left at the end of one eye.  At first, I thought I looked rather exotic & almost pressed on with the second one.  Then I stopped kidding myself & realized I looked ridiculous. 

I tried to peel off just the right amount of lash, & held a pair of cuticle scissors to the side of my eye with the sharp sides angled up.  Safety first!  However, being nervous, as soon as I began to snip, the whole eyelash became unglued (or, slid across my eye, taking most of my eyeliner with it), & I cut the stupid thing in half.  Along with whatever remained of the eyelashes on my right eye.

Another reason to trim the fantasy lashes is that you might not want them so long you can see them – all the time.  I spent a great deal of time looking up at them.  Every time I blinked, it was like a pair of wings was swooping down upon me.  I made cross dressers look demure by comparison.

4)    Apply a thin line of glue to the lashes, & let dry for 30 seconds until tacky.
Let’s see, where to start with this one, as there are two lines of thought about this.

I truly think that there should be a CLEARLY marked line where one should snip the tube.  Had I snipped it closer to the top, I might have had a nice, thin line.  Snipping it in the middle, however, produces a big GLOB o’ glue.  Trying to turn this massive amount of glue into a thin line is no small feat. 

Additionally, after one squeeze, you’ve dispensed at least half of the tube’s contents.  There’s no way to stuff it back in or put it in a small container & cover it tightly with saran wrap,  No matter what you do, the glue will win & you’ll end up with a nice, but small, ball.  A useless ball of bouncy, bouncy glue.

At this point, I should probably point out that one of the printed tips I actually paid attention to was that it was best to have your makeup on before the lash applying epic was to begin.  This would eventually both hinder & help me.

There are pros & cons to applying the lash while the glue is wet as water, & to waiting until it’s tacky.  Let’s explore!

Applying the glue while it’s wet is good in that you can move the eyelash around, & get it just where you want it.  This is the “wiggle room” theory.  However, even though the glue dries clear, moving the eyelash around results in messing up your eye makeup.  Your carefully applied eye liner is now both above & below your eyes, if you’re lucky.  If you’re not, it might migrate to your forehead & down to your cheeks & lips.

If you’re like me, you may end up with a big ball of glue in your eyes, effectively gluing your eyelids together & scaring the living daylights out of you & everyone around you.  I ran around screaming, “Call your father!  Call the poison hotline!  Call the glue hotline – wait, is there a glue hotline?  No, call the ambulance!  No, wait, don’t call the ambulance!  I don’t know if your father paid the association fee yet.”  (You don’t want to call the ambulance because that would definitely be in the newspaper under the “look at me, I’m an idiot” category [also known as the police report] the next day, in big bold letters:


Oh, the fun of living in a small town.

The tacky alternative is looking pretty good right about now, isn’t it?  Ah-hah!  There’re cons to that, too!

Once it’s sticky, it will stick.  And I mean, really, really stick.  You have to be pretty darned sure you have those suckers where you want them.  That can really be tricky, because if you have them too high above your natural lash line, you look like you’re in a constant state of surprise.  Too close to your nose & you walk around cross eyed all day.  Too far out & we get back to trying to kid yourself that you look exotic.

It’s taken some time, but I’m getting better at putting these dumb things on.  However, I was really nervous the other day when Matt came at me with a pair of scissors.  Apparently, I hadn’t trimmed that pair enough for him & he’s not keen on being married to a street walker look alike.

On the bright side, I only have two more rounds of super duper triple dose chemo left.  After that’s over, my hair & lashes should start growing in.  The only thing I have to worry about are the stories of women’s hair growing back a different colour.  But even if that happens, there’s always Nice & Easy for my hair & black mascara for my lashes.

Oooh, I almost forgot to tell you the best part!  When I lived out West, they had a line of makeup called “e.l.f.” (eyes, lips, face), & everything in their main product line is $1.00.  They’re the East’s version of Wet & Wild, or NYC.  Unfortunately, the East coast version of minimally priced (cheap) cosmetics has been gradually increasing in cost.  NYC carries false eyelashes, but they’re around $3.00, which sucks.  You can get brand name lashes for about $3.49 at Walmart, & around $4.49 everywhere else.  And when you have to wear them whenever you leave the house, that can get pretty expensive. 

Anyway, e.l.f. carries eyelashes for, get ready, ONE DOLLAR!!!  Seriously, folks, $1.00.  So I, in the interest of journalism of course, have purchased a butt load so I can tell you if they’re worth that huge outlay of money.

Ok, ok, I just got a butt load ‘cause I wear them & I’m not about to go wearing the same pair more than twice each.  It just doesn’t seem sanitary to me.  Plus, they’re ONE DOLLAR folks!

An even bigger yay for me, because I actually told Matt that I bought them.  He will, however, be a teeny bit surprised when the gross comes in.  Then, it’ll be back to the usual.

“Aye, aye, aye(lashes), Lucy!  You got some ‘splainin’ to do!”


Michele said...

Okay, okay.... I feel the need to actually comment on this one. For the record, Tamara has gotten VERY good at applying the eyelashes. Unless I actually make it a point to examine her eyes, I don't even notice that they're falsies.
Of course I don't know how many pairs of false eyelashes were sacrificed to attain that level of proficiency.

Katrina said...

Oh my gosh, Tam, I haven't laughed so much in a while!! This cracked me up because I just bought a pair of eyelashes. I've been too nervous to try them on....but with your brilliant example and tips, how can I go wrong? I am sure Michele is right, though. I can't imagine you not getting them right!! Keep your spirits up, and remember that I love you!!

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