Attaining longer lashes has become something of an obsession, and it now goes above and beyond eyelash curlers and specially formulated mascaras.
At Stephen's Hair and Tanning Salon in German Village, customers can get lash extensions, similar to hair extensions, as well as have their lashes tinted or permed - and yes, plenty of people get all three done back-to-back.
These eyelash services erase the need to bother with lashes during your daily makeup routine, and the customization options are endless.
"It can go from looking as natural as possible to extreme," said Stephen Henry, who owns the salon and handles many of the eyelash appointments.
Lash extensions, which look like individual false lashes, come in varying lengths and thicknesses. They are brown or black and available in either man-made fibers or mink.
Lash tints, designed to brighten eyes without mascara, come in a range of natural hair colors. And using chemicals like those used for a regular perm, natural lashes can be given a semi-permanent curl.
While Henry consults with each client to understand her preferences, a lot depends on the state of her natural lashes, he said.
"The lash extensions can't be two-thirds longer than their natural lash - if so, the weight will make them fall," he said. "Some come in and want their eyelashes super, super long," which isn't possible for everyone.
A customer lies on a padded table and closes her eyes while Henry uses tweezers to attach a faux lash to each existing lash, first dipping it in an adhesive that's designed to keep extensions in place until the real lash falls out naturally.
The process takes a little less than an hour and is pretty much pain-free, he said.
The only care required for lash extensions is a quick brush-through with a finger each morning. Stephen's offers touch-ups, called "balances," to fill in after a few weeks' worth of lashes have shed off.
Women often have eyelash services done for a special occasion, like their wedding, and get hooked. Henry's eyelash clients come from as far away as Los Angeles, he said.
"It just makes things easier," Henry said. "A lot of women don't like to mess with mascara."
186 E. Whittier St., German Village