Center City Salon Takes Your Lashes from Boring to Bold

All the beauty gurus know the latest thing in eye accessories is eyelash extensions. Celebrities have been using them for years to make their eyes pop and appear larger than life on the big and small screen alike. Center city-based Max Lash Studio brings this beauty trend to Philadelphia in a most fabulous way. I had a chance to try them out firsthand this week after lash stylist Elaine Adrakor contacted me via twitter.

First, a primer: eyelash extensions go beyond the rows of false eyelashes you’ve tried before. Instead of attaching a strip of lashes to your lids, single synthetic lashes are glued to each individual lash, resulting in a far more natural look. And instead of taking them off with your makeup at the end of the evening, extensions last between 3 to 4 weeks, falling out with your own eyelashes as part of the natural lash cycle.

Elaine sent me a list of detailed instructions for pre- and post-application. You have to be willing to go without eye makeup for your visit and for 48 hours following application. (Tough, I know, but well worth it in the end.) Part of the reason for this is that you cannot get the extensions wet for two days after they’re applied.

When I arrived at the studio, I filled out a questionnaire on my eye and lash health and chatted with Elaine about what I wanted from the extensions. My lashes are naturally pretty long to begin with, so I wanted to go for a fuller effect. It took her about 10 seconds to size up my lash length and then we set to work. She had me lay on a massage-type table and placed a gel pad under my eye. This serves two purposes: it covers the lower lash line, keeping it out of the way while the lashes are applied to the top layer. It also provides intense moisture to the under eye area, handy since you can’t use any eye cream on the area post-app. Elaine then put on her magnifying glasses (think dermatologist) and set to work gluing synthetic lashes to each of my natural ones. She selected lashes of varying lengths to mimic the natural lash pattern, increasing gradually in size from the inside of the eye outward. I was instructed to keep my eyes closed at all times and keep as still as possible.

Because I got a full set of extensions, the entire process took about two hours. Max Lash offers several different services, though, which take anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on the look you want to achieve. When all was said and done, I was amazed at the difference the extension made. Most of my lashes are blonde and nearly invisible without mascara. With the extensions, they’re big, black and bold and will stay that way for 3 to 4 weeks!

For details on Max Lash Studio’s services, visit

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