Even my son's girlfriend looks at me with THESE beauties - HOW. RUDE.
Yes they're real - I tried pulling them out. (WHAT?)
It's not that my own lashes are non-existent or short - it's just that they sit on the edge of my eyelids like shop awnings... this is me as per my normal day with mascara - yes - WITH mascara. A couple of coats. And curled...
Me as a serial killer.
Pretty average - at best.
And close up....
Nothing exciting there. And how TEDIOUS is the curling and the coating... the coating and the curling...
So - with a skip in my step (ok - I never skip - but you get the picture) I went off to Marylebone High Street to see the lovely Daxita Vaghela at Atherton & Cox.
Daxita is to lashes and brows what I am to LFC, Duran Duran and 60's James Bond movies - an expert. This is the woman who was going to give me the lashes that would compete with my children's - and their girlfriend's! I used to say the only thing fake about me was my hair colour - now it's the hair colour and the lashes. (Who counts make-up??)
Firstly, Daxita is lovely and puts you immediately at ease - there is no attitude here - just a warm, friendly openness. I love attention to detail - and I got that here. She even has the bed laid out so your legs are completely elevated - and I mean elevated - to prevent backache while you have the treatment. (This is a big deal when you have MY back - did you not SEE the 4 children part..?)
When you first meet Daxita - she talks to your lashes - like your hairdresser talks to your hair or your colourist talks to your roots... she is sizing you up while you are taking your coat off. It's oddly reassuring - she clearly treats everyone as an individual instead of taking the 'one-size-fits-all' attitude. I was offered 4 stages of lash enhancement. Stage 1 being 'natural' going up to stage 4 for 'obviously fake'. I went for natural. Thank GOD. This is serious lash enhancement.
Application is her specialty - Daxita takes 45 mins - 1 hour to do what other lash people take 3 hours to do. Yes really. 3 hours - save me - that's two football games or 2 James Bond films people! Or approximately 1/10 of the time I would like to spend alone with Simon Le Bon... anyway - I digress.
Daxita asks what you would like to achieve - I hadn't really thought about it in-depth before but did say 'I'd like to be able to see them and not have them look like shop awnings please'. Next thing you know I'm on my back with my legs in the air (stay with me) while she works her magic.
We discuss how she got started (25 years ago).. and her children (3).. but much of what we discussed I can't remember because within no time she is standing over me with a mirror saying 'what do you think?' - yes - I fell asleep - and snored - don't judge me (did you not SEE the 4 children part..?).
And they are... well.... spectacular. Don't take MY word for it... check ME out:
Me as a serial killer - with fabulous eyelashes.
The biggest differences for me are how bright the whites of my eyes look and how much more open my eyes look in general.
And the same eye as 'before' - close-up...:
It feels really odd at first when you catch yourself in the mirror - and when you look up and you can feel your lashes touching your eyelids. Is this what it feels like for all those smug people who have this going on naturally?? Coooolll....!!
The true test comes when I get home and my husband looks at me suspiciously and says 'What's wrong with you?' 'What have you been up to?' 'You look like you've been up to something.' As with most gentlemen - he can see I look different - but he has ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what it is...
It takes our daughter coming into the room and saying 'Wow Mummy NICE EYELASHES!' for him to peer at my eyes and say 'Oh. I thought you were having an affair.'
Steady love - I may have had the lashes done - but I'm botox free - which means I can still give you the eyebrow and do THIS:
I thought aftercare would be a challenge for me - I love nothing more than tearing into my face with an oily cleanser and afterward applying other treatment oils all over my face. Oils are a no-no with these lashes as it dissolves the glue. However, as I haven't and won't be applying any mascara while these babies are in place - it's proving easier than I first imagined. I'm just applying everything as normal - avoiding the eye area.
With proper care these lashes will last 4-6 weeks. Once applied you can just have maintenance appointments every 3rd or 4th week.
The very fabulous and lovely Daxita Vaghela is at Atherton & Cox, 18 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 8UR. Tel: 020 7487 4048.
Daxita Lashes – Full Set (60mins) £150, Half Set (45mins) £95, Maintenance (30mins) £45, Lashes Removal (15mins) £15 Brow Threading - £30