Life After Lashes

When I was in college, I genuinely believed that I would die of embarrassment if a boyfriend saw me without makeup. My mother once told me that Dolly Parton’s husband had never seen her without her full glam on, (which, who knows if this is true lol) so I dedicated myself to always carrying around concealer, a lipstick and of course– mascara.

We could go into the patriarchal structures that put me (and my mom and Dolly) here, but that seems time consuming. Instead I will just say, I feel better with it on. Especially on my eyes.

I have lost probably hours of my life — if you were to add up all the time I spent from ages 14 to 24 — curling my lashes and mascara-ing them in whatever waterproof version of “blackest black” I could find.

This is just facts, okay? My natural lashes are stick straight. They barely hold a curl. They are also that sort of nothing-y “bronde” color that was so popular with celebs in 2016. My sister has eyelashes like a camel (please google camel eyelashes to see that this is a compliment). When she wears mascara, she doesn’t look like she has little sticks jutting out of her eyes, she looks like one blink could carry her away.

ENTER LASH EXTENSIONS

The first time I decided to try lash extensions was because of the rapper Kreayshawn. I was following her on Instagram and couldn’t stop noticing her long, fluffy, perfect inky-black lashes. One day, she tagged the salon. I made an appointment a few clicks later.

That was two years ago. TWO. And I haven’t looked back. The times I have had my normal lashes in between then and now have been because I messed up booking appointments or because I ran out of money and had to wait until the next paycheck to get them.

What’s so good about them???? I wake up and I have lashes. I don’t have sushi rice grains, I have fucking curtains. I don’t have to wear mascara ever expect for when I paint some on my very blonde lower lashes. I just get up and go. It’s so easy!

I feel polished when I have them. I feel pretty. I feel confident. I feel like myself.

While I realize it’s not THAT deep, they’re just tiny hairs glued to my even tinier hairs — CUE CORONAVIRUS

I didn’t have time to book a lash appointment before we were all told to social distance and my lash tech stopped working. I knew my days of perfect lashes were numbered so I tried to enjoy them.

Eventually, I had to remove the 4 that remained stuck to my face (jojoba oil on a cotton round, very gently). It was personally very devastating! And tbh I felt like crying a lot! These lashes — although a luxury — feel like a part of my face.

I guess the only way I can make it make sense to you is this: Imagine one day you woke up and someone had shaved off your eyebrows. While there is a chance they won’t grow back, typically they do. So while you know it’s not the end of the world, you still have to adjust to being like HOLY FUCK I HAVE NO EYEBROWS!!!

Sure you can paint them on but wouldn’t you rather have the eyebrows you actually want???? Wouldn’t you feel a little less like yourself when you look in the mirror, because who is that person? And why don’t they have eyebrows???

(I realize that there are people in this world who are also very self conscious about their white blonde eyebrows/lack of brows. I apologize for using this as an example.)

My boyfriend thinks I’m psychotic because of this. He tutted at me when I over-nighted a lash curler and a new mascara from Sephora once my lashes were totally bare.

But this is the reality I am going to have to live in until April 19 (and probably after then because WTF IS GOING ON). I need to become comfortable with my face. I am not even going to pretend I can get to a place of even partial confidence being bare-lashed. So mascara will just have to do.

I haven’t had to apply it or curl my lashes in TWO YEARS. I feel like a newborn. And there are lots of ups and downs. For some reason, the lashes on my left eye lay much more nicely than on my right eye and will all slip easily into the curler. The lashes on my right eye are pieces of shit and like to fuck up my face! It’s fun having sisters who never seem to have met each other, not twins.

I am so so so so lucky and privileged to be healthy and to be able to work from home and to afford groceries and to even complain about this. But honestly, much like every other part of being alive in this 2020 hellscape, it sucks and I’m just going to have to get over it and move on.

I’ve tried to focus on other parts of my face that I like and that’s been nice.

Turns out I quite like my cheeks. My eyebrows aren’t bad either. No one please go and shave them off though. That’ll really throw me.

More later because….what else is there to do?

x

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