What Happened When I Spent $100 On Bling For My Face

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eyelash_extensions_slide_annaIllustrated by Anna Sudit.
If you were to have looked at my calendar yesterday you would have noticed a 90-minute lunchtime block titled “Important Meeting.” What this means is that a coworker and I got our eyelashes blinged out.

First, I am not a girly-girl. I do not really know what to do with most makeup. Sometimes I smear it on and think I am getting somewhere, but mostly it’s like, “Oh, you have once again woken up with your deathly pallor, I think that could be improved with some of this two-year-old pink blushy-blush.” This past year I turned 30, and so I bought some face serum that comes in a pretty blue bottle, and while it doesn’t make me look like my skin is made of fetus, my forehead is a little softer now. So overall, a win.

Related: Wait, You Mean I Can't Have It All?

But, I do not do treatments or get blowouts, and I have never tried threading. I have a very particular and compact wheelhouse that makes me feel like enough of a non-monster person to leave the house each morning. All of that was fine until my coworker showed up at work looking like an Incan princess with lashes I stared at so intently during meetings, that I was fairly certain I was on my way to a really awkward conversation with HR, until finally another woman asked, “Oh, did you get your eyelashes done again?”

My head exploded because apparently getting your eyelashes done is a thing you can do. And, so I did.

At Bling Lash in Manhattan, professionals will attach 50-100 tiny individual lashes to your eyelids with semi-permanent glue that, with proper care, will last up to three weeks. I opted for the “Synthetic Mink” option in “natural” (other style choices: “sexy” or “cute”), and it took the very sweet technician roughly an hour to affix them to my own paltry, worthless lashes. The woman next to me snored loudly. Someone — I have no idea who, since my eyelids were taped shut — gave me a lovely complimentary hand and food massage during the treatment. I listened to "This American Life" and when I opened my eyes, my life was changed irrevocably.

Related: Spending My Last One Hundred Bucks

This magical event set me back $96, plus tip ($120 for the set, but you get a 10% discount as a first timer, plus another 10% if you book online and pay in cash). This is not an insignificant amount of money to me. It’s more than I spend on a haircut. It’s less than I spend feeding my cat for a month. My coworkers didn’t say anything while I batted my eyelashes in their faces, but when I brought it up, they assured me I look amazing, and one of them made her own appointment for later in the week.

So, is it worth it?

Some things to know:
Do some stretches before you lie down on the table. You’ll be there a while.
Bring headphones.
Shower before you go because you won’t be allowed to for 24 hours afterwards.
For $1,125, you can get a set of “sable” lashes, which I can only imagine comes with your own endangered sable who delicately plucks his finest hairs for you with his own tiny sable claws, and then drapes himself artfully around your neck for the next three weeks of bliss.

Has anyone else done this? Am I the last one on this glam train? Is there any way to justify this financially? I’m saving the 90 seconds I spend curling my lashes and applying mascara in the mornings, but I’m not sure how to quantify that. How do we celebrate our own beauty without subscribing to the patriarchy? What beauty treatments do you shell out for, and are you able to do this guilt-free?

Oh, and how great do my eyelashes look?

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