can i get an extension?

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you know that phrase “pain is beauty?” yeah, i do, too. a little too well, in fact.

i mean, i’m a girl, so let’s be honest, there’s a lot of things that we put up with in the name of vanity. two words: high heels. two more words: bikini wax. or what about just one word: spanx?

let’s face it, gals, we’ll try (and endure) just about anything if it’ll make us more glamorous or younger or taller to thinner or less hairy(?). i’m pretty sure this is why we were built with a higher pain tolerance. well, for one, there’s that whole childbirth thing, but i’m pretty sure God was also just trying to properly equip us for the day when stilettos were invented. anyway, i’m no stranger to pain for the sake of beauty. i’ve “mind-over-matter”ed my way out of many a painful shoe, wax, facial, and corseted-clothing experience. but perhaps one of the worst pains i ever endured was the fateful day when i decided to get eyelash extensions. yes, similar to hair extensions, you can add length to your lashes in just one afternoon. luxurious-come-hither lashes without the muss or fuss of mascara? sounds like a dream.

or you know, a nightmare.

after i had made the decision to get them, momma decided she wanted to get extensions, too, so i put her in charge of doing the research on our beauty endeavor. she found a cute little salon in carlsbad that offered the service for a price that wouldn’t send us into debt. and so we made back to back appointments for a saturday afternoon and mentally prepared ourselves for our pending fanciness.

we should have maybe prepared for the pending pain, too.

the actual eyelash extension-to-eyelash-attachment process wasn’t really that bad. other than the fact that it took for-EV-er. i had to stop in the middle of mine for a potty break which was pretty interesting given the fact that i couldn’t open my eyes until the glue completely dried. in hindsight, i probably should have had someone assist me…anyway, after a solid three hours, it was time to reveal my glorious new fuller lash line. as instructed, i gingerly began to open my eyes, praying that the glue hadn’t somehow adhered them permanently shut in some fluke (and cruel) accident. thankfully i didn’t have to walk around looking like i was winking at everyone because both eyes successfully opened (phew!). i know this because as soon as i opened said eyes, i felt the pain of 1,000 burning suns. yes, there was burning IN MY EYEBALLS. like tiny elves had set bonfires inside of my tear ducts. it took everything in me to not scream out in terror. as i inquired if this sensation was standard, the stylist instructed me to blink quickly (also, it is apparently perfectly normal to feel this way, oh GOOD, this whole wanting to rip your eyes out thing must be the consolation prize). i blinked as i’ve never blinked before, tears steadily streaming down my face. ironically enough (and much like some kind of sick joke), the more i blinked, the greater the pain. 

finally, after about a good twenty minutes, and 578 tissues, i was able to fully open my eyes and admire my new lashes in the mirror. well hello dolly! pain for beauty was right. i walked out of the salon feeling like a million bucks.

and then those feelings went bankrupt a mere days later when i realized that not only could i not wear any additional eye make-up without running the risk of undoing what three hours and five million tears had produced (something about the oils in the makeup and makeup removers impeded on the eyelash glue), but also that eyelash extensions are REALLY ITCHY. basically the equivalent of wearing a wool sweater on your eyelids. also, have you ever tried scratching your eyelids? it’s pretty impossible without inflicting some kind of permanent damage. so basically i just screamed until the itching went away. it went over real well with my co-workers, let me tell you. and then if those two things weren’t torture enough, i had the added pleasure of leaking eyelashes everywhere i went. is that a rogue spider leg on my pillow? no no, that’s just my eyelash, sorry about that.

i mean, there were some added benefits. like how i already looked fancy at 5:30 a.m. without a stitch of make-up on. and how i saved at least $7.99 for not having to use mascara for a good month. but even feeling like jessica rabbit with eyelashes for days couldn’t overcompensate for the inconvenience they turned out to be in the long run.

so let this be a lesson to me (and you?) moving forward. while there are certainly benefits to enduring a bit of discomfort in the name of beauty (looking at you, eyebrow waxes), sometimes it’s just better to flaunt what your momma (and the good Lord) gave ya. that, and hi, mascara exists.


1 Comment
  • Teresa
    August 9, 2013

    That’s a great (and funny) story. You write so well. Sorry about all your pain. I’ll bet you look even more lovely (if that’s even possible). Hope your mom had a better go of it. I’ll tell you both… you are more than lovely because you’re beautiful on the inside and outside.

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