Low-maintenance has always been how I’ve defined my style when it comes to fashion, hair and beauty routines. Some might call it lazy, or unaware which I’ll admit is applicable at times. I do like to feel confident and put together but I’m always running late, underestimating the time necessary to get ready, and if I do remember to put makeup on, I often forget to take it off and go half-way through the next day with raccoon eyes. So, my “beauty routine” has to be low-maintenance and I need as much help as I can get!
Last year, I fell in love with The Nordstrom Beauty Department here in Calgary and they have taken care of my face whenever I have an event or party to attend because I can’t do much more than a coat of mascara and some lip gloss. One of the huge changes for me was brow shaping by Brittany who worked at the Anastasia Beverly Hills counter and now works at Butter Beauty Parlour. It’s amazing what a strong, defined eyebrow can do–it’s the best beauty hack! (Follow Brittany on IG: @peachkiss3)
Another beauty hack that I have contemplated, ever since I worked at YYCFoodTrucks and sat across the desk from Brittany Back (@BrittanyBack on Twitter and Instagram), are eyelash extensions. Morning after morning we would both show up sans makeup but Brittany’s eyelash game was so strong she pulled off the I-woke-up-like-this vibe much better than I did.
Two and a half years and many messy mascara mishaps later, I asked my Facebook friends where they get their eyelash extensions done in Calgary. (Check out the link if you want to see the responses.)
Through that Facebook conversation, I found out that one of my friends who is a trauma nurse does eyelash extensions as a side business. Gracie says, “Doing something that makes people feel beautiful, does me good.” She had a terrible experience with her own lashes where “the extensions used were too thick and too long, which causes something called traction alopecia, or loss of the lashes from excess traction on the root. If done properly, extensions can actually help the natural lashes grow longer and stronger.”
I asked Gracie for her recommendations and she said, “The most important thing is that you talk with your tech about the look you want, but also make sure your tech takes into consideration the health of your natural lashes. A tech that is too accommodating should be a red flag. If they just give you whatever you want, they might not be properly assessing your own eyelash health. Also, aftercare is a big thing for me. I always send my clients home with fresh cleaning supplies, as improperly cared for extensions can lead to styes, poor growth, and infection of the eyelid.”
The cool thing about Gracie’s business, Graceful Lashes, is that she is mobile and can bring everything to your house. I was sold! Full sets take about two hours and cost $75, fills take around one hour and cost $35 if done within 4 weeks. She uses synthetic silk and can also do authentic mink but tries very hard to talk people out of mink as they do not hold up as well.
I have had my eyelash extensions for almost four weeks and have loved them every single day! This is a life-changing beauty hack that will probably become a regular part of my low-maintenance routine. As a matter of fact, I went to NYFW with my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Caramel, Vaseline Lip Therapy and my new Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella–nothing else in my makeup bag. When I stopped by the Maybelline Lounge for a makeover, the makeup artist said she liked my eyes bare and didn’t apply shadow or mascara! Great work, Gracie Anne!
It’s important to feel sexy and comfortable at the same time!