Sunday, May 29, 2016

My Eyelash Extension Experience

This blog post has been long awaited and highly requested over the last few months. I tried eyelash extensions for the first time a few months ago and immediately knew that it was something that I'd want to share with my readers to give my overall opinion on the service. The blog post has taken a while (a few months) to go live because I've wanted to ensure that I truly have a 100% overview of the service and can give my full review after the "honeymoon stage" is over, because they are so amazing at first that it is almost guaranteed that you're going to love them.

First off, I'm going to let you know the three services that my lash technician offers so you can know what I'm referring to throughout the post.

Full Set: This is the type of appointment you would have when you first initially get lashes put on. It is the most expensive appointment and takes the longest. My appointment took around an hour and fifteen minutes. 

Fill: Just like when you fill your nails, a lash fill is a similar process. This would be an appointment you schedule a few weeks after your full set to get your lashes touched up, filled and back to normal. This appointment is usually around half the cost of a full set, and doesn't take as long. If you keep up with Fill appointments, you don't need to go back and get a full set. 

Touch-Up: My lash technician offers touch-up appointments which I love. These are her cheapest appointments and only take 30 minutes. These are nice for if I can't get an appointment in for a fill, but my lashes are starting to get sparse. Also, this was nice right before I left on vacation because I didn't need a complete fill, but I wanted them a bit fuller. She basically does as much as she can in 30 minutes and then stops. This isn't something that I've seen offered at all lash places, but it may be a service that you should look for when finding the right lash technician. 

That brings me to my next point, how to find your lash technician. Eyelash extensions aren't a cheap service, so it is really easy to let price be your driving factor when finding a technician. There are some scary stories online about people getting eye infections from cheap glue that was used, or poorly trained technicians. Just like any beauty service, I would pay attention to the certification that the technician has, and try to find some real reviews. Reviews from real people that you know and trust is the best kind of review that you can get. I am not going to share who I go to, I recommend doing your research and finding reviews and a price point that best fits you.

I am going to walk you through the process of getting lashes done, and then run through the pros and cons that I've noted over the three months that I've kept up with my lashes.

When I got to my appointment, my lash technician asked what type of lash I was going for. This is what I asked for:
"If I'm paying for lashes, I want them to be 
noticeable and dramatic, but I don't want 
them to be extremely 'false' looking."

She decided to do my lashes longer in the middle, and shorter on the inside and outside. This kept my lashes looking really natural, but still dramatic. I have stayed with the same shape every time because it fits my eye shape really well. People who know me personally definitely notice that I have my lashes done, but I've also had complete strangers tell me that they wish they had my natural eyelashes, when they are completely fake. So I think I have found my happy medium, where they don't look ridiculous but they still look glamorous and make a difference. 

After she knew what I wanted, I laid down and started the appointment. The first thing they do is tape down your bottom lashes. This was the only part of the entire appointment that was a little uncomfortable, I'm completely used to it now but during my first appointment it was a little weird. Once they tape down your bottom lashes, you close your eyes and they remain closed for the entire appointment. There is no pain or any uncomfortableness during the appointment. Once my lash technician finished applying the lashes, you open your eyes and are ready to leave! They should provide you with a small lash brush that you can use to brush through your lashes to keep them nice and smooth. 

My first appointment, before and after extensions. 

After my first fill. Top photo is before I've ever had extensions done, second photo is after my initial appointment, and third photo is after a fill. As you can see, a fill will give you the same look as a full set. 

Okay, onto the pros and cons....

  1. I instantly felt really glamorous. 
  2. They are very noticeable in photos, great for an event or wedding. 
  3. I was able to still feel really put together with absolutely zero makeup on. 
  4. I don't have to worry about applying mascara, or removing mascara. 
  5. I also don't really need to wear eyeliner. I still do sometimes, but very rarely. 
  6. I also don't really wear eyeshadow any longer. I've work almost zero eye makeup since getting these done. 
  7. You can run out the door extremely quick and still look like you have eye makeup on. 
  1. They are high maintenance. 
    1. You should be fairly careful with getting them wet (I'm not as careful now as I was after my first appointments, and I'm still fine.)
    2. You often have to brush through them because they get tangled. 
    3. You have to be very gentle around your eyes
    4. You also have to be careful when washing your face because you don't want the soap to get on the lash line. 
    5. It is difficult to apply eyeliner if you want it (am I the only one who have this problem?!)
  2. When they start falling out, it isn't as pretty.. You either want a fill or to remove them completely. 
  3. For me, my eyes water quite a bit. After getting lashes done, when my eyes water it is frustrating not being able to rub my eyes, you have to be very gentle.
  4. They are expensive
  5. They are time consuming appointments
Here is a photo of the thinnest I've ever let them get. This was before another fill appointment. First two photos are before the appointment (thinnest I've ever had them) and last two photos are after a fill. 

All of the pros have to do with cosmetic appearance. Although they are pretty high maintenance, I have become 100% used to all of that after my second appointment. They feel natural and normal to me now and I don't really care about any of the cons any longer. I still am careful with getting them wet but that has just become a normal thing that I am cautious about. 

OVERALL: I'm obsessed. I have kept up with them for three months and have appointments booked for another month so that I will have them at my grad school graduation. I'm not sure if I'll continue them throughout the summer. I may take a few month break through the summer and then see if I want them again in the fall. If I decide to do that, I will update you guys on how my lashes look after removing the extensions and if I notice any damage or difference in my natural lashes. 

I would highly recommend this service, I would just say that it is very easy to become pretty obsessed with them and want to keep up on the appointments very frequently, which can get expensive. Overall though, I love the feeling of rolling out of bed feeling glamorous and just always feeling put together. 

Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them! 

As always, thanks for reading. 
xoxo, Jaimie

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Stitch Fix #4

Oh man, it's been a hot second since I've written a blog post. To sum it up quickly, I'm in my final month of graduate school, so that is really where my focus and time has needed to be spent lately. I am finally done with the biggest parts of school, and I graduate in just a few weeks so regular blog posts should be returning shortly! I have a foundation routine post coming up next.

I received my FOURTH Stitch Fix last week, and I knew I had to make a blog post right away as I know you guys love hearing about what I get in my boxes. If you are curious to see my past boxes, I will link them below. My stylist has really gotten to know me and has truly hit the nail on the head with my last two boxes. This box was no exception, she got it just right.

Past Stitch Fixes
Stitch Fix #1 - Want to know more about this company? Check out this post. I detail everything out and explain it all. 
Stitch Fix #2
Stitch Fix #3

Now, let's get into what I got in this box. I thought it would be fun to tell you guys what I specifically asked for so that you can see how well their stylists listen.

What I asked for: 
"I am wanting tops only. I am not interested in pants or jackets for this box. I am wanting summer tops that are fun and bright but can also be worn to work with a cardigan or jacket. I live in Washington, so I can't wear summer clothes year-round, so I want tops that can transition into multiple seasons." My stylist did a great job again with this box, since I ended up keeping everything! We will talk about that at the end, let's take a look at what I received!

1. Collective Concepts - Geller Halter Neck Top >>> $48.00 
This halter top is something that I would never pick out at a store but I actually love it. It would look so adorable with white jeans, or even colored pants in the summer but also would look cute with navy pants and a cardigan for the work week .the halter is very flattering, even with the sides coming down pretty far. I really love this top, unexpectedly! The back has a little keyhole opening which is a cute touch on the back.
Verdict: KEPT! 

2. Skies are Blue - Boulevard Cutout Top >>> $44.00
Another tribal print type shirt, but I love it. It doesn't look very flattering on the hanger, but it is a very flattering top. It is flowy but also fitted so it really looks great on. It looks really cute and casual with jeans but also would look great with white pants for the summer. The back has two keyhole openings as well which it a cute touch. I loved this top and I see it being a go-to casual top in the summer. I normally don't like wearing the color purple but this deep purple is really cute.
Verdict: Kept!

3. 41Hawthorn - McAdams Beaded Neckline Blouse >>> $58.00
I have received a blouse from this brand in a different box before and it is still great quality. This is a really nice tank top blouse. I have already worn this once and I got so many compliments on it. It is a bright coral color, but I wore with navy pants and a cardigan to work and it wasn't too bright. This might be my favorite item from the box, I can see it being worn so many different ways.
Verdict: Kept! 

4. Alice Blue - Excelsior V Neck Blouse >>> $48.00
I have also received a shirt from this brand before and it is again, in great shape after wearing and washing multiple times. This shirt was made exclusively for Stitch Fix which is great because it will be a unique piece in my closet. This top fits a little large on me, but still looks flattering since the pattern breaks up right at the sides. Again, this top can be cute with jeans and sandals, or with work wear, which is exactly what I asked for! 
Verdict: Kept! 

5. Market & Spruce - Careen V Neck Dolman Knit Top >>> $48.00
This sweater is seriously perfection. It is such a lightweight sweater, and is so comfortable. I can truly see this sweater working in multiple seasons. It is light enough to wear with white shorts in the summer, or with jeans and a scarf in the fall and winter. I love that it is gray and white, so it can easily match anything in my closet. This is my second favorite piece in the box!
Verdict: Kept! 

So if you can't tell by the run-through above, I kept everything! That is the great thing about Stitch Fix, is that you get a big discount if you keep all five items. It was cheaper for me to keep all five items than it would have been to just keep 3 or 4 items. I truly loved every item though so I was happy to keep it all and add these pieces to my closet. Here is the rundown:

>>> Merchandise Total: $246.00
>>> After Discount for Keeping all 5 items: $184.50
>>> After $20 styling fee applied: $164.50

Price I paid for these items: $164.50! 
I got over $100 off these clothing pieces. A lot of people ask me the pros and cons of Stitch Fix, and I would say that the pieces definitely aren't cheap, but you have the ability to save money on the pieces, and they are unique clothing items that I am not going to run into people on the street wearing the same thing.

If you have any questions, let me know! I encourage you to sign up for Stitch Fix and at least try it out once! It costs $20 to get a box styled to you, but if you keep anything in the box, that $20 applies toward that item. Please let me know if you have any questions, I love this company and would be happy to answer any questions you have. You can check out Stitch Fix here. 
affiliate links are used throughout this post, that helps me out and keeps fun blog posts like this coming for you to read. 

As always, thanks for reading.
xoxo, Jaimie.