I was invited along to visit Daxita at Atherton Cox in Marylebone for a full set of lashes. Daxita has quite a special claim to fame as she's apparently the fastest in the UK at applying lash extensions. She trained five years ago, so has has a fair bit of experience under her belt and she has developed her own special technique which allows her to apply a full set in just under an hour. I was entertained to hear that she's often has other therapists book themselves in for a spot of industrial espionage!!
Daxita started off by examining my lashes and looking at my face in general. I was asked what sort of look I was hoping to achieve. There are four different options; Natural, Designer, Fluttery and Fake! The Designer lashes sounded interesting but as the greatest lengths would be in the centre of the eyes, I knew that was really out for me as a glasses wearer. I was torn between Natural and Fluttery, in the end I went with Daxita's recommendation of a natural look with a few longer lashes on the outer corner to help 'lift' my eyes.
After the consulation, I settled myself down on the therapy bed for a bit of quiet time whilst Daxita set to work. A guard was placed over my bottom lashes to protect them. This felt a little strange as it went on but once my eyes were closed, I couldn't feel it. The procedure is not painful at all and mostly you're not aware of what's going on. The only thing I struggled with was not being able to totally relax my eyes and it turns out that the more you try and concentrate on relaxing them, the more impossible it becomes!
Once her children were at school, Daxita embarked on all manner of college beauty courses, expanding on her self-taught skills. This thirst for learning new techniques has obviously never left her as she enthusiastically sought out somewhere to learn how to apply lash extensions long before they became widely available. Daxita's secret, speedy technique was born out of a desire to minimise the time required for the client to lay still. I know I would struggle not to fidget after a couple of hours so the reduced time is much appreciated.
Anyway, I know you're probably keen to see how it turned out! This is how my finished lashes look. I still have no make-up on in these pictures as you need to avoid water and make-up for 24 hours after application of the lashes in order to let the glue cure properly. There's a dramatic difference when compared to my natural lashes but I still think the effect is quite natural. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it looks with eye make-up. One major advantage I have already discovered is that I don't look half as scary without make-up first thing in a morning!
A full set of lashes like this will last 4-5 weeks. The extensions will fall out as the lashes go through their normal growth cycle. Alternatively, you can return for maintenance after 2-3 weeks to keep them topped up. As well as avoiding make-up and water for 24 hours, you also need to avoid oil based cosmetics (such as mascara and eyeliner) and make-up remover for the duration of the extensions, as oil can dissolve the lash adhesive. There are oil free mascaras that you can use with lash extensions, apparently YSL Faux Cils is an oil free formula. I don't anticipate needing to use any though as these are so dark already and don't require supplementing.
I look forward to reporting back on how I get on with them in the coming weeks. I can't wait to see if anyone notices when I'm back to work next week! Daxita was also kind enough to thread my eyebrows and I think the combined effect of the lashes and tidied brows looks great and has really opened up my eyes. Daxita's services do not come cheap but her extensive experience and easy manner mean you feel in very safe hands. A full set of lashes costs £150 and a half set is priced £95. The cost of maintenance is £45 and this takes around 30 minutes.
Daxita can be found at Atherton Cox, 18 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 8UR. Tel: 0207 487 4048
Disclosure: I was invited along to try out these services without cost for review purposes.