For this Corner Tried & tested, our Account Director Alicia played guinea pig, receiving the onerous task of test-driving the eyelash extension services of BodyWorksWest and Josh Wood Colour. Here is her verdict:
What: Novalash eyelash extensions
The salon: Just off Westbourne Grove, discreetly hidden behind the white bricks of a delightful mews, lies BodyWorksWest. A sweet-smelling sanctuary of mirrors and white walls, BeautyWorksWest houses an array of beautifully packaged products that line the shelves. And, before you have even been seated, a glass of cold water and pot of dried fruit and nuts is beside you. Dreamy.
The treatment: The lash technician discusses different options and looks with you. Then, as you lie horizontal and cool pads are laid gently across each eye, the technician talks you through her process. She works with the lightest of touch, as you drift in and out of awareness, keeping eyes closed and your face relaxed. Blinking into the mirror at the end you’ll see visibly longer, luxurious lashes.
The lashes: The beauty of Novalash lashes is that the adhesive used is oil- and water-resistant, so washing is easy and the eyelashes last longer. With in-fills you can maintain your lashes for up to two months.
The result: Thick, bold lashes that look and feel wonderfully natural.
Josh Wood Colour
What: ‘Natural Set’ semi-permanent eyelash extensions by Flutter Eyes.
The salon: Josh Wood’s new super salon lies just off Holland Park Avenue. The slick, dark exterior signals that this is an exclusive sort of place, reminiscent of a private members’ club, and the glamazons who sashay in and out of its front door only reinforce the elite air. The Josh Wood atelier launched earlier this year to much excitement from the neighbourhood’s best-coiffed; it purported to offer an edit of the very best of the beauty bunch. As you saunter in (and you do saunter), there is a hive of industry, as Josh Wood Colour’s clients’ tresses are coloured and snipped straight ahead. But it is to clean white upper floors that I am shepherded for my eyelash extravaganza, administered by a mobile technician for Flutter Eyes, the eyelash extension favourite of Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham.
The treatment: Helen, my Flutter Eyes technician, welcomes me into a bright and airy room (no dungeon-like treatment rooms here) before discussing the various looks and options available. Wishing to dispense with the need for mascara without going OTT, I opt for natural volume. The next 90 minutes are a blur; being forced to shut one’s eyes for that period naturally induces a sleepy spell, from which I rouse myself from eventually to find a perfect set of lashes that appear entirely in keeping with the natural line of my lid – just on a really, really good day.
The lashes: Synthetic lashes are applied to each individual lash, and you can choose the length and shape that best suits you. Even better, the effect lasts for two to three weeks, after which you’ll need shorter top-up sessions.
The results: Luxurious lashes that prompt a number of enquiries as to whether I had bought the world’s most effective mascara. Natural, luxuriant and thick – and not a hint of drag queen in sight.