Saturday 13 February 2016

I Woke Up Like This (ft. A Lash Extension Experience with Double Take Studio* Vancouver)

*Services were received complementarily.

I literally woke up like this. 

There is not a drop of makeup on that face and yet I'm a million times more pretty than I was when I woke up the week before. Can I point your focus to my lashes? Because those are majorly contributing to all my pretty feels and maybe a few glances from David this morning. I didn't sprout those over night and credit goes to the team at Double Take Studio(4877 Main Street, Vancouver) who gave me my first lash extension experience. Let me break it down for you.

Double Take Studio was conceptualized when the owners, who run triathlons and do sports regularly, noticed that athletic women needed an option for beauty that was compatible with their intense lifestyles. Makeup at the gym is no one's preference and yet options for glamour even when running your 10 minute mile or moving up the squash competition ladder had to exist. Lashes seemed like a great answer and Double Take's business focus is on lash extensions in combination with wellness and other aesthetic services on the side. 

They cater to all clients and even men have come in. One of the male owners tests each of the lash extension options on himself. Along with lash services they sell some skincare products, lash extension approved mascara and teas from DOMO and from their own creation.

The space is very well appointed. They aim for relaxation and have achieved it. When I entered, the atmosphere was cozy, the tea was warm and soft music was playing in the background. The green and white tones were fresh and I loved the partition design in the aesthetics room.

Denys, one of the owners, greeted me and we had a thorough discussion of my lash options. He gave me some tips and suggestions along the way. Double Take uses synthetic mink (real mink is not sustainable, silk lashes are too scratchy) and only attaches them onto adult and "teenage" lashes, never "baby" lashes. They also never do lower lashes since those are too close to the skin and tend to be "baby". Some businesses will do this but attaching extensions to "baby" hairs can damage their growth. You can discuss your lash length, curl, and fullness (30, 60, 80, or more lashes).

You can find their pricing schedule here. In the end, we went for a natural Full Classic ($120CDN for first application, $90CDN for fills, 80 lashes per eye, 1.5 hour appointment), with C curl in a 10mm length. This would give me a fill of about 20-30%. I don't remember discussing thickness but whatever it was, they were definitely thick enough. As each lash is attached individually your final look is highly customizable  and we decided on a theme of volume and cat eye

I look like I'm undergoing some plastic surgery but this experience was wholly relaxing. On my face are patches to cover my lower lashes and to keep my lid in place for Mandy, the lash technician. Mostly I near feel asleep for the hour. I felt movement on my lashes during that time but there was no tugging, pulling or anything harsh. 

After the hour was up and I was given a mirror, I literally went "WOAH" which was so funny. I felt like the lashes were quite dramatic for a "natural" look but that impression came down to what I was used to. For someone that never wears false lashes, this comparatively small change made a big difference (and it wasn't even anywhere near as dramatic as they've done for some clients). Overall, I got over the surprise in moments and I have to admit that I felt quite pretty! I'm also really happy that we took into consideration my glasses because my extensions have not been brushing up against my lenses at all (surprisingly).

I was amazed with how curled my new lashes were. A C-curl, again, isn't even the most dramatic option but these made my lashes look freshly curled. The end result was what I try to achieve with mascara every morning. Each lash was thicker, longer and more permanently curled. Mandy mentioned that I may become addicted to extensions and I can see why that could be true.

Things to Know Before You Go:
- There is really nothing to be afraid about.  The procedure is painless and Double Take is relaxing. 
- An appointment can take a while. I was there for about 2 hours (since I was chatting up the team for background to write a post). 
- You can't wear eye makeup. They will remove it if they have to but its best to have clean and bare lashes and lids from the start.
- Take a look at the upkeep notes because eye makeup lovers might be saddened to hear that no oil makeup should be used around your extensions at any time. Consider this before you go.

Upkeep and Longevity:
- Depending on your habits (scratch your eyes, pick at your lashes?) and lash hairs (oily, dry?), lashes can last 4-6 weeks. You can fill them in after 3 weeks or as needed.
- This might be a sticky point for some but you shouldn't use any oil products around the eyes since this could loosen the adhesive on the lashes. This means no oil cleansers, oil or cream based eyeshadows, primers, pencil or gel liners. Non-waterproof liquid liners work well and go without primer for a while for your powder shadows. Use oil-free eye makeup remover. 
- Generally, the use of eye makeup, because you need to remove it, might lower the longevity of your lashes.
- No mascara overtop the extensions (unless it's an approved extensions mascara) nor the use of lash curlers (this isn't an issue since my lashes are now perma-curled now).
- The extensions are removable with coconut oil if you really need to get them off.

As mentioned Double Take sells a few items of skincare and tea. They focus on some local items and interestingly the Ionic Clay that is supplied to Boots is actually sourced from BC and distributed by a company based out in Richmond (which is why Double Take carries it in their store). 

Impressions of Lash Extensions:
I had momentary hesitation when Denys reached out about Double Take, mostly out of unfamiliarity and uncertainty about the end result. But in the end, extensions gave me the promised easy effortless glamour (albeit at a price). I really do feel pretty with them and more immediately pulled together (something makeup gave me). So far, I've been a little afraid to wet them and washing my face has been slightly worrying but they can take a normal face wash under the shower just fine (when I accidentally forgot I had extensions on and stuck my face right under the shower head). Double Take will hand you some mascara wands to brush the extensions back in place when you leave. The extensions aren't too fragile but its better to be a little careful so I'm not going to be dunking my head under the shower too readily. 

I don't know if I will get these filled in; extensions aren't a cheap service but I can see the benefits. Lashes will naturally fall out and I might end up with some weird lengths further into weeks 4-5 so I'm curious as to how these will look through time.  I'm going to see how I fair on the makeup and upkeep front and I might update on that. When I heard that I couldn't use liner, I was vainly concerned (liner is my "must") but the extensions have really filled in my lash line as if my eyes were thinly lined; I'm conceptually ok about skipping liner but we'll see in practice.

Impressions of Double Take:
This was my first extension experience so I have no basis of comparison but the atmosphere was clean, relaxing and modern. Anyone would feel like they were doing a nice thing to "treat" themselves when they come. The decor was really lovely, the staff were very friendly and everything was very sanitary. I enjoyed hearing about the lash options, having the chance to discuss the look I wanted, and getting guidance on what would suit me best. If you are in the market for lashes, I would recommend them based on my experiences.

Lash extensions, tried them? Thought about trying them?


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