December 12, 2017 01:43 PM

What It Is: Keratin Lash Lift at Karina NYC Lash & Skincare

Who Tried It: Grace Gavilanes, PEOPLE.com associate editor 

Level of Difficulty: 2/10; not difficult for me since I just laid there and kept my eyes closed, which didn’t call for much effort since my lashes were kept curled up thanks to the foam and bonding gel on my lashes (way less scary than it sounds). I talked and laughed with my aesthetician the entire time.

I’ve always had really straight eyelashes. I never gave them much thought growing up, and assumed they looked like everyone else’s: pin-straight with a few stragglers that inched upward. I was a big tomboy who didn’t really start wearing makeup until college, so eyelash curlers were foreign objects to me for majority of my adolescence.

It wasn’t until this year that I really started to care about my lashes’ natural curve (or lack thereof). I began experimenting with mascara and eyelash curlers, which didn’t go as planned as I soon realized my lashes were so thick and straight, they were unable to hold a curl for longer than half an hour max. I was a bit bummed but determined to find a product that would serve as an instant remedy. 

Within seconds of researching, I came across a treatment called Keratin Lash Lift that promises to deliver a temporary curl to lashes. It sounded too good to be true, and I was more than willing to give it a try.

I decided to make an appointment at Karina NYC Lash & Skincare for a treatment I was sure would change my lash game. As I arrived to the Midtown Manhattan location, I was greeted by founder Karina Freedman, who immediately commented on my lashes. “You have a lot of lashes,” she told me, reaffirming what I already knew. “They’re really straight.”

I was asked to lay down for my treatment, which kicked off with a complimentary sheet mask. The mask stayed on my face for the duration of the hour-long procedure while an aesthetician went to work on my lashes. I was closed my eyes as the lash specialist applied bonding gel to my eyelids. This is used to secure the foam shape that is placed on each eyelid to fold each individual lash over it, thus creating the coveted lash lift. A mild-smelling keratin solution is applied as well, of course, as well as a black tint that helps mimic the results of applying two coats of mascara.

The treatment, which goes for a hefty $150 (a similar price to their eyelash extension offerings), has already found a spot on my personal “Most Amazing Self-Indulgences” list, right on par with my Pop Physique obsession/membership splurge.

While the treatment doesn’t result in permanently curled lashes, the effect does last three to six weeks, which is honestly longer than what I was initially expecting. I’m currently nearing the end of week one and my lashes’ newfound curves are still intact. I did have a bit of a mishap less than 24 hours after getting them done, though. I was falling asleep in bed, laying on my side, when I realized my left eye was welling up; this usually happens when I watch TV in bed so I wasn’t alarmed until I realized the results from the keratin lash lift would probably come undone. That being said, my left lashes aren’t as lifted as my right lashes, but they’re still nowhere near pin-straight. You only really need to be vigilant about wetting your lashes (i.e. dancing in the rain, crying or washing your face) in those first 24 hours. 

The Verdict: Aside from the hefty price tag, the only other issue I had with this treatment was that because it involved keratin, you can’t wet your lashes for a full 24 hours, or else they go back to their natural shape. I’m also a fan of the tint that was applied to my lashes, which lets me skip mascara altogether. That being said, if you feel weird not applying a coat or two, go right ahead. It won’t mess up the lash lift results. Regardless, I’m obsessed and can’t wait to come back for my second lash treatment, though it might have to wait until a very special occasion.

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