Are $500 Mink Eyelashes Worth It? You Best Believe I Found Out – The

Yes, there is mink fur glued to my face right now. And I am so beyond okay with it.

When I was asked if I wanted to take fake eyelashes for a spin, I said “sure!” without really knowing what I was getting myself into. Then the question came back: “Silk or mink?” Wait, mink? Like, the animal? A quick Google search led me to the discovery that mink fur is actually the best of the best in eyelash extensions—they’re softer, lighter, curlier, more natural looking, and oh yeah, really freaking expensive. Was I game? Most definitely.

When I tweeted this on the way to Pierre Michel Salon on Wednesday, I was excited but also a little nervous. (Pro tip: never Google “bad eyelash extensions.” Never.)

Luckily, I was in expert hands. Monika Crouch is an acclaimed makeup artist and lash designer, who has been practicing the art of eyelash extensions at Pierre Michel Salon for 10 years. New York Magazine named her in their “Best of New York: Beauty” for eyelash extensions, and her work has been featured on The Today ShowGlamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Time Out NY, and walking the runways at New York Fashion Week. So yeah, I wasn’t too worried.

Since I’ve been to Pierre Michel before, I knew what to expect of the salon—tucked away on the third floor of 135 E 57th, it has a cool, modern vibe, and the sense that you could bump into a celebrity at any moment. When I walked into Monika’s office—I mean, it did sort of feel like a doctor’s office—she was slaying in a black hat and classic black high-top converses. Immediately reassured that this was not a woman who was going to give me creepy spider lashes, she got to work.

Here is an assortment of fairly unfortunate photographs of my lashes without any eye makeup. Feast your eyes on mine:

The Procedure

Okay, back to the story. So I lay down on the operating table reclining chair and Monika sat at the top near my head and started taping down my lower lashes so they didn’t get in the way. (She said some people do request extensions on their lower lashes as well, but she doesn’t recommend it because they don’t stay on as well.) The tape was very gentle and did not hurt, though it did feel a little strange to have my eyes basically taped shut.

She then isolated each individual lash with one set of tweezers, and with a second set, glued a fur lash to my natural one, about one millimeter up from my eyelid. Of course I was just lying there with my eyes closed not seeing any of this going on, but Monika was nice enough to explain. She went back and forth between one eye to the other to give each lash a few seconds to set.

What I was (perhaps stupidly) not expecting about the procedure was that the platinum glue—the stuff that makes these babies stay on for two months—is pretty unpleasant to breathe. About 15 minutes in my nose and throat were burning a little bit, but Monika let me pause halfway through to drink some water and I felt better after that. Thankfully though, I have contacts. For those without, the glue will likely make your eyes sting and water, similar to the fumes from cutting an onion. Since it’s so close to your eye, I can’t imagine that being too enjoyable. Regardless, the fumes do dissipate as soon as the glue dries.

Apparently most people have about 40 to 100 lashes per eye, and I was on the upper end (unless Monika was just telling me that to make me feel good.) That means she applied somewhere between 150 and 200 lashes in no more than an hour, which is genuinely amazing. Word on the street is that she is notoriously quick, so don’t go expecting that speed from just any eyelash artist—it will likely be closer to an hour and a half to two hours. Ultimately, the whole thing was extremely painless.

This is me, ecstatic, having just stepped out of the salon into the sunshine. Aren’t they lovely? 

All I can say is wow. I am obsessed with my eyes right now. The mink is so damn soft that I actually made my coworkers feel them the next day. (Is that an HR violation?) Monika showed me the mink lashes next to the silk, and there is simply no comparison. If you’re going to get eyelash extensions, you must go with the mink. The silk is so thick and coarse that everyone will immediately ask what you did to your eyelashes. With the mink, people just say, “Wow you look so pretty, what’s different??” The much preferable response.

The next day I didn’t wear any eye makeup again, just to give the glue a full chance to dry. You aren’t supposed to get your lashes wet for 24 hours, but after that you can apply any makeup you normally would. You can also curl them, but with the mink, it’s totally unnecessary. #nomakeup (or at least no eye makeup):


Today I thought it was time to go for broke and see what the lashes look like with my normal eye makeup: Stila Stay All Day black liquid liner and one coat of Benefit Rollerlash mascara. And um…hi. 

Damn, I could get used to this.

What do you think? Would you try mink eyelashes for a special occasion? You best believe this is happening for my wedding. 

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