How to wake up every day with darker, curled lashes

They’re something a lot of us spend time faking each and every morning. You know the routine: spend way too much time picking out the best volumizing mascara. Apply mascara, curl, repeat. Apply mascara, curl, repeat. Sometimes it pays off, but more often your lashes un-curl and your mascara smudges halfway through the day. And fake lashes are a whole other thing.

If you’d rather ditch that part of your morning routine, there’s an ’80s trend that’s back that might be just for you. A “lash lift,” or eyelash perming, can help you up your flutter game by creating the illusion of thicker, fuller and curlier lashes.

Remember, always do your research before selecting who to trust to do a procedure like this (as in, anything near your eyeballs = serious stuff). Start with asking for personal recommendations. We suggest also checking out reviews on third-party sites (Google, Yelp) plus before and after photos on social media and the salon’s Instagram feed or website. Ask if the salon or technician has acquired a special certification that is available for this technique beyond a regular cosmetics license.

Once you’ve found your pro, the lift works like this: First, if you wear contacts, make sure you remove them before you start; you shouldn’t put them back in for 24 hours. Next, your top eyelashes are measured, which ensures that the appropriate-sized cotton rod is used during the procedure. This super-sticky rod sits on your upper lash line while a technician takes each individual lash and carefully places it on the rod. A semi-permanent gel activator is applied over the lashes to help create a curl so beautiful it will put your falsies to shame. The gel needs around 5 minutes to set before it gets wiped off and the lash rods are removed. Some salons choose to do the lash tinting while the rod is still under the lashes, while others choose to take the rod out and then tint.

The next step is the lash-dying process. For this, the tech completely covers the lashes with a black dye. Make sure you find a salon that uses a vegetable-based dye as you always want products as natural as possible when dealing with anything that’s close to your eyes. None of the dye should get on your skin because it all stays on either your lashes, the rod under them, or (if the rods are already gone) a cloth that they place beneath the lashes. The lash dye will sit on the lashes for 10 minutes before it is wiped off and then a clear hydrating mascara is placed on top to lock in the color.  After the procedure, make sure not to rub your eyes or get them wet for about 24 hours. Another thing you should avoid doing is applying makeup to the lashes directly; this will shorten the length of the effect.

When all's said and done, the perm and dye should last for around three to four weeks. Now, since the procedure can cost around $50 to $70, depending on where you live, it can become an expensive habit. So maybe you’ll want to only do the Bambi thing for special occasions. Or maybe the idea of waking up looking like a total superstar every morning without doing a thing makes a regular lash perm-and-tint sesh totally worth it to you. Check out this video for a view of the process.