I've been a devotee to eyelash extensions consistently for the past four years. So when all salon services were put on hold in response to the coronavirus, I mourned every single lash that fell out one by one. Once I got word services were allowed to resume, I jumped on the chance to get my extensions back. If you're nervous to get eyelash extensions during COVID-19, let me assure you that, if both you and the salon are following the proper protocols, your nerves will be put at ease.
During my service, I was in good hands with Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes, who works her magic on celebs like Mary J. Blige and Naomi Campbell at her Midtown Manhattan studio. To note, Envious Lashes is following New York State's Reopening New York guidelines for personal care services. This entails no more than 50 percent capacity in the salon, social distancing of at least six feet apart between others (except during service), and masks required of both customers and staff.
At first, I was hesitant to book an appointment, concerned about the technician being extremely close to my face for over an hour. But, as I began to more and more people I follow on Instagram sporting a fresh new set of lashes during quarantine, I felt more comfortable with the idea of going back into the salon. And with the solid reputation Envious Lashes carries, I trusted my experience would be as safe as possible.
My instincts were right as Richardson and the Envious Lash team made my service feel *almost* like the pre-pandemic days — keep reading on to see how.
Getting Lashes Done During The Pandemic: The Arrival
When I first arrived, I immediately had my temperature taken by the front desk employee. After that, she asked me if I'd prefer to wash my hands in the bathroom or use hand sanitizer. Richardson says after reopening they are seeing about 70 percent less clients, so I was the only person in the waiting room. However, customers are asked to arrive on time to avoid having to wait in the lobby. (Additionally, you aren't allowed to bring anyone along with you for your appointment.)
Getting Lashes Done During The Pandemic: The Studio
Even prior to the pandemic, the layout of Envious Lashes includes barriers in between each bed. But, the studio is taking extra measures by only filling every other bed (shown above). Richardson says they are operating at half the staff or less on any given day, and the maximum amount of people in the studio at one time is 10.
Getting Lashes Done During The Pandemic: The Lash Application Process
Richardson says one important aspect of the experience that has changed is she can't see a client's full face. "I'm all about styling and contouring," she explains. The lash expert carefully examines your bone structure to decide on the best lash style. But now that half your face is hiding underneath a mask, it makes customization tricky. "I'm literally just styling your eyes," she tells me about the process now. Even though she didn't see my whole face, Richardson did an impeccable job finding my desired look (above) by asking me questions pertaining to length and volume, while also showing me photos of different styles.
As for the lash application process, business went on as usual. Nothing changed for the procedure, except that it was a bit of a challenge to chat with a mask on. It took about an hour and a half for a full set of lashes, which is the standard time frame for the service. For the equipment used, Envious Lashes has always sterilized all of its lash tools with UV-C light before and after use. After each appointment, they thoroughly disinfect the beds. The checkout experience is contactless as customers put in their card information and can select a desired tip during the booking process at home.
Getting Lashes Done During The Pandemic: My Thoughts
All things considered, not much has changed when it comes to getting your lashes done in the midst of the pandemic. From a customer standpoint, the only parts of the experience that were new was getting my temperature checked and wearing a mask. As I was the only client in the studio, I didn't have to worry about maintaining six feet distance from others.
I felt at ease during my appointment at Envious Lashes, and walked out the door with gorgeous extensions. Would I go again? Absolutely. While I'm only leaving my house to go next store and grab my daily iced coffee, I feel my best when waking up with a full set of lashes — all that's left is a swipe of a pinky-mauve lipstick and I'm ready to hop on a Zoom call.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.