Operating in the name of beauty | NevadaAppeal.com

Operating in the name of beauty

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Valarie Trahey applies an eyelash extension to model Brittany Padilla, 15, of Reno, at the Hair Studio.

With a steady hand, Valarie Trahey works less than an inch from her client’s eye. Her goal is to separate one eyelash using tweezers and with another set apply a tiny piece of synthetic polyester fiber between 6 and 12 millimeters in density to the eyelash.

Over the course of two hours, Trahey will repeat the procedure between 30 and 50 times per eye, all in the name of beauty. When she is done, the lashes will be between 1 1/2 and two times longer and will last for up to six weeks.

Recently, Trahey, along with another stylist at Hair Studio and owner Perry Nixdorf, completed training from Lavish Lashes that will allow them to provide eye lash extensions to their clients, making them the only salon in Northern Nevada trained to provide the service.

“We do things no one else does, we are on the cutting edge. I like doing things that are new and innovative and nobody is doing this,” Nixdorf said.

Mary Jane Dana, co-owner of the Riverside California-based Lavish Lashes, said the more permanent extensions are new in most areas of the country.

“This is very new, it wasn’t until two months ago that we even had someone out of Chicago trained to do this,” Dana said.

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Nixdorf heard about the extensions from one of his clients who was looking for someone to do the maintenance on her extensions and Nixdorf began looking into providing the service.

In order to be able to provide extensions to their clients, the stylists must complete a six-hour training course which includes training on mannequins and then on live test subjects.

First, protective padding is applied to the lower eyelid and eyelashes then to the upper eyelid to help shield the eyelid. Once that is complete, the stylist performs a lash analysis to determine the amount of healthy lashes and the density of the extension to be applied.

“We can only work with what the client has, so if you come in with 10 lashes per eye you will get 10 longer fuller lashes,” said Dana.

After the analysis is completed, the stylist separates one healthy mid-sized eyelash and places the extension directly on the lash, not the eye. While lashes themselves last between 90 and 120 days, extensions last between four and six weeks because they are not applied to baby lashes and fall out when the lash does.

Brittany Padilla, 15, was Trahey’s test subject and was looking forward to her extensions.

“I don’t want to hassle with mascara. I want it simple but I want long beautiful lashes,” said Padilla.

While the procedure can be nerve racking for the stylists, Dana said it’s actually relaxing for the clients.

“It is very intense for the professionals but really pretty relaxing for the clients. Nine out of 10 of them fall asleep,” said Dana.

After the procedure is done and the adhesive has dried, the extensions function just like normal lashes, allowing the client to take showers, go swimming and participate in any activity they wish.

“It doesn’t even feel like you have anything on and everyone thinks it’s just mascara when they notice them,” said Padilla, a week after her extensions were added.

Once a full set of extensions is put on, the client can come in every two to three weeks to replace lashes that have fallen out. The total cost for a full set of extensions is around $200.

However, the extensions are not for everyone, including people with heavy allergies, hair loss or recent eye surgery and women should wait at least a week after permanent make-up is applied before getting extensions to allow the eyes to heal.

Looking for a less permanent alternative? The company also offers strip lashes that last 24 hours and cluster lashes that last between two and four days.

For information, call Hair Studio at 883-4434 or online at http://www.lavishlashes.com.

– Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.