I love makeup. I have since junior high. Back then I rocked blue eyeliner and frosty pink lipstick, and didn’t spend more than 99 cents on either. Today, my makeup bag has more designer names than my closet will ever have. Dior, Chanel and Laura Mercier are among the department store brands that have found their way into my daily beauty routine. By “routine” I mean the three minutes I get to throw the stuff on my face before I rush out the door to get to work on time. And if I only have one minute, then I’m going with just mascara.
Oh mascara! How do I love thee? So much so that when I showed up for my appointment for eyelash extensions at Ch’i Spa in Narragansett, my first question was how I would apply it. “You won’t need it at all,” Samantha Vong, owner of the spa, stated matter-of-factly. I half-heartedly believed her. So while I laid on the spa bed and relaxed while she began the 90-minute procedure, I kept on thinking about my trusty makeup bag that was waiting for me in my car. I figured I’d make a quick retouch before heading to my next stop at a work function.
Samantha, in her ever-so-soothing voice, told me a little about her spa while she applied the synthetic lashes to my natural ones with an adhesive bond. She opened her first spa in North Providence three years ago, where eyelash extensions quickly became her specialty. A few months ago, the perfect spot became available at Pier Marketplace and she decided to expand her business with a second location in South County. With a spa menu that includes facials, makeup application and lessons, and full body waxing, Samantha and her staff boast about a spa experience designed to make everyone feel beautiful.
The lash extension process was remarkably comfortable on my eyes. I wear contact lenses and have a tendency to get sensitive, but I didn’t twitch at all. Samantha explained that Novalash, the highly respected brand she uses, is applied with individual lashes for a natural look. “You don’t have to change your lifestyle. You can swim, sweat and even go in saunas,” she said. Refills take about an hour and are recommended every three weeks.
I told her that while I wanted a thicker, fuller lash, I didn’t want the Kardashian effect. “Everyone says the brows shape the face, but lashes enhance outer beauty,” she said, agreeing that an over-the-top eye wasn’t the best match for me. She explained that her customers – who range from 18 to 70 – all want a different effect, which she’s able to customize.
I had been lying down with my eyes closed for an hour and half when she said, “I’m just finishing up.” She waved a small fan across my face for a minute, and then told me to open my eyes. I sat up and she handed me a mirror, and I literally exclaimed. My lashes were amazing: longer, darker, curved and fuller. I had never looked so good without makeup – it was that good. Better yet, I didn’t have to apply anything to my eyes before heading to my next destination. When I got to the party, everyone raved about how great my makeup looked. For someone who loves makeup, it was the best compliment I could get.