This is a part of our ongoing ‘We Tried it’ series where we test out weird and wonderful things to do or see in Colorado. Go here to see what else we’ve tried. Comment below and let us know what beauty experience or trend we should try next. 

For the first beauty feature of the series, we headed to Wax & Lash in Larimer Square to try a lash lift, which is essentially a perm for eyelashes so they stay curled — and tinted if you choose to do so — for around six weeks. We decided we had to see what the hype was about, and we were definitely impressed with the results.

The Basics

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In July of 2013, Tawnya Fornerod and her husband, Roeland Fornerod, were having dinner when the idea for Wax & Lash was born. “We ran into Hailee from Hailee Grace when they had their boutique down here and saw this small space,” she explained. “Roeland came up with the name ‘Wax,’ and we ended up buying the domain name right then and there and wrote our business plan on a napkin. We had no idea how we were going to make it work, and five months later we were open.” Almost five years later, Wax & Lash is one of the premier destinations for beauty services in Denver and Fornerod is getting ready to open a second location at Colfax and York. According to Fornerod, “It will have really high ceilings, a ton of natural light and six treatment rooms. It’s going to have a similar style to it but it’s a unique space.” She describes Wax & Lash as having a “homey yet eclectic feel to it [in which] people come in and they feel really relaxed like they’re visiting a friend or family.”

Wax & Lash offers skincare, waxing and lash treatments including dermaplaning, facials and lash extensions. Lash lifts are one of the newest treatments that are gaining popularity as it requires little to no maintenance compared to lash extensions. With a lash lift, you are able to swim in the summer without mascara and look done as they are naturally lifted and curled.

The Experience

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Before diving into a lash lift, it is preferable to do your research and examine your own lashes with an esthetician. Ashlee Daigle, the esthetician performing the lash lift, explained, “Not everyone is a good candidate for this service because with lash extensions we can pretty much glue on whatever, whereas with this you have to have long enough lashes for them to wrap along the rod. If they’re not long enough you’re not going to get the results you want.” Daigle will do a consultation beforehand to evaluate the state of each client’s lashes. If their lashes are brittle and unhealthy, the perm solution will damage them, so they will be unable to go through with the treatment.

To begin a lash lift, all residual oil and makeup are cleansed from the lashes. Daigle explained, “The next step is to choose the appropriate size silicone rod for her lashes, which dictates the tightness of the curl. We then apply glue to the inner flat edge of the rod and then stick the rod onto the top of the eyelid at the base of the lashes. Now that the rod is glued on, we glue the lashes up and around.” The entire process is painless and many clients actually fall asleep as it is very relaxing.

After the lashes are glued up around the rod and spaced evenly, a perm solution is applied near the base of the lashes for eight minutes. After the eight minutes, the perm solution is removed and a neutralizing cream is applied for six minutes. The glue and rods are then removed and the lashes are given a blowout with a lash fan and comb. The process only takes around 30 to 40 minutes in total.

The Verdict

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I was amazed by the results of the lash lift on the model and on myself. When paired with a lash tint, it provides a constant “mascara” look with no effort for up to six weeks. Daigle described that six weeks is “an estimate and it is dependent on how well your hair holds on to a curl.” The only maintenance required is for the first 24 hours, in which you can’t get them wet and you can’t sleep on your face. After that, you are free to wear makeup, go swimming, go to a hot yoga class — whatever it may be. In my opinion, this is the ultimate treatment for the summer if you dread putting on mascara, do not want the upkeep of lash extensions and still want to feel natural. I felt as confident waking up in the morning as I did with a full face of makeup on. Lashes pull your entire look together, so this treatment is a no-brainer not only for summer but for the entire year.

All photography by Danielle Webster.