Up to My Eyes: The Salon of Cruelty-Free Eyelash Extensions

Ever since I was eighteen I have been obsessed with false eyelashes. I was so obsessed with them after I first succeeded to apply them that they were the only cosmetic item I would wear to school. But as I entered my twenties, my obsession began to cost more than a packet of Penneys eyelashes that I could reuse every day; rapidly, my eyelash emporium welcomed in slightly more expensive but cruelty-free strip and individual lashes made of human hair and synthetic fibres.

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Eyelash extensions are a very current and popular trend. Not only do they look fabulous (when applied correctly!), but the longevity of their application appeals to the modern working woman. But how many Irish salons can we trust when it comes to cruelty-free eyelash extensions?

I contacted the amazing Elaine McPartland, owner and founder of the renowned Up To My Eyes salon in the heart of Greystones, Co. Wicklow. I queried about the origin of ‘mink’ lashes that are used in salons across Ireland, and her response was enlightening and reassuring;

“To be honest, I don’t think many, if any, salons in Ireland actually use real mink lashes. They are very cost prohibitive and can be difficult to work with as they’re all uneven sizes and uneven thickness. Another reason of course is because of the cruelty to the mink who are kept in mink farms. They only actually comb them to get the hair but it’s the fact that they’re caged that is repulsive to people. Most people will just use the higher grade silk lashes which are called ‘mink’, simply because they’re shiny and soft and look like real mink. You can pay anything from €2 to €20 wholesale for a tray of lashes, such is the variety of choice when it comes to picking the type you use.

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Elaine stated that she’s been wearing ‘mink’ eyelashes since 2009, without as much as one day’s break! But she also said that her natural lashes are still in perfect condition.

“It’s important for the therapist to only apply lashes that are one third longer than the natural lash to prevent any damage and twisting.”

Up To My Eyes have always used the higher quality lashes- NOT from real mink- that create a beautiful, natural-looking effect. I was delighted that Elaine invited me in to have their most popular treatment, a classic full set of Russian ‘mink’ lashes, done. The treatment is availed of by Irish celebrities like Rosanna Davison and are ideal for people who don’t want to wear makeup.

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Make sure the salon you plan to go to does a patch test on you (yes, it can be an awful drag to go in to the salon 24 hours prior the treatment during one’s hectic schedule). Your eyes are your only eyes for life, so it’s important to make sure they don’t get damaged in a vain pursuit of beauty.

The salon is situated in the Meridian Shopping Centre in Greystones, Co. Wicklow- right where, as a teen, my friends and I would drink cans in the car park. From the age of sixteen I was obsessed with the appearance of the pink-covered salon with the beautiful pictures of fluttery eyelashes and pristine brows. Visiting the salon for the first time at the age of 23, the beautiful decor of the salon did not let me down; my favourite vibrant pink that reminded me of tipsy sixteen, the gorgeous swarovski decorations and the plush cream couches, this salon is the ideal chill-out beauty clinic.

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I was greeted Deborah, a gorgeous and petite blonde with the most divine eyelashes. She brought me to the client treatment room, which consisted of six comfortable beds for the clients to lie on with a pink fluffy blanket covering them. 

The treatment took about an hour, but it flew by considering I was conked out. Afterwards, Deborah gave me an aftercare card, a mascara wand to comb my lashes and informative aftercare tips. I felt so well looked after by Deborah, Elaine and the whole team at Up To My Eyes that I truly understand why their reputation is so amazing.

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I would highly recommend Up To My Eyes as their professionalism and knowledge on their products is unlike any other salon I’ve been to. My conclusion about eyelash extensions? Do your research, do your patch test and get ready for a month of not having to wear any makeup to work! The most worth-it treatment I’ve ever had.

To book at Up to My Eyes visit https://www.uptomyeyes.ie/ 

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Flawless and Pawless is Ireland's cruelty-free cosmetic blog created by 23 year-old cosmetic expert, Ailsha Davey. With eight years working in the beauty industry in Dublin as a professional make-up artist and cosmetic expert, Ailsha discovered some of the horrors of cosmetic animal testing- and the lack of knowledge within the Irish market about it. Flawless and Pawless has been set up to spread awareness across Ireland of cosmetic animal testing, as well as to provide suggestions for cruelty-free alternatives to the Irish market's favourite cosmetic products.

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