For three years Caryl Baker Visage – Yorkville, located at 60 Bloor Street West, has been ahead of the lash industry, offering lash extensions, well before the popularity of the procedure hit an all time high, here in Toronto, early last year. And during those three years, Kyla Garritano, owner of the Yorkville location, has been offering to give me my first experience with the lashes.
As a low-maintenance make-up girl, with a huge eye sensitivity, and a love for swimming, I was apprehensive. But when two of my triathlon friends swore that wearing the extensions did not interfere with their swim goggles, I was finally convinced to give them a try. I mean, being able to get up and go without having to worry about eye make-up is a dream come true, and I was off to Caryl Baker Visage, with dreams of having sultry lashes.
Kyla greeted me with an excited hello, and handed me several pages of paperwork to fill out. Paperwork for fake eyelashes? I had no idea how serious this procedure could be. Okay, perhaps it’s not serious, as such, but I really was surprised that there was medical history and sleep positions to consider. There are many factors in our daily lifestyles that could affect the growth of our lashes, and how long the extensions would last. I have very low iron, which could mean that my lashes will not last as long as someone with normal iron. A risk I was willing to take.
After the paperwork was completed, we discussed, in great detail, the kind of lashes I was looking for, and what Kyla would suggest for me. Who knew that there are 700 different types of lashes? It’s Kyla’s expertise that made her choose the length and curl that would be right for me.
As my eyes sit off of my face, the lashes would be more noticeable, so she suggested amplifying what I already have by using the thinnest lashes, with a medium curvature. She suggested I get an individual 1 to 1 set, instead of a volumation application, which has a more dramatic look, including a set that would look like you have eyeliner. I perked up at the sound of dramatic, eye-lined look, but she was hesitant, as she recognized that I am not a fussy person with make-up, and appearing dramatic is not part of my lifestyle. Kyla thought that going more natural would be a better course of action for me.
I asked about the product itself and Kyla explained that Caryl Baker only partners with companies who offer products with the best reputation. In the case of lash extensions, they partner with Xtreme Lashes, who boast that all of their products are hypoallergenic and completely safe, and are the most natural looking in the industry. She adds that Xtreme Lashes carries the only patented flex-fusion, medical-grade technology that produces the adhesive for the lashes. The product is hypoallergenic, and does not irritate the eye. Other companies carry glue, instead of adhesive, and Kyla explains that many people get irritations from wind, or have particles from the glue getting in the eye.
There is no preparation required when coming to Caryl Baker Visage, as the stylist will remove your make up and apply a primer before the procedure. I had already removed my makeup, and was ready to begin. The procedure time varies anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours, depending on the number of lashes, and the type of volume that the client is looking to have.
As the procedure began, I felt a bit jittery, but Kyla’s soothing voice and explanation that being nervous is very common for the first time, helped to calm my nerves. “Most of the time, I find that many clients are nervous, as they are not sure how the lashes will fit with their lifestyle,” she said. “And I believe that my clients leave here wondering how they did without it, as there is very little maintenance done. And in the end, you can save 15 minutes from eye-makeup application each morning.”
With the Holiday music softly playing in the background, a bright light shining on me, I drifted away for a good hour. I never thought I could be so relaxed having eyelashes put on. As we came to the end of the procedure, I was almost sad that it was over. I wondered how often clients return for re-lashing. Kyla explained that it depends on a client’s lash cycle. “We have a 160-day growth cycle, and a client could come in on day 150. This would mean that the lashes could potentially fall off in 10 days. Generally speaking, clients return every 2-3 weeks. The re-lashing usually takes about half the time than the initial procedure.” The initial lash extension application at Caryl Baker Visage starts at $160, with refills starting at $70.
Once the procedure is complete, it can take up to three hours for the lashes to bond. By the time you leave, it’s cured and ready to go. Kyla notes that her regular clients have their re-lashing done at lunch, and are at the gym by the evening. This was good news for me, as my evening often consists of cycling or running.
The big reveal…was exactly what I had hoped for! I simply love the look Kyla decided would be best for me. They give the appearance that I have applied mascara, and properly curled them. They are somewhat fuller, but not too dramatic. I am in love! I have been wearing them for a few days now, and the first night was nerve-racking, as I thought I would somehow rub my eyes in my sleep and they would be gone. But alas, they are still there, full and lovely. A quick flick of my spooly brush, and I’m off for the day. I cycled and sweat last night, and they remained intact.
I have to agree with Kyla, I am already wondering how I lived without them!