My lashes and I have a love-hate relationship. I love them because they're long (the type of long that causes makeup artists and facialists to stop and tell me so), but I also hate them because regardless of length, they just do not curl. Believe me—I've tried every lash curler, every mascara that promises volume and lift, and even the age-old trick of heating the aforementioned curlers before using them (the result: burnt lashes. It's been a journey, but the only thing that has worked is the one treatment I turn to time and time again for natural-looking, curl-enhanced, incredible lashes: LVL. Keep reading to learn more about the treatment I urge all my friends to get and to see my results.
What does LVL stand for?
LVL stands for length, volume and lift, and it was created by the lash brand Nouveau Lashes. It differs from a typical lash perm, as the tool used to give your lashes curl during LVL is a small silicone shield rather than the rod used during a perm. This shield is softer to the eyelids and curls the lashes from the root, rather than just the tips of your natural lashes. It also lasts much longer (around eight to 12 weeks).
What happens when I get LVL?
I went to visit Sophia from Suman Brows to have my lashes done, and I'd highly recommend them to anyone for ease and comfort. The whole process starts by having the natural length of your lashes checked so the beautician can select between a small, medium or large shield. This shield helps to create the length, volume and lift (Sophia used the small shield on my lashes, as it creates a tighter, more lifted look).
Next Sophia applied the perming lotion to curl them for 10 to 13 minutes (the time is dependent on the thickness and condition of your natural lashes), I had mine on for about 13. I won't lie—it does feel a little uncomfortable having someone prod your eye while applying the treatment, but you get used to it. Once that's removed, the neutralising solution is used for half the time of the first step. By this point, I felt pretty relaxed and just enjoyed laying down after a busy day safe in the knowledge that I would open my eyes to fluttery lashes.
The last part of the LVL treatment is to tint them, which is crucial if you want to forgo mascara completely, as it makes them stand out more. Sophia used a blue/black tint on mine to give them a natural look. The treatment costs £100, which may sound like a lot, but if you're like me and have always wanted lifted lashes without the constant faff, it's worth it—especially when you think about how much money you're saving on mascara and makeup remover! You can book via Hersherons or the Suman Brows website.
What about LVL aftercare?
Suman told me that the 48 hours after your treatment are the most crucial. During this time, you can't get your lashes wet, take a shower, wear mascara or sleep with your face down for risk of the curl dropping out. It's also important that you look after your lashes over the coming weeks if you want the lift to last. This means not using any oil-based makeup remover (there goes my beloved Glossier Milky Oil Cleanser).
After that, waterproof mascara is a no-go, and it's important you keep your lashes as hydrated as possible by using a conditioning treatment. You also have to brush them with a dry mascara wand every morning (most salons will provide you with these). Suman's last parting advice—and something I learnt the hard way—is to not sleep with an eye mask, as it can push your lashes down and ruin the curl. All worth the hassle, if you ask me.
Below, I've added some products I've been using and loving since having the LVL lash treatment two times in a row…
To be honest, anything Caudalie does I want to slater on my face, but this cleansing water is one of the most refreshing products I've tried. As the title of this story suggests, I haven't worn mascara since having the LVL done two consecutive times, however, on a rare night out when I do wear it, this is what I use to take it off again.
This stuff is a godsend. It keeps your lashes softer than soft, and makes the treatment last longer since hydrating your lashes keeps them healthy. I'd strongly urge anyone considering getting LVL (or even just anyone who wants to start looking after their lash health) to purchase this! Trust me—a little goes a long way.
I find that if I am wearing mascara, I want to ensure whatever I'm using to take it off is as soft as possible so I don't pull or tug at my lashes and cause them to drop. I recently purchased these reusable makeup pads made from bamboo, and not only do I feel better about being able to wash and reuse them, but they're also the softest makeup-remover pad I've ever used.
Up next, these are the 20 best drugstore mascaras on Amazon.