Looking your best really is a commitment. There was a time not so long ago – okay, it was almost two decades ago – where I put little to no effort in my appearance and was still able to rock it. That seems like a dream today, where I’m putting the Kardashians to shame with my personal maintenance routine. Okay, that’s an exaggeration but there’s no denying I just feel better when I look better.
With that being said, I do have a little hate/love relationship with my make-up. While I just love the finished look, I hate looking too finished. It’s a fine line we walk to find the beauty sweet spot – that oh-so-special place where you look good without trying too hard. I was hoping that eyelash extensions might help be get there, so I set up an appointment at Ch’i Spa for a full set.
Dressed comfortably, I cozied up on a warm spa bed and prepared for the 90-minute procedure by owner Samantha Vong. Certified in the technique, Samantha started applying lashes in 2009 and has been an industry leader ever since. With a statewide following and a second location in Narragansett, she went on to create Ch’i Lash, her very own line of lashes with regional distribution, about two years ago.
Relaxing music is playing in the background, and Samantha begins the precise application of adhering between 80 and 120 individual lashes. “It’s really an art form,” she says, explaining that she enjoys the detailed nature of the process. “Some people might find it tedious, but I consider it eyelash artistry. I’m also very patient, so that helps,” she laughs. Her artist palette includes her own line of synthetic or mink lashes of various lengths, widths and colors. One by one, she dips the lashes into an adhesive, and then sticks each one on the lash line. Her experience and lash know-how allows her to customize any desired look, be it demure or full-on diva. For me, that look was “everyday fullness and length,” which meant I wanted them to be noticeable but not dramatic.
“We’re almost finished,” she says, as a small fan is waved over my face to dry the glue. She hands me a mirror, and I’m overjoyed. Long, dark and curvy, the synthetic lashes look and feel completely natural. Samantha tells me that they will fall out on their own, and that a refill (which takes about an hour) would be best between 2-3 weeks. She hands me a care package that includes two lash brushes, and tells me to avoid mascara and curler.
I didn’t realize the effect of the lashes until the next morning when, just like Beyoncé, I was able to say I woke up like this. Seriously, I just added a little blush and I was ready for the day. And I wore no eye makeup for almost three weeks, which was a commitment I could deal with. It sure was sweet.
Ch’i Spa/Ch’i Lash
338 County Road, Barrington