It has been a little over a year since my eyebrow embroidery. I survived the two-week “eyebrow confinement” where I couldn’t get them wet at all. The first full-face wash after that period was equivalent to showering after a full week in the jungle during my National Service.
The feeling was euphoric—there was a moment when I asked myself whether this was even worth it at all. Alas, it was; the enhanced facial aesthetic my new brows gave me boosted my self-confidence and ultimately, my self-esteem. After feeling pretty satisfied with how my eyebrows turned out, I set my eyes on the next aspect of male beauty—the eyelash lift.
While it is totally expected for men to get anything done to their eyelashes to raise a few eyebrows (yes, I totally went there), it is because we tend to let our imagination get away from us. When one thinks of eyelash enhancement, we automatically think the longer, the better.
Throwback to any coming-of-age movie we watched growing up where the protagonist gets a major makeover. Two things happen to their eyelashes: either they glue falsies on, or they go through the curler. It didn’t matter what they chose—the end result was always supposed to be the ultimate dramatic oomph their God-given lashes couldn’t provide.
Perhaps that is where we have to draw the line. I’m not looking for an over-the-top transformation, and probably neither is the next guy. Besides, eyelash lifts are different from eyelash extensions in a way that I’m working with what I have rather than adding on. Think of it as a perm for your lashes; just that there will be a chemical solution applied so that they will stay curled for much longer.
Searching for eyelash artists that cater to men felt like a bigger challenge compared to looking for eyebrow embroidery places. I completely understand, though; it is a little harder for beauty businesses to break into the male eyelash market for the fear of looking too pretty. Though no one is holding a metaphorical gun to our head (or in this case, mascara), the stigma of done-up lashes still remains. So for this article, I had to message each business asking whether they catered to men as I could not find any evidence that they did. Fortunately, my efforts paid off.
Yumi Lashes by KaySG is a home-based business based out of Choa Chu Kang. Kay was very accommodating to my queries and gave me all the information I needed to understand what I was getting into—Yumi Lashes is an advanced technique that was developed in France, and the brand is worldwide recognised. So she is indeed a certified—wait for it—Yumician.
The technique is designed to boost and lift the natural eyelash providing a safer alternative to extensions. It is also better than traditional perming/curling techniques which contain harsh chemicals that could damage your lashes, causing them to be weak and brittle. One of the main ingredients in the Yumi Lashes formula is keratin, so it enhances in terms of shine and suppleness.
Before I could make an appointment, Kay requested that I take pictures of my lashes for her to see. There is a prerequisite to getting a lash lift—a Yumician has to determine whether the length of your current lashes are adequate enough to qualify for the treatment. There were other factors, and it is really best to leave it to the expert to decide if you’re suitable!
To be completely honest, I didn’t know lash lifts existed until I went for my appointment. For this series for male beauty, I try to immerse myself into typical dude behaviour which in this case, is not doing enough research. Though I was completely fine with getting extensions at that point, I’m glad that my natural lashes were enough to go through with lifts instead.
Kay has a pretty modest set up in one of the rooms of her flat. It was cosy for sure, and I mean it’s not like I needed anything more than just a spot to lie down. As I laid my head down on the treatment table, I realised that this was in fact the first home business that I’ve ever patronised. Before we began, she cleaned my eyes—which is standard procedure, yet I immediately felt self-conscious. I was not about to be remembered as ol’ crusty.
Silicone is applied to my eye bags and eyelids, setting the stage for the night’s performance—Mea Luxuriosa Cilia. I did not feel as nervous as I did during my eyebrow embroidery, as this was not in any way an invasive procedure. It’s just that whatever treatment is being done is way too close to, you know, the body part that gives me vision. As much as I’m used to putting contact lenses on, I could not prepare my body to avoid instinctively blinking.
The first solution is applied to debond the hair structure. The sensation of things being done at the end of my eyelids was very new to me. I then realise my body tells me that fact by crying. Unfortunately, this does disrupt the treatment—Kay needed to dry my tears and reapply the solution to let it set.
The reason why you will ultimately have that reflex of tearing up is that the solution is brushed on. It’s not laid on straight from the tube à la toothpaste.
After getting past the first trauma, I got to rest a little with a towel over my eyes to let the lashes get softened by the solution. Since I don’t have my eyesight to fiddle with my phone, Kay and I proceeded to talk about everything and nothing to pass the time.
Next step was to use another solution to stick my lashes to the upper silicone to let it set. Contrary to Amy Winehouse, these tears don’t dry on their own and it’s an issue because the solution is water-based. So with a little bit of patience and somehow distracting myself from a totally normal reflex, we managed to get through this part eventually.
I didn’t think my lashes would need tinting, but here we are. This is just so they’ll appear darker and bolder. Considering that I wouldn’t be thinking about adding mascara to my day-to-day morning routine, I figured that this welcomed add-on wouldn’t hurt.
Compared to my eyebrow embroidery, I instantly got to see my lashes the same way it would be for the next six to eight weeks. There was honestly no apprehension as to whether I liked it or not—it wasn’t a flashback to when I was in school and I told my barber to cut my hair “short” and he just shaved it all off. I didn’t need to thank Kay through clenched teeth; this really was the result I was expecting.
It is probably since lashes aren’t a huge part of our face, the teething period of you accepting a change being done to them isn’t major.
It has been emphasised that the first twenty-four hours is crucial to let the products that were being applied to set in. Could a man go one whole day without getting his lashes wet? Absolutely. I’ll take a day over the two weeks I had to endure for my eyebrows.
For maintenance, I just need to use the supplied brush on my lashes after every time I showered (that means twice a day, fellow Southeast Asians) just to keep them neat. Literally nothing else after that; they should air-dry.
I have noticed that my eyes do get a little red the first few days. It was because I was so scared of rubbing my eyes, I avoided touching them completely. That probably led to oil buildup from my face to get into my eyes. Also probably because my lashes are curled upwards, they’re not protecting whatever flies into my eyes anymore. But unless you’re living in the desert, I don’t see this as a deal-breaker at all.
I didn’t think I’d feel this way about them, but I’ll miss my curled lashes when they’re gone. Perhaps it was the existing ego-boost from the eyebrow embroidery, but getting compliments from the former by loved ones and colleagues definitely cemented my decision to get them done again next time. And considering how high maintenance extensions are—being extra careful while washing your face, sleeping a certain way, not rubbing your eyes too hard—I am so glad I don’t have to worry about that with the treatment I got.
Yumi Lashes SG is definitely recommended for guys like me who don’t want to fret too much about them after the treatment. Though you do have to time them around special occasions, their low-maintenance and high-admiration return rate is worth the money.
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Yumi Lashes SG
Blk 457 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4, Singapore 680457
Yumi Lashes SG
Blk 457 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4, Singapore 680457