Flash those lashes

Izah Azahari

The quote “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” has always stuck with me, especially when it comes to looking at another person from a physical aspect.

With the advancement of cosmetic enhancements, the meaning of beauty continues to evolve.

Since lately, I have been fascinated by cosmetically enhanced eyelashes, as their use has become a worldwide trend.

Whether it’s false eyelashes or “falsies” that one needs to layer on their natural lashes by gluing eyelash strips on their eyelids or extensions that are applied by eyelash technicians, it makes a notable difference to one’s look.

I spoke to a few people in the country who either deal with supplying falsies or applying eyelash extensions, and asked their views on how the local community has responded to this beauty accessory.

Caifang of Lashdoll is a certified lash technician who has been running the home-based beauty business for three years.

Caifang said she learnt from experts as the correct knowledge is important to keep the business successful. When she first started, she found it surprising that people were hyped about make-up and not eyelash extensions.

“I was a lash addict. I would get my lashes done whenever I was out of town – I was obsessed with lashes,” said Caifang. “I was surprised that not a lot of people knew about the existence of high quality lash extensions with most people avoiding it mainly thinking it would damage their eyelashes or have had a bad experience at least.”

Through that obsession, she learnt how to do it herself as she loves making people feel beautiful and knew that it could be her forte.

“I started by giving free lash services to my close family and friends. I can’t say I’ve mastered my skill now as I’m still learning. Eye-styling is never a one-eye-style-suits-all, so I’m constantly experimenting with different styles to find the best for my clients.”

Caifang said that store-bought falsies is convenient as you can switch up the look whenever you wish, as it is temporary, but eyelash extensions give more of a semi-permanent look. In her opinion, it tends to blend better for people with certain eyelids as it is extended through their natural lashes.

“I love falsies and I used to apply them everyday but there are times where I just wanna get my make-up done fast, which is where extensions come in,” she said. “Eyelash extensions save a lot of time!”

However, she said that there is a bit of a downside to lash extensions as it requires maintenance. “Lash extensions are an intricate process and there are tonnes of stories with bad experiences so clients should always do their research beforehand,” said Caifang.

She noted that every lash technician has their own way, and clients just have to find the right one that caters to their needs.

Meanwhile, another lash and beauty enthusiast is Reygiana of LAXH Lashes, who is based in Seria. She said her enthusiasm for beauty spurred her to be innovative with make-up. Her dislike for mascara products got her to create her own line of false lashes.

“Not all falsies on the global market are of good quality, durable and comfortable for daily usage. I’m sure not all women like to perm their eyelashes or get eyelash extensions done,” said Reygiana.

With a journey that began in 2017, Reygiana worked on finding the right home production scale of lash manufacturing. She began with five different designs that she released at the end of that year.

“Creating those first lashes wasn’t as easy as I needed to do quality check plenty of times,” she said. “Providing quality material was a struggle as I wanted it to be light-weight and comfortable to wear.” Reygiana said that she has received positive responses since her line’s inception, especially from local make-up artists which they have used both on themselves and on their clients.

As she tries to further evolve her line, Reygiana also looks to the negative feedback she has received from customers to keep herself motivated in innovating and redesigning her lash pieces.

“I learn, study and keep myself up-to-date with market demands and make-up trends so I can understand and create new designs,” said Reygiana.

“The concept of our lashes is natural-looking that’s comfortable, so it can be used daily either with or without make-up.”

While the make-up-loving community in the country is predominantly female, I was lucky to find a male beauty enthusiast – Fairus AY of Falsies Lashes by Fai from Tutong, who started off as a freelance make-up artist and has been in the industry for almost four years now.

Fairus said being a make-up artist in Brunei, it was difficult to find affordable falsies of high quality.

This worked up his need to do research in 2017 on false lashes manufacturers through social media. “I had ordered many false lashes in bulk to do trial and error until I found my current false lashes manufacturer who meets my criteria,” said Fairus.

In thinking of the “either/or”, Fairus said both false lashes and eyelash extensions vary from many perspectives such as design, thickness, quality and price. He still prefers to choose false lashes because of the variety falsies present.

“I consider false lashes affordable and can be purchase at any time. The best thing is that you may take them off at the end of the day,” said Fairus. “However, eyelash extensions only offer one design and require high maintenance every two to three weeks to keep it looking fresh.” Fairus also supports other local make-up artists through events, and although he had to step back for some time due to personal reasons, Fairus said he was able to come back and rebrand his lash line.

He believes that other lash enthusiasts should do what they love to do through learning and exploring new things to improve and enhance themselves.

He also thanked his family, friends and customers for their support from the beginning.