I wish my eyelashes grew into a perfect flip and individual lashes moved in unison when I batted them. Sort of like a spider's legs. Instead my lashes grow up, down, out, crisscross, and sideways. They look like the spider that has been stepped on and smashed.
Not to mention the unruly lashes often tickle my eyeballs and they would probably hypnotize and cross the eyes of anyone who tries to gaze into mine.
I didn't quickly identify the true culprit for my irritated eyes. I thought maybe it was a piece of dust. Grit. A scratch. Or a stray, uprooted lash. I pulled my lid up then my lower lid down looking for something foreign and hoping to find it because I sure as hell felt something. I even slid my finger lightly across my eye, the way I used to remove my contact lens.
I resorted to rinsing my eyes with drops and eye wash and making myself cry when I wasn't near my liquid tear stash. That only worked temporarily, until the artificial tears dried up.
One day, a friend and colleague watched me tug my eyelid for a few minutes at my desk. “Pull it all the way down and then let it go,” she said. Anything under my lid would remain on my lower lash line.
I was ecstatic to finally tell her it was a lash that was still connected. At least I knew I wasn't crazy. But at the same time, I hadn't fixed the problem.
I can't remember the exact moment my lashes rebelled and turned into a wild mess. But I assume it has something to do with ongoing neglect. I didn't realize they required regular maintenance like my brows, nails or the hair on my head. Eyelashes are just tiny, fine strands, right?
Well, tiny strands that are a huge mystery at makeup counters.
I recall semi-annual trips to the makeup counters for tons of shadow to color and smoke my eyes, which of course led to beauty consultants scrutinizing my lashes. I kind of dreaded the moment when they pulled out the mascara because I suddenly became the eyelash freak.
These are the experts who are supposed to be familiar with a multitude of cosmetic conundrums. Am I the only woman in the world with jungle lashes? Now everyone within earshot of “Hmm” wants a sneak peek. Can you just make my eyes pretty, please?
“Do you curl them?”
Listen. I followed the curling instructions and started at the lash line. I moved slowly along the lash until I reached the tip. But the individual lashes didn't line up. They remained out of formation and simply curled in the direction that they grew. I often ended up with a wet set on my face.
Try applying mascara to that.
Someone even suggested that I heat the curlers with a hair dryer first. I thought that was a potential safety concern. I mean, isn't our eye area the most sensitive spot on our faces? But I should still turn my lash curler into a pseudo-curling iron and clamp down on my lid? Because I do pinch my lids, you know. Talk about permanent liner. I quickly ditched that idea.
I wondered if I could somehow benefit from fake lashes. Could they serve as a model where my real lashes would adhere and follow suit? Then I envisioned lush lashes ruined with flyaway ones. Sort of like static electricity on my eyes.
But I did splurge on a few recommended items during a Sephora shopping spree like a Shu Uemura curler and some fancy mascara with a little sphere on the end because I turn into a cosmetics junkie whenever I enter those types of stores. Never mind I don't apply makeup every day.
It took twice as long to apply mascara with a ball tip. Not a single swoop job. More like three lashes at a time. I feel like I have 1,031 lashes per eye so I had to get creative if I ever wanted to get out from in front of the bathroom mirror.
Why I thought that smoothing and taming my lashes with a wet facecloth in the morning is a plausible, more permanent technique is beyond me. I'm sure it's related to the Visine and tears trick. Still my lashes tire of their new positions and revert back to how they were and I spend a few more minutes plucking lashes.
Yes, pluck as in with tweezers. Tweezing was originally reserved for the one or two pesky gray lashes that play hide-and-seek in the thick.
But the others become fair game when they try to cover the grays or refuse to act right. Five or six lashes can find themselves displaced and laid out on my fingertips in a matter of seconds. Another girlfriend told me I could develop a sty. So I try to pull gently. Besides they continue to grow back, anyway, seemingly out of spite like a little arm waving “Here I am!”
I used to wish for more sparse lashes but I actually could be headed toward that in a way I wasn't prepared for. So I'll just try remain content with the arsenal of products I already have or compulsively purchase. But I'd really love something akin to detangling shampoo so my overgrown lashes can flutter the way they should -- and let me stop plucking.
Do any of you pluck your lashes? What's your weirdest beauty habit?
Follow Teronda's sometimes vodka-fueled opinions, reflections and observations at @skinnydcwriter.