After a few years of exploding in popularity, lash extensions are now an essential part of beauty routines everywhere. After all, everyone wants to wake up with perfect eyelashes in the morning, leaving the house to start their days with minimal hassle and grooming. One of the best names in the game is none other than Xtreme Lashes, which opened in 2016 in Central (3/F, Vplus, 68-70 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3708 8961).
Founded by registered nurse Jo Mouselli in the US, Xtreme Lashes is particularly highly regarded for being at the forefront of lash technology, using its own medical-grade adhesives, faux mink lashes and trademarked volumation techniques.
It also carries a broad range of house-made after-care products, which stretch from makeup remover to eye serum to lash-strengthening mascara. The latest products to be added to its arsenal are vitamin-fortified eyeshadow sticks, which tout highly blendable, smooth formulas that are designed to be used with delicate lash extensions. Normally, eye makeup is frowned upon when using extensions as creams and pastes can dissolve the adhesive, but not with these eyeshadow sticks, so it’s a true game-changer for beauty addicts.
Xtreme Lashes now has a large global presence in over 50 countries — in Hong Kong, the brand has also recently launched their first Kowloon presence at K11 Art Mall, located within the K11 Beauty Store. We got to check out this new venue and try on a set of Xtreme Lashes’ signature extensions for ourselves.
I’ve worn eyelash extensions before, but decided to take a six month hiatus after my last appointment in order to allow my natural eyelashes to rest. I felt that my previous extensions were often too heavy for my lids, resulting in rapid lash fallout.
At Xtreme Lashes, its proprietary lash technology is made to combat this. Lashes are always applied at least 1mm away from the eyelid, so you’ll never feel any prickly lash ends or irritation during regrowth. The lash stylist also always uses a Lash Calculator tool to determine the safest quantity of lash extensions that can be applied to a single natural eyelash. Named the Faux Mink X-Wrap Eyelash Extension, each individual hair is shaped in a flattened ‘X’ shape rather than a round shape. The ‘X’ allows for a perfect fit, increasing surface area so that your natural hairs can attach more securely to the false lash.
In addition, Xtreme Lashes has two unique volumation techniques, Stacking and Multi-Lash Pickup. Stacking is when single lashes are added to build a fan-like shape. Multi-Lash Pickup is when bunches of the same lash type are applied together: This creates fullness at the tips of the lashes, but can leave the bases more sparse — when one bunch naturally falls out over time, the gap can be very apparent.
Xtreme Lashes’ newest trend for 2019 is to create Hybrid lash styles, which incorporates a combination of lashes at different curvatures, lengths and thicknesses, as well as single lash application and Stacking techniques. This can camouflage gaps or sparse areas much better as it gives more tailored fullness at the base.
The K11 Beauty Store is a sprawling shop of islands displaying everything from makeup to cleansing gadgets to natural laundry products. At one end of the store is a service counter where I signed in to my appointment. I only recognised it was the right place due to the Xtreme Lashes display of products on the counter — otherwise the signage was rather unclear. At the moment, there is only one treatment room and only one stylist on hand for appointments, so you can imagine that it might be hard to secure a booking if you prefer Kowloon side.
After a brief consultation discussing my preferred lash style and length, I was led into the treatment room — a warmly lit room with just a bed and the lash stylist’s chair. Slipping under a plush grey blanket, my lash stylist got to work by gently placing a pair of hydrating gel masks on my under-eye area, and by taping my upper lids so that they stayed comfortably closed as she worked.
I drifted easily into a nap while gentle pop music played above me. I only woke up when I felt my lash stylist peeling off my gel masks, then also holding a whirring portable fan above my eyes to help the adhesive dry — signalling the end of the treatment. I dozed off so hard my mouth was embarrassingly open, too, but she paid it no mind.
Having selected the style ‘Poppy’, I opened my eyes to a lush cat-eye look, with longer lashes in the outer corners of my eyes and shorter towards the inner corners, ranging from length ‘7’ to ‘11’. Using a combination of 0.15mm and 0.07mm diameter lashes in my Hybrid set, it was clear that the lashes were bushier and more voluminous than simply on-on-one extensions that are more typical in Japanese-style salons.
I chose a medium curvature as well, which helped to make my eyes look more open and awake, as if I had curled and applied mascara permanently. I was surprised with how light and airy they felt given the apparent volume. In the past I’ve experienced botched lash jobs where you can feel and see clumpy bits of glue along the lash line. Here, the adhesive was virtually undetectable, as if each hair was actually growing out of my natural lashes.
After the first week, I wasn’t especially careful with my new lashes. I knew to stay away from oil-based skincare and makeup, but I still used a foaming cleanser and toner every night. I’m also a side-sleeper, which can cause uneven fallout due to the friction from your pillow when you’re sleeping. In the end, my set lasted me a good four and a half weeks before I had to book in and redo a new set — and that was mainly because of an upcoming period where I wouldn’t be in town. Otherwise, I quite enjoyed the lived-in look after some natural lash fallout, and I suspect it would have lasted me an additional week or two.
While a smaller salon compared to its elegant, spa-like vibe at its Central branch, Xtreme Lashes at K11 does the job with equal comfort and professionalism. A session without lash removal takes between 90 minutes to two hours, admittedly taking a bit longer than other salons out there. That said, you can’t go wrong with the trusted quality of a name brand such as Xtreme Lashes: safety and long lasting results are consistently held at a high standard here. Lash lovers living on Kowloon side such as myself can finally indulge in Xtreme Lashes’ renowned services in a salon conveniently located in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui — just make sure you book your slot ahead of time.
During the opening period of Xtreme Lashes’ K11 store, guests can also enjoy a welcome offer of 25 percent off original prices (Classic Lash HK$1,488; Hybrid Lash HK$1,888; Volumation Lash HK$2,388).
Lifestyle Asia perk: The first 10 readers who spend HK$1,400 and mention ‘Lifestyle Asia’ in their booking will receive a complimentary lash serum worth HK$1,200.