Naturally curled, elongated, inky-black lashes have often been a bit of a pipe dream for me. Growing up as a redhead I have had the irritating task of religiously tinting my eyelashes every two weeks and even then they have appeared rather uninteresting sans mascara. Like most beauty zealots, in order to amp up what God hath given me, I once had a stint (two years, to be precise) with lash extensions. While flirty and alluring on their first application, the process is painstaking, expensive to upkeep and genuinely detrimental to the health (and survival) of your lashes. They also periodically fall out and tend look unnatural most of the time. Anyone who says otherwise is an outright liar.

Even during the period in my life where I prioritised having my lashes in-filled once a month, lash extensions never really did it for me. They weren’t the ‘Holy Grail’ lashes I had been lusting after.

Since regretfully closing that chapter in my life, I’m still passionately in pursuit of dream-worthy eyelashes. I can’t remember how I first learned about ‘lash lifts’ but I am grateful – #blessed, even – for such a divine beauty intervention.

At this point, you may be thinking that ‘Lash Lift’ is a decidedly more glamorous way to repackage the good old fashioned lash perm. Right? Kind of, only way better.

Officially known as the ‘Yumi Lash Lift’, the formula is derived from a plant-based keratin protein, designed to help thicken and condition lashes while also dramatically increasing their uplifted appearance. It’s basically a reformulated version of an eyelash perm with some way nicer ingredients and a pair of handy silicone rods.

Unlike a perm, ‘Yumi Lash Lift’ doesn’t contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, parabens and as a bonus is also non-toxic, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free and long-lasting. It’s said to last up to 10 weeks, depending on the growth of your lashes.

Sounds like heaven.

Arriving at Spring Spa, I am greeted by Kristen Du-Toit, Spa Manager and masterfully skilled beautician. I fill out a treatment form detailing my current lash situation. I check the boxes medium length, thick and light in colour before being ushered to one of their cozy treatment rooms by my experienced technician Satia.

We briefly discuss the kind of lift I desire and both decide on a ‘medium’ lift, somewhere between dramatic and natural. The treatment commences and I am instantly surprised how blissful the experience is. A far cry from the days of lash extensions and having my eyelids poked with tiny sharp tools, inhaling stinky, toxic glue.

There is only one moment during the entire treatment where I feel only vaguely uncomfortable. After silky collagen eye masks are applied to my lower eyelids to protect my bottom lashes, two silicone rods designed to create the ‘lift’ have adhered to my top eyelids. The only way I can describe this sensation is to say that it is reminiscent of those kids in school who would flip their eyelids inside out, not painful but almost awkward feeling.

Satia then proceeds to separate each lash and strategically attaches each one to the silicone rod. Every. Single. Lash. She applies a lifting serum, followed by a warm towel to accelerate the process before commencing one of the most divine head and neck massages I think have ever had.

Dark black tint goes on, followed by a conditioning serum. A short wait later, Satia removes the silicone rods. I can finally open my eyes again. I am left in awe.

Staring back at me are two sets of glossy, dark, almost touching-my-eyebrow long, flawlessly curled lashes. Flawless!

The results from the ‘Yumi Lash Lift’ are mesmerising. In the weeks that pass I no longer feel the need to wear mascara and I feel I have finally found the ‘Holy Grail’ eyelashes I’ve been dreaming of. Better yet, they are my own.

Would I recommend a lash lift? Absolutely. Here’s a process that delivers natural, Hollywood worthy lashes that don’t interfere with your regular beauty routine. While the treatment takes roughly an hour and 15 mins I’m convinced we can all make the excuse to indulge and file this one under some much needed ‘self-care’ time.

Words, Alex Niue.