Eyelash extensions have been huge the past few years—literally. From drugstore falsies to single treatment lash salons, enhancing natural fringe has become as much a part of a woman’s beauty routine as coloring her hair or getting a manicure.As someone who loves having superlong, thick lashes without the need for mascara, I’ve tried extensions several times in the past. While the results have been amazingly envy-inducing, the backlash—so to speak—hasn’t been quite as much. In my experience, the adhesives used by lash studios I’ve visited ended up causing brittleness and breakage with my natural strands lying underneath. It often took months for them to recover, if ever. In fact, I’m convinced some lashes never grew back at all.

Courtesy of LashDip
LashDip before and after

But recently, I received a press release for LashDip—a new way of lengthening lashes using semi-permanent paint instead of heavy synthetic fibers to define eyes—and decided to give it a try over at the new LashDip Suite inside the Jose Éber salon in Beverly Hills.Here’s how it works: Trained technicians (find one near you at lashdip.com; $200 per session) use a gentler glue to attach a featherlight, fine-silk insert to your natural eyelash. Instead of applying a strand on top of each and every follicle, he or she will strategically place them just where you need them most. (For example: to fill out sparse areas in the middle, or to create a doe-eyed curve near the outer corner). Since the inserts are practically weightless, they aren’t as irritating. I had a bad habit of rubbing my eyes when wearing traditional extensions, and that would end up leading to breakage, but these didn’t bother me at all.Once the inserts are attached to top and bottom lashes (the process takes about an hour), a paint in the color of your choice is applied to tips. The waterproof, gel-based formula does have a tendency to clump lashes, just as some mascaras do, so I had to wait while Natascha, my technician, separated each one. Once they’d dried, I was left with gorgeous lashes that looked natural, only amped up.Natascha sent me home with a few products to care for them, including LashPaint (a water-based mascara) LashFit (a nightly, vitamin B serum to promote hair growth), and LashSeal (a gloss that hydrates and refreshes extensions). My LashDipped extensions lasted about two weeks, but fell out unnoticeably—with my hair’s natural growth cycle—so I wasn’t left with any major gaps. Overall, these are a great option for women who like the look of lash extensions, but want a gentler fall out.