Meet the woman who introduced eyelash extensions to Dublin

Is it just us or has everyone been growing long, beautiful, fluffy eyelashes recently? We're going to let you in on a secret; they're extensions. Like a secret society that involves a secret handshake and a wink; the women and men of Dublin have been getting extensions to elevate their eye game.

Women like Tara McConnell have been in the know since the beginning and introduced lash extensions to Dublin almost 23-years ago. But Tara McConnell didn't stop there. Revolutionary eyelash treatments such as lengthening, thickening and curling are now available at Tara's salon InVogue in Blackrock, Dublin. And she's among the best in the business when it comes to extensions. With 30 years experience in the beauty industry and a nominee in our upcoming Beauty of Business Awards, she's been at the forefront of emerging trends in the Irish beauty scene. Tara lived in London where she worked and taught beauty before travelling the world on a cruise liner managing a salon. It was here that she developed a massive amount of experience with lashes and working with all skin and hair types; which was hard to come by in Ireland at the time.

Although the Irish market was initially sceptical about eyelash extensions, Tara continued to develop her skills and build her growing client base. "It was more of a novelty in the beginning, but now I have three generations of the same family - grandmothers, mothers and daughters - coming to the salon for eyelash treatments," she said. "Not many salons can say that about their clientele".

If you've never had an eyelash treatment before, or find your eyelash extensions not lasting as long as expected, Tara has some tips. Extensions usually last around 4-6 weeks ( however they can last months and months by getting refills done says Tara), she recommends avoiding swimming in chlorine or fully submerging your face in water if you want to get extra longevity from your lashes.  Try also to avoid gel or liquid eyeliner:  "If you are wearing eyeliner, use powder and an angled brush and avoid using gel or liquid. For makeup removal, use oil-free remover and use a see-through lash conditioner to help prevent your lashes from drying out". Another obvious recommendation is to avoid rubbing your eyes: "Lots of people are in the habit of rubbing their eyes which can cause lash fallout".

If extensions aren't your thing, Tara's boutique salon has plenty of other options. Their menu of innovative eye treatments has recently grown to include 'Yumi' lashes. Yumi lashes, Tara explains "are a gentle 'lift and curl' for your eyelashes, like a modernised perm for your eyes. They enhance your natural lashes and give the appearance of bigger, brighter eyes". Lasting up to 8 weeks, the treatment uses special silicone rollers that are very gentle on sensitive eyes and can be applied to anyone of any age and last a few months at a time. Yumi lashes are a powerful alternative to false lashes that enhance your own natural beauty and colouring. For a quick no-commitment fix, temporary fake lashes can be applied and worn for up to 24 hours, but for the most natural look possible, Tara's advice is to try a lash perm.

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On the topic of natural beauty, Tara has noticed a dramatic shift in the number of clients opting for volume instead of length: "in the '80s, everyone went for the more-is-more approach. Now, though, it's all about the beautiful and natural look." Interestingly there are a handful of daring ladies who frequent Tara's salon for a very special kind of lash treatment that Tara believes will be a huge trend come festival season. "We're one of the only salons to offer coloured extensions at the minute which are absolutely beautiful. We expertly match client's eyes with the perfect shade of lashes. For blue eyes, I would choose a deep navy which is subtle but still obvious enough when the light hits your eyes. I have one client who only wears purple lashes and she looks absolutely amazing every time".

Though we can't see Dublin's ladies sporting neon eyelashes just yet, it does sound like the perfect way to include added drama to your summer look. Pink eyelashes for Body&Soul, anyone?

 Discover the sheer pleasure of a pampering experience at In Vogue Award Winning Decleor salon in Blackrock - Book Now.

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