Achieving fluttery eyelashes without clumps or heavy weight are no longer a thing of dreams since Marc Vu and Jonathan Howells opened My-Lashes in Royal Palm Beach.
The My-Lashes team installs eyelash extensions. Vu, the chief stylist, and Howells, a professional musician, opened the doors at My-Lashes in July. Since then, they’ve grown their technician team, and Vu has been applying mink-like lashes to customers.
Vu, originally from Vietnam, lived in Ohio and was working as a nail technician. Nine years ago, a friend mentioned eyelash extensions to him, and after a great deal of research, he decided to explore the industry.
Vu asked his sister, also a nail technician, to join him in learning the process of applying eyelash extensions. They took classes with Xtreme Lashes, became certified and began working on eyelash extensions.
Vu noticed that clients looked drastically different with just the addition of eyelash extensions.
“I love the transformation. I feel like I do art, because it’s very particular, detailed work,” he said. “I love it. Every single person, I can transform them.”
Working on eyelashes is extremely detailed work that can take between an hour and a half to two hours.
“I found my passion, lashes. I stayed with what I’m good at and what I love,” he said, noting that his sister preferred nails to lashes, calling lashes tedious.
After five years, a new form of lashes came out, Russian Volume. When Vu lived in Ohio, he traveled to Washington, D.C., to take a class and become certified with this new way of creating beautiful lashes.
Russian Volume extensions require a specialized application technique, and not many people are certified, or know how to use them, he explained.
“It’s another tedious level,” Vu said, explaining that fewer than 20 percent of eyelash stylists use them.
The Russian Volume lashes are the same weight as typical extensions, where one lash is applied to one lash. However, Russian Volume lashes are split into multiple pieces, which are then fanned out and shaped. They result in a fuller, flutterier eyelash look.
Very few individuals are certified in Russian Volume lashes, Vu said, which last three to four weeks — about a week longer than classic lash extensions.
“People who like dramatic looks love Russian Volume, because they give you a dramatic look, but the feeling is the same,” he said. “If they did the classic look with a lot of lashes, it would be heavy, but the Russian technique gives you a fuller look without the weight.”
The lashes eliminate the need for mascara — they already look as good as or better than lashes with mascara.
“When you wake up, your eyes pretty much look like they’re made up,” Howells said. “It saves a lot of time.”
The lashes will stay on through swimming, showering and everyday activities in the Florida heat and humidity. However, there are proper ways to care for the lashes. Vu explains those during appointments.
Surprisingly, though, the Florida humidity works in favor of those who would like fluttery lashes. The adhesive is sensitive to humidity, Vu explained, and high humidity actually helps it to cure, creating a stronger bond.
Vu utilizes two types of adhesive, regular and sensitive, to apply the lashes. The regular adhesive is slightly stronger than the sensitive formulation, which is best for those with allergies.
“We have options for people who have sensitive eyes,” he said.
However, most people don’t need the sensitive formula, Vu said.
As clients arrive at My-Lashes, they are greeted by classical music — sometimes even music recorded by Howells. They also enjoy aromatherapy as they visit one of the six personal, private rooms for lash application.
It’s like a spa experience, Howells said, where people are so relaxed, they sometimes fall asleep.
Prior to an appointment, Vu suggests removing all eye makeup — mascara especially — to give a clean slate. “The cleaner the lashes, the longer they last,” he said.
With good care, lash extensions can last three to four weeks. As eyelashes grow, they have a natural shedding cycle. To keep lashes full and lush, fills are utilized.
To celebrate the opening of My-Lashes, the store is offering special promotions, such as an offer on Facebook for a full set of lashes for $100 (a $220 value), or a fill for $49 (a $120 value). In addition, My-Lashes also offers incentives for referring friends.
My-Lashes is located at 1163 Royal Palm Beach Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach and is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
ABOVE: Jonathan Howells and Marc Vu invite you to visit My-Lashes in Royal Palm Beach.