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OFF THE CUFF

Putting Your Cash Where Your Lash Is

June 08, 1995

D o your eyelashes just sit there, sad little things with no curl? If they do (and it bugs you) there may be a solution. Ask Kat Chorich, the skin care and makeup director for Angles Salon in Santa Ana and Escondido.

For four years, she's been doing lash perms.

She says that, with the right solution and perm rods, she can control the kind of curl a client has. "They may tell me that they want more curl toward the outside of the lash, and I can do that," she says. "You'd be amazed how much attention they pay to their lashes. Men and women can be so picky, but they should have what they want."

This is another in a series of first-person columns that allow people connected to the fashion industry to talk about their encounters.

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Not too many people can do lash perms. You need a special product made for the eyes, and there are actually little rods that come in different sizes.

You can't be wearing contact lenses or makeup; your lashes have to be free of debris. Your eyes are closed at all times. Little rods are glued with water soluble surgical glue to the eyelids at the lash line.

Your lashes are wrapped around the rods, put into place and I apply the hair perm gel. It's water soluble, and it's thick--it lays there like toothpaste and doesn't run into your eyes.

It's safe. The perm gel doesn't come in contact with the eyes. It stays where I put it. The gel processes for 10 to 15 minutes, then that's removed, and then a thick, gooey neutralizer is applied. Your eyes are still closed. It processes, then is removed with warm water.

This takes about 45 minutes, costs $45 and lasts about two months. If you want, for a few minutes and $15 more, you can have your eyelashes tinted so you don't have to use mascara.

Eyelash perms and tints can save a lot of time. You don't have to crimp your lashes in the morning or put mascara on. It's great for trips because you can swim and not worry about mascara running. Eyes look bigger.

A surprising number of men have their lashes permed and tinted, but they say, "Don't you ever tell anyone I did this." They like the soft curl and color, because they don't want to look as if they are wearing mascara.

A blond investment banker in his early 40s looks like a surfer because his lashes and brows are completely sun-bleached white. He says that when his brows and lashes are colored, people take him seriously, and when they aren't, they treat him like a kid.

There are several older men who like the tinting because they have faded, gray hair, and they want to look a little more vibrant.

The perm can prolong the life of lashes because daily crimping can make the lashes brittle, and people have damaged their follicles by squeezing too hard. People are tugging on those poor lashes, and the lashes don't stand a chance. And people with straight lashes use waterproof mascara, which has more tar in it, and that can eat up the lashes.

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