Cue the Kate Bush song.
Getting eyelash extensions was a fleeting idea that started to become more and more prominent in my mind the closer my due date loomed. I used to be one of those people who laughed at the idea that a woman would care enough to get eyelash extensions before giving birth. You are going to go through hours of labour and birth a baby human – why on earth are you thinking about your eyelashes?
However over the past few weeks, I have been feeling pretty awful in myself. This is something that I never saw coming. Yeah I have been gaining weight for months but I am pregnant. It is normal. It wasn’t something that was concerning to me. However, over the last month, my face has been swollen, my chins have multiplied, my skin is greasy and spotty. I look tired all the time. I have eye bags that I have never had before and yeah, I feel huge. My ankles, feet and fingers are puffy. I just don’t feel good in myself and to be honest, I’m sick of pretending that I am fine. Being forty weeks pregnant is hard and why should we have to feign that everything is great? Sure, the reward of a baby at the end is going to be amazing but getting there is a struggle, let’s be realistic.
I have already detailed what I have packed in my hospital bag and I did include a full makeup bag – not necessarily for while I’m in labour (I’m sure that will be the last thing on my mind) but for after I give birth when people want photos of me with the baby. I know the chances of me wanting to put on a full face are slim but I packed it all just in case, so I have the option. Then the idea of getting lash extensions started filtering in. They would make me look that little bit more put together and if I wanted I could shove on some foundation, be done with my face and hopefully I could still have some photographs after the birth that I wouldn’t be ashamed to show off. I Googled lash extensions once or twice but they seemed expensive and all of the salons were far away. Realistically I have barely been making it out of bed for the past week or two so I couldn’t see myself trekking across the city for some eyelashes. I gave up on the idea. Until I opened my Instagram stories one day last week and saw a girl I know with brand new lash extensions that looked gorgeous. They were full and fluffy and she tagged the girl who did them. Two clicks later I was on the salon page.
Babooshka Hair & Beauty Salon opened in 2015 and I was shocked that I had never heard of it before. It is situated at 1 Crown Alley, literally right in the heart of Temple Bar (or at least, the part of Temple Bar that I would have frequented the most!) beside the shop Fresh and opposite Connected Ink. (A few doors up from where Eamonn Dorans once was!) Okay, it wasn’t down the road from my house but I could get a bus that would leave me two minutes away and if I timed it right I could get a lift home from town with my husband when he finished work. It seemed achievable.
I stalked their Instagram page before heading to their Facebook. They don’t have a website. It was nine at night but I sent them a quick message enquiring about prices. I didn’t expect them to get back to me until the next day but they responded quickly and were incredibly friendly.
They offer three different types of lash extensions:
Classic Lashes for €55
Russian Volume for €65
Super Russian Volume for €75
I wasn’t too sure of the difference but this was six days before my due date so I asked about their availability. There was no point in me agonising over which set to go for if they couldn’t fit me in before I gave birth. I asked about the Friday and Saturday and they said that they were fully booked on Friday but could probably squeeze me in for a classic set.
I had only got lash extensions once before in my life. A few years ago, a new salon opened near me and they were doing half price extensions to celebrate. I remember they were €79 half price and I was so excited to get them. I left with lashes about two millimeters longer than my own. They were so natural it was next to impossible to tell I had them and once I put on any eyeshadow, they disappeared completely. I was very disappointed, especially after forking out €80! So going into this, my fear was for the same thing to happen again. I didn’t necessarily want lashes up to my brows but the whole point was that I had something going on even without makeup!
I asked if the classic set were very natural as it was something more dramatic that I was looking for and quickly received a response letting me know that that was a very common misconception. The Russian Volume lashes are actually a fifth of the weight of a Classic lash and so appear more natural. They are best suited to those with sparser lashes. Whether your result is natural or dramatic depends on how the lashes are applied and I was assured that the Classic lashes could be customised to my taste. I was happy enough with that and really impressed with the price so booked in for the appointment on Friday.
As I made my way into town a few days later, I received a friendly message confirming my appointment which I thought was a nice touch. I had an idea of where the salon was but was a little concerned that it might have been upstairs in one of the buildings on the street and I might have trouble finding it. I need not have worried. Outside the salon is painted with bright graffiti and the shop name is emblazoned in bold, as well as on a sandwich board to advertise the prices. Honestly you cannot miss it.
I wandered in and was immediately greeted by name. The salon is small. Those of you familiar with Temple Bar a few years ago may remember that it used to be a clothing shop. You step up and have Fresh to your right and Babooshka is to your left. The interior is decorated with the same colourful graffiti as the outside. There was hip hop music playing and a really relaxed, welcoming vibe. Despite the small space, they managed to fit a reclining chair for lash customers and two stations for hairdressing without it feeling cramped.
Niamh, the girl who was doing my lashes was very friendly, falling over herself to make sure I was comfortable with my bump in the chair. She had a look at my own lashes and we discussed how dramatic I wanted them. She recommended I go for the 12 length as my natural lashes aren’t too long and if I were to go longer, they wouldn’t last for as many weeks. I am always a ‘leave it to the experts’ type person so I was happy to go with her advice. I lay back and found the entire experience so relaxing. It was easy to forget that I was in the centre of Temple Bar on a Friday evening!
It took a little under an hour and a half to complete my lashes. Niamh and I chatted easily the whole time and she filled me in on all of the aftercare instructions as well as providing me with a lash comb for maintenance. When I was paying she told me that she was offering 15% off for the month of April so the lashes would only be €46 which was a nice surprise (although reading over my correspondence with the salon I actually see that they told me that and I must have missed it).
I couldn’t be happier. My lashes look full and fluffy without being over the top. Niamh is honestly a master at what she does. They are perfect! The service I received from the second I contacted them was so friendly that I honestly couldn’t wait to get in there. The salon itself is such a hidden gem and I am raging that I never heard of it before it now. I am looking forward to going in again and urge you to check it out if you are interested in lash extensions or hair services! I cannot recommend them enough and I love that they are a small local business.
Here I am wearing the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Foundation, MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, MAC Pro Longwear Brow Set in Bold Brunette and Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita. This is exactly what I wanted. Minimal makeup that takes five minutes and looks like I made an effort.
As well as lash extensions, Babooshka offer a full hair menu as well as dreads and braids – perfect for festival season! I didn’t photograph their price list which is displayed outside as I thought it would be easy to find online but unfortunately it isn’t but I can assure you that they are quick to reply to messages if you do have an enquiry.
You can find them on Facebook or Instagram or call them on 01-6706083.
Nothing to declare. I was not a guest of the salon. I paid for the service myself. They were unaware that I was writing this review.