For a while, I had been hearing constant whispers in my favorite nail salon, NBar, that “Laila has moved to Dubai”. Who is this famous Laila that the clientele and nail technicians speak so highly of, I thought to myself?
As my generally curious self would tell you, I had to enquire as to who this Laila was, and why exactly her move to Dubai was creating a buzz everywhere I went. Turns out, the Laila everyone was speaking of was the Laila Nazari, the London-based eyelash extension guru to the celebrities that I had read and heard about extensively in the papers. And she was calling Dubai, and NBar, her new home.
I was soon invited for an appointment with her to experience her world-renowned eyelash extensions for myself. Now, I might be a little biased as Laila is originally Iranian, like myself, but I don’t think I’ve ever met someone in the beauty services industry as nice (and as forthcoming) as her. She thoroughly explains the service to me before I lie down on a flat bed for the application process, explaining that, if we want to maximize the effects of my new lashes, I should do three things: 1) avoid washing my eyes for two days, 2) avoid oily products such as cleansers or makeup removers on my eyes for the next two to three weeks, and 3) to commit to never, ever, ever rubbing my eyes again. She explains that this is a general rule of thumb she requests of her clients so that their own natural lashes stay intact.
Shortly thereafter, I lie down on the bed as Laila begins to pick up individual pieces of lashes with a medical-looking tweezer of sorts, applying them oh-so-carefully with a patented glue she promises won’t pull out my own lashes (unlike the glue certain other salons use). I drift in and out of sleep while Laila explains that this type of eyelash extension originated in Korea, and that, if I take really good care of them, they could last up to three weeks. I’m delighted. You see, I’m the last of our editors to try out eyelash extensions, as both Noor and Camille’s appointments with other salons take place in previous weeks. Noor walks in on a Tuesday morning and I can tell, from my desk about ten meters away, how incredibly dark and full her lashes look. Camille walks in a few days later and I’m similarly taken aback (again, from a distance) by how long her incredible new lashes look. I’m excited to see how the look will translate on me, as well as looking forward to the new low-maintenance routine that many of my girlfriends tell me eyelash extensions bring.
Ninety minutes in and Laila is finished. She asks me to get up and take a look in the mirror to see my new eyelashes. I’m immediately surprised at how completely, utterly natural they look – almost like my own, but better. It’s not the va-va-voom effect Noor and Camille displayed when they walked in to the office, but rather a more ladylike, refined look that I won’t be shy to make an appearance with at an important meeting.
I meet with my family later that evening for dinner. Almost everyone comments that I look really ‘fresh’, but no one can put a finger on what exactly has changed about me. I love it. Reason being, when any of my girlfriends get their lashes done, I can immediately notice (and do comment on how great they look), but it’s a refreshing feeling to have something done and for no one to know what exactly it is. Subtle beauty at its best.
by HALEH NIA|photos: courtesy of NBAR