For those fed up with the usual eyelash routine: Lift, volume, lengthen

LVL is a great alternative for darker, longer, curled eyelashes, all without using an eyelash curler, a mascara wand or fakes.

Before the LVL treatment. Courtesy Ann Marie McQueen
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Gone a little crazy with the semi-permanent fake eyelashes? Tired of constantly curling your straight lashes, or looking in the mirror only to spot mascara melting off on your face?

Then LVL, which stands for “lift, volume and lengthen”, is the treatment for you – a great alternative for darker, longer, curled eyelashes, all without using an eyelash curler, a mascara wand or expensive and damaging semi-permanent fakes.

Joanne Jeldi, a co-owner of Salon Ink Dubai, tried LVL after losing a good portion of her natural lashes to the drag of extended semi-permanent fakes usage. She was once so addicted, she says, that when a technician told her she needed to stop using them because there was nothing for them to adhere to, she cried: “Stick them to the skin!”

“LVL is designed to enhance your natural lashes by giving the illusion of length, volume and lift, and the tinting darkened my natural lashes to create a more striking look,” says Jeldi.

I met Noreen Shahreyar, Salon Ink Dubai’s eyelash specialist and one of the few people in the UAE trained in the technique, when I first tried this treatment and fell in love with it several years ago. After affixing plastic shields to the underside of the eye to get the bottom lashes out of the way, she puts silicon pads on the eyelids so the eyelashes have something to adhere to while she is working on them.

First, she puts on a lifting balm for 10-12 minutes; a volumising fix follows for eight to 10 minutes, followed by the tinting (I go for darkest black) process, which lasts for seven to eight minutes. The final touch is a conditioning serum and a promise not to wash the eyes for 24 hours.

I rarely go without this treatment now. Unlike costly and time-consuming semi-permanent fakes, LVL is relatively quick and cost-effective. For just an hour of your time and Dh300, you can put your eyelash curler and mascara away for up to six weeks.

• The LVL treatment costs Dh300, with results lasting up to six weeks. Available at Salon Ink Dubai, 04 385 4402,; The Beauty Spot Abu Dhabi, 02 656 1149,