I LOVE discovering local businesses. People doing it for themselves rather than chain stores makes me so happy! I think part of that is growing up with my family owning a business and the trials I saw us go through. I want every small business that is worthy of attention to succeed. And I found another worthy business.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I was about to go on the Sweat Alberta Retreat. Since it would be a weekend of sweating and working out, I didn’t really want to mess with mascara every morning. Also, most mascara causes a reaction on my eyes if I sweat with it on- almost like an itching allergic reaction- and I didn’t want to mess with that possibility either. I thought about fake lashes…..because I knew there would be photos and photo ops and I seriously have no eyelashes….but I was afraid the glue to apply the fake lashes would cause an allergic reaction.
Since I have gotten the procedure, people have guessed my age at a full 10 years younger than I actually am.
My skin is ultra-sensitive and it’s hard to know what will cause a flare-up. Since having to become gluten-free, my skin sensitivity has gotten worse so it is better to be cautious. I went to Shoppers’ Drug Mart the other day and told the girl that I really wanted to start using eyeliner again but that my skin was really sensitive and that I was afraid to have a reaction. To which she replied, “Oh ME TOO. My skin is really picky but this Nyx eyeliner has never caused a reaction for me.” I was so set on drawing cat-eyes again that I trusted her and bought it. Omigosh, you guys. I think I may have to hyperbolize my sensitivity to shop girls from now on. I feel like part of the X-Men my skin is so sensitive to stuff (I wonder how you could use that super-power though?). My skin was totally fine with it for a couple of weeks and then it started to reject it so I stopped every day use and went to twice a week. My eyes were a little itchy the next time I wore it but I thought nothing of it. The next day my eyelid where the eyeliner had touched had reacted. My left side was red and itchy but went away in a couple of days. The right side – well, it went from itchy and puffy to bruised and zitty (or perhaps that was just raised, irritated dots) in one day. The puffiness went down gradually but the eyelid went scaly and the scaly, bruised, dotted skin wrapped itself around to the bottom of the eye. That was two weeks before my lash appointment. Now it is nearly gone- just a bit dry, red and scaly. I had to wear my glasses the whole time, afraid my contacts would somehow irritate it more, and avoid everything but the moisturizer I trust.
So to say that I was nervous about applying false eyelashes with eyelash glue would be an understatement. The reaction made me decide against it and I booked the lash extension appointment at Loud Lash, apprehensively. To say that I was nervous about getting eyelash extensions would also be an understatement. However, my hairdresser and friend Nicole had just rented out a room in her salon to an eyelash girl. Nicole told me all about the process and the owner, Sonnie. Sonnie sounded so amazing and I was curious. I trust Nicole because she has been my stylist since I was 18 years old. So 18 years now……
I booked an eyelash extension appointment before the retreat (with online booking….so easy!) and proceeded to pepper Sonnie with questions through Facebook Messenger. She was patient with me. I was so grateful- I am sure I sounded like a loonie bird. She assured me that women with sensitive skin who were in their 30’s and contact lens wearers were okay to do the faux lashes. I was excited to feel pretty for the retreat and to match the rest of my family- Josh, Isabella and Hunter all have naturally thick and long eyelashes (those jerks 😉 ).
But first, I would like to introduce Sonnie! Wherever you live in Calgary, it is worth the drive to meet this strong and amazing lady. I am a sensitive introvert who is anxious about meeting new people and I found Sonnie VERY easy to talk to. She put me at ease right away with her friendly, laid-back manner and her cheerful hello.
Sonnie Tremblay was born in Mont Joli, Quebec where she spoke French. She moved to Alberta at age 6 and grew up in Lethbridge. At first, speaking English outside of the home and at school was a challenge but eventually she adapted to it (and adapting to difficult situations became a useful skill, as you will read below). In fact, she is still fully bilingual! (How cool is that?!)
When Sonnie moved to the city, she had a successful career for over 6 years in emergency services. When she lost her job, she had to move on and find a new career. Sonnie kept her mind open to new opportunities. A friend suggested she open a lash bar since giving people the gift of beautiful lashes has a personal edge for Sonnie.
Sonnie is a FOUR TIME breast cancer survivor. She has beat it AGAIN.
When she was going through chemotherapy, she never lost her hair. However, she did lose her eyelashes and eyebrows and they never grew in as thick or lush again. It is very dehumanizing to go through chemo and feel like “just a patient”. Anything you can do to feel like a human being again- complete and beautiful- is worth it. Now, she gets her eyebrows tattooed on and she has gotten her lashes done. Sonnie says that as soon as she had her eyelashes and eyebrows done, she felt more like herself again. She wanted to give that gift of looking in the mirror and feeling sexy to others. Sonnie gets a thrill when people look in the mirror after their lashes are applied and they see their transformed look. She says it gives her a burst of energy every time they gasp in happy amazement. She loves her job 200%, that girl. It was a pleasure to meet her.
After hellos, I was delighted to walk into Loud Lash HQ. Sonnie’s office is pin-up dressing room style and immediately wowed me! It was so pretty that I wish I had remembered my real camera! I did take a couple of snaps with my phone- here they are:
My eyes are really jumpy when I close them but Sonnie filled them like a pro and never made me feel like I was making her job harder (although I am sure I was).
The procedure is fairly simple:
- Sonnie takes a photo of your eyes and uses an app that her friend developed (and no one else has yet) to map the curve of your eyes. This is how she plans where to put what lengths of lashes and the best placement for them. Sonnie looks at the natural curve of your eyes and makes them more symmetrical and open when she applies the lashes. My left eye has a wicked downturn in the inside corner that always makes me look tired and my eyes are really small, both which she corrected.
- Next she tells you how she applies the lashes. She uses different sizes of lashes to get the most natural look possible, and layers shorter lashes in between the longer ones to ‘texturize’ the look. At Loud Lash, she uses glue on each lash to apply the extensions. No glue touches the skin and the lashes are light enough to sit on your natural ones.
- Now you are ready to start. Sonnie tucks you in on her comfy table and positions your head and legs so that you will be stationary enough during the procedure. She asks you if you are comfortable (yes), turns on some Michael Buble (right on!), and asks you to close your eyes (yay!). Then she turns on the overhead light and gets to work.
- She encourages you to do whatever makes you comfortable- whether that is sleeping or chatting! The journalist in me had me asking a lot of questions.
- It takes about an hour or so for the procedure but it didn’t feel that long AT ALL. Time flies when you are having fun.
- After one eye was done, Sonnie showed me in a mirror so I could directly compare the difference. I was skeptical it would be that impressive…I was wrong! My one eye looked a lot more open and awake and my eye looked lifted and beautiful! I couldn’t wait to see it all finished. She finished the other eye as we talked and when I saw the finished product, I gasped. My lashes were totally transformed but still natural. It gave my face a more open look and I looked like I slept ten hours a night instead of five. I noticed that my eyes looked wider, symmetrical and less lined. It is the cheapest facelift ever.
Getting your lashes done is a matter of self-love and treating yourself. It is a matter of seeing yourself worthy of beauty and a way for you to come out of your shell.
Since I have gotten the procedure, people have guessed my age at a full 10 years younger than I actually am. I have also been told four times in a row that I have a pin-up style look and that I should join a burlesque troupe. So. Flattering.
When you get the lashes, Sonnie asks you what look you are going for. You can request a shorter, more natural fill but I wanted a “long, lush, but people will think they are mine, pin-up style look” (poor Sonnie had to translate all of that). So when people give me that compliment I am so pleased and it means that Sonnie executed her job perfectly. The lashes are so light and feel completely natural. I sometimes forget that they are there and rub my eyes- eek- but they have held. Next time I am going to get them done a bit thicker and longer. Next time….hahaha….I was so determined to do my lashes only once but now I think I am a….
LOUD LASH GIRL 4EVER!
I feel too pretty with them on to ever go back to my short ones…oh man, I want to add this to the budget. If you keep up on appointments it is just $25 to have them filled and to keep them looking nice. It is definitely cheaper than getting my nails done or my hair pro-coloured (thick hair=$$$). It is something people see the moment they look at me and they make me feel young and sexy as hell.Plus, I don’t have to worry about finding expensive sensitive-eye mascara anymore. I have had my lashes long enough now that I know they won’t cause an allergic reaction. I am excited. Even when I don’t wear makeup I feel sexy and delightful. I also look more put together, even if all I have done that day is wash my face. (And my new lashes DO THEIR JOB. I went for a walk the other day when snow was falling and I didn’t have every snowflake fall directly onto my eyeball and melt….because my LASHES PROTECTED ME and stopped them. Hallelujah).
Now, I know you can get lashes done anywhere, but Sonnie is special. Sonnie is super chill. She is not clinical or intimidating. Her customer service is top-notch. She answers messages so quickly and puts all of your concerns out of your mind.
Sonnie is a FOUR TIME breast cancer survivor.
Sonnie is outspoken, playful, tattooed and fun. I can guarantee you that it is a unique experience getting your lashes done with her!! I can’t wait to get my lashes filled because I know it will be a blast.
Sometimes, something as simple as full eyelashes can make one feel like that missing piece has been found. It can give you that confidence you have been lacking to try new things, date again, or go for that promotion. Getting your lashes done is a matter of self-love and treating yourself. It is a matter of seeing yourself worthy of beauty and a way for you to come out of your shell. Strut your stuff! Bat those beautiful lashes! You’re killing it girl. Let everyone see that beauty, confidence, and youth that is just waiting to come out.
You can look up Sonnie’s IG Loud Lash page HERE.
If you want to chat with me about it, please comment below with any questions or DM me on Instagram. I will be as honest and detailed as I can.
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***Please Note: My blog post and comments here are unsolicited. I was not promised to be reimbursed for any of my opinions or comments. All of the feedback is honest and mine alone.***