Lash-Ed Issue 3 October 2018 - Page 25

the makeup - I didn’t expect to model today’ and ‘thanks in advance for the lashes’ in her language. She handed me some lash shampoo and I was invited to remove my makeup. The first test was how effective lash shampoo was at taking off (non-waterproof) mascara and eyeliner . Or perhaps the test was my ability to use it in the crowded ladies loo with toilet paper. It wasn’t very effective. My eyes became a little red from the rubbing and she had to spend her 15 minute preparation time ‘scrubbing’ them. I can honestly say that that was not a pleasant experience. . .

And so it begins. Anyone who knows me - knows that the only time I lay down for any length of time is when I’m asleep or on a Sun Longer whilst on holiday abroad! I had 2hrs and 45 minutes of enforced rest that I knew would be torture. I wished that I had downloaded music or an audio book on my new iPhone and had my headphones with me. I willed the countdown announcements to speed up (probably the opposite of what competitors wish for!) – ‘2 hours left’, ‘1 hour left’, ‘30 minutes’ – heck, that was a long 30 minutes!

Deprived of one of my five senses, I tried to visualize what she was doing. I could feel my fleshy lids being taped up (understandably!), and she started lashing. She worked eye to eye from position to position for what seemed like an eternity. I tried to count the placements and lost track as my mind wandered. I thought about the stress that she would be under and how I needed to stay perfectly still to be as helpful as possible. I was really aware that I was the exhibit of her artistry. I heard a professional camera shutter clicking and it got louder and I assumed closer. I wondered if that was as noticeable to the contestant as it was for me. I heard footsteps passing and assumed the Floor Judges were hard at work – Manami, Bryony or Daisy.

An hour in and my back started screaming at me. I longed to be on my own couch with its super soft memory foam topper! As the time counted down, I was relieved yet excited to have fresh lashes done by an expert whose work was competition standard. She indicated for me lay still a little longer for pictures though I couldn’t wait to get up but wasn’t sure that I could! I was so excited to see the result!

Competitors were asked to complete a section on the front of their judging sheet to advise the judges about the lengths, thickness and curls they used. These are then to be handed to their model to take into the judging room. I read what she had just completed. Until now, she didn’t know that I was a fellow lash stylist (or a trainer and magazine editor for that matter). I saw 0.05, 0.07, 0.10 thicknesses noted with the longest lengths being 9mm. I pictured the look as being ultra-natural – almost nude and very different to my 3-4D, 0.06mm with lengths up to 11mm to hide my developing hoods! Deprived of a mirror, I asked to see her photos. I found myself looking at someone I hadn’t seen for 8 years - it was quite a shock! She must have seen the look on my face as my poker one let me down. I felt very naked and instantly thought that my lash lady was going to throttle me as I’d be needing a new set rather than Infilling the classics and working from there – oops – more time and expense. . .

I was escorted to the judging room and the lashes were soon under scrutiny by 6 judges. Each focused on some specific criteria. These included the overall look, direction (open and closed), symmetry (open and closed), suitable lengths, thicknesses, curls, distance from the lid, inner and outer corner, overage, clean use of adhesive, attachment and stickies.

I have seen loads of behind the scenes videos in judging rooms on Social Media. Some say to be smiley and nice to the judges as they see one model after another, after another, after another - so a nice model may affect their mood (and perhaps the marks?!) So I duly ‘beamed’ up to them all and then examined their notes on the judging sheet with interest afterwards. In addition to the points, there were a few informative comments. They noted the chemical burn on my eyes, that perhaps their length could have been 2mm longer and to focus on placing at equal distances to the lash line. Their clean work was congratulated and the fact that there were no stickies earned 3 hearts drawn on the marking sheet!

The judging rotation was really slick with models moving from couch to couch in an orderly fashion. Finally, I had my full face picture taken and I was handed a copy of the judging sheet to pass on to the contestant. That way, they had an early indication of how they had performed. I did wonder if the high scorers had a bit of a clue that they would probably be on the podium at that point!

I soon found my lasher. She read the feedback and seemed rather disappointed. I wished that there was more I could have done to help.

By now, this modelling experience had taken around 4.5 hours. It’s no surprise that I’m giving competition models a big shout out to say that these competitions are only possible with your patience and support! Organisers and competitors have a lot to thank you for! You’re unsung heroes for sure!

I slipped back into the competition room and found the 2 hour Lash Lift competition well underway. It was interesting to watch don’t do them though I’m now thinking of booking in for some training! I thought it would just be lash lifting but there was some tinting going on too. Manami was still Floor Judging and I felt for her as it seemed such a long day for them! We arranged to have dinner later and I headed off to beg the organisers to find a way for me to model the following day in the 3-4D Volume nomination! I was feeling rather conscious of my nakedness to say the least!

I was soon introduced to Velvet who had travelled from Canada to compete. She had already participated in other entries but wanted to enter the 3-4D Volume nomination and didn’t have a model. She was so delighted that I had offered to model (and yes - she was in front of me and could see what she had to work with!!). She repeatedly said how grateful she was. Our day was to start a little earlier as she had to remove my Classics! I was delighted at the prospect of having my volume back but dreaded the 3.5 hour treatment time on top of the removal, prep and time so another 1.5 hours then judging – another hour so 6 hours in all!

This time, the wait was a longer for judging as there was 7 to see. They certainly loved my right eye! My lasher was congratulated for clean work and direction. I shared her judging sheet with her and thanked her profusely for my lashes! Whilst they were a little shorter than I was used to, they were pristine and looked full and lovely for 4 weeks! Amazing! She just missed the podium as she earned 4th place. Congratulations Velvet - I wasn't easy to work on!

I went to see what was happening in the Nude nomination where several chaps were being lashed! I was looking forward to the finished results so I hung around for the judging! I have to say, some of those guys were wearing their lashes well!

Sadly, I was unable to stay for the award ceremony as I had a plane to catch. Given that it was delayed for more than 3 hours, I probably could have stayed for it! Having said that, I would like to say a big thank you to those who streamed the ceremony as I would have been rather bored in the departure lounge otherwise!

You never know, I might brave it next year . . . I do prefer to be in the lashing seat rather than the one being lashed!

I really enjoyed my behind the scenes snoop at the Lash Battle and would like to thank both Ksenia and Elmars for honouring my nosiness and congratulate them for creating and hosting a great event!

Happy lashing!

Julie Knight x

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