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Buy Eyelashes: online shop review

Lynda Moyo meets the online lash connoisseurs to the stars

Written by . Published on January 28th 2011.

Buy Eyelashes: online shop review

Where is it?

Gone are the days when false eyelashes looked like they were made from dead spiders. Modern false lash collections range from individual natural lashes in varying lengths to outlandish, colourful and even patterned strips.

Look at any red carpet and as well as plenty of curiously taut, shiny, ageless faces, you’ll see enough extra eye hairs to coat a Sphynx.

Buy Eyelashes is a north west based business tapping into this trend; as their name suggests, all they sell is cosmetics for the eye. Managing director Andrew Conlon - a former power tools salesman, oddly - may not be the most likely candidate for a girly lash company, but along with his business partner Steve Holden, they believe they’re onto a winner.

Andrew said: “I kept buying my fiancée false eyelashes every time we went out and they were costing about £5 each time yet she’d just throw them away after wearing them. “I already had experience of importing goods and I figured that eyelashes couldn’t cost that much. As it turns out, they don’t, so we just took it from there.

“My fiancée, Izzy, is heavily involved too and she picks styles carefully so there’s something for everyone. I wouldn’t know what to pick if it wasn’t for her.”

What does it sell?The eight eyelash and eyebrow cosmetics brands sold at Buy Eyelashes are Ardell, Elise, Eyebrowz, Ileza, Japonesque, Mister Mascara, Paperself and Red Cherry Lashes.

Andrew said: “We source lashes from around the world – London, Indonesia, Korea and the USA. We try and offer different ranges. You can get some of the brands elsewhere in Manchester but not in places like Boots – it tends to be little boutiques. Brands such as Japonesque are stocked in some of the department stores but they tend to be more expensive there.”

As well as stocking these expensive brands at lower prices, Buy Eyelashes also offer cheaper branded lashes such as Ileza where you can buy individual lashes for £2.49 for a pack. These are ideal for those who want to enhance their own lashes subtly on a daily basis. In contrast, you can also buy Red Cherry strip eyelashes in a variety of wacky colours for £3.10 per pair.

But for the fashion conscious eyelash wearer, look no further than the hugely popular aforementioned brands, Paperself and Japonesque. Both of these offer very high quality lashes and come in some extremely imaginative and intricate designs such as butterflies and winged styles. Prices start at £8.

In addition to lashes, there are also plenty of tools on sale to help perfect your eye make-up. The lash placement kit (£9) is a great help for those who often end up with glue all over their eyes as a result of shaky-handed application. They also stock eyelash curlers, brow stencils, brow pencils and eye shadows.

Paperself twin horses eyelashes £11.95

Who shops there?
Buy Eyelashes’ strong online presence has resulted in the company getting scouted by ITV1’s ‘Dancing on Ice’ make-up team. They are now the supplier of false lashes for the show.

Andrew said: “The lead makeup artist, Renee Metcalf, was really impressed with the site considering we’re only a few months old. She keeps in touch with what styles have been used on the show and pictures of the celebrity looks go on our blog.”

Why shop there? We’re in the midst of an e-commerce boom and despite the fact that most sales of false eyelashes are from the high street, Andrew believes in time this could change.He said: “Boots alone does about 57 per cent of all false eyelash sales in the UK. We want to break into the high street market. Half the challenge is just getting people to buy eyelashes online.”

Andrew admits that after the high street hurdle, there are still enough online competitors to contend with, who stock hundreds of lash styles. However Buy Eyelashes intends to stay focused on quality not quantity.

He added: “I personally don’t think that’s very clear buying when people having to sift through rubbish in order to find what they want – a bit like a bargain basement.

“If we see something that’s unique or exciting we can get it, photograph it professionally and put it on the site within a few days. We’re always on the look-out for trends.”

Future:Andrew and David are going to be launching their own range of false eyelashes and own-branded glue in the coming months. They hope to get their products into high street shops as well as selling them online.

Andrew said: “We’re getting the packaging designed in the UK and the lashes will be made over in Korea because after shopping around, we’ve found it’s the best quality place to get them made.”

Verdict: What started out as simply a way to make money is fast becoming a genuine and perhaps unexpected interest for Andrew. He even admitted to ‘getting lashed’ himself, for quality assurance purposes of course.

“Yeah, there’s a picture on my missus’ phone,” he said. “I’m out with a few mates again in a couple of weeks and they think we should put some on then too. I might have a go.”

Now that’s dedication.

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