Once upon a time, in a place known as the Commercial Building along a street known as Wing Lok in an old, historical part of Hong Kong, a beauty blogger found herself wondering whether she had been fooled. You see, this was the last place she expected to be. The shabby building yielded no visible signage which might have led her to her destination. This place, according to Hong Kong legend, promised professional eyelash extensions for little in exchange. After a fruitless search, she was disappointed and prepared to journey home. At the last moment, however, she remembered her trusty iPhone and employed its services to um, surf the net, and found, written in Chinese across several websites, the phone number of her destination.
You pay for the service here, not the décor. What doth thou expect? Several beds are laid in two rooms where locals and clued in expats alike are crammed into. There is no privacy here: the upside is that if you’ve never had eyelash extensions before you can simply step up and witness how it is applied on another client. The service is great, if you can understand it, that is. I speak Mandarin and broken Cantonese and was able to converse with my therapist, Ivy. She encouraged me to go for thickness (more natural) than length the first time I visited. The second time, however, we both decided I could pull off something a little more dramatic and so we went all out. These ladies work primarily on lash extensions, so they are trained pros. You could describe the place as running like a factory production line – the only thing they seem to do all day long is deal with lashes (extensions, removal of extensions, perming etc) although other services like manicures are on offer.
This was the advice I was given: eyelash extensions can be a little stiff when you first apply them but they do soften after a day. Remember to avoid rubbing your eyes and keep oil-based cleansers away from your eyes – they can weaken the glue that bonds the extensions to your natural lashes. I switched to Bioderma Crealine H2O Solution, a water-based toner/makeup remover while I had my extensions and can’t live without it now!
Hatoe Manicure Beauty Centre, 1/F 88 Commercial Building No 28-34 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan Sheung Wan Exit A, immediate left,3116 3333
10am – 8pm Closed on Sundays Appointments necessary.
A one-off appointment costs HKD3o0; a package of three sessions costs HKD660. Avoid the days before public holidays such as Christmas and Chinese New Year. I waited an hour once!