Lash Artist Extraordinaire


When I first walked into the small entrance of Cherry Lash Lounge, a young woman greeted me, seemingly tired from her day, almost arriving to closing hours, she stumblingly explained the lash services.  As I was standing near to the counter, listening to the unenthused receptionist speak, a jovial woman greeted me with a smile and relieved the young woman from tiredly explaining the services to me as I am sure by that time it had become a repetitious nuisance.

Petite in frame, her thick black hair having a red undertone which shined when the incandescent light hit it just right, created the smoothness to her flawless skin radiating elegance as she spoke to me.  Her voice was soft and gentle, delivering answers with flowing inflections.  As she had to hurry away to finish her work I had accidentally taken her from, I told the receptionist I wanted “her”.

Marianne Cortez, Trainer/Artist at Cherry Lash Lounge.

Marianne Cortez, Trainer/Artist at Cherry Lash Lounge.

Excited to receive my first eyelash extensions which I had ravenously awaited, I entered Cherry Lash Lounge for the first time as a client a week later.  This entrance was different than the first.  There was no longer a small room with a tiresome receptionist standing behind a tiny counter, it had transitioned into a large waiting room with a tall, sleek counter and three pleasant greeting receptionists all of which had eyelash extensions of their own.  The room was encompassed of modern, black leather chairs, a large flat screen television that had a continuous video of eyelash content playing, cherry-red painted walls blended perfectly with the scent of cherry that bathed in the air I breathed.  I felt like I had just stepped into a highly coveted, eyelash extension boutique embracing a new-formed secret society of eyelash extension wearers.

I was given a refreshingly cold bottled water with the Cherry Lash Lounge Logo of two cherries wrapped around it as I waited for “her”.  Butterflies formed in my stomach as the anticipation overwhelmed me with the visions I had created in my mind as to how the outcome of my eyes would look with eyelashes.  Naturally, I have long eyelashes on both the top and the bottom lids of my eyes but because I have fine hair, it does not have volume until I use mascara to enhance my eyelashes and create that volume.

Sitting in the comfortable, leather chair, watching the video on how to care for my new lashes, I heard my name quietly called, “Amra”.  I looked over to where the sound had come from and saw “her”, arms clasped together in front of her body with a welcoming smile.  I rose from the seat, ready to receive what I had envisioned in my mind of a new form of fashionable eyelashes and went to “her”.

“Hi, my name is Marianne,” she said kindly.  “Her” had a name, Marianne.  I followed her through a closed door.  When she opened it I was amazed at what I saw.  It was like stepping through an Alice in Wonderland movie, I did not expect to see rows of reclined chairs with long, black drapes hanging high from the ceiling, dividing the chairs, providing a private compartment for each client.  She walked me to a chair that was on a platform, raised higher from the floor, I felt like a queen to her throne as I stepped up and sat into the black, reclining chair which swallowed me in like quick sand, forming to the contour of my body, creating a cozy, womb-like feel.

Sitting on my throne at Cherry Lash Lounge.

Sitting on my throne at Cherry Lash Lounge.

Covering me with a blanket, Marianne walked behind me and slowly reclined me back to a semi-inverted position and whispered, “you’ll feel a bright light.”  She turned the bright, magnifying lamp on and although it felt bright on my closed eyes, it made me feel like I just entered into heaven.  I was now fully engaged to this 3 1/2 hour process of receiving my eyelashes for the first time and I was endearingly ready.

What is eyelash extension?  What kind of eyelashes are used?  What is the process to receiving eyelashes?  All these questions I had and Marianne was gracious to answer them and more.

Eyelash extension is taking an individual piece of manufactured eyelashes and applying them onto a naturally existing eyelash to extend out from the eyes.  This enhances the contour of the eye and allows for length and depth to the eyelashes.

Cherry Lash Lounge uses synthetic mink extensions.  Everything is 100% customizable.  They carry relaxed, curly, super curly curls and sizes that range from XXS-XXXL.  They also have colored lashes and fun Ombre eyelashes as well.

If well taken care of, eyelash extensions can last anywhere from 4-7 weeks but to retain a complete fill look, most people return 2-3 weeks in between fills.  The worst thing that anyone could use on extensions is mascara or lash strips because it will ruin the lashes.

Individual eyelashes are placed on by adhesives.  Cherry Lash Lounge has 3 different types of adhesives to suit varying client’s needs.  They range from normal to extra sensitive eyes.  It is important that clients do not receive any form of irritation when receiving extensions so catering to those sensitivities  are first and foremost.

The extensions that Cherry Lash Lounge uses are privately made by their own manufacturer.  There are 3 types of curls that are specifically made by Cherry, relaxed curl, curly and super curly.  Relaxed curl is straighter with a a little bend towards the end for a more natural look.  Curly is universal that looks good on anyone and is Cherry’s most popular because it opens the eye up more.  Super Curly is Cherry’s most dramatic curl and most tight curl that gives the eyes an opened doll-eyed look.

During the eyelash extension treatment, a mister which sprays out distilled water, is sprayed over the eyes.  The cool mist of distilled water cures the adhesive instantaneously and allows the eyelashes to set for the duration they will remain on your natural eyelash.

I like dramatic eyes, the Cleopatra look, and Marianne listened perfectly.  She designed my eyes by using the medium Super Curly’s on the inner corners of my eyes transitioning to the Longs and Extra Longs throughout the rest of my eyes giving me that bold, doll-eyed, dramatic look that I love.

Marianne throughout the 3 1/2 hours it took for her to apply my virgin eyes with extensions, sat patiently, artistically designing the exact look I had envisioned.  I could tell she loved what she does and her passion displayed nicely on my eyes but I would have never known that she desired a different path early on her career.

Straight out of Aesthetic school, Marianne Cortez wanted to work for one of the biggest and best spas on the Las Vegas strip at one of the high-end casinos.  Through tireless attempts, she found it hard to go against the seasoned Aestheticians that had experience who also were fighting to land their career in a well-reputable spa.  Being that she had no experience at that time, an opportunity arose for her that her husband found in an ad.  The ad stated that they were hiring at Cherry Lash Lounge.  Although very apprehensive about applying for the position because she didn’t know anything about eyelash extensions she applied with an open mind and got hired right away.

As I sat in that chair, receiving eyelash extensions by Marianne, I am grateful that she was open-minded to experience a position in which she knew nothing about for I felt in her presence that she was where she was meant to be.  Extremely skilled at her craft, I never felt her breath over my face, I never felt her hands resting on my forehead, she spoke softly like an angel and it was like almost a dream when the whole experience was done.

Trained by the greatest overseas, Marianne now trains other apprentices new to applying eyelash extensions.  She devotes numerous hours to making sure this trending beauty eyewear is delivered to eyelash extension wearers in all of Cherry Lash Lounge’s locations.  She truly is lash artist extraordiniare.