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When I was in college, I received tons of compliments on my unique, Eurasian-looking appearance, despite my Asian roots. It was from then on that I became very conscious of my looks, and began wearing makeup all the time – even when I was at the gym or running a marathon.

Shortly after graduating from university, I met Steven* through our mutual friends, and it was love at first sight. He told me he was mesmerised by my eyes, and loved how stunning I always looked in photos. I jokingly told him that it was just simple makeup tricks and camera filters used to achieve my looks. In truth, I spent hours and hours in front of the mirror making sure my makeup was perfect!

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Steven and I eventually became a couple, and very soon, I started spending weekend nights over at his place. I’ve always been honest with him regarding everything, but there was just one thing I was unable to come clean on: I couldn’t bear to remove all my makeup in front of him, especially my falsies.

I always waited for Steven to go to bed before I removed the foundation on my face. But I would leave my false eyelashes on for the whole night, so I could wake up with beautiful eyes.

Once, I decided to remove all my makeup and we went for supper; Steven commented that I looked very different from my usual self. Since then, I have never removed my makeup in front of him, except when I was back at my own house.

A few times, Steven asked me why I always had my false eyelashes on, even on the late nights we spent together on staycations and holidays. I gave the excuse that I did not have my special eye makeup remover, and it would cause me pain if I had to remove my false eyelashes by force. Although Steven told me once that it was all right to go makeup-free in front of him, I just couldn’t bear the thought of him leaving me if he was unable to accept my real face.

Admittedly, it was a pain to be wearing false eyelashes all the time. Plus, I had fears of the lashes being blown away by a strong gust of wind, or being washed off accidentally if I was taking a shower. There were times when my eyelids would become itchy and slightly swollen. I was unable to go swimming without goggles, due to my stubbornness in keeping my falsies on.

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Steven eventually proposed to me, and we became man and wife. However, even after being married, I still did not have the courage to remove all my makeup and face him with my natural appearance. For three years, I always slept later than him and woke up earlier, just so I could touch up my makeup before he woke up.

Then, I discovered eyelash extensions. And even though these could last a month, I would always want to have them on, and refused to face anyone without them. I even refused to remove my eyelash extensions on the day my first child was born, and insisted on wearing full makeup to the hospital and delivery room!

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My obsession with wearing eyelash extensions over the years has been taking a toll on my real lashes, and most of them have fallen off due to the heavy weight they sustained with long-term wear. My dermatologist even suggested that I should take a break from extensions, but I refused…

Today marks my seventh year of wearing eyelash extensions, and I still have not gone makeup-free to face my husband. Perhaps, if there’s an update in beauty technology which allows me to have long and full eyelashes naturally someday, I will consider removing them.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Photos: 123rf.com, Pixabay / posed by models

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