B, D, F, M at 42nd St.-Bryant Park
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After several years of working as a makeup artist for brands like Clinique and Lancôme, Courtney Akai found her calling: lashes. The New Jersey native turned her fetish into a reality in 2009 by opening up this pink-washed, two-room salon in midtown. Outfitted with rhinestone-framed mirrors, the space screams girly, as does Akai, whose style is akin to fashion designer Betsey Johnson’s (whom she has worked with). Using a formaldehyde-free glue, and offering half and full sets, Akai is adamant in finding out exactly what her clients want out of an appointment (length, volume, an everyday look, something dramatic, etc.), and matches the desired effect with the appropriate lash type (synthetics, silk, or mink). Her services, which can take up to two hours, don’t come cheap (prices are from $250 for a half-set), though Akai’s meticulous work results in real-looking lashes that can last anywhere from six to eight weeks. (A word to the wiseódepending on lash growth, touch ups, after a week or so, may be necessary). For those looking for a more affordable option, Akai has brought on two associates who offer the same lash services, but at slightly lower price points. Special event makeup, permanent makeup, and lash dying are also on the menu.