After a hiatus lasting well over a decade, the lash phenomenon really started catching on again a few years back when Jennifer Lopez attended the Grammys wearing a pair of faux lashes.

It wasn’t long before Madonna and Oprah jumped on the bandwagon and started regularly applying Shu Uemura specially made mink lashes (which don’t retail but would cost upward of $1,000 a pair if they did).

The short, or long, of it is that you don’t need the Material Girl’s bank account to get personalized lush, fake lashes. In January, Shu Uemura opened one of a handful of his famous Toyko Lash Bars inside Neiman Marcus at Fashion Island where there are just as many varieties of eyelashes as there are of vodka at any old bar.

But at this bar, under the bright Neiman Marcus lights, makeup artists create customized looks on an eye-by-eye basis. Based on eye shape, occasion and personal taste, the client can choose from feathery, elongated and eccentric or just something naturally beautiful.

Post makeup, stunted eyelashes can easily be turned up a few notches, and with more than 30 styles of lashes to mull over, there is something for every eye. And the pros are not only there to apply these tricky little guys but will gladly educate clients on how to do it themselves. But is it worth shelling over $15 to $20 for lashes and lash glue? Well, I’d say, yeah, lashes really make a difference.

© 2005, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.). Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.