Considering Eyelash Extensions? Read this Exposé First
Women have been obsessing over their eyelashes since the days of the ancient Egyptians…
But the type of false lashes we use today date back only to the early 20th century. A Hollywood makeup artist, Max Factor, brought false lashes to the big screen. Movie stars such as Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Lauren Bacall were regular eyelash wearers.
It didn’t take long before women everywhere were wearing fake eyelashes.
Why? Long, dramatic eyelashes are feminine, sexy, and alluring. They bring all attention to your eyes — making them pop.
Bold lashes have the power to instantly transform your face from beautiful to bombshell.
But a lot has changed since the Golden Era, and false eyelashes aren’t the only way to get fuller, more glamorous lashes. Some women will go to great lengths to achieve that look.
And, of course, it all comes at a price.
Let’s face it, the glue we use to put falsies on isn’t good for our lashes. And we all know that lash curlers cause breakage and fallout, especially if you use them all the time…
Still, long lashes make such a big difference in our appearance, we’re willing to sacrifice a few lashes from using a lash curler, wearing fake eyelashes, or layering on globs of mascara.
But some recent trends in lash enhancements are just over the top with risks and side effects, and I’m going to tell you about them in this email, as well as give you tips on how to protect and nourish your lashes — so keep reading.
Without further ado, here’s my list of:
Risky Lash Enhancements
1. Eyelash Tinting
This recent trend is by far the most dangerous.
Lash tinting is exactly what it sounds like. You go to a salon and choose a shade to dye your natural lashes, just like you’d color your hair. And it works! The result is beautiful, dark lashes without needing to apply mascara.
But all that glitters is not gold…
Eyelash tinting has some serious risks and side effects.
For starters, the area around your eyes is a lot more delicate than your scalp, so if you have sensitive skin, or have had a negative reaction to hair dyes in the past, this probably isn’t right for you at all.
Dermatologist Karyn Grossman, MD, points out the major concerns of lash tinting: “One is that it can affect the skin — causing irritation, inflammation, or possible allergic reactions. The other is that it may affect the eye. Even when carefully placed, it can seep into the sclera.”
And that’s the real risk… the types of dyes they’re using.
In fact, the possible side effects are so dangerous they can lead to permanent eye-damage, and in some cases, blindness.
Some eyelash tints claim to be “chemical-free” and “organic,” but there’s really no way to know what they’re using at a salon.
This trend is so new and risky, it’s actually banned in the state of California!
Needless to say, I recommend avoiding eyelash tinting.
2. Lash Lifts
Lash lifts are the equivalent of a perm for your lashes. The treatment instantly gives them a dramatic curl worthy of a mascara ad, without the use of extensions.
But you may not love your results…
First off, while a “lift” does make your lashes curlier, it also makes them appear shorter. So, if you struggle with the length of your lashes, perming them is not a good option for you.
But the real problem is the side effects: they’re farmore dangerous than the perms we used to get back in the 80’s.
The chemical used in lash lifts (to break down the protein bonds in each hair strand) is Ammonium — which is known to be toxic to the cornea and sclera. If your aesthetician isn’t careful enough or well trained, the solution could land in your eye and cause serious damage.
This perming solution may cause:
- Chronic dry eyes
- Redness or swelling around the eye
- More brittle lashes
This procedure is one of the cheaper options, costing only about $100 per session, with results lasting a good six weeks. But in my opinion, it’s just not worth it: it’s far too dangerous and the long-term effects on your lashes can be costly.
So, if a “lift” is all you’re after, your best bet is to stick to an eyelash curler. It may still pull at your lashes, but it’s cheaper, and a whole lot safer than a lash lift. (And below I’ll tell you how to protect your lashes, so using a curler won’t feel so scary!)
3. Eyelash Extensions
Who wouldn’t want to wake up every morning with full, voluminous, dark lashes — without having to layer on three coats of mascara?
Eyelash extensions have become one of the biggest beauty trends in the last few years, but the quest for Hollywood-like beauty can come at a price.
For starters, they cost anywhere between $150-$500 per set depending on the salon and type of lashes. And they last only 2-4 weeks. (If done routinely, that’s over a thousand dollars on extensions per year!)
Not to mention how grueling the two hour process is…
They literally glue around 160 individual lashes onto your natural lashes.
And as dreamy as your results may be, eyelash extensions come with some serious health hazards, and can leave your natural lashes brittle, short, and more sparse in the long term.
The College of Optometrists in England has warned that “repeated use of eyelash extensions can cause traction alopecia, a condition where the hair falls out due to excessive tension placed on the hair shaft. As a result, this can damage the hair follicle, which can slow down and even cease production of hair.”
So, if you keep getting extensions, it’ll cause more lashes to fall out — contributing to the exact reason you got extensions in the first place!
Even worse than damaged lashes, the glue they use for extensions can cause trauma to the eyelid or cornea.
Rebecca J Taylor MD, at the American Academy of Ophthalmology warns about the glue used in eyelash extensions: “In the past, some of these glues have contained the allergen formaldehyde. An allergic reaction can trigger pain, itching, redness and swelling. It may even temporarily interfere with vision. Eyelash extensions and glue are not currently regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”
And if that weren’t enough, you can rip out your natural lashes if you try to remove them yourself. So, you’ll need to schedule another appointment with a professional.
The bottom line is: all three of these procedures — tinting, lifts, and extensions — require the use of strong chemicals right next to your eyes.
In my professional opinion, they’re just too risky.
Now, I know these enhancements are extreme, but you may not realize that one of the most dangerous lash-loss culprits lurks in your cosmetics bag…
Sure, mascara makes your lashes look darker, thicker, and longer… but the price you pay is thinning, sparse lashes.
Even removing your mascara can ruin your lashes if done wrong. (Not to mention, tugging on the skin around your eyes causes wrinkles and fine lines!)
But I know you’re not going to stop wearing mascara, so I want to share a couple tips with you that will protect your lashes from the dangers of mascara…
1. To prevent excessive fall out when removing makeup: Soak a cotton pad with a gentle oil-based cleanser, and place it over your eye for 20 seconds, then gently wipe it off. This should break up any makeup residue. Then, follow with your facial cleanser for a clean finish!
2. To strengthen lashes: look for vitamin E, vitamin B5, or try castor oil — which is rich in natural fatty acids to help lash growth.
I especially recommend tip number #2, because the key to having long, luscious lashes is nourishing them.
Want more beauty tips like this one? I share them weekly in my newsletter, so make sure to keep an eye out. You’ll never know what I’ll reveal next 😉
And if you ever have questions about a new beauty or skincare fad, please write-in and ask me!
Does your attitude change when your eyelashes are enhanced? Do you feel more confident?
Or are you okay with having bare lashes? And if so, do you notice yourself choosing “bare lash days” when you’re feeling a certain way (content, sad, lazy)?
I’d love to know what your preference is — bare or bold — please comment below and tell me!