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Getting the Eyelashes of Your Dreams: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask!

Posted by Sharon Gnatt Epel on

If you have ever dreamed of having thick, long eyelashes that look great without a stitch of mascara, you are not alone. A set of sexy lashes can make your eyes look larger, give your ego a boost and make you feel young and flirtatious. New advances in eyelash technology can now give you what nature shorted you on. All you need is oodles of money, the patience of a saint and the steady nerves of a gambler.

Here are the newest eyelash options and what you need to know about them. 

  1. False eyelashes – glue-ons and magnetic
  2. Hand-applied eyelash extensions (semi-permanent)
  3. Lash growth treatments

Let’s start with false eyelashes. To wear these disposable babies you need to trim the lash strip, apply adhesive to the band, affix it to your eyelid and then hold the lashes in place until the glue dries. Maneuvering the strip into the proper position on your eyelid can be challenging, especially if you have dexterity issues or large fingers. When it comes to adhesives, some glues are better than others. Many have ingredients that can irritate the eye causing it to tear (as in cry) and swell. There are newer glues that claim to be hypoallergenic, but I can tell you from personal experience that not all of them work as promised.

False lashes need to be removed at bedtime or you will find them in your hair by the time you wake up. Some of the better ones can be reused but the glue must first be peeled off the strip, which can be tricky. Adhesives can be difficult to remove from the skin and you may find little flecks of what looks like rubber cement stuck to your lash line, even after using an oil-free makeup remover. Magnetic false eyelashes eliminate the problem of dealing with residual glue, but I don’t know anyone who has had luck getting them to stay put when they blink.

Next on the list are eyelash extensions. These gorgeous lashes tend to look the most natural because they are individually, painstakingly applied. But be forewarned: lash extensions are high-maintenance and require touch ups every two weeks because the lashes shed just like the natural ones do and need to be replaced. Simply rubbing your eyes can result in lash breakage. The initial installation runs about $200.00, but the bi-monthly touch ups can bankrupt you at upwards of $100 a pop. It is important to note that regular application of eyelash extensions can lead to losing your natural ones.

Like false eyelashes, lash extensions are also secured to the lash line with lash adhesives that can cause inflammation, irritation, allergic reactions and even infection. One of my friends treated herself to extensions for her 40th birthday but had such intense itching that she managed to rub them off in her sleep. Just like going to the nail salon, you risk infection from the implements used during the application if they have not been properly cleaned and disinfected.

Lash extensions also require you to keep oil-based products away from your eyes because oil can dissolve the lash adhesive. This includes face creams and moisturizers that often find their way off your pillow and on to the skin around your eyes when you sleep.  

This brings us to option 3: Lash Growth Treatments. Most of us would be happy to apply a serum nightly to improve the length and fullness of our lashes, but even this comes with some serious risks. 

Right now, Latisse is the only FDA approved growth treatment for lashes. It works by prolonging the eyelash growth cycle which allows the lashes extra time to grow long. If you do not have lashes or the ones you have are sparse, Latisse will not do anything to improve your predicament. The most common problems caused by growth serums are redness and irritation. If you are prone to blepharitis (an inflammation of the base of the lashes) or suffer from dry eye, you are advised by the manufacturer not to use this product.

Additional side effects include red, itchy welts, blurry vision, asthma-like symptoms, dizziness, developing a brown pigmentation in the iris (the colored part of your eye) that can become permanent, a dark staining of the skin around the eyelids and unwanted hair growth wherever the serum may have dripped on the face. No one knows what the long-term effects of using these serums are because they have not been around long enough. Disclosure of these and other risks are available through the Latisse website.

I encourage you to do the research on any product you are thinking about using. While there are no absolutes or guarantees, it always makes sense to find out as much as you can to safeguard your health and beauty.


Copyright 3-23-19 Sharon Gnatt Epel for La Ishá Inc.

Photo credit: Tsolmon Naidandor

Eyelash extensions false eyelashes Lash growth treatments Latisse

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