I was not blessed with long eyelashes. I’m always envious of my husband’s naturally long eyelashes and of course, as a man, he could care less about having them. I highly doubt there’s a mascara out there that I haven’t tried but I’m never able to achieve the desired length from any of them. I have also tried products similar to Latisse which work, but you have to continue to use them to keep the length.
Last December I was getting my nails done by my usual manicurist and I commented on her gorgeous, long lashes. She quickly told me they were extensions. I had known about the typical falsies I used in the past as a dancer and performer, but I was not hip to eyelash extensions. I questioned her further and she gave me the name of the woman who did her lashes. I made an appointment with Robyn Fujimoto, who was the ‘go-to’ woman for eyelash extensions in Atlanta. During my consultation, she explained to me about the different types of lashes (mink and faux mink), wear, and care of the lashes. We decided on a length and after 2 hours I was transformed into a glamazon! My lashes were so long and natural looking. You can see similar results in the pictures below:
I received endless compliments on them and I was hooked. Now, this is NOT a cheap habit. A full set was $200 and a fill was $75 every 2-3weeks. I continued to get my lashes filled for several months until one day I woke up in the morning to a red, itchy, swollen eyelid. Even more importantly, it was THREE days before my wedding!!!! Needless to say, I was freaking out! I immediately thought I may have had an infection. I spoke with my aesthetician that day and she said it was common to have a mild allergic reaction to the adhesive. I then consulted with a friend of mine who is a dermatologist and also had eyelash extensions. I received a cortisone injection and my eye was back to normal within two days.
Well, that was the last time I had eyelash extensions. I have spoken with several other women who have similar stories to mine. So, what exactly happened?
There are several different eyelash extension products with the most popular being NovaLash, NaturaLash, and Xtreme Lashes. They all use a “medical grade” adhesive for the lashes to stick. NovaLash is supposed to be the healthiest of the products claiming a fume-free adhesive. This is what there Material Safety Data Sheet reveals:
2 – Composition/Information on Ingredients:
Hazardous Component (relative %)
Cyanoacrylate Ester Poly Methyl Methacrylate Chemical composition testing has confirmed that this adhesive is essentially formaldehyde free*. (*below those levels specified by the FDA and OSHA as significant or hazardous)
3 – Hazards Identification:
Toxicity: Skin contact may cause burns. Bonds rapidly and strongly to skin. Skin and eye irritant. Estimated oral LD50 more than 5000mg/kg.
Route of Entry: Inhalation
Signs of exposure: Vapor is irritating to eyes and mucous membranes above TLV. Prolonged and / or repeated overexposure to vapors may produce
symptoms of non-allergic asthma in sensitive individuals.
I’m sorry but this doesn’t seem fume-free to me. This is supposed to be the best glue and I’m sure salons across the country are using cheaper adhesives to cut costs. Kind of makes you think…. I also love this first aid tip in their MSDS:
Eyelid Adhesion – In the event that eyelids are stuck together or bonded to the eyeball, wash thoroughly with warm water and apply a gauze patch. The eye will open without further action, typically in one to two days. There will be no residual damage. Do not try to open the eyes by manipulation.
Could you imagine having your eye glued shut for 1-2 days!!! All in all, this post is not to scare you, but to inform you. My aim is to make you an informed consumer. I didn’t know to ask these questions so I’m passing on this information so you can avoid having an experience like mine. If you go to a salon for consultation about eyelash extensions, ask them about what adhesives they use and what problems previous clients have experienced. If they’re not open about their product, RUN!
Here is the link to novalash.com/pdf/MSDS-FF.pdf for more info