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Consumerwatch: Eyelash extensions
Eyelash extensions are a popular beauty accessory but health officials want women to keep safety in mind.
Eyelash extensions are a growing trend right out of Hollywood. Although they may seem like an easy way to get the “Red Carpet” look at home, health officials warn there are risks to consider before you get them.
Complications can arise if the person applying the lashes has not been properly trained, say officials. Some people can have bad reactions to the glue that’s used to stick the lashes on.
Miki-Rae Hanslip has visited Wink Salon once a month to get her lashes extended since she got her first set last summer.
“I like the feminine look, a little of drama to the eye,” she said.
Certified esthetician Varbie Pinones said she applies up to 40 lash extensions a week. The cost ranges from $85 to $250 dollars a set.
“No mascara is needed, no eyeliner. So it saves them a lot of time in the morning too,” said Pinones.
The eyelashes are typically made of synthetic fibers, which are glued on individually to the natural eyelashes. Pinones said she only uses Health Canada-approved glue and personally trains her staff on proper application procedures.
"If they're not trained properly, that can cause clumping, too much glue and a bunch of lashes falling off at the same time,” she said.
Actress Kristen Chennoworth wore sunglasses on The Late Show with David Letterman to hide the allergic reaction she had to the adhesive.
“It looks like lips on my eyelids,” she said.
Dermatologist Dr. Victoria Taraska says women need go into these procedures with their eyes wide open.
"Some people can have irritancy to a component of the glue, or allergy to the glue or chemical,” she said.
Taraska said scarring and fungal infections are rare, but can happen.
She said anyone considering the procedure should make sure the salon is sanitary and staff properly trained. Also ask if the salon is equipped to handle complications if something does go wrong.
There are alternatives to getting permanent eyelash extensions. Temporary false eyelashes are applied with a mild over-the-counter adhesive and cost between $40 and $60 dollars.
“They'll do the same thing that a lash extension will do,” said make-up artist Sara Gurevich. “They'll look the same, but you can take them off at the end of the night, and you don't have to worry about that monthly upkeep, if you just want them from time to time.”
For Hanslip, the $60-a-month upkeep is worth every penny. “It's a favourite beauty accessory, for sure,” she said.
For more information on Health Canada's guidelines regarding eyelash extensions, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/indust/cyanoacrylate/index-eng.php.