We’re here to keep it real: good lash extensions are not cheap, and cheap lash extensions can ruin your life. We know, that may sound a bit dramatic, but hear us out. If you’re looking for the best deal, we’re all about shopping around for good pricing on shoes. But your eyeballs, baby? Those are priceless, so skip shopping around for cheaper lashes. Wanna know why? Keep reading + let us show you the light!
Your ideal lash artist will be educated in all the right ways, and should be able to share with you a glimpse into all that they are doing. They understand correct sanitation, products and their ingredients, isolation, application, and aftercare. As the consumer, it’s important to know enough about lash extensions to recognize their potential dangers when applied incorrectly. If you blindly book a lash application without researching first, you could suffer from problems that result in uncomfortable lash lines, red and puffy eyes, or even dangerous infections and reactions.
We have heard our share of horrifying lash experience nightmares. When done properly, having your lashes done is a pampering, relaxing act of self care. Here’s some insight to the lash extension dangers that are likely to happen if you don't search for a skilled lash artist using proper techniques before getting your lashes done.
“STICKY CENTRAL” - NATURAL LASHES STUCK TOGETHER
Are you familiar with the natural lash growth process? If not, you can read about it here. Once your full set of lash extensions is applied, your natural eyelashes should grow out normally and with no pain. However, when two natural lashes or more are adhered to a single lash extension (improper technique), they can get stuck together and will create a pulling sensation as they grow out. You can tell this is the case if you feel tugging, itching, or even pinching at the lash line when you are brushing your lashes and blinking. This can also feel like a red hot stye. This can lead to criss-crossed extensions as they grow out also, so keep an eye out for that if you don’t feel irritation.
This is an application error, and does not happen when extensions are applied properly. The key to avoiding “stickies” is for the lash artist to use correct isolation techniques and an appropriate amount of lash adhesive. Each extension should be applied to only ONE natural eyelash, and with a tiny (almost invisible) amount of lash adhesive. When too much adhesive is used, or improper isolation is practiced, it will likely cause a “sticky” every time. Not only is the feeling annoying, but it can lead to reactions, broken lashes, and permanent damage such as traction alopecia over time.
At the end of each appointment, you should be able to feel your artist going through your new extensions, checking for “stickies”. Each student graduating from the Lash Affair Academy is given these helpful tips and are taught this important final stage of the lash appointment. The artist and client should both be able to brush through the extensions with zero tugging, pulling, or snagging. If you feel this at the end of your appointment - run!
Implements that are not sanitized properly, dirty work areas, and improper safety measures can cause several types of cringe-worthy, unpleasant eye infections. A lovely example is pink eye, or conjunctivitis, which is an infection of the sclera, (white part) of the eye and causes redness and itching. Because pink eye is highly contagious, it's easy to pass on to other clients if lash artists are not carefully disinfecting their implements or using disposables the way they were intended.
An overgrowth of bacteria in the lash line can cause a condition called blepharitis. Symptoms include crusty, greasy, itchy, dry skin at the lash line. Artists who do not educate their clients on proper aftercare, which includes daily cleansing, are putting their clients at risk for this. We all have naturally occurring microscopic mites that live on our skin, including eyelids. They are not harmful, being that their function is to help consume skin cells to live their best life. With proper cleansing, these little guys are kept at bay as the ecosystem of our lash lines thrive. When proper cleansing does not occur, the population control of these mites gets out of hand, and that’s when infections and issues can develop.
Take the time to inquire about your new lash artist’s sanitation and hygiene methods prior to your appointment. How are their tweezers sanitized? How frequently is the artist washing and sanitizing their hands while they're at work? What precautions is the artist taking to make sure their clients don't experience irritation? Does the artist turn away clients who exhibit symptoms of an infection? If you still have concerns, an option is to provide the lash artist's answers to your ophthalmologist before deciding to get lash extensions.
Eyelash extension adhesive is safe to be used around the eye area, being that it is a medical grade adhesive similar to that used for sutureless wound closures. As long as the artist is storing their adhesive properly and for an appropriate amount of time, fumes can be mitigated. Lash adhesive that has been stored in the fridge can cause condensation that could result in increased fumes, and can decrease the integrity of the adhesive. It’s also important to note that lash adhesive should be stored in a cool, dry, vacuum sealed container such as the Love Shack. Adhesive can be stored up to 3 months unopened, and is expired after 5 weeks of being open.
Some can be sensitive to cyanoacrylate, the main ingredient in all lash adhesives, though this is rare. Oftentimes, the gel pad and tape placement is the main culprit of reactions. Placing the gel pad too high on the lash line can cause it to rub the eye's delicate membrane. On the other hand, placing it too low allows for an opening into the eye, which enables vapors from the adhesive to seep through. This can all be prevented with proper training and application.
If you happen to have a sensitivity to vapors and fumes, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to wear beautiful, fluffy lash extensions. A clear adhesive often is a great choice for those who’ve experienced irritation before. Another option for you if you are sensitive, is to ask the artist about cleansing after application. This helps the adhesive to cure quickly, which can help prevent reactions.
A patch test is recommended prior to your full set appointment if you have had a reaction before. If you’ve experienced irritation, or have dry skin, prepping the eye with a barrier cream can help prevent reactions. You can also ask your artist for the ingredients for lash adhesives, to identify any potential sensitivities or allergies you may have knowledge of prior to application.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A LASH ARTIST
- Is a licensed beauty professional (cosmetologist, esthetician)
- Is certified with a reputable brand such as Lash Affair
- Uses professional grade products that are safe
- Practices proper hand washing and hygiene
- Has insurance
- Has credible reviews, testimonials, and photos of their work
- Provides a thorough consultation and patch test (if needed) before appointment
You can always turn to a little social media stalking sesh to scope out a new artist. Your new artist’s social media is oftentimes a ready-to-go portfolio of their art, and an easy way to inquire about their training and experience before booking. Feel free to candidly ask a lash artist if their clients have experienced any problems, why they occurred, and how they were handled. Your ideal lash artist will have no issues answering these questions honestly before you invest money in their skills.
The eyes are one of the most precious body parts, and no one should have to sacrifice their functionality or health in order to get full lashes. Just like you would research a plastic surgeon, eye doctor, or dentist, it's important to take the time to get to know who is applying lashes before it's too late. We hope this helps you find the perfect lash artist (maybe even at Lash Affair Studios)! Spread the good word, and share this blog with your circle so they can experience lash extensions the right way, too.