Let me preface this post by stating that just because I encountered a minor mishap with synthetic extensions, does not mean you will!! If you have been on the fence and need somethin' to push you towards an answer, don't let this make the call. Having an allergic reaction is a risk with anything, especially cosmetic procedures. Research any procedure (big or small) before committing!
Anyways, you kind of have an idea of where I'm going with this....yes, I got eyelash extensions, and received a horrible allergic reaction that I will never...ever...forget. In a way, its comical because of how ridiculous I looked, but on the other hand, my sight could have been severely affected if I had not removed them. BUT, I took the risk knowing the chances.
This is my story...DUN DUN
Flashback to August...I'm scrolling through Pinterest during the height of the extension trend. My friends, friends mother's, sisters, aunts, daughters ALL have jumped onto this bandwagon. I was curious....but nervous. I'm the type of gal that doesn't spend much money on things like this, besides a regular gel mani every few weeks. I'm scared of pedicures because I'm absurdly ticklish, I do my own eyebrows, and I don't trust a hairstylist. You get the picture.
However, I longed for the luscious eyelashes that have been spamming my feed. I watched countless videos of application, removal, and before & afters convinced that this will change morning routine for the better. Having heavily relied on stick-ons ever since I discovered makeup, this was my chance to ditch the glue and invest in a minor cosmetic procedure that will entail minimal upkeep.
I continued to research and found a well-established salon nearby. I asked the generic questions to the technician: "does it hurt??" "how long will it take??" "can I take a nap when you're gluing them on???" and so on. The lash technician lets me know in advance that some women are more susceptible to an allergic reaction from the formaldehyde-based adhesive, and the initial application will take around 2 hours. They will last me a full two to four weeks before I need to come back for a fill, and I will be on my merry way with a beautiful new set of eye hair that will generate their own gusts of wind. She stated, that If I became allergic, I would know within the first few hours.
Flash forward a month and a half later, I am LOVING my fabulous set of lashes. However, there were DEFINITELY some pros and cons. Although they were not deal breakers for me then, looking back now, I might have reconsidered.
- I appeared more awake
- My morning routine took less than half the time- I never had the need for mascara
- It was a major confidence boost having flawless lashes
- When it was time for a fill (more often than not), the lashes once adheared to the lid would become detached, and follow the growth pattern of the natural lash. This would cause the end to scrape against my lid causing slight irritation
- I had to avoid direct contact with water on the lashes (ex: showering, swimming, etc)
- Costly $$$$. Initial appointment- $150. Refills- $40, twice a month (varies by salon)
Anyways, I assumed I was in the clear since I experienced no reaction of any kind. Well, boy did I think WRONG.
While at work one night (I was bartending at the time), I noticed my eyelids were a tad discolored and itchy. I didn't think anything of it besides the fact that since I worked in food service, my lashes have probably become dirty. The next morning, I'm hit with eyelids the size of softballs, and itching similar to if I was trapped in a sweater created of pure burlap. Both of my eyelids were red, inflamed and dry. I could barely keep my eyes open as my lids were becoming heavier and heavier by the hour.
Keep in mind, I am a woman with zero allergies. I can eat pretty much ingest anything and/or plaster myself in pollen without repercussions...this reaction was a major red flag.
At this point, I'm pretty much freaking out. I first turned to Google, and soon realized that the internet is trying to convince me I have contracted some detrimental, life-threatening sickness, having no choice but to say goodbye to my cats (I love you Thunder & Mittens). Bottom line- my lashes had to be professionally taken off immediately or I could become blind due to infection. CASUAL.
With this info eating at my brain, I have my phone in one hand with the salon on speed dial, and a cool cloth in the other prepared to wait out the pain one more day. I loved my extensions that much. Ultimately, I decided to wait it out, braving the co-workers alike for the influx of questions as to why I resemble Quasimodo.
I have now made it to day three and came to the conclusion that it's probably best to have them removed. Sprinting to my salon, I approached a baffled technician. She didn't really have much to say...the look on her face kind of gave me an idea of what she was thinking. Due to removal, I lost some of my real lashes that were trapped underneath the synthetics, but I would rather have lost a few hairs in battle than to have suffered any longer.
Partnered with some antihistamine medication, and a few days to have my natural eyes breath on their own again, my lids began to shrink. Thinking back, it's crazy how I thought nothing of a small procedure like this. I was consumed with the idea of having beautiful, natural looking semi-permanent lashes, but ignored the harsh chemicals, and potentially harmful outcomes.
I still haven't figured out why my eyes reacted the way that they did, nor do I dwell on it.
Overall, would I get them again? No. However, I would recommend them to someone who can afford to upkeep them every month and doesn't mind the minor complications that come with having synthetics. They are absolutely BEAUTIFUL when done correctly, and I enjoyed them while I could.