A Utah woman who lost her natural eyelashes after getting extensions may serve as a cautionary tale for women considering the cosmetic procedure, which has been popularized by celebrities like reality TV star Kylie Jenner.
Michelle Lundberg, of Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City, told Fox 13 Now that she suffered itchy eyes and a rash on her eyelids after getting false eyelashes applied at an unnamed salon. When she tried to have the lashes removed, her natural lashes broke off.
“It took weeks and weeks and weeks for them to grow back to normal," Lundberg told the news station.
Consumer Reports issued a warning in 2013 about the potential dangers of false eyelashes, including allergic reactions and infections. The group advises consumers avoid eyelash extensions and opt for mascara instead.
Salt Lake City-based ophthalmologist Mark Mifflin told Fox13Now.com that false eyelashes can cause side effects as minor as itchiness and redness, but also as major as a corneal infection. He explained an abrasion of the cornea is like a scratch, “but sometimes those can actually become infected and that can lead to scarring,” which can lead to eyesight loss.
Marisa Kelly, owner of Salt Lake City-based salon Entice Lashes & Brows, told the news station warning signs that false lashes are being incorrectly applied include the use of tape, which can cause eye irritation, as well as the use of glue that contains toxic formaldehyde. She added that too-heavy false eyelashes may also cause breakage to natural lashes.
"If you're paying $30 for a full set, they're probably not using the proper products," Kelly said.
Lundberg told Fox13Now.com that, in light of her recent traumatic experience with the procedure, she won’t be risking eyelash loss by getting extensions any more.
"That's what I guess I learned from all of this— is just be comfortable with who you are," Lundberg told the news station.