This is what Megan Rixson, a 20-year old student in Luton, in the UK, normally looks like.
And this is her after a very ill-fated attempt to get eyelash extensions.
Rixson told BuzzFeed News she went to get her lashes done on Oct. 19 at a local salon and things quickly went downhill.
“When she was doing the first one my eyes were stinging lots,” Rixson said. “But she said, don’t worry, it’s normal, and told me to hold my eye open.
“It was burning so much my eyes were naturally closing, but she kept telling me to hold them open. After she was done, I sat up on the bed and couldn’t open them. I said, this isn’t normal, but she kept saying it was.”
She ended up with swelling, redness, and eyes that wouldn’t stop watering. She even lost her sight for two hours.
She thinks the salon used nail glue instead of eyelash glue, which is definitely not eye-friendly.
Rixson visited a walk-in clinic about two hours after getting the lashes and was able to get eye drops and eye wash to treat them.
“My eyes are recovering well, still very sensitive. Occasionally the left eye blurs and both are a tiny bit sore but are getting better every day,” she said.
Although eyelash extensions are hugely popular right now, you need to be very careful. There’s a lack of regulation for the procedure, which means it’s easy to go somewhere that doesn’t do it safely.
Dr. Samuel D. Pierce is an optometrist and president of the American Optometric Association. He told BuzzFeed News there’s a lot of things that can go wrong with eyelash extensions.
“They have the potential to cause redness, irritation, and inflammation that can cause conjunctivitis or pink eye from trapped foreign particles,” he said.
You could also experience an allergic reaction to the glue and the glue can cause corneal abrasions.
These can turn into an ulcer, which can become infected. That could cause vision loss — even permanently.
Some people also pick out the extensions, which cause their natural lashes to come out, too.
“You end up having the absolute opposite of what you set out for,” he said.
Pierce said that if you experience redness or discomfort after getting your eyelashes done, don’t hesitate to go see an optometrist. The same goes for other procedures like eyelash tinting or bedazzling.
You should also ask your esthetician questions about what kind of glue they use and watch to make sure they’re practicing proper hygiene, like washing their hands and wearing gloves.
“My first bit of advice would be make sure you always carry out a glue test. And second of all, ask the beautician what glue they use, ask to see it,” said Rixson.
As for Pierce, he’d rather you just get some good mascara.
“My first advice would be to don’t do it,” he said.