Don't get the long eyelash blues

May 15, 2013 9:02:49 AM PDT
Since before the days of cleopatra, women have been looking for thicker, darker eyelashes.

Whether you are placing your own false eyelashes or having them done professionally, you should be aware, there are risks. And today, Consumer Reports is warning women.

In the spotlight these days, are super-long lashes, from pop star Adele to rap singer Niki Minaj.

But Consumer Reports' medical adviser Dr. Orly Avitzur says be careful how you get that long-lash look.

"False eyelashes can trap dirt and bacteria, creating irritation and infection.And they can be difficult to remove," she says.

Up-and-coming singer Vanessa Racioppo wanted her eyes to pop at a photo shoot for her CD cover. But fake eyelashes made her miserable.

Her eyelids ached, and taking off the lashes was tough.

"I had to, like, soak my eye and pull really hard. And then I kind of pulled some of my eyelashes out. There was irritation."

"It looks like I have lips on my eyelids."

Actress Kristin Chenoweth wore sunglasses on the David Letterman show after her eyelids swelled up. She got what are called eyelash extensions, where single fibers are glued to your individual eyelashes.

"The risks of eyelash extensions are not only an allergic reaction to the glue but erosion of the inner surface of the eyelids. And they can cause permanent damage to your natural lashes."

The Internet promotes even more exotic eyelash enhancements -weaving tiny glass beads onto ultra-thin wire and applying them with an adhesive to your eyelids.

Consumer Reports says you're far better off doing what Vanessa Racioppo does now - just using mascara to give herself fuller, thicker lashes.

Of course, many women get the eyelashes and don't have any problems.

And because we know women are going to do this anyway, I would recommend, you at least ask for the adhesive that is formaldehyde-free. You can also look for hypo-allergenic adhesive.

If you are doing the extensions, you should try a small area first to make sure you don't have an allergy.