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Experts, Users Say There Are Risks To Using Eyelash Extensions

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ENCINO (CBS) — The quest for a luscious set of lashes is leaving some women’s eyelids bare.

More women are using eyelash extensions to enhance their eyes and save time doing their makeup but some say there are downfalls.

“My eyelashes were very average eyelashes. They’re not particularly thick, they’re not overly thin,” Tiffany Howard told CBS2 reporter Sibila Vargas.

The Encino resident had heard rave reviews from friends about eyelash extensions and felt she had to try them.

“So they’re taking glue and they’re gluing on individual eyelashes to your own eyelashes,” Howard said.

She said waking up with bold lashes was worth the money.

“I have no makeup and you can see in this photo that my eyes are popping!”

She also loved the time she saved applying mascara.

But, after a few weeks, the glamor grew out.

“I could feel, when I would blink like that, I could feel the glue,” Howard said. “What I didn’t realize was that the good lashes were coming out with the extensions.”

Howard said she was left with gaps on her eyelids that had no eyelashes and it took months for her natural lashes to grow back.

A beauty insider, who chose not to be identified, said she’s witnessed the same thing.

“Eyelash extensions are the latest addiction. I’ve seen many women that have lost their eyelashes and once they stop using them, they have less eyelashes and I don’t see them coming back,” the insider said.

Dr. Wendy Lee, an eye surgeon, said her patients are mentioning this issue more often.

“The most common complaint I hear is that women end up with shorter stubbier lashes, or either no lashes when they take these off,” Lee said.

“It becomes a vicious cycle because they don’t want to stop the lashes — the lash extensions — in order to grow the lashes back,” the doctor said.

“It’s not the end of the world. They’re eyelashes but it was enough to say I will never do this again,” Howard said.

There are beauticians who say they can preserve natural lashes while providing extensions but Howard said, for now, she has just one tip for beautiful eyes: “Find a fabulous mascara and use it every day!”

In California you must be a licensed beautician to apply eyelash extensions. Customers can report a bad experience by filing a complaint through the California Board Of Barbering and Cosmetology here: https://app.dca.ca.gov/barber/complaints.asp

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