Eyelash Bling: Love it or Leave it?

A couple months ago, we brought you a story on eyelash extensions, now all the rage across the globe. We thought we had done our homework on this eye-popping trend. We learned about synthetic, mink, human, and polyester lashes, adhesives, and lash lengths. But we guess a beauty gurus work is never done. As if that wasn't enough, eyelash bling is now bedazzling these lusted after extensions for even more pizzazz. Who saw that trend coming?

Women are now opting to make an even more eye-catching statement with their lashes. Using an ultrathin wire threaded with glass beads, women are now bejeweled in a blink of an eye. Some are even opting to use Swarovski crystals, according to ShopSmart. And many are opting not to head to the salon for professional application. DIY lash bling tutorials are all over the web, providing tips and techniques to help make eyes sparkle. Of the many instructions, viewers are advised to apply rhinestones of no lore than 2.5 mm to fake lashes. Stones any larger than this will weigh eyes down. More importantly, viewers are advised to apply jewels to false lashes before they are applied to eyes, allowing glue to dry and the blinged out look to fully set. Sounds simple enough, right? But there are few other things before you bling.

The risks involved in false eyelashes and extensions are enough to consider on their own, but the factor of additional embellishments around the eye have many physicians concerned. Irritation, allergic reaction, and the loss of your real eyelashes are all potential hazards of desiring long and lustrous lashes. And with prom and wedding season in full swing, many doctors seek to highlight the need to remain cautious.

Dr. Marjan Farid, director of cornea, cataract and refractive surgery at UC Irvine Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute agrees. Dr. Farid identifies the possibility of eye damage with this beauty trend, citing women who bling out their lashes are "susceptible to eyelid infections that can cause meibomian gland disease, which may lead to chronic dry eyes, and blepharitis" - chronic inflammation of the eyelid. Symptoms may include eyelid swelling, red eyes, pain or trouble seeing, and if so, Dr. Farid recommends women should "immediately visit an ophthalmologist before permanent damage occurs."

Think it's safe if you can buy it in store? Dr. Farid says don't believe the hype. Many consumers simply assume that eyelash bling is safe, she says, but "the FDA does not test or certify these products. The fact that they're easily available online and in stores is no guarantee that they won't cause eye problems or lead to more serious conditions." So is the look worth the risk? Some consumers simply bat an eye at these cautionary tales. With celebrities and makeup gurus all creating beautiful looks with falsies and rhinestones, the trend might be too good to resist.

What's your take on eyelash bling? Love it or leave it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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