The never-ending quest for great eyelashes has led us down quite the rabbit hole. With the quantities of eyelash curlers, volumizing mascaras, false lashes, and lash extensions on the market, it’s obvious we’re all pretty determined to have the best eyelashes possible.
Yes, even if that means glueing on falsies each and every day or handing over some serious cash to a lash specialist.
Others have eschewed the faux alternatives and have instead decided to enhance their own lashes through lash perms. It’s a real thing — we promise — and works much the same way as perms do for your hair.
If you’ve been critical of your lashes, thinking they’re less than phenomenal, and have started considering ways to beef them up, you’ll be happy to know that you can actually enhance them without any special treatments. And, even if you’ve already tried out extensions or other lash enhancements, you can still benefit by making a few simple changes and correcting some common lash mistakes. Here’s how.
Curling your lashes after mascara
If you want curled eyelashes without spending $70 a month on a perm, there’s a good chance you rely on your trusty eyelash curler. But when do you use said curler?
In general, if you’re using eyelash curlers, then you must use them correctly — before you apply mascara and not too close to the lash rim. This will damage the eyelash cuticles and cause lash breakage. Yep, while you may think all of the residues that stick to the curler is just mascara, you could actually be losing some precious lashes too. Just remember: It’s perfectly okay to use an eyelash curler — as long as you do so before applying mascara.
Not replacing your eyelash curler pads
Those little silicone pads used in your metal curlers last for just about three months. That is if you curl your lashes every day. Celebrity makeup artist and founder of Mally Beauty, Mally Roncal, told Health you could go as long as six months.
If you notice the pads starting to wear down, don’t hesitate to replace them. Otherwise, you’ll be crimping your lashes between layers of metal. Ouch. Not to mention, you won’t get nearly as good of a curl. Cosmetic chemist Nikita Wilson further recommended cleaning your eyelash curler every two weeks. Gently scrubbing the tool down with a cotton ball dipped in eye makeup remover or baby oil will do the trick.
Sleeping in your mascara
Even if you’re diligent about removing your foundation and lipstick before climbing into bed, you might not be as fastidious about removing your mascara. You may not even think much of it, but some pretty nasty things can happen if you don’t remove the cosmetic from your lashes.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, one 50-year-old woman who’d been improperly removing her mascara for 25 years ended up with “follicular conjunctivitis” and “corneal erosions” from the habit. The mascara actually clumped into hard, solid masses under her top eyelids and could’ve severely damaged her eyes if doctors hadn’t intervened, as noted by Health.
Even the more minor side effects aren’t pleasant. Dermatologist Eric Schweiger told HuffPost that “significant eye irritation” can occur if mascara gets into your eyes while sleeping. Leftover mascara can also result in “clogging of the tiny hair follicles and oil glands on your eyelids.” When clogged, bacteria forms and inflammation follows. “As a result, small bumps called styes or hordeolum can form,” the doctor explained. It’s better to play it safe and properly remove your mascara before hitting the hay.
Going too big with your extensions
Go big or go home, right? Well, not when it comes to your eyelash extensions. If you’re considering extensions, you are obviously looking for fuller, longer lashes. Nevertheless, you have to be careful. Licensed cosmetologist Talin Haghnazarian revealed to Reader’s Digest, “I refuse to put on a lash extension that is too heavy or too long for a natural lash.” The risk of overly long lashes apparently far outweighs the reward. “You can cause permanent damage to your follicle or cause the lash to prematurely fall out,” the expert explained. Eek!
Wearing expired mascara
Depending on the brand, mascara can be quite expensive — which only makes it harder to toss before you’ve finished the tube. Still, there are some very real health risks if you continue using your mascara past the expiration date. “You use mascara near your eyes, it’s liquid — which tends to grow more bacteria — and you double dip every time you re-insert the brush into the tube, all of which increase the risk of eye infection,” the doctor shared. For every day you go past that two- to the three-month mark, you’re just coating your eyelashes in more and more bacteria.
Rubbing your eyes
If your morning routine involves rubbing your eyes, you’re actually doing a disservice to both your eyes and your eyelashes. Just like whiskers on a cat or a dog, lashes can help us sense if anything is too close and incite a blink if necessary. Lashes also work to prevent dust and debris from coming into contact with our eyes. If you rub your eyes, though, you’re basically undoing all of your eyelashes’ hard work. Plus, if you’re someone who suffers from allergies, you might just be putting what you’re allergic to — like pollen — directly into your eyes. Not exactly the most pleasant experience.
Tearing off your false lashes
If you rip them off like a Band-Aid, there’s a good chance you’re going to take off much more than you bargained for. Yep, you might just lose your natural lashes. Dip a cotton swab in an oil-based cleanser to first break up the adhesive. Then gently pull from the middle of the falsie outward to protect yourself from serious damage.
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