Monday, March 15, 2010

Beauty Feature: The Price of Vanity

If my lashes could talk they would say "Whaa! What have you done??". Yes, I may have cried like a baby and asked myself the same question over the last few weeks. The question I have for you makeup junkies is how far would you go in the name of beauty?

A few weeks ago I wrote about how ecstatic I was to finally have the lashes I have always dreamed of. I had the opportunity to try lash extensions for the first time - you can read about it here. Quite a dramatic difference right? I also want to point out that I did not pay to have this service done. It was complimentary. *(Please note: to protect the integrity of the stylist all names and links have been removed. If you would like to know who applied my lashes, please contact me directly.)

A little over a week after I had the lashes applied, I experienced an agonizing and rather quite disgusting eye infection in my left eye. Picture sleepy dust times 10 and gooey green - gross right? Let me just say, this is the first time in my life since wearing makeup (we're talking since junior high) that I've ever had an eye infection. 

I decided to contact, someone from Xtreme Lashes to see if this was common and if any of their clients experienced something similar. Here is part of her response: 
The infection could be caused by several things:
-mascara has gone bad
-client touched a high germ surface ie. public door handle and forgot to wash hands and by accident rubbed eyes
-makeup clogged lash follicle
-lack of sleep
-not enough thorough cleansing of area
Lashes are adhered 1mm away from never touches skin or the lash issues are usually rare.

I have heard from my instructor that some clients try not to touch/cleanse the lashes to preserve them. We don't promote that, we encourage to wash eyes but ideally with the Xtreme Cleanser (as all Xtreme products are made to work together with the extensions).
But how the client maintains or cares for the lashes after the procedure is up to their discretion and Xtreme can't be held responsible since it's not 100% proven Xtreme was the cause of the infection.
Xtreme emphasizes to all stylists about safety for the not to over-weigh lashes (which could cause damage). We reject clients if their eyes are deemed to be unhealthy. So if your eyes happen to be sensitive to the glue or the synthetic extensions, then on behalf of Xtreme, i apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused. It's possible this procedure is not right for you. Results vary individual to individual. 
I just want to point out that I am not writing this to place blame or point fingers. However, because I gave such high recommendations I do feel that it is my duty to share my experience especially since it is an investment not only in money but in time. I believe Xtreme Lashes or the glue that was used was not the direct cause of my infection, but it definitely contributed to it. I don't believe it was a "coincidence" and did not happen 2 weeks after but rather a week later. I barely got to enjoy the "benefits".

The first few days I noticed a few lashes fall out after I had cleansed the eye area with an oil-free makeup remover (as recommended by the stylist). So, to preserve the lashes I tried to use as little pressure when cleaning the lashes which resulted in lashes not being cleaned properly creating bacteria. Thus, the gunky red eye. Oh, and it later transferred to my right eye and to my husband's eye!

I immediately decided that enough was enough and the lashes had to come out. As recommended, I used an oil-based eye remover that would make the lashes "slide right off". That was absolutely NOT the case. When I wanted them to come out they wouldn't even with some oil. It took a few days for the lash glue to loosen up and I still have a few left in. I definitely lost a lot of my natural lashes but at least my infection is gone! 

So, almost 3 weeks later and I'm left with even less lashes than before! My husband wonders if I'll ever stop being a guinea pig. Well, that's just the life of a beauty blogger right? I just want to reiterate that I am not placing blame but if I had to do it all over again I would never get lash extensions! 

Do your research and be sure recommendations and referrals are at least 2 weeks after they had the lashes put in. Right before I got my eye infection, my BFF went and had it done before she went to Mexico. She said they were wonderfully long but not very full and you couldn't really notice them (she is used to MAC #7's). She ended up putting fake lashes over top of the extensions - doesn't make sense right? At Xtreme, they are all about a "natural and seamless" look but if you can't really notice them then what's the point? I also felt they weren't as full and needed mascara to accentuate them. Because she was in humid weather and using fake lashes, the extensions fell out by the end of her week long trip.

Lesson learned? Stop obsessing over what you don't have and be happy with what you do have! As Tim Gunn would say "Make it work people!".

How far would you go for beauty? Have you ever experienced beauty gone bad? Leave your experience in the comments. The best (or worst) story will win a Makeup Junkie beauty prize pack of goodies from various brands! Contest winner will be announced on March 22nd at 12 pm!


Lipstick Rules said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us! I am sorry to hear that you went through all of this!! How awful!!!

I've been intrigued by the lash extensions since mine are so sparse but after reading this, I'll just stick to what I have and invest in some falsies.


Nadia Cheema said...

Eek!!!! Well I'm glad both you and your eye are ok lady :)

Make-up Junkie said...

@Lipstick Rules - thanks lady! Yes, I think I will also stick to falsies as well!

@Nadia - thanks Nadia! When I had done the shoot with you the left eye was just getting better then it transferred to the right eye the day after!

Sarbeauty said...

Sorry to hear you had such a bad time with these..I have thought about getting some but was worried about something like that happening as I have senative eyes..

Lucky I have not had any beauty gone wrong as yet anyway!

Jenn said...

OMG! Joy!!! ahh!
Thanks sooo much for sharing!
I hope your natural lashes get better..coat them lightly in olive oil.

My only beauty gone bad was allowing my cousin who is a hair dresser do my eyebrows..

She totally shaved off the tops :(

Monica said...

Sorry to hear that! But OMG your lashes were super long. Thanks for sharing! Luckily, I haven't had any bad experiences from being a guinea pig, I also am careful to choose products that are pitched to me. If their products are ones that I normally wouldn't but than no try! On a side note, my skin hasn't looked this good in along time must be doing something right:)

Halifax said...

I'm sorry for what happened to you, Joy. It's hard to make a decision on things like this, even after doing good research and all. I saw a number of people coming to the studio for temporary lash curl but it looked scary. I had Lasik surgery before, and I think that was the only thing I wanted to do with my eyes

Make-up Junkie said...

@Sarbeauty - thanks! Good to hear beauty has treated you well!

@Jenn - thanks for sharing your story and for the tip! Will have to try that - my lashes need some good TLC. hope your brows grew back!

@Monica - thanks! The only products I usually have a reaction to are some with an SPF otherwise I'm good to go. Didn't think getting lash extensions would end so horribly :( Glad to know some of us are having good skin! lol

@Halifax - thanks lady! yah, it sucks how it all turned out. I know lots of people that have had Lasik and it's always been a positive experience. Guess I should be more careful of what I put near my eyes!

Lena! said...

Oh WOW, sorry to hear that Joy! But SO happy you shared your experience - I have a couple of friends who were just speaking about getting lash extensions, so I've forwarded them your post!

I've experienced beauty gone bad just once (thankfully) - I was sent a lip plumping product to review, and although I've used plumpers before, the combination of cinnamon oil and whatever other voodoo they put in this product actually caused my lips to swell, crack and eventually bleed. Don't know if it was the lip gloss or strictly coincidence, but I went into labour the same day :)

Funny - the product is now on shelves, but does not carry the disclaimer as I suggested: "May cause your water to break."

Make-up Junkie said...

@Lena - thank you for passing on my link to your friends considering getting lash extensions. As long as they get good referrals hopefully they won't experience what I did! lol

Thanks for sharing your experience - wow you went into labour?? Now that is a crazy story! ahaha love your disclaimer! I forgot that I also get reactions from plumping glosses too!

Darci said...

Thank you sharing your story that is terrible the only beauty thing that has happened to me is...I went to get my hair cut and they chopped it not to mention when she was styling my hair she wasn't paying attention and was talking to her co works and not only did she burn my hair she BURNT ME TOO!!!!

Crystal said...

OMG Can't believe all that ended up happening to you! Like others I had thought of lash extensions before too but definitely won't do it now. You are handling it well though so you should be proud of yourself, I would be crying like a baby.

I've had bad hair experiences but also bad fake nails experience. The lady was so rough, jabbed me with her own nails, made me bleed, and then one of those cheap nails broke the next day. So wasn't worth it :P

But still I don't think anyone can beat what you have gone through <3 Hope they grow back fast!

Ella Pretty said...

Hope your eyes and eyelashes feel healthy again soon! The good thing about lashes is that they usually grow back quickly :-)

My worst beauty experience happened when I was 12. My aunt told me that she thought my nose seemed wide - and told me that I should use my fingers to pinch it into shape. She even showed me how to do it. Of course I was at an impressionable age - and I thought there was something seriously wrong with my nose - I ended up pinching it all night - and ended up with a BRIGHT RED nose the next day - it was sore, and took 24 hours to fade. I've since learned to only listen to people I can trust (I think my aunt is a little batty - and was transferring her own beauty hang-ups on to nose was/is shaped just fine!)

Rock that Look said...

OMG so sorry to hear that :(
I'm glad you are okay though.
I've been fortunate to not have many bad beauty experiences- I'm a scardy-cat and like to wait for some new innovations to reach a lot of people (so I know it's safe) before I try!
I guess my worst experience was when I was a teenager and got my hair *ahem* permed. The dude burned my head, but it was minor and the scabbing went away after a week. That's all.

Make-up Junkie said...

@Darci - thanks for sharing your story! OMG that's awful that you also got burned! That just shouldn't happen when you're getting your hair done. I've had a few bad cuts/colours in my life time - one of my past stylist was high while she was doing my hair. My streaks came out fire engine red!

@Crystal - aww thanks for sharing! I've never had fake nails but I've heard horror stories of people getting infections or their natural nail getting really damaged. So horrible you got jabbed and bled from getting nails done! Things like that just shouldn't happen.

@EllaPretty - OMG - what's your background? lol Reason I ask is because I'm filipino and my mom also has a hang up on flat noses! She keeps telling my son who's nose is perfectly fine to pinch it to make it less flat! And he's 3! I tell him he's perfect everyday! lol

Ella Pretty said...

My background is South Asian - although I lived for some years in the Philippines :-)

The funny thing was - in the Philippines, I'd get people telling me that I had a nice sharp nose (?!? - guess that was a compliment), yet on the other hand - my aunt was telling me that mine was wide!

Awww - poor little son! I'm sure his nose is perfectly adorable - you better tell your mom about my red pinched nose LOL - so that your son doesn't end up like I did :-)

Webgrrl74 said...

OMG...Pink eye...highly contagious *gah*
I can tell you what to do to get rid of it if you'd like. So sorry to hear that about your eyelashes because they looked pretty long and dramatic!

As for beauty stories/horrors, I have a good one. I colour my hair at home pretty frequently..and one night I decided I really wanted some terrific blonde streaks, which I figured I could do with a kit.

Easy peasy...I was home from work, I didn't have to work until noon the next day. I put the cap on and started pulling small strands through. It was 3 am.

Wanting something more dramatic, I started pulling more hair through the holes when to my dismay, the plastic hook broke....with over 2/3rds still left to do!

I remembered I had a latch hooking kit in my closet that came with a device used to pull yarn through the design.

Perfect, I was back in business!
I had to jam the hook in much harder, but it pulled out more hair, so that was cool.

Soon I was putting on the colouring and waiting patiently to see how these streaks would look.
When it came time to remove the cap, I knelt over the sink and took the cap off....washed and conditioned my hair and then wrapped my hair in a towel.

I looked in the mirror and took the towel entire scalp was bright golden corn yellow...with straggly yellow streaks through the bottom of my dark brown hair.

Apparently, the latch hook hook had ripped apart all the plastic lining under the bonnet...allowing all the peroxide in.

There was nothing I could do before work..but glad I worked at a place where a hat was acceptable until I could colour it all back the following night.

Anonymous said...

When i was in highschool, i tried to dye my own hair!1 It's a miracle it didn't all fall out. I tried putting in some blonde highlights on my brown hair, left it in for too long and it turned out yellow (not blonde, yellow!), had to dye over it, then it went orange. I had to wash it a million times and keep it up till it faded out.

Anonymous said...

Beauty gone bad is no good! I am sure it has happened to all of us. I went to get a spray tan right before my wedding and my legs ended up being orange. Thankfully i was wearing a long gown and not showing them off.

Make-up Junkie said...

@RockThatLook - I'm glad you haven't had that many bad experiences but ouch a burnt scalp not fun! When I was in gr. 8 I had a horrible perm - nothing happened to me but it just looked bad!

@Webgrrl74 - lol oh no the DIY hair colours can be tricky! when I used to work at the salon a girl came in with green hair from a DIY home colour!

Lauren said...

Ack, eye infections are awful! Glad to hear it's cleared up though.

My 'beauty gone bad' experience would fall under the DIY hair haha. A couple summers ago I wanted to go a few shades lighter than my natural medium-ish brown, to a very light, almost blonde, brown. For the first few days it looked fine, and then it went brassy. So for some reason, I decided to dye it lighter again. It definitely lightened my hair to a very light brown, but looked awful against my skintone. Not to mention my super dark-brown-almost-black eyebrows haha. Since then (almost 2 summers ago now), I have put probably close to 10 boxes of semi-permanent dark brown dye in my hair. And still, when they fade and wash out, there is a visible line around the bottom few inches of my hair that is lighter than the rest. Lesson learned? I think so haha