Eyelash Enhancements

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Introduction

Enhancing the appearance of the eyes has been practiced by people throughout history. According to Fawkner (2015), eye make-up can be traced to 4000BC in Ancient Egypt. When one comes across the many portraits of ancient people and rulers in Egypt, one can notice beautifully and meticulously ornamented and outlined eyes. Coming across an ancient Egyptian portrait without decoration is almost impossible, for both women and men. According to Illes (2011), eye makeup in Egypt comprised two types, namely udju and mesdemet.Udju used a copper green ore while mesdemet used a lead dark gray ore. Unlike today whereby advance in technology has eased the preparation and packaging of eye makeup, ancient Egyptians had a more extensive preparation method. The modern day cosmetic industry is a global multi-billion dollar enterprise with many new ways of eye enhancement. They include surgery, makeup, as well as other emerging methods.

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Of all facial features, the eyes command the greatest attention, and offer critical cues that are important in social interactions when it comes to influencing attraction. For example, according to Fawkner (2015), dilated pupils can be interpreted as indicating emotional arousal. Apart from the eyes themselves, the eyelashes and eyebrows highly influence a person’s look. It is because of this that eyelash and eyebrow enhancement have been a key aspect of beauty therapy. According to D’Allaird and Boles (2013), a thorough understanding of lashes is important for makeup artists for the following reasons: the eyelashes accentuate the eyes, knowing eyelash enhancement methods enables one to provide instant solutions to accentuate the eyes, and knowing eyelash techniques enables an artist to play with the makeup to achieve the desired effect. This paper examines the current eye enhancement techniques in the beauty industry.

Semi-Permanent Eyelash Extensions

These types of extensions differ from individual lash tabbing or conventional false eyelash clusters and strips. Having been a recent invention, the synthetic eyelash extensions are “single lashes that are applied one by one to the existing natural lashes for fuller, longer, and more natural-looking eyelashes” (Cressy, 2010). When there is a right mix of adhesive, products, and proper application, these types of enhancements can have a lasting period of up to 2 months. Clients with these types of extensions are likely to enjoy them year round when they follow simple care and maintenance instructions while using retouch applications every 2 to 4 weeks. Due to their increasing popularity, these types of enhancements have become widespread in the beauty industry, essentially becoming a standard.

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The treatment process for semi-permanent eyelash extensions starts with consultation. Being a sensitive and delicate area, the eye requires proper consultation if lash application is to be successful.  According to D’Allaird and Boles (2013), it is important that clients have a 15-minute consultation appointment the day before the procedure. The consultation involves having a discussion with the client about what to expect during lash application. During consultation, a form is to be completed indicating eye sensitivities, conditions, expectations, and product use. It is important to look out for any itching, swelling, crusting, or redness around the eye area. If any of these is present, then the procedure should wait until the client has visited an eye doctor. It is also during consultation when one is able to establish the desired outcome of the client. This is important in determining the length of the lash extension that will give the desired result.

In preparing for the procedure, comfort for the client is key and a reclining seat that adequately supports the head and neck is recommended. A good source of light is critical for proper application. At the workstation, saline or water should be available for reasons of irrigating the eye when need arises. According to Simms (2003), all the tools should be cleaned and disinfected before the procedure. It is also important to have an extra pair of tweezers for hygienic purposes. The procedure starts with the isolation of a single lash and securing the extension in the desired direction. A gap should be left between the eyelid and the extension. Single lash systems should then be added and attached, and the excess adhesive removed throughout the entire process of attachment. During the entire procedure, the wellbeing of the client is critical (Cressy, 2010).

Finally, it is important to seal the eyelashes in order to achieve the look desired by the client. According to D’Allaird and Boles (2013), the procedure of attaching semi-permanent eyelash extensions can last up to 2 hours. Erickson (2017) observes that the cost of the treatment can vary from one salon to another, but could be in the range of $120-$300. With proper care, semi-permanent eyelash extensions can last up to 3 months.

Home Care

D’Allaird and Boles (2013) outline maintenance requirements and home-care instructions as follows: after application, avoid swimming or hot steam for 48 hours, avoid using oil-based products such as creamy make up, anti-aging creams, and waxy eyeliners near the eyes, avoid rubbing the eyes or picking at the lashes, and avoid using mascara that is waterproof. It is recommended that one should shampoo and rinse their lashes every evening. This can then be followed by a gentle grooming of the lashes with the aid of an eyelash brush.

Contraindications

There are contraindications and lash extensions should never be applied when a client has any of the conditions that include eye irritations, allergies, infections, thyroid problems, glaucoma, blepharitis, asthma, excessive tears, and pregnancy (Cressy, 2010). If the client also reacts to a patch test then the procedure cannot be done.

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Infill and Removal

When lash extensions start shedding after sometime, infills are used as a touch-up. According to Lash Lab (2012), infills are done regularly to keep the lashes looking luscious and full. It is recommended that infills be undertaken every 2-3 weeks. The infill procedure takes about 30-45 minutes and will cost about $35.Preparation for infills involves a patch test at least a day before the procedure.Prior to the procedure, the client should make sure that the lashes are free of makeup or mascara. During treatment, the lashes are cleansed and any overgrown or loose lashes are removed. The new extensions are then applied until the lash line is filled up again.

If the client prefers a whole new set of semi-permanent lash extensions, removal of the existing ones is done. Removal takes about 20 minutes and costs around $20. According to Johnson (2017), olive oil and coconut oil are the main products used in the removal process. Prior to the procedure, the client should get rid of any make up or mascara, and was the face thoroughly. The face is the placed over a bowl of steaming water and head covered with a towel for about 10 minutes. This softens the adhesive holding the extensions. A cotton pad is then dipped in either coconut or olive oil and swiped gently along the lash lines. This slides the extensions off, after which the face is rinsed with warm water and excess oil removed.

Home Care and Contraindications

After the lash infills procedure, the client should observe homecare instructions which include avoiding swimming or sauna, avoiding oil based products around the eyes, avoiding the use of waterproof mascara, and resisting the urge to rub the eyes. Contraindications include reaction to a patch test, allergies, redness around the eye, eye irritations, infections, thyroid problems, blepharitis, glaucoma, excessive tears, asthma and pregnancy, and as such lash infills should not be applied when the client has any of them.

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Eyelash Tinting

Eyelash tinting can be described as the use of permanent, semi-permanent, or vegetable dye in darkening the natural lashes so that they look thicker and longer.The consistency of products that are used in tinting varies. For example, while hair dyes are thicker, vegetable dyes are thinner or more fluid. The formulation of tints used in lashes mostly applies ingredients similar to those used in hair dyes. Just like other eye enhancement treatments, consultation is the first step. According to D’Allaird and Boles (2013), patch tests should be done preferably 3 to 5 days prior to the full eyelash tinting procedure to check for possible allergic reactions to the tinting dye. During consultation, the different products and their probable results, as well as the procedure are reviewed with the client. Before tinting, the client should be advised to avoid a number of things that include tweezing the lashes or brows, wearing contact lenses during treatment, and wearing mascara and makeup.

According to Crystal Essentials (2016), the procedure involves the following: preparing for the treatment whereby the client is kept comfortable and reclined with a slight head elevation, the application of petroleum jelly around the eye areas to act as a barrier to protect the eye from the dye, placement of sticky eye shields under bottom lashes for protecting lower lids from dye, applying the dye to lower and upper lashes, giving it 5-10 minutes for penetration into the hairs, rinsing the eyes with normal saline, and thoroughly cleansing them to get rid of any remaining residue. The whole procedure can take 20-30 minutes to complete. Eyelash tint can last up to between 4-6 weeks after which touch-ups may be required. The cost of getting a lash tint procedure varies from $20-$40.

Home Care

According to Crystal Essentials (2016), maintenance requirements include: not rubbing or touching the eyelashes or eyebrows immediately after the procedure, avoiding strong sunlight, avoiding washing the lids, lashes, or brows for 24 hours, avoiding swimming for 24 hours, not applying makeup or mascara to lashes for 24 hours, and avoiding the use oil-based products around the eye. Crystal Essentials (2016) list a number of home-care products for eyelash tinting which include: Sterex Aloe Vera for soothing the skin, Gi Gi Slow Grow which contains argan oil that offers extensive moisture and minimizes hair re-growth, Gi Gi Post Wax Cooling Gel which reduces redness and soothes the skin, Propil Growth Inhibitor Cream, CID i-grom, and the CID i-fix which fixes the eyebrows.

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Contraindications

According to Simms (2003), contraindications can include reaction to a patch test, hay fever, conjunctivitis, watery eyes, blepharitis, bruises, cuts and abrasions, recent eye surgery, and infections around the eye.

Conclusion

Eye enhancement is a global multi-billion dollar business in the beauty industry. The eyes command the greatest attention of all the facial features. Eyelash enhancements are a huge part of eye enhancement. Two of the major eyelash enhancement techniques in the beauty industry are semi-permanent eyelash extensions and eyelash tinting. Extensions are synthetic lashes that are applied to existing lashes to make them thicker and longer. Tinting on the other hand involves the application of a dye. For both treatments, patch tests are necessary in preparation for the procedure. At the same time, contraindications are almost similar with aspects such as eye infections, irritations, glaucoma, pregnancy, asthma, and blepharitis being conditions under which the procedure cannot be carried out. While they come at a cost, eyelash enhancements bring out the beauty in a person.

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  1. Cressy, S. (2010) Beauty Therapy Fact File. London, Pearson Education Limited.
  2. Crystal Essentials. (2016) Eyelash and Eyebrow Tinting Information and care. Crystal Essentials Lash & Skincare Studio Manual, 2016; pp 1-2.
  3. D’Allaird, M. & Boles, B. (2013) Milady Standard Makeup. New York, Cengage Learning.
  4. Erickson, K. (2017) Your Everything Guide to Eyelash Extensions.
  5. Fawkner, H. (2015) Defining Eye Enhancement.
  6. Illes, J. (2011) Ancient Egyptian Eye Makeup.
  7. Johnson, T. (2017) How to Remove Eyelash Extensions.
  8. Lash Lab. (2012) About Eyelash Extensions.
  9. Simms, J. (2003) A Practical Guide to Beauty Therapy. Cheltenham, Nelson Thomas Ltd.
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