Eyelash Enhancement Hazards

Women have been looking for ways to darken and thicken their eyelashes since before the days of Cleopatra. But Consumer Reports says the latest lash-enhancing trends are risky.

In the spotlight these days, super-long lashes from pop star Adele...to rap singer Nicki Minaj.

But Consumer Reports' medical adviser Dr. Orly Avitzur says be careful how you get the long-lash look.

Dr. Orly Avitzur says, 'False eyelashes can trap dirt and bacteria, creating irritation and infection. And they can be difficult to remove."

"Just when you met me..."

Up-and-coming singer Vanessa Racioppo wanted her eyes to pop at a photo shoot for her CD cover, but fake eyelashes made her miserable.

Her eyelids ached, and taking off the lashes was tough.

Racioppo says, "I had to, like, soap my eye and pull really hard. And then I kind of pulled some of my eyelashes out. There was irritation."

Kristin Chenoweth says, "It looks like I have lips on my eyelids."

Actress Kristin Chenoweth wore sunglasses on the David Letterman show after her eyelids swelled up. She got what are called eyelash extension, where single fibers are glued to your individual eyelashes.

Dr. Ovitzur says, "The risks of eyelash extensions are not only an allergic reaction to the glue, but erosion of the inner surface of the eyelids. And they can cause permanent damage to your natural lashes."

The Internet promoted even more exotic eyelash enhancements-weaving tiny glass beds into ultra-thin wire and applying them with an adhesive to your eyelids.

Dr. Avitzur says, "It doesn't take an expert to see trouble coming with sharp objects places so close to the eye."

Consumer Reports says you're far better off doing what Vanessa Racioppo does now-just using mascara to give herself fuller, thicker lashes.

Consumer Reports says, you should replace mascara every few months, but you don't necessarily need to buy an expensive mascara.

A tried-and-true choice is Maybelline Great Lash Mascara for a little more than six dollars a tube.

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