The temporary closure of salons during lockdown drove many people to attempt at-home beauty treatments. This (and TikTok) has led to a surge in popularity of at-home lash lift kits, available cheaply from all kinds of places. But attempting a lash lift is not like giving yourself a manicure or dying your own hair - it involves the use of chemicals which have the potential to be very harmful if used incorrectly.
Are your clients are tempted to grab themselves an at-home lash lift kit thinking it will save them money? Let us run you through the dangers of the DIY lash lift so you can educate them properly on the (substantial) risks.
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Lash lift vs lash perm: what's the difference?
Although both are procedures that curl natural lashes, the main difference is that a lash perm is a more old fashioned treatment using a different formula, and a lash lift is a modern beauty treatment using the very latest formulations including nourishing steps to promote lash health.
A professional lash lift, also known as LVL or lash lamination lifts the lashes very close to the base, making lashes look longer and curlier, and eyes appear more open. Various solutions are applied to the lashes along a silicone lash lift shield, often including a nourishing treatment with keratin in synch as Lash Botox or Lash Plump to keep lashes in good condition.
Is a lash lift safe for your eyes?
Yes, when carried out by a trained lash professional, a lash lift is a perfectly safe beauty treatment. Lash artists master the art of applying the glue and lotions safely, so there should not be any risk to their clients. They train for months, gaining the kind of knowledge and expertise that can only come with experience. They must receive the proper accreditation and also have the relevant insurance.
Treatments take place on eyes that are closed at all times so that product cannot get into the eye. Glues and solutions are applied very precisely to ensure no products gets onto the skin or eyes.
Also, lash professionals are experienced in judging how long to leave each product on the lashes in order to get the desired result without leaving the product on too long - this can vary depending on the individual’s eyelashes. Eyes are properly prepared before the treatment, and product is removed effectively and thoroughly after every step.
A lash perm usually involves curling the around a cylindrical rod or roller. This very rounded shape can actually make lashes look shorter rather than longer. A perming solution is used which may be harsher than a modern day lash lift, and there are no nourishing steps meaning lashes can be left brittle or damaged.
Is it safe to do a lash lift at home?
No. It is not safe to do an at-home lash lift. For a start, the home lash lift kits are not being properly regulated by any kind of authority so there is no telling the suitability or the strength of the chemicals included.
Secondly, no matter the quality of the home kit you buy, they all contain potentially dangerous chemicals, and the risk of an accident or improper application of the chemicals used is huge. This can lead to all manner of problems as we’ll go on to explain, including burning your lashes and eyeballs, even causing permanent eyesight damage.
Thirdly, it is almost impossible to attempt an at-home last lift without having your eyes at least partly open - and eyes must remain closed at all times during a lash lift treatment. Even the best lash artists in the world would not be able to safely perform a lash lift on themselves as the treatment is simply not designed with self-application in mind.
At-home lash lift dangers
There are many dangers in doing a DIY lash lift on yourself, ranging from the slight to the extremely severe. You only need to read some of the comments and reviews on cheap at-home lash lift kits to realise that the risks are very real. Let us take you through them.
Brittle or damaged lashes
At the least scary end of the scale, at-home lash lifts can leave you with brittle lashes that break easily - something which may not be apparent at first but you will soon start to notice in the following weeks as the newly-curled lashes begin to snap off. This can occur when products are left on for too long, not removed well enough or if products are simply too harsh.
Worse than this, you can burn parts of your lashes away, or even cause them to fall out at the root. While you might think ‘well never mind, they’ll grow back!’ this isn't always the case - damage at the follicle can leave you with lashes that grow back brittle, permanent bald spots or simply have no lashes left at all.
The skin of your eyelids and around the eyes is especially delicate and sensitive. Professional lash technicians will always carry out a patch test at least 24 hours before the treatment to ensure there is no chance a reaction will take place. DIY lash lift kits do not even always recommend one, and if they do, they are often skipped which can lead to dangerous allergic reactions.
Even if a patch test is conducted, performing a lash lift on yourself is much more likely to lead to spillage of the chemicals onto your skin or their improper removal. Side effects range from redness and rashes to swelling and inflammation, burnt eyelids, and contact dermatitis - an ongoing condition that can result in sensitivity to a wide variety of beauty and skincare products.
The delicate eye area is much more susceptible to infections, which can be mild and treatable or can lead to more serious complications with your sight.
The correct preparation for a lash lift is key - something a trained lash professional knows well, but a regular person at home may be unaware of. Thorough make-up removal, cleansing of the whole eye area and removal of contact lenses is essential.
Bacterial infections can also result when solutions enter the eye. Itching infected eyes can lead to further issues such as scratches or abrasions on the eye.
Retinal burns and blindness
Beyond irritation and inflammation, if the lash lift chemicals come into contact with your eyeball they can result in painful burns, corneal ulcers and scarring. This can lead to eyesight loss which may be temporary, but in the worst cases may be permanent.
You can also irreparably damage glands at the base of your eyelids that are essential for the maintenance of healthy eyes and eyelids. Damage in this area can lead to permanent dry eyes, leaving them red, irritated and potentially blurry.
The best lash lift kits
When it comes to the type of lash lift kits that are worth buying, we’re talking about professional lash lift kits to be used by trained lash technicians only. These kits come complete with all the elements needed to perform a lash lift or LVL.
The Flawless Lashes By Loreta Lash Lift Kit contains each of the lotions required as well as all the accessories needed to perform the treatment all in one cost-effective package.
Is a lash lift worth it?
A professional lash lift can be worth every penny, giving gorgeous lashes that open up the eye, without the time and budget commitments that lash extensions require. A lash lift lasts 4-6 weeks with no need for infills or upkeep of any kind, and when combined with a lash tint you don’t even need to wear mascara.
It’s especially good if you have long but straight lashes and perfect if you’re about to go on holiday for a few weeks as you can enjoy gorgeous lashes every day with no effort.
An at-home lash lift kit on the other hand is not even worth the cheap price you can buy them for!