This week Emmy-award winning actress Kristin Chenoweth appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Anderson Cooper Show wearing sunglasses. The swollen eye issue she was disguising, Chenoweth explained, was caused by an allergic reaction to formaldehyde in a certain brand of eyelash extension adhesive. Lash extensions are synthetic fibers that are individually bonded to each natural eyelash by a certified professional. They come in a variety of different lengths, thicknesses, colors and curvatures that replicate the natural eyelash, in turn giving women the luxury of mascara-free, semi-permanent lashes.
Like Kristin, many women on the quest for lovely lashes find themselves facing results that are anything but! From collagen-infused mascaras, miracle growth serums and strip lashes, to luxury services like lash dipping, tinting and perming, to the most popular of them all—semi-permanent eyelash extensions—the nation’s women are lusting after lashes. According to Nielson data, the false eyelash industry grew 6.2%—to $44 million in 2010 alone—and continues to be the only service in the beauty industry experiencing consistent growth in a still-slumping economy.
“Women will always want their lashes to be longer, thicker, and more glamorous because eyelashes are a sign of femininity. Now, more than ever, women are constantly reminded that a dense, defined lash line allows them to not only forgo mascara, but also additional eye makeup when in a hurry,” says cosmetic chemist & owner of NovaLash, Sophy Merszei.
In creating NovaLash lash extensions, Merszei has made the education of consumers a cornerstone, shedding light on the health and safety risks associated with lash enhancement products and services. In 2004 Merszei founded the first global distribution network of eyelash extension products producing a patent-pending, physician-formulated adhesive produced in an FDA-inspected facility.
Recognizing that not everyone has the time to conduct extensive scientific research about every beauty service or product they want to try, lash expert Merszei suggests looking for a few key features when shopping for lash adhesive. “All lash adhesives should be physician-formulated, medical grade and should never contain detectable formaldehyde as manufactured and packaged." Merszei is quick to point out that it is possible to purify and package adhesive in a manner that prevents the formation of formaldehyde inside the bottle. Extensionists should have a certificate of training and should be using the products they advertise, says Ali Moon, PR representative for NovaLash. The thing to remember is that, “there is absolutely a science behind the glamour of false lashes that should never be overlooked.” Moon concludes.
[Image: Alo Ceballos/FilmMagic/Getty Images]
Related: Get the Celebrity Look: Carrie Preston from HBO's True Blood | Novalash: 8 Steps to Perfect Lash Extensions | Beautiful Lashes for UK Beauty Queens | NovaLash names Christina Lynn Perez Lash Artist of the Year | WATCH: Novalash Fan's Choice Award Winner | Behind the Lashes of Sophy Merszei