“Eyelash Dysmorphia”

A fun fact for anyone reading this- the skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin on the whole body, ranging in depth from 0.0-0.05 mm. Get your rulers out people, that is barely measureable! You can now begin to understand how and why eyes age so rapidly.

I noticed that thin skin around my eyes beginning to change. It was getting crepey, dehydrated, starting to lose elasticity. I felt like I always had dark circles. Falling asleep with mascara would cause me to wake up with racoon eyes every time. Also, my lashes were shedding in the shower when I washed my face; undoubtedly an unfortunate side effect of scrubbing too hard to remove the residue that mixed with oils and dead cells and embedded into my skin. But, but (insert insecurity here)…. I felt like I NEEDED it – I looked too young without it, I felt naked, I had places to go. Always an excuse to put my mascara back on!

People asked me if my lashes were real all the time. I respond humbly yes, and thank you, but they’re nothing special without mascara! They always ask me what kind I use.

Over the years, my brand loyalty has changed. As I become more enlightened about ingredients, I give up a lot of products. My most current use has been Physician’s Formula. That one is the cleanest I have found to date, but it still presents some problems. The wax content is what makes it migrate so easily. But then again, it’s more natural. Only the crazy chemical cocktails of ‘waterproof’ and ‘long wear’ are designed to withstand the armageddon. If anyone reading this has better/cleaner mascara options please share; my search continues.

I got compliments on my lashes all the time, so often that it became one of my identifying characteristics, hence such a key product in my routine. Recently, some fellow estheticians in a group were discussing lash extensions and how women are ruining their natural lashes by going to people who don’t understand proper application protocols. This is where that word Dysmorphia came in. We’ll talk more about that in a minute.

A quick important tangent thought: Make sure your lash professional is properly trained and licensed, but please know, there has to be a break. A rest phase. And I’m talking about 90 days or more considering the lifespan of hair growth from start to finish is 14 weeks, and even longer for eyelashes. If your Aesthetician is not advocating for that break, beware!

I personally do NOT perform eyelash extensions anymore. From a moral standpoint, I choose not to support the stigma that lashes NEED to be a certain length or volume to be beautiful and complimentary. In my opinion, the beauty industry is a little troubled nowadays. It’s laden with poor choices of unregulated products for consumers. Making people feel as if they have to appear a certain way to be considered beautiful goes against everything my aesthetic practice stands for, so you can imagine what happens in this story next!

I’ve given myself a mandatory break from my mascara. The first few days outside my comfort zone were rough. But as of today, I’m happy to report it’s been a full 2 WEEKS and I’m feeling much more comfortable in my natural state. Life is much easier when you have an itch and need to rub your eye. No smudging, smearing; if you cry or your eyes water, it’s no worries. After the first week, I felt my under eye discoloration faded and the skin looked brighter. My lashes are already looking less sparse, and I intend to keep this going. What started as an experiment turned into a lesson. If you have questions about lash regrowth, or interest in all natural deep conditioning treatments for your eye lashes, please reach out.

Dysmorphia is the skewed perception of the self; seeing fat when reality is healthy, seeing small unaccentuated, ordinary eyeballs that need extensions and color contacts to be beautiful when the truth is that each individual eye and lash is the most exquisite and uniquely fascinating feature of the body besides the fingerprint. Feel free to forget the ridiculous standards that have been placed on women via fad trending advertisiments for decades.

Remember, in a world where there is something for every damn thing, less is more. And you are perfect, just as you are.

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