Woman gets severe allergic reaction after getting eyelash extensions

An Ottawa-area woman, Isabelle Edith Kun who developed a severe allergic reaction after getting eyelash extensions is warning other women about the potential danger of the hugely popular beauty treatment.

Isabelle Edith Kun, a 20-year-old nursing student living in Ottawa, says she went on Tuesday to get a new set of eyelash extensions applied. On Thursday, she woke up to find her eyes had swollen almost completely closed.

She said, “My girlfriend had slept over and I couldn’t even see her. And, I was having a hard time swallowing and even breathing.”

She was taken to hospital by her friend.She says, “They took me right in within seconds when they saw my face. My eyes are swollen both above and under and my tonsils were apparently really inflamed.”

Kun says the beauty bar she went to states on its website that most allergic reactions to eyelash extensions are due to the adhesive. The website advises that, for clients who think they are sensitive to the adhesives, the salon can test for allergic reactions by applying a few strands and seeing what happens.

Kun has never had an allergic reaction to anything in her life, she says. But for the last year or so, she had been getting eyelash extensions done every two or three weeks, paying $100 or more each time to have an esthetician apply the lashes, one at a time, using an adhesive.

When she had the treatment last month, she noticed her eyes became swollen, so she asked for the name brand of the eyelash adhesive used. This time, she says she asked the esthetician if they were still using the same brand, explaining she believed she had an allergy to the glue.

Kun says the esthetician replied, “I don’t know the name of the glue we use, but you should be good,” and told her not to worry.

Sara Du, the owner of the Sara Beauty spa that Kun visited, said her business is not able to offer allergy testing to every client, but will offer it to those who request it.

She declined to comment on Kun’s experience or any of her clients, but she said that with any reaction to a beauty service, it’s often difficult to be sure what caused the reaction.