I know many people are squeamish about our eyes, as I am. I have had many years of allergies (itchy and runny eyes) and now I have “dry” eyes (ironically? relatedly?), which also makes them itchy and runny. Go figure.
I would be a horrible contact lens wearer; luckily, I am far-sighted, so that never came up. I have “baby cataracts,” which means I have to have surgery in about 10 or 15 years. Just the thought of eye-surgery already gives me the willies.
Perhaps it isn’t necessary, but I will tell you, mostly due to my distaste for having anything near or in/on my eyes: I have almost never worn any make-up, especially eye make-up, unless I was in a play. I hate the way make-up feels and it always bothers my eyes, even when it’s “hypoallergenic.” My eyelids are practically invisible with my eyes open, anyway, so lid makeup is a complete waste.
Furthermore, and increasingly more importantly, I am politically and socially against the entire concept of women’s “needing” to change the ways we look to attempt to conform to some random social norms (which keep changing and, once again, are NOT “universal”).
As a feminist, I have had many arguments with others who are unclear on the concept. They say inane things like: “Feminists are supposed to be in support of whatever women want to do.”
Really? Following that line of irrational thought, we would have no uniformity in the Domestic Violence Prevention movement and no mandatory reporting of DV to give “teeth” to anti-abuse laws that made violence against one’s partner a crime, since many women “choose” to stay with abusive partners and refuse to report the violence. We would also be without a whole host of other improvements to women’s lives. Should feminists “support whatever women want to do?” Of course not.
Mindlessly supporting women’s “right” OR “choice” to wear make-up is no different. Most of make-up is not harmful, I suppose, unless the creation of it harmed animals or the wearer happens to be allergic to it. At least, some make-up is not harmful in any physical way.
But what about the types of make-up, particularly eye makeup, that ARE harmful? These culprits can cause infections, irritations, even blindness or death!
Keep reading, then tell me these types of “choices” are what feminists ought to support.
I realize I’m preaching to the choir, here, since many of my followers are feminists, men, and/or don’t wear much/any make-up. So, please SHARE this post so it finds the women/girls who need to read it!
First, we “look” at make-up/alterations for Eyelashes.
With and Without Eyelash Extensions. Image from: http://skinclinicny.com
I’ll give you the conclusion, first: DON’T. Or, if you MUST use eyelash extensions (and I can’t imagine who must, but I guess some of you could), please read the entire article (link below).
“The risks of eyelash extensions are not only an allergic reaction to the glue [used to attach the extensions], but erosion of the inner surface of the eyelid,” says Dr. Orly Avitzur, M.D., one of our medical advisors. “And that can cause permanent damage to your eyelashes.”
Eye Infection. Image from: http://unnaturalmakeup.wordpress.com
All right. Suppose I have now convinced you not to “extend” your eyelashes in this way. What about changing their color or trying to give them more “fullness”?
Latisse, which is an FDA-approved treatment for thin lashes, has potential side effects as well, including:
- Permanent changes in eye color—turning blue, green, or hazel eyes brown
- Permanently darkened eyelids
- Hair growth elsewhere on your face, if you’re not careful
- Itching, redness
- Lower eye pressure, which could potentially mask glaucoma or other eye problems
So, if I have this right, people who use Latisse to give themselves “better” eyelashes may also give themselves hairy cheeks, itchy, red eyes, changes in their iris’ color, and even make worse (by hiding) their actual eye diseases?
Sure, that’s worthwhile. Going out right now to get myself some of that. Gotta be “pretty,” don’t I?
But, how “pretty” are itchy, swollen, darkened eyelids and/or hairy cheeks?
Some make-up must be safe, you claim. You use/you know women who use it all the time with no ill effects. All right.
But, what about doing a serious costs-gains analysis, weighing the potential ill effects and the potential “benefits”: how can you compare impairing your eyes’ health or even the loss of your eyesight with the “benefits” of having a few hours of “looking better”?
Go ahead, ignore me, the research, the warnings: dye your eyelashes, anyway. What harm could it do?
Eyelash dyes are a big beauty don’t. Currently, there are no color additives approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration for dyeing or tinting eyelashes, and the FDA cautions against doing so. The dyes can cause blindness.
Eyelash/eyelid infection due to make-up. Image from: http://www.beautyglimpse.com
Read the entire article for the list of do’s and don’ts. SHARE!
What about PERMANENT EYELINER, another way to dye one’s eyelids?
It’s a great idea to get one’s eyeliner inked in permanently, right? Save money, save time: one and done. Until someone goes home crying….
While often cheap, work done by untrained, unlicensed practitioners may require expensive corrections and revisions later. This happens because in order to cut costs, such practitioners use cheap, low quality pigments and do not invest much into acquiring and updating their permanent makeup skills.
Some of the typical problems requiring corrections are odd eyebrow and lip colors, unflattering or asymmetric shapes and pigment migration…. Corrections are a two-step process.
Image of permanent eyeliner fail and info, above, from: http://www.chicagopermanentcosmetics.com
“Well,” you say, “I refuse to go out without a little mascara. That can’t be that bad!”
Oh, yes. Mascara CAN be that bad.
About seven years ago. one brand of $160-tubes of mascara was recalled from the market because it was found to cause infections and other problems, many leading to blindness. Did you hear about that? Probably not. http://consumerist.com/2007/11/17/160-mascara-seized-by-fda-because-it-can-cause-blindness/
What about other types of mascara? Since we know expensive doesn’t equal better, now, what to think?
There are still problems with ALL types of mascara. The tubes are hotbeds for bacteria and some of those DO lead to infections and blindness, regardless of how careful the user is. What to do?
Side effects of mascara
“Mascara is used by most women to lengthen their eyelashes, make them appear thicker and to lay emphasis on the eye area. However, its applicants rarely have knowledge on the adverse side effects of mascara. Mascara contains harmful ingredients that affect the users’ lashes and skin. Mercury, bronopol, parabens and benzyl alcohol are just but a few of the harmful ingredients used to manufacture mascara.”
Some of the adverse effects associated with the use of mascara include:
–Mascara may lead to eyesight problems such as blurred vision and blindness
The presence of an ingredient known as pseudomonas aeruginosa is associated with eye blindness in mascara users.
—Occurrence of cancers and breast tumors
Parabens is a preservative for many cosmetic products including mascaras. When mascara is applied, parabens is absorbed into the body. Frequent application leads to large deposits of the parabens in the body. This has been linked to the presence of breast cancers and tumors amongst women.
—Thinning of eyelashes
–As much as mascara makes your eyelashes appear thicker and linger, its chemical composition reacts with the eyelashes to make them thinner. Mascara clogs up the hair follicles making the growth of eyelashes difficult.
They cause irritation to the eye
–Ingredients such as triethanolamine and methylparaben act as irritants to the eyes. This may lead to eye related problems and skin irritations especially around the eyes.
—Loss of eyelashes
–When applied frequently, mascara tends to dry the eyelashes. Mascara is therefore one of the causes for eyelashes falling out.
Mascara may enter the eye of the applicant during application or thereafter by rubbing the eyes. The presence of these harmful ingredients may lead to eye infections.
–Mascara has been linked to neurotoxicity and infertility.
All above mascara info is from http://www.foodlve.com/food/how-to-make-your-eyelashes-longer-without-mascara-6744385
If you are that committed to altering your appearance or you’re wearing a costume or something, try the safer alternatives listed in the above article.
COLORED CONTACT LENSES
“Fine,” you say, now. “I won’t use mascara, eyelash extenders, eyelash alterations or dye my eyelids. What about colored contact lenses? They have to be all right, don’t they”
Nope. Look what CBS reported last year (2103) after Halloween! “Color[ed] contact lenses for Halloween may carry blindness risk”
Part of the risk is that people often don’t go to the ophthalmologist or optometrist to make sure that the contacts fit properly. Improper fit can lead to scratches on the cornea, which is the clear dome of tissue above the colored iris portion of the eye. People can also get an ulcer on the cornea, known as a corneal infection. There’s also the risk of getting conjunctivitis, or pink eye, and having decreased vision. It some cases, these problems could lead to blindness.
And the health risks could occur with only one wearing.
“Wearing it for a couple seconds could cause damage,” Dr. Edward Kondrot, an ophthalmologist and the founder of the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center in Dade City, Fla., said to CBSNews.com. “If it’s poorly fit, you could develop a scratch on the cornea, and it becomes an open wound.”
Colored Contacts for Costume Wearers. Image from: http://buycoloredcontacts.blogspot.com
CBS News reporters then warned/recommended: “If you still really want to wear the decorative lenses, the FDA recommended getting an eye exam from a qualified professional and getting a valid prescription. Buy the lenses from a retailer that requires a prescription and take care to follow the directions.”
So, go ahead: have fun with altering your eyes. Just be safe out there!