Eyelash Infection | Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Maintenance

eyelash infection

Eyelash infections caused by eyelash extensions are becoming rather common. After all, eyelash extensions can block the glands in the eyelids, leading to bacteria buildup, and ultimately, dryness and infection.

When it comes to beauty, it is all in the details, and for women, those details can be exhausting. Your hair should be perfectly coiffed. Your makeup needs to be done in the latest style. And as of lately, your eyelashes should be professionally extended. With this somewhat new task of the American beauty regimen, you may not be aware of the issues that can come with eyelash extensions. While no one wants to think that eyelash infections can happen, they do. While no one ever thinks of the possibility of getting an infected eyelash follicle, it can happen. If you are new to this beauty regimen, you need to be aware of the eyelash extension infection symptoms. Learn what this is and how to treat it before you get an eye infection from eyelash extensions.


Great Products to Help Treat Eyelid Infections

1. Tea Tree Oil Face Soap and Eyelid Scrub

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Heyedrate makes a wonderful product to help fight off infections, but you can’t just use any old soap when you have eyelash extensions. Although this soap is wonderful for fighting bacteria, you need to make sure this soap doesn’t touch your eyelash extensions (we’ll cover why, in a minute). Heyedrate (that’s hydrate with an “eye” in it) makes this Tea Tree Oil Face Soap and it helps alleviate demodex, blepharitis, itchy skin, acne, dry eyes, and rosacea.

You may not have heard of demodex eye mites, but chances are if you are searching for remedies for eyelash infections, you have them. Demodex eye mites live in your eyelash follicles and on your skin. They cause your eyelids to become red, itchy and inflamed. The irritation spreads to your eyes as well. If you have eyelash mites, your eyes become red, dry, and irritated.

Heyedrate’s Tea Tree soap is 100% organic, vegan, and all natural. In fact, it only has five ingredients: organic green tea, organic olive oil, organic coconut oil, raw shea butter, and tea tree essential oil. Tea tree oil is the ingredient that eliminates microorganisms and neutralizes inflammation. However, while these ingredients are fabulous for the facial skin, you need to be careful not to get the soap on your extensions because the oils can mess with the adhesive.

Related: Dry Eye Syndrome

This product is alcohol-free and contains no parabens or laboratory-produced preservatives, which is great. The Tea Tree Face Soap contains no sulfates and is preservative free. If you are using this product to reduce skin irritation, this is the product for you!

Even if you are lucky enough to not suffer from skin ailments, this product can be used on healthy skin to keep it healthy. One thing to remember is that demodex eyelash mites exist in almost one hundred percent of people over the age of 18. The eyelash mites may not be causing any harm right now, but there is not a guarantee that they won’t cause issues soon.

This all-natural soap is simple to use. Just wet your face and hands with warm water. Lather the soap in your hands and massage the lather onto the skin, avoiding your eyelids if you have lash extensions. Rinse with cool water and pat your face dry with a clean towel. If you have an eyelash infection, simply cleansing the face with this soap can be of benefit to you. Be careful not to get the soap in your eyes!


Order Heyedrate’s Tea Tree Oil Face Soap through Amazon. Choose between one five-ounce bar or a three-pack of three five-ounce bars. If you purchase this product regularly through Amazon, you may wish to subscribe to receive this product regularly. If you do so, you can save between five and fifteen percent of the cost of the product.

This Heyedrate product is made in Newberry, South Carolina. The ingredients are locally sourced, and the soap is made using the cold process method so it lasts a great deal of time.

As a company, Heyedrate is dedicated to providing eye care to the less fortunate. With each purchase one of their products, Heyedrate will donate some of the profits to provide eye care to someone in need.

2. OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Plus

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Have you ever considered that your red, itchy eyes might be caused by your eyelids and eyelashes instead of a problem with your actual eye? You may consider using a wipe explicitly designed for the eyelids to see if your eyes become less irritated. OCuSOFT makes Lid Scrubs Plus, a product that provides customers with individually wrapped pads moistened with a formula safe for your eyelids and eyelashes.

OCuSOFT removes the oil, debris, pollen, makeup, and other contaminants from your eyelid. It also removes ragweed, grass, animal hair, and dander. It will make your red, irritated eyelids and eyelashes feel better by providing a refreshing, soothing moisturizer to the area.

The Lid Scrub Plus is easy to use. First, wash your hands. If you are a contact lens wearer, remove your contacts before using the wipes. Start at the inner corner of the eye and swipe the wipe over your eyelid area toward your ear. Find a fresh spot on the wipe and repeat the process on your other eye. There’s no need to rinse off the formula. Try not to get the formula into the eye.

This Amazon listing is for 30 of the pre-moistened cloths. It is not clear if the cloths are individually wrapped or not.

The first five ingredients for this product are water, ringer’s solution, poe-80 sorbitan monolaurate, methyl gluceth-20, and peg-120. Ask your lash technician before using this cleanser on lash extensions.


3. OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Foaming Eyelid Cleanser

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OCuSOFT makes the third product on this list to use if you suffer from an eyelash infection.

Even though there is not an abundance of product information for this product, the name is probably adequate to describe its use. The subtitle for this product is “eyelid cleanser for mild-moderate conditions.” This product removes oil, debris, pollen, and desquamated (or peeling) skin. The product description says that it will remove these contaminants, as well as any eye makeup, without irritating this delicate skin.

Before using this product, or any product for or near your eyes, wash your hands first. Next, if you are a contact lens wearer, remove your lenses. Pump the desired amount of the cleaner onto a lint-free cloth or onto your clean fingertips. Close your eyes and gently massage the product in using side-to-side strokes. Of course, do not allow the product to get in contact with your eye directly. Repeat on the other eye with a clean cloth. This product needs to be rinsed off the eyelid. Some report using this product while in the shower so rinsing it off is quick and easy.

The first five ingredients of the OCuSOFT Eyelid Cleanser is water, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultane, and PEG-150. Ask your lash technician before using this cleanser on lash extensions.

4. Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser

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Heyedrate makes the next eyelid and eyelash cleaner, and this one is totally safe for lash extensions. Yipee! This eyelid cleaner comes in a spray container and is the easiest to use. Unlike the previous product, this cleaner can be sprayed directly onto the eyelid and eyelash area and does not need to be rinsed.

Heyedrate’s Lid and Lash Cleaner is for those suffering from styes, blepharitis, dry eyes, meibomian gland dysfunction, rosacea, and eye irritation. Like the other Heyedrate cleanser, it kills microorganisms, neutralizes inflammation, and prevents biofilm formation which all help to keep the eyelids and lashes healthy. Since it reduces all forms of inflammatory skin conditions, it can be used to treat acne as well as burns and eczema.

Since this product is made specifically for people with sensitive skin, it is organic, vegan, and made with all-natural products. It won’t irritate already irritated skin. This product can also be used if you have eyelash extensions to remove eyelash mites. It is safe and patients are encouraged to use it before and after eye surgery. Also, it can be used if you have scrapes and cuts around the eyes and its moisturizing formula can fight scars and wrinkles. It can also be used as a makeup remover.

Related: Vitamins For Dry Eyes

Like the other Heyedrate product, this product is alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and sulfate free. It is also free of preservatives.

As discussed earlier, this product is so gentle it can be sprayed directly on your closed eyelids. You can also spray it on a lint-free cloth or cotton ball and wipe gently across the eyelids from the inner eye to the outer eye. It is so gentle that you can spray it on your eyelid directly. The product information says that it is made with a proprietary pure hypochlorous acid. Initially, a similar product was used as an antibacterial wound care product. It is safe to use daily. In fact, it is recommended that you use it in the morning and the evening.

There are three different ways to purchase this product through Amazon. The first bundle includes a one-ounce spray bottle of the formula. The second bundle consists of the one-ounce spray bottle and a one-month supply of Heyedrate’s Eye Health Supplements. The third bundle allows you to purchase the one-ounce bottle as well as a bottle containing four ounces. You can also subscribe to buy this product at regular intervals to enjoy between a five or fifteen percent savings.

Anyone who purchases products from Heyedrate’s parent company, Eye Love, can enjoy knowing that some of the money from their purchase goes to providing quality eye care to the unfortunate of South Carolina and Jamaica.


5. Dr. Fischer Premium Eyelid Wipes

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Dr. Fischer Premium, Purified, Non-Irritating, and Hypoallergenic Eyelid Wipes are available to treat any eye ailments you may be suffering from. Even if you enjoy healthy eyes, you can use these wipes to keep your eyes healthy or to remove any makeup you may choose to wear.

These individually wrapped wipes rid your eyelids of oil, dirt, dust, and other foreign bodies that may cause allergic reactions. The wipes also help you get rid of the other crusty materials caused by an eyelid condition or normal crustiness from sleeping.

This product is recommended by ophthalmologists and dermatologists to help treat conditions ranging from conjunctivitis and blepharitis. It is also recommended to use these wipes if you have conjunctivitis (pink eye), dry eyes, or styes. The wipes prevent bacterial overgrowth and allow your eyes to heal naturally.

The Dr. Fischer Eye Wipes are free of preservatives, fillers, and alcohol. As stated in the name, they are also hypoallergenic. The first five ingredients are water, polysorbate 20, disodium phosphate, lauryl glucoside, and sodium chloride. A chamomile extract is also included to soothe your red, itchy skin. The pH of the formula is adjusted to mimic that of your body’s natural tears. Even though Dr. Fischer Eye Wipes are hypoallergenic and sensitive tested, it does mention on the product page that it is not safe to use on cats. So there’s that bit of information for you.

Directions for this product are simple. Wash your hands and remove your contacts. Remove the wipe from the foil pack. Thoroughly cleanse the eyelids and eyelashes. Take care to clean in between the lashes and the corners of the eyelid. Use a new towelette for each eye. Repeat this process as often as you deem necessary. There is no need to rinse the formula off the eyelids or eyelashes. The wipes are described as large and embossed.

Although none of the other listings for eyelid wipes mention this, this product listing says that the wipes can help reduce eyestrain and fatigue. Those of us who spend a lot of time staring at computer screens know the feeling that comes from having tired eyes at the end of the day. One other tip to reduce eyestrain is to give your eyes a break from the screen. Every twenty minutes, look up from your screen and stare at something twenty feet away for at least twenty seconds. You may also consider keeping a container of these wipes by your side as you work on the computer to refresh your eyes and surrounding area several times a day. It is also important to remember to blink often. Ask your lash technician before using this cleanser on lash extensions.

6. Clear C Eyelid Wipes

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Available through Diamond Wipes, the Clear C Premium No-Rinse Eyelid Wipes are also available on Amazon. Your dry, irritated, red eyes may be caused more from your eyelid hygiene and less from your eye health. This Clear C formula cleans your eyelids and provides relief to your irritated eyes.

It can be used as a daily cleanser. Also, it removes oil and pollutants that are either natural or man-made. It is safe to use for all skin types, and it is made in the USA by using clean, renewable solar energy.

The eyelid wipes made by Diamond Wipes can be used for those suffering from bacterial infections, seborrheic dermatitis, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and pink eye. Even if you do not suffer from those skin conditions, it is recommended to use the Clear C wipes if you work in a dusty, polluted environment. Those of you who stare at a screen all day as part of your job will also receive relief from using these wipes. Do you live in a dry climate? That may be great for your hair but not so great for your eyes. Use a Clear C wipe to refresh your eyes. This product is also recommended to use before and after laser eye surgery.

The product is easy to use. Each wipe is packaged individually. First, wash your hands and remove your contacts. Wipe the pre-moistened cloth across the eyelids and eyelashes and gently scrub the area. Keep your eye closed while you are cleaning the area. Rinse the product only if you desire. Do not flush the wipe.

The first five ingredients for the Clear C wipes are water, PEG-80 sorbitan laurate, methyl gluceth-20, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride. Ask your lash technician before using this cleanser on lash extensions.


7. Dr. Fischer Baby Eyelid Wipes

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Of course, our babies and children are especially prone to infections and irritations of the eye as well, even though their eye irritation is probably not caused by eyelash extensions. At least, I would hope not.

The Dr. Fischer Baby Care Wipes are free of preservatives, alcohol, and other things that may irritate your baby’s soft skin. Don’t worry about rinsing this gentle formula from your baby’s eyelids and eyelashes. You can clean away everyday dirt buildup around the eyes and help alleviate clogged tear ducts. This gentle formula is also strong enough to provide relief for your baby who suffers from conjunctivitis and dry eyes. It also helps with styes and allergy relief. It does this by preventing bacteria from growing on the eyelid.

Like the other wipes by Dr. Fischer, this formula is also approved to use on sensitive skin. The pH in the cleansing formula has been adjusted to mimic that of human tears. The wipes are also color free and fragrance-free. Your baby’s eyes will be soothed with the chamomile extract that is in the formula.

Related: Castor Oil For Blepharitis? Can It Work For You?

Use the Baby Care Wipes to clean your baby’s eyelashes as well. The wipes will help you remove the oil, dirt, crusties, and other ocular secretions.

Use this product on your toddler and preschooler as well. We all know how many germs, viruses, and bacteria lurk on the surfaces of childcare centers and daycares. We know how quickly pink eye and other eye infections can spread. Keep your child’s eyes healthy by using these wipes as soon as you pick up your child from the babysitter. You also may want to combine this treatment with eye drops or ointments to help your child fight off bacterial or viral eye infections. Ask your lash technician before using this cleanser on lash extensions.

Which of these products is best to treat an eyelash infection?

There is no clear answer on which of these products is best, although we do love the Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser because it’s safe for everyone and safe for eyelash extensions. If the person who helps you with eyelash extensions does not recommend a cleansing plan, you may consider switching to a professional who does because anyone with lash extensions must be cleaning their eyelid regularly! 

What are Eyelash Extensions?

For those of you not “in the know,” eyelash extensions are the greatest thing since . . . I won’t eyelash extensioneven say it.  Eyelash extensions are made for those of us who want long, sexy eyelashes but whose genes didn’t cooperate. Eyelash extensions allow you to throw away your mascara and stop worrying about having dark rings under your eyes. In fact, mascara can damage your fake lashes, so it is only recommended to use it if you are close to getting a new set.

What are eyelash extensions made from?

Eyelash extensions are made of silk, mink, or some sort of synthetic substance, and they attach to your existing lashes semi-permanently. The lashes may also be made from real human hair. Many choose to use synthetic lashes such as faux mink or faux fox to use for extensions.

How are eyelash extensions attached?

A professional will adhere your lashes (that range in length from 6 mm to 17 mm) one at a time using a specially-formulated, semi-permanent glue. Although the adhesive is not supposed to irritate the eyes, there is a chance of having an allergic reaction from the formula. If you have a sensitivity to some eye products, you may want to talk with your eyelash professional to see if there is a hypoallergenic option available for you.

How long does the eyelash process take?

Although it depends on the technician, applying a full set of lashes usually takes about two hours. The same set can be maintained year-round by going back to the salon every three weeks to once a month. If you aren’t sure you want to show up to work tomorrow with a full set of luxurious lashes, you may consider starting with a half-set. This will allow you to receive a few compliments, but you won’t be the talk of the breakroom. Going with a half set is also smart if your lashes are shorter and thinner than most. Only applying a half-set will enable your own lashes to remain healthy.

How long do the extensions last?

If you have a professional put on eyelashes for you, your set should last between six to eight weeks. Since everyone’s hair growth cycle is different, the amount of time is different from person to person. If you would like to maintain the lashes and return to the salon every three or four weeks, the professional lash technician can maintain your lashes for as long as you wish.

Related: Does Manuka Honey for Blepharitis Work?

If you tend to pick at things, your lashes may not last as long as they could. Do not pull at your fake lashes!


How is the lash attached?

Hypoallergenic glue is used to attach the lashes. The glue does not get into your eyes, but if it does, you will not go blind from it. One synthetic lash connects to three of four natural lashes. Most say that if the product is applied correctly, that going through this process will not ruin your natural lashes. This is only true if you avoid rubbing your eyes or tugging at the extensions. Do not pick at them either.

When can you shower after receiving lash extensions?

You can never shower if you have lash extensions. Just kidding. Try to keep water away from your lashes for the first 12 to 24 hours after they were applied. Do not watch Hallmark movies or The Notebook for at least a day. You can shower, but avoid getting water on your eyelashes for the first day.

Ask your eyelash professional what is the best product to use to clean your lashes to eliminate the risk of eyelash infections. The recommended product may depend upon the glue that was used to adhere your lashes, but we recommend the Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser because it’s both alcohol and oil free.

Can you wear makeup near your eyelash extensions?

Although you should avoid wearing mascara, most powder-based eye makeup can be used. If you can’t live without eyeliner, be extremely careful while applying it and avoid the lash line. Remember to use an oil-free makeup remover.

How do you remove your eyelash extensions?

Do not tug them off yourself. You can go back to the salon that applied the extensions, and they will remove them for a fee. If you are patient, you can also wait for the extensions to fall out naturally.

What are the dangers of eyelash extensions?

Anything having to do with glue and the eyeball may involve risk. You may have seen photos of celebrities who have had bad experiences with their eyelash extensions. What are the dangers of using this beauty product and treatment?

Your eyes could become irritated and red. No one will be paying attention to your beautiful lashes if you are batting your eyelashes over puffy, dry or crusty eyelids. Eye infection from eyelash extensions are relatively common – in fact, many people who wear extensions for months or years eventually develop some type of infection or reaction to the lashes.

Your eyelids could become inflamed or swell. An allergic reaction to the adhesive could cause this.

This irritation could lead to an eye infection. Check with your eyelash professional to see if the adhesive he or she uses contains formaldehyde. This can cause a severe allergic reaction, which will make your eyes ooze and crust over. Again, this is not a sexy look.

You could end up losing your natural eyelashes. This is, of course, caused when you tug on your eyelashes. Don’t pull on them. In fact, don’t touch your eyelashes at all.

How do you avoid eye infection from eyelash extensions?

  • Use one of the products discussed in this article. Make sure the product is oil free and alcohol free.
  • Make sure the eyelash professional is a professional. He or she needs to have a valid certification.
  • Make sure your technician uses sanitary tools. Everything that touches your eyes and eyelids should be sterilized. Your technician should wear gloves, and for that matter, a mask.
  • The hypoallergenic glue is not as strong, but you may want to ask for it because it’s less likely to cause a reaction.
  • Take breaks from the extensions so that your eyes have a chance to breathe.
  • Wash your face every night before bed.


Are eyelash extensions right for you?

It depends on your lifestyle. Are you the type of person who spends a lot of time on your hair, makeup and wardrobe? Do you have a lot of “products?” Would you prefer to look glamorous for weeks instead of just for a special occasion? If you answered “yes” to all these questions, then extensions may be right for you.

How many lashes can you handle?

Those of us with puny eyelashes might want to run to the nearest lash professional and get a long set of luxurious eyelashes. You may be disappointed. Since eyelash extensions are, well . . . extensions . . . they build off of what you already have. Wearing lashes that are too long may damage what you have. Eyelash extensions can be put on anyone, but just know that only certain girls can handle lashes of the extra-long variety.

What kind of choices do you need to make when getting extensions?

First, you need to determine the amount of curl in your lashes. Steep-sloped lashes will give a more dramatic effect than non-sloped lashes. You also need to choose the density of your lashes. The more lashes you have put on, the fuller your lashes will seem. And of course, you need to select the length of your lashes. Customers can choose between eight-millimeter lashes to 14 millimeters. Although it is hard to describe, the shape of your lashes can alter too. Those who wish to have longer lashes on the outside of the eye rather than toward the nose will enjoy a different effect than those who choose to have the longest lashes above the pupil. Look at a variety of photos and drawings of these effects before visiting the salon to make sure you understand what you are asking for when you make your appointment.

How long does it take for eyelash extensions to set?

As mentioned earlier, eyelash professionals will tell you not to get your lashes wet for at least twelve hours after applying them. Do not get eyelash extensions and then run out and break up with your long-term boyfriend. Do not take a hard-core spin class or hot yoga. Don’t jump in a lake. The glue needs at least twelve hours to adhere to your eyelashes.

Will having eyelash extensions save you time?

The short answer is probably not. It takes at least two hours to put on the extensions the first time, and then you have to return to the salon every three or four weeks to get them filled. Unless you spend an amazing amount of time putting mascara on in the morning, you will probably spend more time on the extensions. If you agonize over each lash and spend hours shopping for mascara and other eye makeup, perhaps it would save time . . . but probably not.

One bit of maintenance that your eyelashes may require is you may need to use an eyelash comb to get out pieces of lint and other debris. You also will need to clean your extensions each day with one of the products mentioned earlier in this article. Keeping your eye area clean will enable you to wear the extensions an extended period of time. Just make sure you do not tug on the lashes as you clean them.

What are the other benefits of getting eyelash extensions?

You may not feel like you need to wear any more eye makeup at all. Of course, you should not put mascara on the extensions. You may also find that the lashes are dramatic enough that you can stop using eyeliner or eyeshadow, or maybe even both.

Another benefit is that you will look that way all day long. Your eyes will look “done” when you wake up in the morning. You will look polished when you are at the gym. You will look like you put yourself together when you run for coffee on Saturday morning.

Finally, another benefit of the lashes is that they are more comfortable than fake eyelashes. If the natural look is what you are going for, eyelash extensions can be designed to make you look like you acquired a great pair of lashes through good old genetics. Fake eyelashes that you put on yourself seem always to look fake. Also, eyelash extensions won’t fall off at inopportune moments. Imagine yourself walking around at an important event with one eyelash on and one off your eye. Imagine yourself trying to impress someone only to have your fake eyelash fall into your martini. That would be so “not cool.”

History of eyelash extensions

When did fake eyelashes become vogue? Incredibly, the trend can be traced back to a movie from 1916. A wig maker designed the first set of false eyelashes for an actress to wear in a movie for a dramatic effect. At one point during the mid-century, cluster lashes were used to thicken specific areas of the eyelash. Although the trend continued to grow slowly from the forties and fifties, it wasn’t until the 1960s that it became especially popular. The trend in the 60s was to make sure everyone knew you had false eyelashes. The natural look was not the trend during this time.

At the beginning of the 21st century, eyelash extensions were introduced in Korea and Japan. First celebrities started the trend, and then the public followed.

Even before fake eyelashes were even thought of, people have been trying different methods to increase the volume and length of their existing eyelashes. A variety of techniques have been introduced throughout the centuries. One method encouraged people to cut off the ends of their eyelashes to encourage longer growth. Other washes have been encouraged to promote growth as well. Some even said that using walnut leaves and water on your lashes would be sure to do the trick.

When those methods proved fruitless, some women went to extreme lengths to try to lengthen their lashes. It is reported that some women in Paris actually sewed hair into their eyelids to create fake eyelashes. It seems crazy to most, but the lengths some people go to appear beautiful has no bounds.

If eyelash extensions help you feel confident and good about yourself, you should get them. If extensions make you walk a little taller and feel secure about your beauty, then they are the thing for you. Users report that they have a difficult time returning to life before extensions. If you plan to try them out, you may want to add eyelash extension costs into your extended budget and schedule. You may not ever want to get rid of them.

Preventing Eyelash Infections

One thing to remember: make sure you care for your skin around your eyes. Eyelash extensions can give you a dramatic and sexy look, but that all disappears if your eyelids are covered with a rash, and your eyes are bloodshot. While everyone wants puffy lips, no one wants puffy eyelids. That’s not the trend right now. Maybe in a few years that will change.

Wash your eyelids daily with an approved formula, like the Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser. At the slightest sign of infection, have your extensions removed by a professional. If you get an infection the first time you try extensions, that doesn’t mean you can never have them. That just means you may be allergic to the adhesive your technician uses or you need to keep your eyelids cleaner. Ask for hypoallergenic glue and discuss any issues that present themselves.  

You can have glamour and healthy eyes. Just make sure you’re cleaning your eyelids and eyelashes well, and that you learn how to maintain your eyelash extensions correctly.


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