Utah Department of Commerce warns about the dangers of eyelash extensions

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SALT LAKE CITY - The Utah Department of Commerce is warning the public about the dangers of getting eyebrow and eyelash extensions from a non-licensed professional.

Would you let a non-licensed beautician put on your eyelash extensions?

"No, no way," Mindi Mordue said. " It was hard enough going to a professional, um, these are your eyes. Horrible things can happen to your eyes."

And yet many others are continuing in the craze, getting cheap lashes from whomever, wherever.

If you're tired of wearing mascara and thinking about getting those false lashes, you're going to want to make sure that wherever you go, they have a valid license.

"Since January 2015 to May 2016 we have issued 67 citations for individuals doing eyebrow and eyelash extensions who do not have a license," said Francine Giani, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce.

A license as a cosmetologist or an aesthetician is what's required. Anything less, even a so-called certification, just wont cut it.

"We've heard that individuals have had to go to the emergency room," Giani said. "We've heard individuals that, when they're being examined by a doctor, that they are finding some of the glue under the retina."

And that's not all. Reports of eye infections, redness and everything from broken lashes to blindness abound. These are often caused by unsanitary conditions and under-qualified workers.

"Lots of girls who aren't licensed, they'll get really cheap product, and most of the time, like glue with, you know, that has formaldehyde, or bad chemicals in it," said Kassidy Murcia, a licensed cosmetologist.

When it comes to lashes, Murcia said you get what you pay for.

"I think you know the pricier it is, it's probably because they're using the better product, and they're taking their time and they're more experienced," Murcia said.

The Department of Commerce says they are taking complaints and are actively pursing non-licensed beauticians in an effort to protect lash lovers.

To verify a license or file a complaint, log on to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing’s website or call (801) 530-6626.

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