Think about all the times you unlocked your phone to ask Google a question this year: When does Crazy Rich Asians release in theaters? How old is Noah Centineo? Where is the nearest bar? Those were just a few generic things we typed into the search bar this year, but Google is also our favorite know-it-all when it comes to specific beauty questions, like "how to re-create Ariana Grande's ponytail" or "how to grow longer, healthier nails."
The Internet powerhouse just released its 2018 Year in Search, and when it comes to beauty-related inquiries, people were obsessed with one thing: lashes. The top trending beauty search of the year: how to apply magnetic lashes.
Over the last two years, magnetic lashes have been popping up in department stores and drugstores, promising easy application and removal. This innovative lash format uses a sandwiching technique: One strip goes under the natural lashes, and a second fits along the top of lashes. The tiny magnets at the base of each strip help them snap together when they are aligned at the lashline. And to remove them, you just pull the false lashes apart — no oil cleansers or wipes required. They're reusable, don't require any messy glue, and are budget-friendly (at around $7 a pair), so it's easy to see why they are so popular. But as great as they sound — because saving time and money is always glorious — we had one more burning question to ask Google: Is using magnets that close to your eyes safe?
The quick and dirty answer: Magnetic lashes are totally fine to use. "It is relatively safe to use magnetic lashes since the amount of electromagnetic frequency emitted from the false eyelashes is low," says Jennifer Tsai, OD, a New York-based optometrist who specializes in eye health and vision care.
"I’ve seen more harm done with lash extensions and glue-ons... It's best to stick with magnetic lashes or mascara."
Dr. Jennifer Tsai
In fact, both eye doctors we talked to prefer magnetic lashes over other enhancements, like eyelash extensions and classic falsies with glue. "Magnetic lashes are easily removable, it's not a prescription medication like Latisse, and there seems to be significantly less lash loss than when you use glue application," says Veronica Ruelas, OD, optometrist and founder of the ThirdEyeVision Foundation. Dr. Tsai agrees, "I’ve seen more harm done with lash extensions and glue-ons — like styes, allergic blepharitis, keratoconjunctivitis, and conjunctival erosion. From what I’ve seen in my exam room over the years, it’s best to stick with magnetic lashes or mascara."
But while these lashes don't affect your vision negatively, it is still important to watch how often you're applying them, says Dr. Tsai. "The biggest concern with magnetic eyelashes is traction alopecia, where your natural lashes fall out as a result of the constant weight from the magnetic lashes," she tells Refinery29. Overall, Dr. Tsai recommends only turning to lash enhancements, including magnetic ones, for special occasions.
You also want to make sure you're applying them correctly. (From our experience, magnetic lashes can be a tad difficult to apply, so you'll need practice.) "It is possible to develop corneal abrasions and infections if the magnet or a piece of eyelash comes into contact and injures the cornea," says Tsai. You also want to choose the brand wisely if you have allergies or skin sensitivities. Dr. Tsai recommends Ardell because the brand uses 100% human hair. Removal is also an important step. "Make sure to prevent yanking the magnetic lashes off by gently lifting the top lash up and the bottom lash down."
So, don't let that middle-school science lesson about magnetic fields keep you from this makeup trend, because magnetic lashes are actually the best option for making your lashes pop — at least according to eye doctors. Join the tons of people searching for this beauty trend, get yourself a set, and debut them at your New Year's Eve party. New year, new lashes, who dis?