I Used To Pimp Eyelash Extensions Til I Found Out They Were Dangerous May 21 2013

I sent out a newsletter explaining why I was no longer offering eyelash extensions at Tres Belle Spa anymore, even though it was a popular and profitable service. It was picked up by Girlie Girl Army and featured on their front page on May 14 2013.

Allison Tray is a spa owner, a truly kind person, and an eco beauty advocate, so imagine her horror when she realized a service she had been pimping for years was seriously dangerous.  Allison owns Tres Belle Spa in Brooklyn. One of the first things she raved about when we met were the incredible fake eyelash extensions offered at her spa. Recently Allison heard some scary news that made her come out of the toxic beauty closet to all of us and stop offering eyelash extensions permanently. 
Here’s her story;
It’s not easy being a small business owner sometimes. It’s just not. I make it my business to treat all my clients, celebrity or cashier, like fn rock-stars, I educate them wherever I see an opportunity, even when it has nothing to do with beauty. My heart believes it’s important to have a business that aligns with my morals; my head knows that a business needs to make money.
Sometimes these two goals are hard to reconcile.

Most recently after offering Eyelash Extensions for years, I started to feeling “funny” smelling the lash glue when treatments were being performed and began to question the quality of the materials that the suppliers were sending us. I called the company {considered the very best in the biz} I was reassured that it was still the same safe high quality as always.

Our staff has been thoroughly trained and retrained in every single service they provide.We do test patches and give free product samples { samples we have to pay for }. We research and continually educate ourselves. We want clients safe. We want our friends and family who are regulars at the spa safe. We had every reason to feel secure in offering this service. Even the insurance company that covers our services told us that our eyelash service, as performed, was totally fine and they were “happy” to cover us for it. We got the most reputable products, the fanciest! Our employee was highly skilled and had been applying individual lashes meticulously for years. At $350 a pop, clients were clamoring for appointments, follow-ups and appointments for their friends. Celebrities came. Models, fashion stars. Still, I kept thinking to myself people are coming in and we are applying GLUE to their lashes. GLUE. Glue so strong that it would hold an extension onto a lash until the lash naturally fell out.
Tres Belle Spa
Tres Belle Spa

Still, I could not stop obsessing over that glue. I decided we had to stand for what I felt was right and deal with whatever financial repercussions would come of it. When I say “financial repercussions” let me be clear: Tres Belle Spa was going to lose money and clients. I took Eyelash Extensions off of our service menu, off our website, off our brochures, off our seo search words, just off. Done. It was just something that needed to be done. I was right: we lost clients, but just a few. After awhile something outstanding began to happen, our cruelty-free, non-toxic treatments became the stars of the spa.New clients began to stream in wanting to experience our Ageless Goddess facial which went onto be named “Best Natural Facial in Brooklyn” and the requests for eyelash extensions just stopped. Standing for something bigger began to pay-off. It seemed that listening to my “semi-toned” gut was the right thing to do. We’ve begun to build new clients in-line with our beliefs and change the old thinking of our regulars.

Folks still wanted to have eye enhancing treatments and so the research began. Of course lash tinting but also, we began to sell and sell-out of Revitalash { now known as Nouriche because the creeps { Allergan company who admittedly test on animals } at Latisse got cranky over the competition and made them change their name.} Revitalash/Nouriche was created by an Ophthalmologist who’s wife lost her lashes from chemo and no animal testing is performed start to finish. The best part is it WORKS. My lashes are bangin’. Throw on a few coats of Beauty Without Cruelty Full Volume Mascara and Va Va Voom. Bodacious blinkers.
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Just today my father called me after a report that he heard while schlepping Shane, his 90lb black lab around town. He was driving home and tuned in his radio and heard a report on the dangers of eyelash extensions on 1010WINS. Now, if 1010WINS is reporting on eyelashes, you best tune in. He called me immediately and said it has also been posted as a danger by Consumer Reports. I saw a video in which the adorable actress Kristin Chenoweth had to go on Letterman in big black sunglasses because she had a horrible reaction to eyelash extensions. She said her eyes swelled up so big that they looked like lips. OY VEY. The report went on to chronicle another performer’s reaction and then a doctor explaining the NUMEROUS risks.
Eye-lash-tint-allegic-reaction
The moral of this story is not that I could have saved Kristin Chenoweth.Yes, it is.No, it’s not.
Seriously, it is possible to be successful and “do the right thing” for your clients. Being ethical and principled allows you and your clients to live a better and more purposeful life. I’m still battling my head/heart over things here and there but for now no more lash extensions, no more worries.
When Allison isn’t being filmed protesting the Ringling Circus, marching for Marriage Equality or running a fundraiser, she can be found running the 225sq ft spa she started with her dad almost 9 years ago.
Tres Belle Spa has been consistently voted Best Spa, Laser hair removal & “Best All Natural Facial in Brooklyn” because their services are results driven and they’re known as the nicest staff on the planet. They offer numerous vegan beauty treatments.


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Peas&Love,
Allison @ Tres Belle Spa