Officials warn consumers of unlicensed beauty professionals

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — False eyelashes and eyelash extensions seem to be growing in popularity, which makes it more important than ever to make sure you're going to a licensed professional.

Chandra Wilson, the owner of Wink Spalon in east Memphis, sees about 50 clients a week for eyelash services. "It became very, very, very popular," she said.

Women come see her to make their eyelashes look longer and fuller. "It's still super trendy. Women want them. They want the look. They don't want the time having to put mascara on in the morning, especially woman on the go," Wilson said.

But in order to legally provide the services, you need to be licensed.

"People on the outside looking in see that it's a lot of money that can be made. So they're taking these classes that aren't certified, and they're doing it in their home," Wilson said. She says it's hard for people to get in trouble unless they're caught in action, which is what happened earlier in 2019.

The State Department of Commerce and Insurance cited a salon in Fox Meadows for providing eyelashes without a license. Court documents say inspectors saw a man applying eyelashes to someone at Thereal Hair and Beauty Bar.

The man told them he had a certificate, which isn't enough. He was fined $1,000.

We went to Thereal Hair and Beauty Bar where the owner told us the man no longer works there. She said since the service isn't regulated, and it's hard to keep up with what's allowed.

But the state says it's clear you need a license.

"It's very important to go on to someone who is professional and knows the knowledge of lash extensions," Wilson said.

Vanity aside, you're trusting someone with glue around your eyes. "That has an effect on your eyes, like your eyes are super sensitive. You can get reactions, swelling, redness and some people lose their sight," Wilson said.

The state says people who sell eyelashes and put them on for "demonstration purposes" are exempt from their licenses.

If you want to check if someone has the right licenses, go here.

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