Woman nearly blinded by allergy to her Halloween makeup

Woman nearly blinded by allergy to her Halloween makeup

Halloween comes around and it's a chance for those girls who've invested time and money into actually learning what contouring and blending are to show off their skills with very OTT makeup looks. You can't deny they look spectacular.

But, while these girls actually know what they're doing, the rest of us need to heed warning before taking to our own faces with facepaint and glitter. As one girl experienced last year, the Halloween makeup we're putting on our faces can lead to some absolutely horrifying reactions – not from your friends terrified by your costume – but from your own body.

The cheap and nasty costume makeup you buy from the corner store can be very bad for your skin, with face paints containing base ingredients that suffocate the skin, and el cheapo contacts that can bring bacteria into your eye and scratch your cornea if they don't properly fit.

For Emmajane Duffy, it was the glitter in her makeup look that caused a reaction so severe she thought she'd go blind.  The customer relations advisor from Glasgow described the experience as "horrific", and wanted to warn people of her October 29 Halloween nightmare last year.

"At first I thought a bit of glitter had fallen in my eye which was causing it to itch, but soon I realised something more sinister was happening," the 25-year-old said. "The pain of the allergic reaction is something I never want to experience again. It was horrific."

She went for a "scary clown" look, involving thick black face paint across her eyes and mouth, as well as gold glitter eyeshadow. Partying in a nightclub, she started to get sweaty under the lights and so kept topping up her makeup.

After a while, she started to feel some irritation in her left eye before it started getting very itchy.

"It felt irritated so I dabbed it with a wet paper towel. I just thought a bit of glitter had fallen in my eye, so would eventually work its way out," she said.

By 3am, it had closed up entirely.

"It felt like a piece of glass was in my eye – I was in terrible pain. I did an eye bath but it didn’t help," she recalled. "It felt like I had razor blades cutting across my eyeball. It was the most horrendous scratching pain."

After heading home and trying to treat her eye by washing it out, she fell asleep and woke only to find she couldn't open either of her eyes. Luckily she was able to use Siri on her phone to call her boyfriend, 27-year-old Steven Stewart.

"I couldn’t see a thing so Steven had to dress me and give me sunglasses to wear to protect my eyes from the light.

"As we drove to the hospital, I was terrified I would never see again."


Emmajane went through a few tests with an eye doctor, which she said were very painful.

"She told me 'I’m not surprised you can’t see, there’s superficial scratches all over your corneas'," she said, speaking of her hospital visit. "She said I was lucky I didn’t go blind."

Eventually, after what would've been a very long four days, Emmajane was finally able to open her eyes again. While she was able to see, she was told that she'll need to wear glasses for the rest of her life.

"I’m just glad I didn’t lose my sight," she said, before adding: "I won’t be dressing up again in a hurry".

Phew. Take note folks, and steer clear from those cheap and crappy makeup kits.