We will never tire of our quest for longer, thicker doe-eyed lashes. However our desire for that perfect flutter may, in fact, be putting our lashes under undue stress. Mascara application for example can leave them dry and brittle, as can harsher eye makeup removers or overzealous scrubbing with washcloths to remover stubborn makeup. Meanwhile eyelash curlers can weaken the lashes by bending them at the base. The same goes for extensions which can cause stress at the base – particularly if you have a penchant for pulling them all out once they get a bit sparse.
A few eyelash facts
You may not have put too much thought into your lashes’ life cycle before but here are a few facts from a study carried out by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information in the US:
- On average our lashes grow 0.12-0.14mm every day
- The lower lid contains 75-80 lashes, whereas the upper lid has 90-160
- Even though you can’t see this exactly, lashes are arranged in 3-4 rows on the bottom lid and 4-6 on the top
- The complete life cycle of a lash ranges from 4-11 months. “Lash length” they say, “Rarely exceeds 12mm, and the lash growth rate is influenced by several factors, including the topical prostaglandin analogs used to reduce the intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.”
- Whilst some people are born with naturally shorter lashes than others, unfortunately research shows that there can also be a reduction in lash length, thickness and pigmentation as we get older.
- Lashes are not attached to what are called arrector pili muscles unlike the hairs on our body. We therefore don’t get ‘goosebumps’ on our eyelids!
About lash serums
Eyelash growth serums have become hugely popular in the last few years. Designed for daily use, they contain ingredients that actively promote growth. Then there are lash conditioners which help prevent brittleness and breakage which can lead the the illusion of thickness.
The former (lash growth serums) aren’t without controversy – some (not all) started out life for use as medical treatments (some for treating glaucoma patients), where a side effect was increased eyelash growth. Other occasional side effects include eyelid pigmentation and irritation or redness. Since this is the very sensitive eye area we advise you to choose carefully.
We asked the 35thousand team for their tried and tested recommendations…
About the product
Latisse is an ophthalmic solution (eyedrops) created by Allergen who also create Botox and fillers. In 2001 Allergan created some medicated eyedrops that were to treat intraocular pressure. Containing Bimatoprost, the side effects were longer, fuller and darker lashes. This led them to create Latisse which, after clinical trials was approved by the FDA in 2008. The products is only currently available in the US.
“What I look for is the double effect of lengthening and thickness. Latisse is the most consistently effective in terms of proving the robustness and length of my lashes and works beautifully on my brows. It’s a little dropper (like an eyedropper bottle) and I put it on the roots of my lashes – initially every day and now once or twice a week. There’s a week or two that your lashes are amazing because what it does is extend the life of your lashes – you are basically keeping your lashes from falling out. I would say it’s two weeks before you see any results. You notice it subtley when you put mascara on.” Misty Reich
Plantifique Eyelash GrowtH serum
About the product
Plantifique prides itself on creating ‘superfood’ based skincare that is free from ingredients such as mineral oil, phthalates, and silicone sulphate. Containing non irritating ingredients, it is rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids and contains no gluten, colours or artificial fragrances. Clinically proven to improve the length of lashes, for optimum results they recommend using the serum twice a day for at least 3 months.
“I have super sensitive eyes, so finding an eyelash serum that didn’t cause irritation but didn’t compromise on results was key for me. The Plantifique Eyelash Growth Serum is hypoallergenic, so is super gentle on the eyes but still adds some major drama to the lashes. For the first month, the serum is applied twice a day and can be worn easily under makeup and then to maintain my luscious lashes, I apply every night. The eyeliner shaped wand makes the serum easy to apply and minimises wastage.
The serum is applied in a thin line along the lash line as opposed to brushed on like a mascara. What is fab about this product, is the paper measuring tool that comes with it which allows you to track the growth. Within a week, my lashes were already tickling my browbone and my colleagues had noticed a difference on Zoom! The price point, ingredients and results all mean that this serum has quickly become a staple in my makeup bag – a quick swipe of mascara in the morning and I’m ready to go.” Tilly Henshaw
Revitalash Advanced eyelash conditioner serum
About the product
Revitalash is probably the original and best known eyelash enhancer of them all. Created by Dr. Brinkenhoff, a physician and ophthalmologist. The original formula was created for his wife when she was battling cancer to help her grow her lashes. The Advanced Serum uses scientifically advanced technology and a Biopeptin complex to help grow healthier-looking, more luscious lashes (and brows). You only have to read the reviews on their website www.revitalash.com to know that it has dedicated fan base.
“I’m a Revitalash fan – but I don’t use it on my lashes. I’m trying to replace the brows I had in the 90s before Kate Moss inspired us all with those thin arches that looked so good back then. An over-enthusiastic makeup artist, keen to move me out of the 70s and into the 90s (I had really big Brooke Shields brows) pinned me down and tweezed away. I loved the way the brows looked, but with age, and changing styles, I missed my bushier brows. And if you pluck them consistently, they just don’t grow back. Unless you use a lash or brow serum, to help things along.
I like Revitalash because it is easy – just brush it over clean skin where you want to encourage growth, best done at night time, and wait for the results. I have to say, the best results are evident on existing brows – they grow long which is great for lashes but less so for brows, so you have to make sure you are painting with the little brush in the right area. What I have noticed over many years of use though, is a gradual increase in brow hair coverage so that my brow bones look less naked than they did. This is one of those beauty treatments that you have to really stick at and it’s not a one-off solution – consistent use pays off.” Anna-Marie Solowij
Naissance Cold Pressed Castor oil
About the product
This ethically sourced castor oil is packed with essential fatty acids. With a thick, honey-like consistency, it has long been used by its fans for conditioning lashes and helping give them a healthy, lustrous appearance. Extracted in India using a cold pressed method, this means that there’s been no heat processing involved which may alter its effectiveness.
“As someone with a sensitive eye area, I’m always on the hunt for natural skincare and beauty products which are less likely to cause irritation. For eyelashes, I’ve been using the Naissance cold pressed castor oil. High in Ricinoleic acid, castor oil is known for being super conditioning and giving hair (and lashes) a hydrated, lustrous sheen. Although there’s no current scientific evidence to suggest the oil actively promotes hair growth, studies show it may help prevent breakage, leaving lashes nourished and looking fuller.
I apply castor oil to my lashes as part of my nightly skincare routine. Since even cold pressed varieties can be fairly viscous, I usually combine it with a couple of drops of coconut oil (another natural moisturiser). Then, taking a clean eyeshadow brush I sweep the mix across my top and lower lash lines. Although naturally sticky, the oil feels lightweight once applied and can be easily washed away in the morning. To notice any significant change, you’ll need to consistently use the product for 3-6 months – with regular application, I’ve found that my lashes appear healthier and thicker.” Aasiyah Dana
Rapidlash EyeLash Enhancing Serum
About the product
Created by International Research Laboratories, this award-winning serum has sold over 3 million units world-wide. Opthalmologist-tested and clinically proven to be safe, it contains a scientific cocktail of ingredients from biotin to polypeptides and panthenon. Recommended for use just once a day, users report brilliant results.
“If you’re looking for the results of Revitalash without the Revitalash pricetag, Rapidlash is a great alternative and widely available. Results take a little longer to become visible but after about 4 weeks my lashes really started to pack a punch and were earning me many a compliment in the office. They also felt a lot longer and softer. I had to stop using the serum in the end as my eyes became quite sensitive and the bags under my eyes were darkening in colour but if you don’t have sensitive eyes, this is a great mid-range option that definitely helps your eyelashes look more luscious.” Tilly Henshaw