In 2008, when I assumed the role of Beauty Editor for Beauty News NYC, one of my first stories was on eyelash conditioners/growers. Ever the skeptic, I wasn’t too hopeful. I am cursed with poker straight lashes, which are like my hair. I always joke that I could attempt to chemically alter my hair to make it curl and it would come out straighter than before I processed it, but honestly, I prefer my stick straight locks. My lashes? Not so much. I am cynical about any product claiming that my lashes will be longer, fuller, lusher and thicker; thanks to this wonderful job, I have tested, tried, sampled and given the benefit of the doubt to nearly every mascara out there. Promises of lush lashes are often futile, and while every mascara I try makes my lashes look better for a few hours, they are never as curled, voluminous or as plush as I would like them to be. My lashes are hard to curl and I expect a lot. Perhaps too much!
I tested the eyelash serums when they were nascent on the market and somewhat controversial, since the cosmetic formulation includes something called Bimatoprost, which is used to treat glaucoma. Turns out, glaucoma sufferers noticed their lashes grew exponentially and were often darker upon taking the medicine! I tested the lash serums but I never noticed much of a difference in my lash length or color.
Perhaps I wasn’t as religious in applying enough product, which you sweep across your upper lash line like liquid liner. Perhaps I may have missed an application after a particularly late night, which is enough to screw up the hypothesis. Perhaps I didn’t notice much of a change because I look at myself every day. Perhaps I didn’t give the product enough time to actually work. Whatever the margin of error, I noticed nothing. The products didn’t work for me. I feared my lashes were immune and it was probably best to stick with mascara, mascara, mascara, which had fewer concerns than something that is used to treat people with an eye disease.
Flash forward – or is it lash forward?- to November 2009. I decided to get militant about applying Revitalash Lash Conditioner to my upper lash line as though it were a liquid eyeliner pen every single night, after I washed my faced and brushed my teeth. I made it part of my routine. They say after you do something for three weeks in a row, it will become a habit much quicker. And it has.
In late December, I noticed that when I curled my lashes with my trusty Shu Uemura curler, that my lashes were longer than the tip of the curler! The product was finally working for me. While my lashes grew longer, they grew straight out, so the only thing that increased was the length, not the fullness or the volume or the texture. Even my manicurist commented that my lashes were looking super pretty as of late.
So every time I see Brooke Shields on TV peddling her favorite lash serum, Latisse, and seeing that drugstore brands have also started selling their own versions, I have no qualms about the safety of the product for myself. They say the side effects are darkened eyes – I’ve got dark peepers already- and darkened lashes, which may be permanent. Since I have black lashes and dark eyes, that side effect is a moot point for me, but if you are a blue-eyed gal, you may want to really think twice. Also, if you stop using the product, the effects aren’t cumulative; that is, lashes will revert to their normal length and dimension.
I must say, I have quickly become addicted to having longer lashers. They frame my eyes better. They look sexy with three coats of black mascara, regardless of brand. I’m a skeptic and a cynic and my first experience with the lash serum phenomena wasn’t successful, but now I am sold.
As with any product such as this, use at your own risk. If you don’t feel comfy playing with something that’s used for treating a disease, then stick with mascara and love your lashes for what they are.