I don’t know why, but suddenly, having long, thick eyelashes is like having the latest It bag: All of the cool girls seem to have them, and it definitely makes a statement.
That said, I’ve been doing my homework for quite a while, and there seems to be five ways to get your longest lashes ever:
1.) Use an eyelash growth serum.
Though everyone raves about Latisse, I know that some people are worried about changing their eye color. My eyes are the color of wet mud, so that’s not much of a concern for me, but I personally worry about the skin staining effects.
Enter Wink Natural Cosmetics Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer ($39, FutureDerm.com/Shop), I was super excited when I found this company, with a technology developed by an MIT graduate.
Wink Natural Cosmetics Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer contains essential fatty acids (EFAs) that are proven to stimulate the hair follicle to move from the “resting” phase (telogen) and to enter the “active” phase (anagen).
How this works, interestingly enough, may be related to Latisse. Bear with me: Latisse is a prostaglanoid called bimatoprost. Latisse works in part by moving hair follicles from resting to active phase.
On the other hand, essential fatty acids have been found to increase prostaglandin/prostaglanoid production in individuals with a deficiency (Medical Hypotheses, 1980). So by supplementing your eyelash follicles with essential fatty acids, you may be stimulating prostaglanoid production naturally, resulting in fuller and possibly longer lashes.
After using Wink Natural Cosmetics Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer for several weeks, I noticed my lashes looked longer and thicker. Data shows lashes should be about 12-15% longer and 15-20% thicker after a few months of regular use.
Thrilled with this product!
2.) Use a mascara primer.
In addition to having It bags and long lashes, It girls also seem to have a primer for everything. Makeup bags and cases are super-loaded with makeup primer, eyeshadow primer, lip primer, and now — mascara primer.
Of these, most are designed to prevent creasing and to improve application.
But with mascara primer, you’re actually building product on and around each lash, so mascara is coating an already-thicker, fuller lash.
My favorite mascara primer is Christian Dior Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum ($37.01, Amazon.com). This serum contains hyaluronic acid spheres that actually adhere to one another and build effectively over the entire length of the lash, plumping and thickening along the way.
As FutureDerm fans know about hyaluronic acid, it’s also smoothing and hydrating, so mascara glides on more easily and clumps less after use of this product.
3.) Use a non-waterproof mascara with a gel-based or lash-building fibers.
Waterproof mascara kind-of stinks. I mean, you may think it doesn’t when you’re walking through the rain without an umbrella. But other than getting caught in a sticky situation like that, you want to go non-waterproof.
The reason? When it comes to adding length and volume, water-soluble formulations with wax tends to layer better than waterproof ingredients, like oil and petrolatum. If you don’t believe me, think about making a candle out of Vaseline (petrolatum) instead of wax — obviously, the wax is stronger, more resilient, and holds shape better.
Another tip is to look for new formulations with either a gel base or lash-building fibers.
Gel-based formulas are neat because they will expand as soon as they hit the lash, plumping upon contact with air. That’s the case with a formula like Christian Dior Extase ($30.35, Amazon.com), a formula that is entirely gel-based with black pearl pigments and powder to amplify the lashes further.
On the other hand, water-based fiber-based formulas are also awesome, because these little (1 mm or less) lash-like fibers stick to one another, creating literal extensions of your lashes. Not always the friendliest for sensitive eyes or contact lens wearers, these products do make a huge difference, but need to be applied carefully! I love Too Faced Better than False Lashes Mascara ($29.42, Amazon.com).
4.) Always use a mascara brush with long fibers and a silicone or rubbery texture.
Believe it or not, when you apply different types of mascara, you should always use the same kind of brush:
- Rubbery texture
- Large sized (so long as it fits in the mascara tube!)
When it comes to adding volume, you need a brush that goes the distance.
To create voluminous lashes, you need to layer mascara on each lash. Your eyelashes will only grab as much mascara as a single stroke of the brush can apply from root to tip.
A short-bristled brush will not result in application of as much product in a single stroke.
On the other hand, a long-bristled brush maximizes the application of as much product as possible in a single stroke. The result? Thicker, more voluminous-looking lashes.
When brushing your hair, brush manufacturers have already determined rubber cushioning makes brushing hair easier, as the cushion will expand and retract based upon the thickness of your hair (Milady Standard Cosmetology).
Eyelashes are no different, though on a more microscopic scale: If you apply mascara made of a cushiony material to your eyelashes, the brush will “give” more against thick eyelashes and “push back” more against thin eyelashes, so you end up with more even application of product.
In addition, silicone or rubbery brushes also have less friction, so less of the product sticks to the brush, and more will adhere to your lashes.
5.) Wiggle at the base of the lashes, hold your mouth slightly open, and extend.
The last thing that matters with mascara is technique.
As we stated before, a bigger, thicker brush results in bigger, thicker lashes because more product is applied to each lash with every stroke. Similarly, if you extend lash-brush contact surface area by wiggling the brush ever-so-slightly from side to side, taking care not to move the brush off of the lashes, you will end up with a better application of product.
If you’re looking for longer lashes naturally, try an eyelash serum like Wink Natural Cosmetics Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer.
If you’re looking for the longest lashes of your life, use an eyelash serum like Wink Natural Cosmetics Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancer in conjunction with a mascara primer, non-waterproof mascara, and the proper technique. Be sure that you aren’t fooled by cosmetics manufacturers and keep switching brushes: If maximal impact is what you’re after, you only need one brush, and that’s a large, big-bristled brush!
What are your thoughts? Let me know in Comments!