Long knockout lashes are all the rage. Just walk into any department store or drugstore these days and you will find the words “Extreme” “Longer” “Thicker” pasted onto mascara-like tubes of serums that promise denser, longer lashes in just a matter of weeks.
Nora Charles, celebrity esthetician from Touch of Faith Aesthetics in Los Angeles, California, says “long eyelashes make great eyes look even more beautiful. When eyelashes are short and thin they take away from the beauty of the eyes and cause them to look dull and unimpressive. “They also cause a woman to look older than she is.”
Launched in 2008, Latisse is the only FDA approved prescription product that clinically is proven to grow lashes longer, thicker and darker in 16 weeks. Latisse contains the ingredient bitamoprost (a structural prostaglandin), which prolongs the hair growth cycle and increases the number of hairs grown in each cycle. Bitamoprost was originally used in liquid form to treat glaucoma patients and those treated noticed an increase in lash growth as a side effect. Allergan, the company which makes Latisse, decided to repackage its glaucoma drug and promote it to those with eyelash hypotrichosis (thinning of the eyelashes). In 2010, Allergan reported $82 million net sales of Latisse and projects even more growth for 2011 at $100 million.
Prior to Latisse, there were a few lash-boosting products on the market, which contained prostaglandin (such as Jan Marini and Revitalash), but with the FDA concerned about safety and Allergan having the sole rights to bitamoprost those products had to be taken off the market and re-formulated.
Though, luxe lashes without wearing falsies may not come easily. Some side effects of Latisse include redness, itchiness and skin hyperpigmentation on the eyelid.
There are dozens of over-the-counter lash enhancing products without negative side effects – all which do not contain prostaglandins. These mostly contain conditioners, amino acids, botanicals and peptides, which help strengthen lashes at the root and diminish lash loss so lashes appear thicker and longer.
“Over-the-counter lash enhancers seek other means to help your eyelashes appear thicker and fuller. Therefore, they instead contain moisturizers such as humectants, in order to condition the lashes, just as you would use a conditioner to make the hair on your scalp feel thicker, softer, and more lush,” says California-based Board Certified Dermatologist Sandra Lee.
For best results, these need to be applied with a small brush to the base of the lashes nightly for at least a month. Lee recommends that her patients use Latisse for 4 months for maximum results before backing off use and then going back to using the product a few times a week to maintain their eyelashes. “I’ve even told some patients they need to go on an eyelash intervention because their eyelashes have become so long, they need to actually trim them, so their lashes won’t hit their upper eyelids, or brush against their sunglasses,” says Lee.
If your eyelashes are looking skimpy there are a bevy of products from prescription to drugstore brands, which all promise to make lashes look thicker, longer and healthier. Results can usually take up to a few weeks to a couple of months. Keep in mind that if you stop using these products, lashes can go back to their original state.
Lash Boosters and Conditioners:
Latisse, ($120 for 30-day supply) is the only doctor prescribed product that contains bitamoprost and is clinically proven to increases lash length by 25 percent, eyelash fullness by 106 percent and an increase in darkness by 18 percent. www.latisse.com
Marini Lash ($160) contains a unique non-prostaglandin formula coupled with powerful peptides, horse chestnut extract, biotin and panthenol to encourage healthy lash growth. Apply to base of lashes once in the evening for luxe-looking lashes in 12 weeks. www.janmarini.com
Apply Talika lipocils expert ($55 for .35oz) at the base as well as the entire lash with a mascara-like brush to fortify lashes from root to tip. Twelve plant extracts such as nettle, Baobob leaves and apple, as well as silk proteins, UV filters and peptides strengthen follicles and help with growth, curl and enhance lash color. www.talika.com.
The makers of the keratin hair care line launched Keratin Complex LashTransform ($41), which features keratin, peptides and grape stem cell extract to condition and strengthen lashes from root to tip. www.KeratinComplex.com.
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Ultimate Lash and Brow Serum ($60) is an all-natural option that fortifies lashes with natural plant-derived ingredients such as apple fruit stem cells and a unique peptide complex that claims to boost length and thickness in just two weeks.
PeterThomasRoth Lashes To Die For The Liner ($48) a felt-tip eyeliner featuring SymPeptide, a complex which boosts keratin production, which yields thicker, fuller lashes in just 6 weeks. www.peterthomasroth.com.
Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum ($11) contains a high-tech Japanese formula to help condition and boost length. Color lasts all day and comes in three colors. www.physiciansformula.com
Add sexy volume and length with LushLash by Urban Decay ($20). This enhancing mascara contains peptides and panthenol to repair fragile lashes and promote new growth. www.urbandecay.com
Rimmel London Volume Accelerator Mascara ($9) features a unique grow-lash complex with keratin, caffeine and Procapil (herbal complex that helps with lash loss) while adding extra volume. www.rimmel.com.
The modern woman’s answer to mascara, Lash Dip is a salon application that semi-permanently colors lashes while increasing volume and length. One application gives you gorgeous lashes for up to six weeks. Perfect for brides-to-be and anyone on the go! Approximately $200 per application, www.lashdip.com.