If eyes are the windows to our souls, then our lashes are the window frames. I don’t know about you, but I do not leave my house without framing my windows. Well that’s not entirely true. I get in my car and put on my mascara at the stop light right before I get on the freeway. Viola! I look like a completely different person. Somehow, this act has made me feel more prepared for my day. I am brighter. I feel more attractive. More confident. What would I do without my $8 miracle in a tube?
For centuries, women (and men) have been using “eye paint” to define their brows and lashes. As far back as 4000BC the Egyptians were using Kohl, a mixture of soot and metal, to enhance their beauty in an effort to aggrandize allure.
“We’ve come a long way, baby” from the days of sourcing soot. Eyelash enhancement has become a multi-million dollar industry. Promises of longer, thicker, voluminous lashes abound. With thousands of choices ranging from mascaras to falsies, permanent extentions to glaucoma medications for enhanced growth, where does a girl begin?
For a few years, extensions were the rage. But at $300 for one application, (not to mention how long you have to lay still) and the fact that they fall off in a month, this service looks like its phasing out.
The most obvious, least expensive, time consolidating choice is Mascara. I have been married to my mascara since I was in high school. I rarely cheat on my favorites. Because my hands on experience is limited, I reached out to my friends on Facebook and created a little impromtu poll of popular brands.
Not surprising, my steadfast love, Voluminous by Loreal Paris , $7.50, was the most popular in my group of friends.
I love it. It never flakes or runs and it is easy to wash off at the end of the day. (However, I recently bought the waterproof version by mistake and was extremely disappointed).
A close second was the ever popular “Great Lash” by Maybelline, under $5 (this also won the Reader’s Choice 2008 poll for magazines, Allure, Teen Vogue, Essence and Woman’s Day).
Le 2 de Guerlain ($35 at Sephora ) weighed in with the promise of an innovative, double-sided brush. Molded in a single piece of flexible material the brush offers the right balance between softness for comfortable application and rigidity for effective lash separation.
Despite the array of fabulous choices, one respondent to my poll is fed up. “No more daily mascara for me!!! My eyelashes are ruined from it……I am going to go see a Nurse Esthetician to get a prescription for one of those new lash growing formulas. If the $200 investment works, I promise I will never ever wear mascara again. I want the eyelashes I had when I was 16 again, the ones I ruined using Maybelline Great Lash Ultra Waterproof Mascara everyday.”
“That new lash growing formula” would be Latisse, running in the ballpark of $120/ month, this is the only FDA approved “medicine” that actually stimulates your own hair growth. The clinical trials on Latisse are more than significant being that millions of glaucoma patients have used the active ingredients for years with little to no adverse affects. The company does warn, however, that 4% of users have experienced itching or redness, a temporary darkening of eyelid tissue and an actual darkening of the iris. Reportedly, results take anywhere from 2-4 months. At $120 a pop, it could get pricey. You also need a prescription from your doctor to get your hands on it.
For more information on the most effective growth formulas, check out the independent site, http://www.eyelashgrowthproduct.com. This little gem provides us with real women’s opinions on several of the leading eyelash enhancement products.
Kimberly Rockefeller is the owner of Thrive! Body and Skin and single mom to Corbin in San Diego. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.