Whether you’re dealing with brittle, damaged lashes or just want a boost in growth, here’s how Stylist contributor Lili Melvin managed to grow hers to great lengths.
I was lying by the pool on holiday last summer when I noticed a girl who had enviably thick eyelashes. In fact, they were so long that they grazed the skin just under her eyebrows.
They twisted and curled in the way that I thought only false lashes could, so I asked her if they were real. I waited for her to tell me that they weren’t so I could ask her where she had got them done, but instead, she revealed that it was all thanks to an eyelash serum.
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At the moment, I’m not wearing any make-up. But, despite never having particularly short or sparse eyelashes, there’s something about having lengthier lashes that can instantly make me feel more confident. So, the possibility of being able to wake up to them being naturally longer – and all mine – seemed too good to be true.
Previously, I had always been put off by the steep price of eyelash serums: a three-month supply of RevitaLash - one of the most popular growth serums - is priced at £89 (for 2ml). They just didn’t seem worth it when there was no guarantee that they would give me results. Now that I had visible proof, however, I was ready to try it out for myself - and it worked better than I could have expected.
It’s been almost a year since I first started applying RevitaLash’s lash conditioner every evening and I cannot count the number of people that have asked me if my eyelashes are real – especially when I wear mascara. My friends and family noticed a difference before I could mention that I had been trying to make my eyelashes grow. I’ve even watched people order it on their phone as soon as I tell them what the product is called.
RevitaLash isn’t a new product. In 2014, when asked about some of her beauty essentials, Meghan Markle credited RevitaLash for her long lashes. The lash conditioner often tops the list of the best eyelash serums on the market, it has won a host of beauty awards and people leave raving reviews about it online. On its website, RevitaLash reports that it has “changed [users] lash life” and that while it is definitely expensive, it is “worth every penny”.
RevitaLash Advanced is designed to enhance the appearance of lashes by making them longer, and improve their health, by making them stronger. Ultimately, it is both a hair conditioner and growth serum all-in-one. It was established in 2006 by a doctor who wanted to help his wife feel beautiful again. She had bravely battled breast cancer but struggled with lash loss following chemotherapy. Today, the company is still family-owned and gives back by raising awareness and donating funds to breast cancer research and charities.
Its signature formula contains biotin and green tea extract, which is rich in panthenol (vitamin B) - key for promoting hair growth - as well as peptides and lipids that help to condition and protect lashes from future breakage. Other key ingredients include ginseng and Swertia Japonica, which are high in antioxidants and help to strengthen and thicken hair. It is also vegan, cruelty-free and does not include parabens, phthalates, BHT or gluten.
There are definitely more instantaneous (or cheaper) ways to grow your lashes but here are a few things that I have learnt along the way that actually work if you’re trying to naturally enhance your eyelashes.
The most important thing to remember when you’re using an eyelash serum or conditioner is consistency. The easiest way to ensure that you don’t forget is by applying it at the same time each day to clean, dry lashes. Personally, I like to apply it in the evening and leave it to work overnight.
Some people, however, report better results when they apply it in the morning as it is less likely to rub off on their pillow while they sleep. In terms of application, I like to stroke it through my eyelashes once, similar to when applying a liquid liner, and pay a little extra attention to the outer corner where I want to encourage extra growth. If you are applying RevitaLash before make-up, make sure that it has time to dry properly before you continue with the rest of your routine.
Some people claim to notice a difference in as little as a week. On their website, RevitaLash reports that, in an independent study of 63 participants, 98% of consumers said their lashes had improved after six weeks. However, I didn’t see noticeable results until around the two-month mark.
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It’s also important to note that some people say that their eyelashes gradually revert to how they looked before once they stop using RevitaLash. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the natural cycle of hair growth means that your eyelashes will grow, fall out and replace themselves every six to 10 weeks. This also means that you will have to keep applying RevitaLash on a regular basis, at least two to three days a week or every other day, in order to maintain your results.
Ditch the curler
Before I discovered RevitaLash, I tried a number of other things in an effort to increase my lash volume. Cue a lash lift (LVL treatment). When I asked whether the treatment would be damaging to my eyelashes, I was assured that it wouldn’t and, in some ways, would be better for me because it would mean I wouldn’t have to curl my eyelashes constantly. If used incorrectly, using a curler can sometimes encourage eyelashes to break off.
Having longer, naturally curled lashes has helped me to fully ditch my curler. Instead, I just use a clean mascara wand to gently comb the hair upwards twice a day. This technique ensures that I don’t pull at my eyelashes too harshly and also means that less of them are likely to fall out.
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Use a clear gel
Instead of using black mascara, I like to sweep a multi-purpose clear gel, like the No7 Lash & Brow Perfector, on top of my eyelashes to ensure that they stay nicely in place all day.
Try a tint
I haven’t tried this yet (I plan to) but if you have do have lighter hair or just want a look that is fuller and bolder, tinting the ends of your lashes will make them look even longer.
When I am in the mood for wearing mascara, I am much more careful when it comes to taking my make-up off. I like to soak a cotton pad in eye make-up remover and just press it onto my eyes instead of aggressively rubbing back and forth. Whether it’s me being more aware that I have longer lashes to lose (hey, it took me a while to grow them) or actually down to my strengthened eyelashes (it’s probably a combination of both), I have definitely noticed less stray hairs left behind on a cotton pad or make-up wipe.
Images: courtesy of brand / Lili Melvin