Curl ‘em, preen ‘em and coat ‘em in layers and layers of lengthening and thickening mascara, and yet you’re still left with a desire for more; a girl can never be too thin, too rich or have too much lash drama. Rocking dramatically thick and luscious lashes have become a hot beauty trend, seen across Hollywood red carpets to trend-setting défilé de modes planet wide and the girl next door’s eyes are not immune to it either. Following the supply and demand chain of innovations today we are spoilt for lash choices — Glue-on faux lashes, semi-permanent falsies to longer lasting lash extensions and of course the natural lash-enhancers like Latisse, RevitaLash, Peter Thomas Roth’s Lashes To Die For, Rapid Lash, AminoGenesis (LashGenesis) etc. have been battling their way into everyone’s makeup bags. If Beyoncé & Kardasians want ‘em then of course you and I can’t live without ‘em either. Agreed we all love a lush feathery eye fringe and there are no two ways about it, the only dilemma is which fluttery choice to pick. Let’s deliberate…
Truth & Dangers Behind Lash Extensions & Falsies
They say beauty comes at a price, and at times we learn this the hard way. Before you act on your desire to make your eyes more powerful weapons of seduction, it’d be wise to educate your self about potential risks and perils that come as part and parcel of lash extensions and glue-ons.
- Skin Irritation: The glue which bonds the lash strips to the eyelid can cause irritation if the lashes are slept in or if the glue is not removed properly turning your eyes into a red, hot and itchy mess for days to follow.
- Allergic Reactions: Formaldehyde present in the glue can present as eyelid irritation, redness, or frank inflammation and swelling making you an amaurotic slave to an itch scratch cycle for days. Word of advice, if you have your heart set on lash extensions look for a salon that uses medical grade formaldehyde-free bonding glue.
- Infections: While dramatic lash extensions can escalate your attraction status to femme fatale in a twinkle of an eye, they can also attract and trap dirt and bacteria, which can lead to serious infections, including pink eye.
- Lash Loss: Brace yourself for this one — Yes, you can end up with bald eyes! The glue can pull out your lashes or you could end up pulling them out yourself. Irritation can lead to a condition called madarosis, which causes you to tug on them. British College of Optometrists has cautioned that you could end up with traction alopecia; a condition where the hair falls out due to excessive tension placed on the hair shaft. Which can eventually damage the hair follicles making lash growth sluggish and even cease production of hair.
The lesser Evil – Semi-Permanent Mascaras
A less threatening solution might be semi-permanent mascara that lasts from three to six weeks. LashDip was the first of it’s kind created by a makeup artist, Jessica Harley, and a hairstylist, Gina Mondragon, in Chicago. They both got their inspiration from the no-chip nail polish and applied the concept to create the no-chip mascara. The LashDip application is a three-step process. First, the lashes are cleaned with a sodium-and-aloe soap and then a gel; made up of black pigment, acetone and stearic acid is painted onto the eye fringe by a cosmetologist or makeup artist to darken and shape the lashes. Finally, it’s dried and sealed with a glycol- and alcohol-based finishing solution. The procedure takes 45 minutes for both the top and bottom lashes and lasts good 4-6 weeks.
Pit Falls Of Prescription Lash Enhancers
Latisse, was the first FDA approved prescription drug for growing longer, and more lush lashes. It came on the market in 2008, after doctors discovered that the active ingredient in a glaucoma drug bimatoprost, had the startling effect of causing patients to grow long, luxuriant lashes. Over the time we have seen it in action and have learnt about its potential side effects including:
- Permanent changes in eye color—turning blue, green, or hazel eyes brown
- Permanent darkening of eyelids
- Hair growth elsewhere on your face if you’re not careful
- Skin reactions like: itching, redness
- Since it’s a glaucoma medicine it lowers internal eye pressure, which could potentially mask glaucoma or other eye problems
Since Latisse a wave of similar but less potent over-the-counter serums have been introduced, all working on the same principle of lengthening the growth cycle of the lash follicles while conditioning and moisturizing the hair shaft.
Safer Non-Prescription Natural Lash Boosters
Growing naturally luscious lashes is really about conditioning and giving the delicate lashes some much needed T.L.C, so they don’t wither or break off. If you moisturize anything, it looks better and most over-the-counter lash-enhancers work on this principle.
LashGenesis is a specialized lash fortifying serum created by AminoGenesis, a cosmaceutical company based in California. LashGenesis works on the simple principle that peptides and amino acids safely nourish, condition and fortify lash growth preventing their breakage from daily wear and tear. The formula is dermatologically tested and poses no potential side effects. To live the big lash dream, it should be applied twice daily to the base of the lashes for 4-6 weeks. Good news is it delivers exactly what it promises without any adverse effects. The catch 21 here is: when you stop using the serum the effect wears off in few weeks. Pretty much like any other skincare product consistency is the key to maintain results.
My Guilty Pleasure
Being a busy dermatologist and knowing the pros and cons of most choices and not having the patience to go through the hour plus lash extension process I decided to opt for LashGenesis the potent peptide enforced lash fodder. Four weeks of daily application and I am enjoying Barbie’s big-lash life through my very own eyes. As they say with great lashes comes a greater responsibility — and here I am a good will ambassador by choice spreading the good word.
Long, thick lashes will likely always be viewed as a universal symbol of glamour, innocence, and allure. You have multiple choices at your disposal to window dress the apertures to your soul — And the dream to naturally elongate and thicken your lashes is no longer a dream but a very well lived reality. You might be genetically challenged or cursed with short, brittle lashes but there are products available that can change the way you bat your lashes. Chose wisely and live the dream.