(First published at Sixtyandme.com)
I love the movie stars of years past. One of them is Bette Davis with her long and popping lashes and glamorous gowns. World renown personal power drilled through those famous eyes. Her legendary quote from the film All About Eve (1950) resonates even today:
“One career we all have in common, whether we like it or not, being a woman.”
I love being a woman. I love the interior work I do to find and maintain my own sense of inner compass, power, and empathy, and also the outer work of self-care, beauty, and wellness.
Beauty is both inner and outer, and to focus on one above the other is to lose your balance in an already imbalanced and unstable world.
Having said that, I adore both Bette Davis’ inner dynamism and outer beauty. And who can negate the incredible skill with which she used her much-publicized eyes and eye-lashes!
So, here’s the question: How can we create and maintain long and beautiful lashes as we age? What are some of the natural and synthetic methods available to have long lashes and which one is right for you?
You may have heard of Latisse before. It’s an “FDA-approved treatment to grow eyelashes for people with inadequate or not enough lashes.” While ample research highlights Latisse’s effectiveness, there are drawbacks.
For instance, one month’s supply of the product can run upwards of $120–$140 and, normally, isn’t covered by insurance, not to mention the potential side effects.
According to Consumer Reports, it takes several months to see results from using Latisse. The treatment could cause a darkening of the eyelids and eye color, unwanted hair growth on the face, redness, itching, and possibly glaucoma. One positive is that when you stop using it, the effects go away.
Biotin and Supplements
Taking the vitamin supplement Biotin has its advantages. A known growth aid for hair and lashes, it’s inexpensive with no threatening side effects.
Having said that, just taking one vitamin will probably have very little effect on your lashes. In other words, taking a whole-body approach to wellness is far more potent than target-treating any issue.
In the words of naturopathic medicine practitioner Dr. Bella Icenhower, “Hair, eyebrows, and lashes are the icing on the cake. When the body is replete and balanced, they will grow well and lustrously.”
Seeing a naturopath to get just the right fit of nutrients and vitamins is a wonderful option for lash and hair growth. Some other natural options include using olive, coconut, or castor oil on the lashes with a disposable brush.
Vitamin E, frequent lash combing, and not rubbing your eyes are other interesting methods to consider. There are many lash lengthener serums, but their effectiveness is varied. Some products to look into are Lancer Lash Serum Intense, Talika Lipocils Expert, and VitaLash Advanced Lash Booster.
External Lash Thickeners
There is a myriad of solid lash thickeners on the market. The cost can vary, but the results from using some of these brands is undeniable.
Lash extensions have become all the rage. Recently, a woman came into the makeup room for an on-camera interview. Having not maintained her extensions, she looked like a mutilated daddy-long-legged spider crawled out of her head. There was nothing I could do.
Lash extensions are expensive, $140–$450 for the original set, and require frequent touch-ups every two to three weeks – each at about $140. No wonder the lady couldn’t keep up with it!
On the plus side, you will have lush lashes, look stunning when you wake up, and remove the mascara equation from your makeup routine.
The down side, besides cost, is that with prolonged use lash extensions can damage your real eyelashes, cause eye irritation, and require the use of a lash conditioner to keep them from sticking together. Just do the math before launching into this option.
False lashes, on the other hand, are much less expensive, do very little damage to your real lashes, and, although quirky to apply, can be a simple way to channel your inner Bette Davis. Most false lashes have about a three-usage maximum depending on the brand and how careful you are.
My personal favorite is Lash and Crown Lashes. These are vegan, double-layer, lightweight, human hair lashes that have over 25 uses per set. They retail for $20, but if you do the math, that’s under a dollar a use. If you wear false lashes regularly, this is a wonderful option and one I would recommend.
Bette Davis had it down pat; be strong on the inside and flutter your lashes on the outside. Be beautiful, be powerful, and love being a woman.
What do you love most about being a woman? What do you do to retain that lush lashes look? Have you tried any lash enhancements? Which one is your favorite? Please do share!