We have all seen those commercials for products that promise to make our lashes grow longer and fuller. Who doesn't want to bat long, Bambi, butterfly lashes into the face of their sweetie and have them swoon under our spell? The only problem is the list of warnings that fly past your view towards the end of the commercials. May cause darkening of the eyelid that may or may not be permanent. You may have irritation of the eye or allergic reactions. It may cause discoloration of the pigmented portion of your eye (iris). If you get the medication on parts of your lid that do not normally have lashes you may grow lashes in odd places. (Sorta like those stray eyebrows on your chin?) Both eyes may not have the same number of lashes or may have lashes growing in different directions. These are just some of the warnings listed for one of the prescription products that have been shown to grow lashes. Remember that these are medications originally intended to treat glaucoma.
Though I do not wish to mess around with medications for such a purpose as I have plenty of lashes to work with. I was interested in a less intrusive way of perhaps conditioning them and preserving them and as a result having a fuller set of lashes. After some time researching and reading I came across several products. One product is called Starmakers REAL LASH and is available at www.QVC.com and www.DrugStore.com/www.Beauty.com. You apply this to clean lashes (and/or brows) as you would apply mascara. The applicator is a mascara wand. It has an almost water-like consistency. Some reviewers felt it seemed nothing was on their brush but it's there. Before use I would shake the tube so that I was sure the brush would have plenty of product on it as I applied it to my lashes. I used a few tubes of this product over the course of about 1.5 years and though I really do like it - it is pricey to continue to use. Did it increase the length in my lashes or cause any specific changes to the color or number of lashes? I would say it did help. My lashes appeared darker and seemed more plentiful but I used it consistently until my tubes ran out. If I wore mascara over top of this product - my lashes looked thicker and it helped me retain them after washing the mascara off. From the list of ingredients I read it seems this is really a conditioner for use on your lashes. Also of note is the fact that after stopping the use of this product my lashes returned to their original condition. As a Cosmetologist - it makes sense to me that conditioning your lashes will enhance their appearance . We condition the hair on our head and protect it from damage - it will grow longer and serve you well. Conditioning the hair on your head will not change the preset length that your particular head of hair will grow to before a follicle falls out and starts anew or, the amount of hair on your head. Still, we condition our hair and take care of it so that it will look the best that it can. Real Lash is a lovely product to do just that. I highly recommend it, but only if you wish to spend approximately $48.00 on it. (This is now available at ShopNBC for $39.75. Please see link below for more information.)
Ardell's Brow & Lash Accelerator Treatment Gel is similar in its treatment of your lashes. The list of ingredients includes conditioners, panthenol (vitamin B5), and proteins that will surely condition and protect your lashes. The price is much easier to digest. On www.Amazon.com I have purchased a 3 pack - twice already. This enables me to keep one down stairs and one in my makeup bag. Also, I can replace the tube when it starts to look murky. Keep in mind you are using it while you put your other makeup on and as such over time the white liquid will start to get a bit dirty. The packaging is clear and will allow you to know when you are low on product and when you should probably open up a new package. This has a mascara type wand making it very easy to apply. There is more of a gel consistency to the Ardell product versus the Real Lash product. You will have the bonus of it holding your brows into place if you chose to use it in that capacity. Also, I have found that I can use this product and then use my heated lash curler and my curl stays in all day. (I will review that wonderful lash curler next - it's fabulous!) Mostly though, I just use this product alone and on most days I do not even curl my lashes. I do find they are now darker where the tips had been so lightened (by the sun?). This past November (2010) was when I started my adventure with Ardell's lash product. Faithfully, I applied this morning and evening and sometimes in between. (I usually do not use mascara - so I can easily reapply whenever I wish) I have read reviews where ladies have said they noticed changes after one use. Probably not probable. However, this is a conditioner and perhaps they are noticing a better condition to their lashes on an immediate basis. With consistent use, I believe you will notice your lashes are in better condition and along with that they might not fall out so quickly. The changes I have noticed in these past almost 6 months are: My lashes are a bit darker on the formerly washed out tips. They are indeed fuller, thicker and a bit longer. I have an area in my eyebrow that was sparse in brow hairs due to a scar from childhood stitches that has filled in a bit or, it could be the lighter hairs have been protected from the sun (striping them of color?) - either way - that spot has filled in a bit. The price will be so much easier on your wallet. Last night I ordered another set of 3 from www.Amazon.com for about $15.00 (including my shipping costs) and that says it all. It is not a miracle in a tube. It IS however, an inexpensive way to condition and protect your lashes so that they can be the best that they can be.
*A few reviews on the Ardell Brow & Lash Treatment mention flakes or stinging of the eyes. I would like to address those comments. Yes, this can flake if you rub your eyes - keep in mind that your clear mascara gel or your regular mascara will flake if you rub your eyes. When you sleep in your lashes may brush past your pillow case upon occasion - you may see some flakes in the morning at the base of your lashes. If you slept in your mascara it would flake as well. Otherwise, I notice no flaking etc. on my lashes. As far as this product stinging the eyes I will tell you this. It is not meant to go in the eye - it is designed only to be applied to your lovely lashes. Please apply carefully and do not glop it onto the base so much that it will leak into the eyes. Anything that gets into the eyes will sting - water included. Do not rub your eyes and you will avoid both the flakes and getting the product in your eye. Rubbing your eyes can also cause you to lose eyelashes (defeating the purpose of this product), scratch your cornea and transfer germs from your hands to your eyes - leading to eye infections, colds and flus. - It's a habit to break for sure.
*Also of note is the fact that Real Lash does NOT flake and leaves your lashes both glossy and soft. I do prefer it over all that I have tried. It is applied in the same way as you would apply mascara. If I had the cash to keep myself in the Real Lash it would surely be my first choice.
Link to ShopNBC for purchase of Starmakers Real Lash.
Link to AMAZON for purchase of Ardell Brow & Lash Growth Accelerator Treatment Gel.