Since I was a little girl, people have always complimented my long eyelashes. I never thought much about them until the explosion of selfies. It was then when I began to want my lashes to look long, but also luscious as you see on models and celebrities in magazines.
As I’ve gotten older, I learned so much by paying close attention to some of my favorite makeup artists, including Erika La’ Pearl, Sam Fine and Priscilla Ono. It has been amazing to study the techniques that they use on their clients to create fluttery lashes that accent the eyes flawlessly.
“Many consider fuller darker lashes as a validation of femininity. Other than the illusion of bigger eyes and their ability to add contrast between the eyelid and the sclera (the white part of the eye), eyelashes can tell us a great deal about a person,” shares Dr. LaFarra, founder and CEO of LaFarra & Co,. a wellness and beauty brand established in 2021.
Given the emphasis that is placed on full and well-maintained lashes, most women feel that exquisite eyelashes make their eyes look more interesting and conceal the look of tired eyes after a challenging day.
According to Dr. LaFarra, our lashes are more than just a beauty trait. Their extreme sensitivity to touch helps them create a natural barrier to stop foreign particles, such as dust and other debris, from entering the eyes.
“Our lashes are so much more than meets the eye, so they should receive first-class attention in our self-care routines,” Dr. LaFarra informs. “Without proper attention, our lashes tend to grow thinner and sparser as we age, creating a visibly older appearance around the eyes.”
So the possibility of losing our lashes is real? Oh my! “Yes, we can lose lashes from illness or maltreatment in processes similar to those that occur in other hair-bearing areas on the body,” Dr. LaFarra explains. “However, damage to the follicles of our delicate eyelashes can result in loss of lashes for weeks or months, if not permanently.”
So how do those of us who are challenged with less-than-luscious lashes create thicker and longer-looking ones? According to Dr. La Farra, there are plenty of options besides traditional mascara. “Now more than ever, the options available to enhance our eyes take into account the need for convenience as we juggle home, work and social life,” she adds.
While mascara is one of the most popular ways to enhance the volume of natural lashes, Dr. LaFarra cautions to be mindful of ingredients. “Prolonged use of mascara may result in bacterial overgrowth, which could lead to infections around the eye. Mascara could also contain ingredients that cause irritation or allergies, which may cause your lashes to become brittle.”
The doctor suggests staying hydrated and getting adequate sleep to avoid under eye dark circles and ensure your lashes get the proper nutrients they need to thrive. She also suggests using eyelash serum.
“Using a serum is a great option if you have at least six weeks to wait for results,” says Dr. LaFarra. “Some serums contain prostaglandin that stimulates follicle growth, but it may darken the skin, so choose carefully.”
Another alternative to enhance our eyes is magnetic lashes. The liners in these products contain iron oxide particles that attract micromagnets for comfortable all-day wear and convenient easy application. These formulas are waterproof, and most are easy to remove with an oil-based makeup remover. Some of these products provide optimal customization with 10 magnets that can be used on eyes of all sizes.
Dr. LaFarra encourages that we do these things in order to maintain our natural lashes:
- Nourish them from the inside: Nutrients such as biotin, panthenol, vitamin E, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which can stimulate hair growth.
- Care for them like the delicate hairs they are: Avoid traction to your natural lashes by adding heavy extensions. This can create lash loss and scar around the follicle similar to the process that occurs in the scalp from heavy braids and hair extensions.
- Avoid glue and adhesive use around the lash line: Lashes can easily be pulled from the follicles with sticky glue and adhesives. These ingredients can also serve as eye irritants, preventing lashes from performing their protective function against infection and becoming too dry.
- Use oil-based makeup removers with natural ingredients to break down stubborn waterproof makeup: Gently massage the oils onto lashes until the makeup is ready to wipe away to avoid losing lashes and stretching delicate eyelash skin.
Want to know what I’ve been using to keep my lashes healthy and fabulous? Check out the list below.