One of the hallmarks of femininity, and the secret weapon of every femme fatale, are long, luscious eyelashes. From the pages of Vogue to the images of cartoon character Jessica Rabbit, long lashes are considered a universal characteristic of feminine beauty. Although every woman desires long, thick, glamorous eyelashes, not all of us have been blessed with Jessica Rabbits’s glamorous look. To enhance the appearance of eyelashes, there a dizzying array of products and procedures to choose from.
The simplest way to enhance lashes is through the use of mascara. There are many types of mascara, all claiming to give you the full lashes you want. Mascaras can be a great way to get darker lashes, with some fullness and length. They work by darkening, thickening, and giving a slight curl to the lashes by depositing the product onto the lashes. They are relativity inexpensive, so it is easy to try different kinds or brands to find one that you like. Most mascaras are tolerated fairly well with little irritation and possible side effects. However, mascara alone has its limitations. Mascara can only make superficial changes to the lashes and for some of us, that is not enough. The thickening and darkening of lashes with product can leave lashes clumpy or cakey, and the effects last for a limited time.
Once and awhile, or on special occasions, false eyelashes can be a good option in creating a dramatic effect. However, false lashes have drawbacks that make them impractical for everyday use. False eyelashes can cost anywhere from $15-$50, so using them everyday would be very expensive- as much as $1,500 a month! In addition, removing false eyelashes and the eyelash glue can cause lasting damage. This removal pulls out the natural lashes, and over time, this can cause lash grow to halt. A more lasting form of false lashes is lash extensions, which can be applied at a salon and last 2-3 weeks. But lash extensions are also cost prohibitive, a single application cost between $450-$550. With the popularity of both false eyelashes and lash extensions, the number of women with permanent eyelash damage has dramatically increased. Not surprisingly, eyelash transplants now have become one of the more popular procedures.
Given the cost and limitations of false lashes, it is not surprising that lash enhancers have grown in popularity. Many cosmetic companies have their own versions, that claim to make lashes longer or fuller naturally. They range in cost from $20-$120. These products can perhaps be compared to hair conditioner- in fact, many of them utilize similar ingredients. They can condition the lashes to be healthier, and thus appear longer and thicker without actually increasing growth. However, beware of smoke and mirrors. Many of these cosmeceuticals work in a similar fashion as mascara, by building up the lashes superficially without increasing growth.
The other option is the prescription product, Latisse. Latisse differs from other lash enhancers, in that it has been proven to actually grow your natural lashes thicker, longer, and darker. Latisse was accidentally discovered when it was noted that patients using the glaucoma medication Lumigan had dramatically increased eyelash growth. Latisse typical cost around $125 for a month supply, and once the desired growth has taken effect, it can be used less frequently. Considering this, Latisse is often both the most effective and cost effective choice. Latisse can only be obtain by a prescription and purchased from select physicians. Dr. Shah prescribes Latisse in his downtown Chicago office
Longer lashes are here to stay. Choosing a way to enhance them in a cost conscious and damageless manner is the ideal means to achieve that bombshell gaze.