First let’s talk about Latisse and other serums out there that claim to give you longer thicker darker lashes. These products work by keeping your lashes in the growth phase for a longer period of time and by stimulating the transition from an inactive growth phase to an active one. It typically takes 3 – 4 months to see the full results, but you may notice a difference in as soon as 6 weeks. Latisse now comes in two sizes, 3 ml (which lasts for 1-2 months) and 5 ml (which lasts for 2-3 months). Price can range from $100–$160, depending on the size.
Meeting the Demand for Lashes
Latisse was the original and only FDA approved product on the market to promote eyelash growth and also requires a prescription. It was launched in 2008 and is very popular because it truly works, creating longer, thicker and darker lashes. The active ingredient in this medication is bimatoprost, which is a prostaglandin analog that is also used to treat glaucoma. Latisse was eventually approved by the FDA for eyelash growth after numerous glaucoma patients using bimatoprost noticed their eyelashes becoming extremely long and thick. Many women are concerned that Latisse may cause iris pigmentation, however this possible side effect is based on studies from glaucoma patients that were applying the product directly into the eye. There have not been reports of any brown iris pigmentation issues while using Latisse (as directed) for eyelash growth, since the product is applied above the lash-line with a brush.
With so much success in this niche market, other companies were bound to jump on the bandwagon! Some of the most popular names are Revitalash, NeuLash, Rapidlash, among others. Most of these products contain (or at some point contained) prostaglandin ingredients similar to bimaprost. Controversy arose because these companies did not have FDA approval and were calling the prostaglandin ingredients a "cosmetic additive" as opposed to a "drug." Therefore, the FDA stepped in and warned that the ingredient be removed. Some of the companies have removed the ingredients and reformulated their products while others have been banned from sale in the US, after lawsuits from Allergan (the maker of Latisse). The bottom line is that Latisse is the winner in our book, with consistent and amazing results, along with the FDA approval.
Using Lash Extensions to Achieve a Dramatic Result
Semi-permanent lash extensions are yet another option to achieving beautiful sexy, glamorous lashes. The benefit with this option is the immediate and dramatic results. For many women, there is no longer a need for mascara after receiving lash extensions, as they appear long, dark and full without makeup. During this procedure, a licensed professional applies individual lashes to each natural lash with an FDA approved adhesive. The extensions should remain attached until the natural lashes fall out, as long as you don’t rub your eyes or use oil based eye makeup removal. Lash extensions require monthly maintenance which can cost $100-$500 and take up to 2 hours per session. If semi-permanent lash extension are not your cup of tea and you just want a dramatic temporary look, false lashes can be applied with a latex based surgical adhesive such as Duo. This is a favorite option among models and makeup artists, as there is no risk or commitment required. If you are allergic to latex, make sure you opt for a non-latex adhesive.
Last, but definitely not least, is the option of a good ol’ fashioned mascara. Great mascara can give you amazing lashes with a number of added benefits. For instance, many contain lengthening fibers and conditioners such as keratin and panthenol, which actually protect and condition the natural lash hair. This allows your lashes to grow to a longer length and avoid breakage. Lashes, like all hair, need to be cared for and conditioned in order to remain in ideal form. Waterproof mascara, rubbing your eyes, dry climates and harsh ingredients in certain cosmetics can damage natural lashes and cause them to break off or fall out. A good rule of thumb is to always be extremely delicate with the entire eye area (skin and lashes). If you must use waterproof mascara, only do so on occasion and don’t forget to always use a lash primer! Lash primers contain extra conditioners and further protect the delicate lash hair. When used underneath mascara, it can give you additional volume, definition and protection.
Getting Your Unique Lashes
The bottom line is that every woman is unique and factors such as lifestyle, desired results, costs and commitment level need to be considered. Don’t fall victim to crazy marketing campaigns and / or outlandish promises. Do your research and speak with an honest, knowledgeable professional (makeup artist, esthetician or doctor) before considering any of these options.
At Westside Aesthetics, we offer all of these options except for semi-permanent lash extensions. Feel free to give us a call if you are interested in Latisse, mascara, primer or professional makeup application. We currently offer Angelique Deville Cosmetics’ mascara and primer, which are loaded with conditioners, peptides and humectants to protect the lashes while delivering outstanding length, volume and definition for super sexy, glamorous and healthy lashes. We also run specials on Latisse throughout the year.