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Can a swipe of serum give you longer, fuller lashes?
If you're dreaming of doe-like lashes, but can't be bothered with false lashes and eyelash extensions, you may want to consider an eyelash-enhancing serum. But what exactly do these treatments entail?
“They generally contain ingredients like panthenol and argan oil to smooth and condition lashes, humectants such as hyaluronic acid to plump lashes, and peptides to stimulate the lash’s hair follicle," said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Which treatment's right for you? That depends on what your end goal is.
"I think the consumer needs to determine if they desire true regrowth or just conditioning and pick ingredients accordingly," said New York-based dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah.
"Serums that do not contain (bimatoprost and isopropyl cloprostenate) or a comparable prostaglandin are more lash conditioners," Shah continued, "which likely make lashes look fuller or longer by hydrating them but don't truly stimulate growth."
“Unfortunately, we don’t have any head-to-head studies comparing the effectiveness of one product to another, so you’ll have to rely on the reputation and science provided by each brand and give them a try,” Zeichner advised.
Both physicians cautioned users to be careful when trying out any of these treatments. "Apply as directed, avoiding the eyelid and eye itself," said Shah. "Before using patch test it on another part of the skin, such as the inner arm."
If you develop a reaction (any redness or stinging) wash the product off right away and stop using it. If the reaction is severe, contact your physician.
If you're interested in giving these new treatments a try, we've rounded up a few popular lash enhancing serums to consider plus other lash boosting options that promise gorgeous lashes in a snap.
1. RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner, $98, Amazon
How it works: This lash conditioner was developed by an ophthalmologist to address the signs of eyelash aging, including dry, brittle lashes. Peptides, green tea extract, antioxidants, biotin, lipids, ginseng, and plant extracts help strengthen and soften lashes and prevent breakage. Apply a thin line above the lash line daily. Contains 90 applications.
2. Vichy LiftActiv Eyes and Lashes Serum, $35, Amazon
How it works: This serum fortifies lashes while acting as an anti-ager to improve the appearance of crow’s feet and wrinkles around the eyes. It’s made of 10 percent rhamnose, a naturally derived plant sugar proven to renew skin, and hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, leaving lashes and skin hydrated and plumped. Twice a day, apply one drop to your fingertip, close your eyes, then gently massage on and around the eye area and lashes. Contains 60 applications.
3. Lancer Lash Serum Intense, $150, Sephora
How it works: Developed by a dermatologist, this serum enhances lash length and fullness by using peptides (necessary for healthy lash growth), pumpkin seed extract (rich in fatty acids and zinc to make lashes look fuller), and biotin and panthenol (vitamins that strengthen lashes against breakage). Apply to the base of the upper eyelashes, starting from the inner corner of the eye, moving outward. Use daily for four weeks then once a week for maintenance. Contains 60 applications.
4. Rodan & Fields Enhancements Lash Boost, $96 (originally $150), Amazon
How it works: A favorite of Shah's, this serum was created by two dermatologists and contains a blend of ingredients — panthenol, peptides, biotin, and keratin — work to condition and strengthen lashes. At night, apply a thin line along upper lash line. Contains 60 applications.
5. neuLash Lash Enhancing Serum, $95-150, Nordstrom
How it works: This serum nourishes thinning lashes with a formula that contains moisture-boosting polypeptides and sodium hyaluronate. Pumpkin seed extract, rich in fatty acids and zinc, helps make lashes look fuller, while biotin and panthenol improve suppleness. Apply nightly to the base of the upper eyelashes starting at the inner corner of the eye, working outwards. Lasts up to 60 days.
6. RapidLash Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancing Serum, $28, Walmart
How it works: Shah also liked this pick. The formula enhances the appearance of lashes and brows using polypeptides to improve the length, thickness, and volume of the hair while protecting against breakage. Proteins, biotin, panthenol, soybean oil, and pumpkin seed extract fortify lashes and provide conditioning benefits. Apply to the base of the eyelashes nightly, starting from the inner corner of the eye outwards. Contains 60 applications.
7. Peter Thomas Roth Lashes To Die For Turbo Nighttime Eyelash Treatment, $85, Sephora
How it works: This lash enhancer is made with peptides and glycerin to help improve lash thickness and length during the growth phase (when lashes are actively growing), the transition phase (when lashes stop growing and the hair follicle shrinks), and the resting phase (when lashes can fall out and new ones begin to grow). Apply nightly along the upper lash line.
8. Lashfood Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancing Serum, $78, Sephora
How it works: Made with a blend of organic ingredients including herbal extracts, amino acids, lavender water, and coconut and aloe leaf juices, this mix supports regrowth and slows the loss of lash hairs. Apply nightly by sweeping the applicator brush along the lash line. Contains 90 applications.
9. HydroPeptide Lash Fuller Longer Lusher, $98, Amazon
How it works: This lash magnifier improves the appearance of sparse lashes by utilizing key growth ingredients, like peptides, biotin, and folic acid. Hyaluronic acid provides moisture and minimizes breakage, while antioxidants defend against environmental damage. Apply nightly to the base of the upper lashes, then pat gently to distribute along the baseline and lashes. Contains 90 applications.
10. Envious Lashes Luxuriating Lash Serum, $75, Envious Lashes
How it works: Loaded with natural and botanical-based ingredients — including organic argan oil, biotin, vitamins, and antioxidants — this nourishing formula promises stronger, fuller looking lashes after two weeks of use, according to the company. Apply daily using the curved applicator, moving from the base of your lashes to the tips. Contains 90 applications.
Fake Eyelashes and Mascaras
If you're looking to go the more traditional route to long lashes, we've also rounded up some of our favorite false lashes, mascaras and more.
1. Ardell Magnetic Lashes, $14, Ulta
How it works: Invisible magnets line the “upper” and “under” lash strips. Using your fingers or the lash applicator, place the lashes above and below your natural lashes — the magnets will lock the lashes in place, no adhesive required. To remove, gently roll your index finger and thumb in the opposite direction and the lashes will slide right off. One time use only.
2. L’Oréal Paris Voluminous X Fiber Mascara, $7, Amazon
How it works: This dual wand mascara requires two steps. First, apply the black primer (which contains paraffin and beeswax), to build volume and create a base for color. Then, before the primer dries, flip the wand over and stroke on the fiber-infused pigment (which contains 20x more fibers than traditional mascaras), to add length and create a lash fringe effect. Available in three shades.
3. Eylure Luxe Cashmere Lashes, $15, Ulta
How it works: These “cashmere” lashes are actually made of “mink-effect fibers”, in other words, hairs that mimic the look and feel of mink. Each pair is loaded with 1000+ fibers to deliver super soft lashes. Apply to the lash line using traditional eyelash glue, then gently peel off at night. Available in three styles. Lasts up to 15 wears.
4. IT Cosmetics Tightline 3-in-1 Black Primer-Eyeliner-Mascara, $24, Sephora
How it works: The super skinny wand on this primer/mascara coats lashes at the root to create a lash-lengthening effect. Infused with peptides, collagen, proteins, biotin, jojoba, chamomile, aloe, açai, and antioxidants, press the wand along the base of the lashes to deposit pigment which, in effect, lines the eyes and then coat lashes from root to tip.
5. Lashify Starter Kit, $145, Lashify
How it works: These DIY extensions, made of synthetic silk fibers, are designed to be applied under your natural lash line (not over like with traditional false lashes) so they blend in with your natural lashes. Comb the adhesive onto to your lashes, position the extensions (whole or individually) where you’d like them placed, then clamp the base of the extensions with your natural lashes using the application wand. Seal with the finishing coat. The extensions, which last up to one week, come in four lengths and can be removed with an oil-based eye makeup remover. Refills cost between $10 and $20.
For more beauty favorites, check out:
- The 8 new beauty products you should try this year, according to Allure
- 1 bottle of this affordable anti-aging serum is sold every 60 seconds
- 5 easy ways to get longer-looking lashes