Whether you are into extensions, lengthening mascaras, or lash growth treatments, lashes are hot right now. But jaded consumers that we are, it’s easy to see lash growth products as a whole lot of hogwash. Do they work? Are they worth the often-steep investment? We’re about to find out.
‘We have been seeing the trend toward lash enhancement build steadily over the last several years,’ shares Karen Albright, president of BodyLase Skin Spa. ‘With the recent FDA approval of Latisse, a prescription treatment used to grow eyelashes, and its huge presence in advertising, the interest and focus on this has really exploded. BodyLase has had a lot of clients and new business come in asking for that.’
But does it work?
‘Latisse does take eight weeks to show results so while many are doing that we have had a lot of clients that want something more immediate, especially for the holidays,’ Karen says. These are the clients that want that dramatic eye look, which can be instantly achieved through eyelash extensions. ‘They are also gravitating toward the fun things we can do there with different colors that are subtle but make the eye pop and enhance the eye color. Some also get the crystals on the eyelashes, which are fun for special occasions over the holidays.’
‘Latisse does work well to grow the eyebrows in roughly 70 percent of study patients,’ says Shevanti Jegasoth, a Miami-based cosmetic dermatologist. ‘In photographic analysis, the eyelash enhancement was uniform length and thickness, not extreme length as has been observed in some of the OTC/online brands, such as MDLash and Revitalash. I recommend applying Latisse with a fingertip, (the brushes provided waste product) to the desired area(s) three times a week at first, so as to avoid side effects, such as allergy, darkening of the surrounding skin (seen more in darker-skinned ethnicities), or darkening of the iris. It should produce results within one month, even in the brows. In darker[-skinned] individuals, I recommend twice weekly application. Latisse is still effective when used in this manner, and is much less likely to cause pigmentation, which can discourage many from using the product altogether.’
‘As an oculoplastic surgeon, I have found that Latisse works on virtually every patient I have prescribed it for and is well-worth the price tag. Our experience with Bimatoprost (which is the pharmaceutical name of Latisse originally used as a glaucoma treatment administered as an eye drop) showed impressive eyelash growth. Latisse enjoys equally impressive eyelash growth as well as fewer side effects. Other non-FDA approved lash growers show less impressive and less predictable results,’ says Dr. B. Bruce Myers, MD FACS of Boca Raton, Florida.
And then there’s the competition…
‘I’m a user of a lash growth product by IMAGE Skincare called Ageless Lashes that was recommended to me by my aesthetician,’ shares Becky Lynn Street of Tennessee. ‘It comes in different colors and is used just like liquid eyeliner (I use the black), so it’s really two steps in one. I had heard negative things about the Revitalash discoloring the iris of your eye. I was wary to use any product that could do any such damage, so that is why this was recommended to me. It’s also fairly inexpensive in comparison. I think it retails at $90, and it should last at least three months with normal use.’
Do we need them?
‘I’ve had clients use the lash growth products (LGP). They are not indiscriminate or choosy about which brand to use. I bet you they all work to one degree or another!’ says Sandy Taylor-Furst, stylist and owner of StyleLikeaPro.com. ‘I have seen older women with almost too many and long lashes. One client said she had to trim her lashes! But there’s possible downside. It can be an eye irritant and turn your iris yellow.’
‘I’ve thought about it, but, in today’s economy, is this really necessary?’ Sandy wonders.