Want luscious lashes? Promising products put to the test

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Long lashes are all the rage right now. Alluring ads show Brooke Shields batting her eyes and holiday party invitations tempt me to apply fake lashes to my finished look.  I recently noticed that there are all sorts of choices when it comes to making your lashes longer.  So, I decided to enlist the help of a couple of my gal pals to try out everything from mascaras to lengthening products to even an eyelash extension procedure.  We try before you buy, so take a look and see if you eye anything that your lashes may be longing for.

Beginning with the Basics: Our Mascara Picks

To start with the basics, my gal pals and I tested a few mascaras.  My pick last year and still today is L'Oreal Carbon Black Voluminous Mascara which sells for just under $8 at the drug stores.  My friend Julie read about the L'Oreal Extra Volume Collagen mascara, so she bought a tube and told me that she loves it.  Buy yours at the drug stores for around $7.  Several other gal pals told me that they especially like the Wet & Wild brand and one called Black Opal.  Both sell for under $5 and Black Opal can be ordered through amazon.com. 

Cheap But Not Easy:  Fake Lashes

I love how fake lashes look and I love the price, too.  However, I don't think that they are easy to work with and definitely take some practice when it comes to putting on these babies.  Professional/Celebrity Makeup Artist Karen Hall uses the DuraLash brand along with the Duo Eyelash Adhesive.  DuraLash sells for around $5 at the drug stores and the adhesive at one dollar more for $6.  So, the price is right and the look is good, but application requires a steady hand along with some tweezers to apply each lash to the base of your natural top lashes.  I have noticed that when I wear my fakes, I get several days worth of long lashes before they gently fall out.  And they don't irritate my contacts at all.  Plus they don't pull out my real lashes.  So, I am impressed with the price and the look, but practice does make perfect, when it comes to putting these on!  DuraLash comes in different lengths to better blend with your individual lashes.  To see a before and after picture of my lashes with and without the fakes, watch the segment.

Eyelash Growth In A Bottle
I had heard about an eyelash conditioner called Revitalash that has worked well for a lot of women.  So my gal pals and I decided to put that one and a different product called Latisse to the test.  My friend, Julie bought a bottle of Revitalash for around $78 from www.drugstore.com.  Each night before bed, Julie would apply a thin layer to her top lashes.  It feels and looks like a clear liquid eyeliner with the consistency of a serum. One month later, Julie reports about a millimeter of growth.  She says that her lashes also feel thicker and longer.  Check out her before and after photo in the segment to see the difference.  She says that she can now go without mascara, but for a special night out, she does use a little bit of mascara, but definitely less since she tried the Revitalash.  The bottle should last her 4 to 6 months and she reports that she will order more.  She also believes that she will continue to see a difference as she uses the product over the next few months.

Revitalash has an interesting history.  The company website explains that Dr. Michael Brinkenhoff created the product as a special gift for his wife, Gayle, while she was recovering from breast cancer. Intensive chemotherapy treatments left Gayle’s eyelashes fragile and not nearly as full as they had been before her cancer treatments.  After extensive research with a group of cosmetic chemists, Dr. Brinkenhoff developed an eyelash conditioner that, after just a few weeks, gave Gayle noticeably longer lashes.  Gayle gratefully named it Revitalash and the creative couple donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit non-profit breast cancer research.

The other brand that Brooke Shields swears by is called Latisse and this is the first and only FDA approved prescription treatment for longer lashes.  My gal pal, Angelic, who is also a professional hair stylist and salon/spa owner, gave Latisse a test run.  She did like it and reported definite lash growth.  She also noticed a little skin darkening under her eye, which Latisse warns can be a side effect.  It didn’t bother Angelic, though, because she told me that the darker color was where her eyeliner goes anyway.  Latisse also informs consumers that increased brown iris pigmentation can occur and can be permanent.  That is why Julie opted for Revitalash instead of Latisse, as she was afraid of some of the side effects. 

Application was easy for Angelic.  She simply used the product eyedropper to apply a drop of Latisse to the applicator.  Then she swept the applicator above the top eyelash and across the bottom of the top eyelid.  Ang noticed a difference within several weeks.  To learn more about this prescription eyelash solution, visit www.latisse.com.

Although Angelic liked Latisse, as a consumer and as a spa owner, she was intrigued by eyelash extensions, so she tried some on.  Next she started offering the application to her clients.  Her colleagues and customers really like the results.  Now it was my turn to test an eyelash product, so I booked an appointment for my own eyelash extensions.

Eyelash Extensions For My Eyes

Although I had to book an appointment to have this done, the results were immediate and long-lasting with no side effects.  I have been wearing my extensions for one week and I am hooked!  When I wake, my lashes need little or no attention with just a tiny bit of mascara to darken the strands.  I definitely see a difference in my eyes and I think I look younger and more awake, which is nice for this busy Mama.  Plus I wear contacts, but have had no problem at all with my extensions.The initial application process takes a good two hours, however you get to lay there and nap if you want to, so that wasn't half bad!  

Angelic did the application process while I relaxed with my eyes shut the entire time. I did have to remove my contacts right before, but I was able to pop them right back in as soon as she was done.  Angelic told me that each single lash would be applied using surgical glue with no damage to my existing lashes.  She applied some cosmetic tape to my bottom lashes to keep my eyes from sticking together during the process.  The tape that she used was actually soothing and felt like an under eye treatment.  To see a photo of how that looked as well as my before and after picture, check out the segment.

The biggest issue is the price.  An initial set will set you back about $150, however expect to pay more in Scottsdale.  Angelic's salon, Backstage Salon & Spa, located in Tempe at McClintock & Guadalupe, offers the initial appointment and the fills for less than many other spas.  Fills need to be done every 3 to 4 weeks and will be on special for about $30 and up at Backstage.  For fills, expect to be there for about 45 minutes or so, similar to having your nails filled every few weeks.  For more information, contact Angelic at 602-321-7005.
I spoke to several women who swear by the extensions and others who have it done for special occasions like a wedding or vacation.  Mine are on and I plan to go back for a fill next month.  I'll keep you posted on whether or not I stick with them, but I will tell you that I do love how they stick and look on my lashes!

So, whether you lengthen your lashes the old fashioned way with a magnificent mascara, fumble with fakes, apply with a bottle or have extensions put on, one thing is for sure.  There is something for everyone and every price range when it comes to getting long and luscious lashes.  And I'll wink to that!