08 Jul The Long and Short on Eyelashes
The Long and Short on Eyelashes
If eyes are the windows to the soul, then eyelashes are the adorning curtains that frame them. You have to keep them healthy and youthful, because as we age, our “curtains” become tattered and old… just like everything else. Ugh! But don’t fret. I’m here to give you some tricks on how to keep your lashes looking like they are still in their youthful prime. So, open your eyes and read how you can keep them, grow them,care for them, accentuate them, and (if all else fails) fake it. Ready. Set. Grow.
1. GROW THEM: Nothing I’ve ever found – and I’ve tested dozens of products in my quest to “look young” – (let me repeat) NOTHING works as well to grow eyelashes as Latisse. Within weeks you will see a difference. Your lashes will be thicker, darker, and longer. Yep! You can actually grow your lashes back to their youthful prime. Hooray! Latisse was originally prescribed for patients with glaucoma. However, doctors (and their patients) found an added benefit: a significant number of the patients who used the drops to treat the degenerative eye disease also grew thick, long eyelashes. Today, Latisse is the only prescription-strength formula that is FDA-approved to grow lashes. There is nothing on the market today that compares to it. You can get it from your local dermatologist or medi-spa. Add 2 drops onto one of the disposable brushes that come with the product, and coat your top lashes along the lash line (only your top lashes, as the product migrates while you sleep). And don’t waste even a tiny bit of this valuable product: rub the remaining solution on your eyebrows (See the blog, Put Down The Tweezers). Apply at bedtime. Your lashes need be be free of all makeup, as well as of all oils found in most eye makeup removers. So ladies, make sure you remove ALL eye makeup, and use a mild soap – such as Phisoderm or Basics – to then wash off the eye makeup remover. Apply nightly and you will see results within a few weeks.
2. TAKE CARE OF THEM: There are many mistakes people make that damage their lashes. Do you think I call people on it, that I step in, and attempt to correct the behavior like some kind of nosey know-it-all?… You bet your ass I do! (I can’t help myself.) I see people rubbing the sh*t out of their eyes. Don’t do it! Not only could you scratch your cornea, but you could lose lashes along the way. I have girlfriends who go to sleep with their makeup on. Really? This is terrible for your lashes, not to mention your skin! (See the blog, Retin-A, the Holy Grail of Skincare). I’ve even witnessed women curling their eyelashes AFTER applying mascara. This is a big no-no. Although many of us have to curl our eyelashes (yours truly included), don’t do it with mascara on! This behavior will rip out your eyelashes when they get stuck to the eyelash curler. Ouch! All of these behaviors can seriously harm your eyelashes. Damage them too many times, and they won’t grow back. Just like the hair on your head (future blog to come), you have to take care of these very fragile hairs.
3. ACCENTUATE THEM: If you wish to wake up when you are 80 years old and still look like you have eyes buried somewhere under all the wrinkles and sagging skin, here is the solution: Permanent Eyeliner. That’s right. Aesthetically, it is one of the best things I’ve done. In any situation, whether I am just waking up, stepping out of the ocean, or running out to the gym, my eyes still look young and fresh without having to apply makeup. A permanent makeup artist tattoos a thin line on the upper lash-line, and small dots between the lashes on the bottom eyelid to simulate eyelash follicles. If done subtly, it looks less like eyeliner and more like fuller, more youthful lashes. There are some women, however, who choose a less natural definition. They opt for their tattoo to imitate the exact way in which they would apply their makeup. Hey, some women just don’t like applying makeup. I get it (I think). But I’m just not one of those women. Personally, I like the more natural look. However, I would suggest considering the more dramatic eyeliner when you get to an age where you can’t see well enough to apply it (even in a 15x magnifying mirror). The more dramatic eyeliner is also a good choice if the makeup that once stayed put is now slip-sliding all over your face. This could be due to the sagging skin near your lash-line that interferes with your makeup. It could also be due to the moisturizing products you’re now using on your more mature skin to keep it hydrated. It will surprise you how many male (that’s right, MALE) celebrities have opted for permanent eyeliner as a way to cheat Mother Nature. As women get older and their eyelashes start to thin out or turn white, we can use mascara. Men, however, don’t really have that option. And without eyelashes, one’s eyes will seem to disappear. The tattoo technique on a man is more subtle, of course. Tiny dots are tattooed between the lashes just above the waterline to simulate an eyelash follicle. If done correctly, it is subtle, but it makes a huge difference. However, whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re going for a natural enhancement or a more permanent, glammed-up look, you need to seek out an expert who knows what the hell they are doing. Do NOT go to a tattoo artist. Instead, find a professional permanent makeup artist. (The two are VERY VERY different.) These are your eyes, people! Don’t trust them to just anyone waving a tattoo gun! I did my research and went to Athena Karsant, an internationally renowned cosmetic tattoo specialist who is one of the few Board Certified instructors in the state of California. Do your homework, and ask to see their previous work. I suggest using a color close to your actual eyelash color (before they fell out or turned white, of course). However, even if your eyelashes are black, use a blackish-brown color instead. Over the years, black fades. The color that remains is a bluish-gray. Not pretty! Athena Karsant used a dark chocolate brown for my eyeliner. Thanks Athena! I LOVE it!
4. FAKE IT: Thanks to my good friend, Meg O’Hare, a top makeup artist in the Los Angeles area, I’ve learned a lot about makeup as well as false lashes. Here are Meg’s top picks for false lashes. *Best Individual Lashes for Beginners-Intermediate: Mac Cosmetic’s lashes #30. They have everything you need in 1 complete set. From long-med-short-under sizes. *Best Individuals for girls on a budget: Ardell Knot free lashes *Best Full-Set Lash Strips: MAC #36 is the most user friendly. *Best All around Glue: Duo in the tinted shade. This will camouflage the false lash seam, once they dry. (Hint: If you are applying lashes onto eyes with no makeup other than mascara, opt for the clear tone instead) *Application tools: Anastasia Tweezers. These are really good to get into the hard-to-reach areas. There are many YouTube videos that give full tutorials on how to apply false lashes. It takes practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy. I only use false eyelashes if I have an important event. For everyday, I curl my eyelashes and apply a waterproof mascara.
Eyelash Extensions are another good option, especially if you are lacking the coordination or the 20/20 eyesight required to apply false lashes on your own. I have friends who go in every 3 weeks to have their eyelash extensions filled. They love them! So, although I’ve used Latisse for many years now and, for the most part, I’m pretty happy with my real eyelashes, I felt I had to at least TRY eyelash extensions (you know me by now, I’m your guinea pig). Sandi Schroeder in Beverly Hills explained all of the different lash extension options. I decided on the lightest, most natural looking (although, most expensive) option: Mink Lashes. Two hours later, I walked out with my new lashes. I can see why my friends have been raving about them. At a price tag between $250-$400 for a full set, and around $120 for a fill (which is required every 3-4 weeks or so), it’s not economically feasible for everyone. But I have to say, they looked fabulous! (Future blog to come on the pros and cons of eyelash extensions). Last but not least, fake it with Makeup. Skimpy eye-lashes can be made to look instantly thicker and longer with the right makeup technique. This is by far the cheapest route to fake lush lashes. Line your top lash line with a dark liner. If you are over the age of 35, everything needs to either be waterproof or at least water and smudge resistant. Curl your top eyelashes with an eye-lash curler before you apply a waterproof mascara. Apply a dark brown or black waterproof mascara to both the top and bottom lashes. For an added thickening effect, use a soft, waterproof black eye pencil (I love Channel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner) on your upper waterline (the inside, watery, upper rim of your eyelid, just underneath where your lashes grow). This creates the illusion of thicker lashes at the base. Voila! Instantly lush lashes! Hooray! Make sure you use an eye makeup remover for waterproof mascara. I like Almay for sensitive skin.
Live Young, Darnell 🙂