Not Your Mother’s False Eyelashes

Not so long ago women had very few choices if they wanted their eyelashes to look thicker and longer. You went to the store, bought a set of false eyelashes and eyelash glue and went home to stick them onto your lids for whatever special occasion you decide you needed them. Oprah Winfrey announced to her studio audience over way back when that she wore them everyday – and hated them. Most of us, even when they are applied by a professional, hate the way they feel and after a few hours cannot wait to get them off.

Now, there are other choices. Do you want to get your lashes dipped or extended? Do you want it temporary (for one day) or semi-permanent ( up to 90 days)? Yes, you can now have longer lashes if you are willing to spend a little money and make some concessions.

First of all, the life cycle of a single eyelash is 90 days (give or take) They grow just like other hair but only to a certain length and about halfway through the cycle have stopped growing and are already perparing to fall out. Any damage done to your eyelashes today will last about three months.

The Temporary Solution:

Professional application of individual artificial lashes can take up to one  hour and costs around $90 but it is far more comfortable than the lash strips unfortunately they will only last one application.

The Semi-Permanent Solutions: 

Lash Dipping – Invented by two Chicago aestheticians who decided that lashes should be easy and carefree, not applying mascara every day, two or more times. It is about a two hour process, costs up to $200 and lasts about 6 weeks. But during that six weeks  your lashes will look like you are wearing mascara the whole time and will be noticeably fuller as well! You will need to schedule touch ups every two weeks.

Lash Extensions – take about two hours but can cost anywhere from $200 -$600 not to mention the $90 touch-ups every two weeks. They last about 6-8 weeks but can last up to 3 months. They will fall out just like your other lashes, so look for them on your washcloth! There is no damage to the lash itself as they are placed on lashes that are about 1/2 way through their life cycle. There are several types of lash hair available and the cost is based on the actual material and amount of lashes. It is reported that Jennifer Lopez has mink lash extensions. I would put them in the very expensive category. Most lash extensions, however,  are made from synthetic polyester since it poses the least risk of allergic reaction. This is the choice of many celebrities- so, don’t believe it when they say the lashes are theirs, nobody has lashes this long on the lower lid, not even Elizabeth Taylor and she had two full sets of eyelashes on top and bottom.

Latisse – Not surprisingly brought to you by the manufacturer of Botox, the cost of this product is relatively low considering it’s proven effects. For about $120 you will get a 16 week supply and you are almost certain to see results. First used to treat Glaucoma patients, physicians and patients noted a 25% increase in length and fullness in addition to an 18% increase in darkness of their lashes after a 16 week treatment.  The effects are temporary and you will see the decrease when you discontinue use. It is noted on the website that it can safely be used on your eyebrows and lower lashes as well. Thicker, darker, longer eyebrows is not for everyone but, people suffering from hypotrichosis will be glad to know that relief is in sight. There are few side effects and the percentage of users who experience discomfort is marginal.

THE BUZZKILL? If you do not go to a properly trained eyelash technician or do not apply the Latiss according to directions, you risk mild to serious eye damage. Cysts, irritation, blocked tear ducts and more. Make sure the area is clean, all tools are clean and as always, this is not something you  try the day before your wedding. Professionals suggest starting any eyelash treatment 3 months before your event.

As technology gets more and more sophisticated, we realize there are more solutions than the strips of caterpillars you can buy at any drug store. But in a pinch there is nothing like a good old fashioned set of false eyelashes… and it makes a huge difference in photos.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago