All About Lashes
Lately, and especially after a particularly long-lashed set of Instagram stories, I've been getting lots of requests about my eyelashes. Are they real or are they extensions, and in the case of the former, what products do I use?
Truthfully, my lashes have never been a remotely strong trait of mine. Being half Asian, I've been #blessed with my mother's good head of hair but rather stubby, straight eyelashes. Perhaps because of this, I've always admired others' long, luscious, curly eyelashes with envy and have long been that person who asks strangers about their lashes. (#noshame) It's taken me years to learn which products work best for me but I've officially reached a point where my lashes are long and noticeable enough that people (friends and strangers alike) ask ME about them. I'll probably never been one of those (lucky!) Bambi-lashed girls, but I do think my lashes have reached their own maximum potential. Read on for my current mix of must-have lash-related products.
My longtime readers may notice I've shared some of this information already over the last few years, dispersed over various blog posts. Considering how many DMs I get about my eyelashes, I figured it's time to assemble everything here in a mega lash-only posts, so please excuse any repeats!
Please note that this blog post is NOT sponsored. I don't sell or represent any of the brands here.
These are just the products I currently use and love.
Rodan + Fields Enhancements Lash Boost ($150): You know where I said I'm one of those people who will ask strangers about their eyelashes? That's how I discovered Lash Boost. The girl I asked (and subsequently bought this product from) had NEXT LEVEL lashes, the kind so unbelievable you assume they have to be extensions. (Hers weren't!)
I first mentioned this serum in my New Additions 2017 post. As I mentioned there, I was a longtime Latisse user (we're talking a solid 5-6 years), with considerable success. But despite the fact that Latisse is a prescription product (meaning you'd imagine it works better than a non-prescription product), I've found Lash Boost to be every bit as, if not more effective. Without question, Latisse made my lashes stronger and longer than they ever were au naturel, but I feel with Lash Boost I've gotten a bit more length, to the point of actually getting comments and questions about them for the first time in my life. I'd say they've maintained the about same strength Latisse provided.
I apply Lash Boost on my lash line at night, after cleansing but before my P50, about 3 nights a week. I'm sure I could get more mind-blowing results with consistent nightly use, but I'm a bit wary of irritation and redness as I occasionally had those with Latisse. Because it's my eyes we're talking about, I try to let the serum dry before moving on in my regimen (I've been known to plant my face in front of the A/C for a few seconds), and I dab off any excess to avoid getting any into my eyes or on my lower lash line.
A major con is that $150 isn't cheap for eyelash serum. That said, it's less expensive (and less inconvenient, availability-wise) than Latisse, and I've found one tube lasts me a good 4-5 months. Most importantly, it just WORKS. That makes it worth the cost to me and it has skyrocketed to Holy Grail product status.
Two more notes:
- I'm not a doctor. I haven't noticed any side effects but obviously can't speak for anyone but myself in my experience!
- A commenter on my previous post, Tierney, recommended a $30 dupe that is supposed to be identical and just as effective. I haven't run out of Lash Boost yet and haven't had a chance to try it, so I can't vouch for how legit it is, but it does sound intriguing. Just FYI, in case you want to hop on board but the price is a deterrent.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler ($15): This is probably the oldest item in my makeup bag. I seriously can't remember when I bought this curler—certainly over 10 years ago now—making it easily the best investment in my entire bathroom. Before this purchase, I remember using basic drugstore curlers (I think I had a Revlon one?) but their durability, accuracy, and curl didn't compare to my Shu Uemura.
As I mentioned over at Best of Makeup, I continue to love and swear by my refill pad dupes. Good refill pads are shockingly hard to find in-store and when you do see them, they're ridiculously overpriced. These are a total steal, they last a good while (think a few months per pad), and they fit the curler perfectly!
L'Oreal Voluminous Original Mascara in Blackest Black ($7): I first mentioned this mascara in my massive Best of Beauty blog post. I've been a Voluminous convert for years now and will rave about this mascara to anyone who will listen. I've tried many, many mascaras over the years, from very high to very low end, but my wandering eye shut down when I finally decided to see what the fuss is about and tried Voluminous. Its combination of volume, length, separation, non-clumpiness and layering ability have proven unparalleled in my many years of mascara usage. The layering factor is huge; so many mascaras get gross and spider-y the more you layer. I find Voluminous to be the best at giving extra length, and only length (which is all I want) with that second swipe.
A few pointers:
- Always be diligent about wiping the brush of any excess. Some mascara tubes have a perfectly shaped orifice where it automatically clears excess when you remove the wand. Not so with Voluminous. (This may be the difference between a $25 mascara and a $7 mascara.) It's not a con, per se, it just means you need to take a few seconds to wipe the brush on the orifice edge to ensure the excess is gone. This means that when you layer, there are no clumps or spider legs. Yay!
- Wait a few minutes between layers one and two. Like I said above, I have super straight lashes, so I always curl mine. Therefore, it's a big peeve of mine when mascaras are too "wet" and they immediately uncurl my lashes. Layered lightly (aka, sans excess), Voluminous only softens my curl without undoing it entirely. But if I apply my second coat before my first has dried completely, it WILL undo that curl. So wait. My order of events is: curl lashes, apply eyeshadow (if any), do my first coat, then do other things like eyebrows/blush/waterline/drink tea, then return for that second coat. For the second coat, I focus on the tips to get length specifically without getting too much buildup.
Blinc Mascara Amplified ($26): A longtime makeup fear of mine is having raccoon eyes and no one telling me about it. (Like the eye version of spinach being in your teeth!) And Andy, while a very caring and doting husband, is very much a dude when it comes to this stuff and still doesn't know what a raccoon eye is despite my years of asking him about them. (One time I asked him if I had them and his response was, no joke: "Yeah, you look great.")
I first mentioned Blinc in my Sephora post. It would have made my Best of Makeup post had I known about it by then. I can't remember where I first read about using a "tube" mascara on my lower lashes (I know it was on a makeup blog but I forget which one) but when I did I was deeply annoyed at myself for not thinking of it sooner. Because Blinc dries to be "tubes" and isn't really paint in the way most mascaras are, it really doesn't ever smudge, run, or anything. I don't have to worry about rain, sweat, or tears; it simply doesn't run. Since discovering the trick of using Blinc on my lower lashes, I haven't worried about raccoon eyes once.
In contrast to the Voluminous, the orifice of this tube IS perfectly sized, so the wand emerges excess-free. What I do is very lightly swipe the tip of the wand back and forth over my lower lashes until they gradually become lightly covered with the product, but not totally saturated. Then, when I return for that second layer of Voluminous, I do the same thing again with Blinc. This light, spread out layering maintains separation, which is important since, IMO, Blinc's only flaw is that it's susceptible to becoming spider-y if you over-apply. Otherwise, this mascara is lower lash perfection.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CLARENCE CHAN
Let me know your thoughts, and especially YOUR favorite lash products in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by!