When it comes to eyelashes, are longer lashes better? Yes. Yes they are. This is, of course, more a matter of opinion than one of science. According to scientific studies, eyelashes are generally about one-third the length of the eye, and are used to bat, wink, protect, moisten and filter out dust particles and light. But over time, eyelashes have morphed into a cosmetic enhancement, signifying beauty, femininity, and youthfulness. Framing the eyes gives the appearance of larger, wider eyes, which countless studies suggest are more appealing than smaller, less well-framed eyes.
Scientific or not, the quest for long lashes is booming as women from coast to coast are choosing to enhance their natural lashes or are turning to synthetic lashes to achieve their ideal look. It's rare to see a celebrity, cover model, or even television personality without enhanced eyelashes these days.
So which types of lash enhancements are the best? Many doctors suggest that enhancing your natural lashes is the least harmful overall (synthetics may damage your existing eyelashes if not applied/removed/cared for properly), while natural lash enhancements have not been shown to damage the exisitng eyelashes at all. Additionally, enhancements are generally less expensive over the long-term than synthetic extensions, and require far less maintenance.
The Eyelash Showdown
Having experimented with synthetic eyelash extensions, a very popular generic lash enhancement, and Lash Boost, here is how they stack up against one another.
Eyelash Extensions: Looks can be deceiving. While synthetic extensions can lead to perfectly lashed eyes in a matter of 60 minutes, the upkeep on extensions is not for the faint of heart (or anyone with a packed schedule... like moms). Extensions are applied lash by lash during a tedious process by a (preferably licensed) aesthetician. Initial sets of lashes range $150-$200, on average, and have to be filled every 2-3 weeks, at an average cost of $55-$75. During the first 12 hours following a new lash set, you must be extra careful not to get your lashes wet or to rub your eyes (this allows the glue time to set properly).
While extensions look absolutely beautiful the first week, as lashes start to fall out towards the end of the second week, you can be left with sparse areas. That, combined with the fact that making a 60-75 minute lash appointment every two weeks can be difficult for those with busy schedules, makes this option less appealing. Personally, I found that extensions would commonly became 'tangled' and had to be brushed out frequently to maintain proper shape and curl.
Estimated Time Requirement: 120 minutes (initial lash set), 60-75 minutes every 2 weeks (lash fill)
Cost: Excluding the cost of getting an initial set and based on fills alone, $220-$300 (every 60 days).
*I should note that my lash technician was superb at her job and while eyelash extensions are not ideal for me, this is in no way meant to discredit her or her work.
Generic Drug-Based Enhancement: This was the first FDA approved treatment for people who had inadequate eyelashes or simply wanted to grow theirs longer. The process for applying a generic lash enhancement is simple; use an applicator to swipe the solution across the upper lash line of each eye before bed each night (takes less than 10 seconds). Lashes grow thicker, darker, and fuller, with noticeable results in 8 weeks and full results in 16 weeks (with continuous use). The enhancement formula contains bimatoprost, the active ingredient necessary to grow lashes, which is thought to increase the growth phase of the eyelash. Clinical studies showed patients had a 25% increase in length, 106% increase in thickness/volume, and 18% increase in darkness.
Potential side effects of drug-based lash enhancements are possible (but rare), and include darkening of the iris, and possible irritation or redness. Another downside is that you cannot buy the product online and must get it via prescription from a licensed professional. I personally used used this type of product for years and was never unhappy with the results.
Estimated Time Requirement: Less than one minute each night, 16 weeks to see full results
Cost: Average cost of 5mL bottle is $160 (about a 70-day supply)
Lash Boost: In 2016 Rodan + Fields, the dermatologists behind the R+F name and creators of ProActiv, released Lash Boost to compete with other lash boosting serums on the market. Lash Boost utilizes biotin and keratin to protect lashes and peptides to boost volume; no prescription required. There are no harmful side effects or risk of damage to the eyelashes or eyes, as Lash Boost is a cosmetic enhancement rather than a drug enhancement.
Lash Boost is applied by swiping a wand across the base of each upper lash line. Clinical studies showed patients had a 85% increase in length, 90% increase in thickness/volume, and 63% increase in darkness. Lashes are noticeably improved in 4 weeks, with full results in 8 weeks.
Estimated Time Requirement: Less than one minute each night, 8 weeks to see full results
Cost: 5mL bottle is $135* (about a 60-day supply)
While I loved the immediate results of eyelash extensions, the painstaking upkeep was not something that worked for me. I found myself being annoyed more times than I was delighted. And the cost during the same time period is, at a minimum, $50 more expensive than both the generic drug-based lash enhancement and Lash Boost.
The drug-based lash enhancement worked wonders for me for 2+ years and I personally never had a bad experience with the product. The process of dripping the solution onto an applicator made it a little difficult to control the amount of product I was applying, but it was very minimally annoying. The only real downside was having to buy the product at a professional's office and waiting 16 weeks for full results to be noticed.
Lash Boost is my go-to favorite, for many reasons
It has shown comparable, if not slightly better, results than the drug-based enhancement, in half the amount of time, and at a cheaper price point. Lash Boost has also been clinically tested and approved to be used on patients who wear contacts and those who have had LASIK. It has also been clinically tested for use to grow thicker and fuller eyebrows (applied in the same manner as you would for eyelashes, but along the brows instead). AND, quite possibly, the deal breaker for me... I don't have to leave my house to get it!
Don't just believe me; check out the real-life results that thousands are experiencing and try Lash Boost yourself, risk-free! Rodan + Fields offers a 60-day, empty bottle, no-hassle, money back guarantee if you aren't completely satisfied. Seriously.
Longer, thicker, fuller looking lashes are literally within your reach.
And for the record, I don't love Rodan + Fields products because I represent them. I represent Rodan + Fields products because I love them. Cheers to thicker, fuller lashes!