Most women will concede that they have a strange relationship with body hair. If it’s below the nose, we’ll spend untold time and money on blitzing offending strands into inexistence, but when it comes to the eyes, it’s an entirely different story.
For when it comes to eyebrows and eyelashes, we welcome strong follicle health, length and lustre with open arms.
Long eyelashes are top of our beauty wishlist, and although volumising mascara can help mimic the falsie effect to an extent, if you want all-natural skyscraper lashes, you’ll need a special little elixir in your arsenal.
Eyelash growth serums have gone from a trade secret to big business on the beauty counter, thanks in some part to the popularity of eyelash extensions and strip lashes. Wearing false lashes for a prolonged period can weaken your natural lashes, causing them to become frail and brittle. Just like cuticle oil for nails and beauty serums for skin, these eyelash-specific formulas work to condition, care and nourish with ingredients like vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and proteins.
Who are eyelash growth serums for?
They can help boost growth for anyone who’s overdone it with extensions, as well as chemo patients and those with genetically cursed lash length.
Do serums really work?
Yes, but they require patience and evangelical application - there’s no instant, overnight results here. As lashes fall out naturally on a 90-day cycle, it’s a good rule of thumb to test out your growth serum for 12 weeks. Take before and after snaps to compare your results as it can be tricky to spot the difference day-to-day.
How do you use eyelash growth serum?
The majority of serums come with an applicator or brush, allowing you to apply a thin layer of the formula over the top of your upper lashline. You can also apply it under the waterline of your lower lashes if you want to see growth there.
Many can even be used on your eyebrows to encourage the return of hair lost to over-tweezing or ageing.
Only ever apply as much as stated; being overzealous doesn’t mean you’ll see accelerated growth. More likely, you’ll just waste your expensive product.
How much growth can I expect?
Everyone’s hair growth is unique, so it very much depends on your genetics. Founder of Emerald Brows in Mayfair and international celebrity Brow Artist Jigna Soni confirms: "The life span of an eyelash can vary with each individual, and this depends on lash length, thickness, and colour.
We each go through a growth cycle that is divided into three phases - anagen, catagen, and telogen. The daily growth rate of a lash is 0.12-0.14mm. The anagen phase varies from 4-10 weeks, whereas the complete life cycle can take up to 4-11 months."
Eyelash growth serums do help boost your strands so that they’re healthier and more resilient. In terms of results, this could mean denser lashes rather than longer ones thanks to a slow-down in shedding.
Does castor oil help lengthen lashes?
This old wives’ tale does actually work, but many shy away from it as previous carnations of the oil have been thick and gloopy, leading to a rather unpleasant application. Many new versions are lighter, and the major draw with castor oil is that it can be used in myriad ways, on cuticles, a hair mask, to condition skin, etc.
See our favourites below
RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum
In tests with 102 people over 56 days, 86 per cent reported fuller and longer looking lashes from using RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum. Even if you’ve not got a head for figures, you can’t argue with numbers like that.
The hair growth formula is packed with nourishing proteins, vitamins and other ingredients, working to help you get that killer wink. Use the applicator to trace a thin line over your lashline being careful to avoid contact with your eyes. The brand recommends two months of use before you see results. For makeup that does more, check out the brand’s RapidGlam eyelash enhancing mascserum (£32), which has also been infused with the serum.
RevitaLash Advanced 3.5ml
Packed with botanicals and a roster of scientifically-backed ingredients, RevitaLash is one of the biggest and best in the business, giving sparse eyelashes their sexy back. Simply use the fine brush attached to the lid to gently lace your lashline with the formula nightly. You can even apply it in the morning before your usual makeup - just give it time to dry first. Religious use should see results in a few weeks and each 3.5ml tube should be enough for six months.
Lancôme Cils Booster Lash Revitalising Serum
Whether you’ve overdone it with the eyelash extensions or you want to add some va va vroom to your peepers, Lancôme is here to save the day with it’s Cils Booster Lash Revitalising Serum. It helps condition and strengthen lashes using a Kerasolution Complex made up of four Amino Acids found in hair as well as hydrating hyaluronic acid and skin-soothing cica to cut irritation. Apply this from the root to tip, taking care to ensure your lashes are dry before continuing with your normal makeup. The results are stronger, glossier lashes with less fallout.
Rodial Lash & Brow Booster Serum
Skincare hero Rodial can transform your complexion, and with this serum, your lashes too. The high-performance eyelash and eyebrow serum uses vitamin B5, castor oil, hyaluronic acid and a complex of proteins to condition hair and build strength and shine to such an extent it claims you can forgo extensions completely. A comparatively low investment for an eyelash extension obsessive. Use nightly.
Luna Nectar Moon Bost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum
Prevention may be better than a cure, but if you’re a die-hard lash extension devotee, Moon Boost is the serum for you. You can apply it while the extensions are in place, giving them extra life while maintaining and boosting your natural lashes too. The elixir, which contains vitamin E, aloe and argan oil, is vegan and can be used to breathe new life into your brows as well as lashes.
Typology Eyelashes & Brows Serum 2% Pea Peptides + Castor Oil
Typology struggle to keep this serum in stock, so lauded is it by those in the know. Housed in a chic brown bottle, the formula is made of 96 per cent naturally-derived ingredients and can be used to bolster the health and strength of brows as well as lashes. Best used at night on a just cleansed face to allow the nourishing benefits to really do their thing.
Shiseido Full Lash Serum
Give brows and lashes a helping hand with Shiseido’s Full Lash Serum which repairs and restores eyelashes to a full, doll-like appearance. The formula is light and absorbs quickly while encouraging rapid growth with arginine and jujuba fruit on the ingredients list. Not only do lashes appear longer, but they’ll look denser too with regular use.
UKLash Eyelash Serum 3ml
Encourage healthy hair growth with this serum, packed full with essential vitamins, extracts and peptides all uniting to transform your peepers. Consistency is key: apply nightly after your cleansing routine and avoid double dipping - once is enough for both eyelashes.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Boosting Serum, 5.3ml
A budget option perfect for those not sure if they’re made for the serum life. The formula is filled with arginine and provitamin B5 and promises noticeably XL lashes in just four weeks. Apply twice a day for best results.
£11.99 | Amazon *On sale from £14.99
Bionoble Organic Castor Oil
Made to use in a variety of ways, this organic castor oil, cold-pressed in India, can be used for head-to-toe conditioning for men and women. Watch it work its magic on your eyelashes by dipping a clean spoolie in the oil and running it from root to tip nightly.