Like the hairs on the top of our head, the tiny lashes growing out of our eyelids follow a natural growth pattern, which means there's no overnight fix for lengthening them — without the help of mascara or eyelash extensions, that is. However, there are little things you can do each day to ensure that your natural lashes are healthy and growing to their fullest, longest, most fluttery potential.
Ahead, we talk to celebrity lash expert Dionne Phillips, the owner of D'Lashes salon in Los Angeles, who breaks down her four simple tips for scoring longer lashes — no fake strips required.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
It might sound intuitive, but Phillips says that the biggest pitfall she sees among clients is aggressive eye-rubbing. "When you tug, pull, or rub on your natural lashes in any way, it prevents your lashes from growing," she tells us. Whether it's a morning habit or a stress response, the friction of your hands against your lashes will cost you in lash fullness, and you'll probably notice the fallout.
Discuss A Vitamin Regimen With Your Doctor
Just like your skin, hair, and nails are affected by what you put into you body, Phillips tells us the same is true for our eyelashes (and eyebrows). Because OTC beauty multi-vitamins are largely unregulated, it's a good idea to discuss any lash-growth concerns with your primary care physician, who might suggest a supplement to address a zinc, biotin, or vitamin B deficiency that may be playing a part in sparse, short, or balding lashes.
Try A Lash Growth Serum
Phillips says that many of her clients find success with adopting a nightly lash-growth serum or conditioning routine. In terms of efficacy, doctors, dermatologists, and aestheticians agree that Latisse is the only formula clinically proven to make eyelashes grow longer.
However, while Latisse requires a prescription, there are other lash- conditioning formulas that assist in the natural growth cycle — and can be at your doorstep in 3-5 business days. "You want to look for one without chemicals or parabens — which can be occlusive — but with moisturising ingredients and peptides, like vitamin E and vegetable-derived squalane, which help condition the lashes and visibly enhance thickness," Phillips says.
Always Use An Extra-Gentle Makeup Remover
Like the no-rubbing rule, you want to make sure that when you're washing the day off your face, you're being mindful of your delicate eyelashes. "When removing makeup — especially makeup that falls on your lash line, like mascara and eyeliner — do so very gently," Phillips advises. "I recommend an oil-based remover, designed specifically to remove makeup without irritating the eyes or the eyelid skin." When you're wearing eyelash extensions, professionally-placed individuals, or strips, the same rules apply: Be kind to your lashes, and they will be kind to you.
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