Lash envy is real. It used to just be those fringing the eyes of toddlers that we hankered after but now, it seems, long, silky, dark lashes are everywhere. On our friends/work mates/newsreaders/waitresses…
They can’t all have won the genetic lottery, can they? Answer: no. They are in on the latest innovations as, make no mistake, lashes are the new eyebrows.
Last decade we were obsessed with the ultimate face framers, brows. Model Cara Delevingne‘s follicularly blessed pair got endless column inches. We wised up to their beautifying power, so we tinted and fluffed them and, in some cases, tattooed them on.
Now lashes are in the spotlight because new treatments mean we can improve on our god-given lot and still look natural. Which is good news because as we age lashes get sparser. Oh joy.
Before now, the options for bulking and lengthening them were crude: falsies that made you look like you worked in a strip joint, or lash-growing medications that came with scary side effects and price tags.
Now lash improvers are accessible and (relatively) affordable. Blink Brow Bar founder Vanita Parti spotted the trend for lash enhancement. ‘While Blink was all about brows, moving into lashes was a no-brainer. Since the pandemic we’ve increased lash treatments by 50 per cent.’ She believes they’re popular because ‘women who feared they had no lashes are thrilled to have them brought to life by simply dyeing them, adding extensions or giving them that extra curl’.
Now lashes are in the spotlight because new treatments mean we can improve on our god-given lot and still look natural. Stock image used
I used to get mine on prescription from a cosmetic doctor, but now you can buy serums over the counter or online that make a visible difference. All work by prolonging the growing cycle so lashes take longer to fall out and thus reach a greater length. I’m using Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner (£129, revitalash.co.uk) and it’s made mine significantly longer (my only complaint is slightly redder eyes). Another lash grower is Olaplex Lashbond Building Serum (£64, spacenk.com), which a friend says makes hers thicker, while YOU’s deputy beauty editor Alice Robertson loves UKlash Eyelash Serum (£37.99, uklash.com).
Got straight lashes? Then no matter how long they are, they won’t look it as you’re seeing them head on. Enter the lash lift. This involves a therapist placing a pad on your upper eyelid, securing your lashes upwards on it, then adding perm lotion. This makes lashes fan up and out, so they look fuller and your eyes appear more open. The effect lasts up to six weeks and you can combine the treatment with a tint, too, as the perm lotion fades lash colour. I have mine lifted at one of Blink Brow Bar’s London salons (from £76, bbb-london.com). Alternatively, try the LVL Lash Lift (from £45, nouveaulashes.com) which is available nationwide.
Thanks to new types of lashes and adhesives, plus ever-more expert application, extensions, which used to be obvious, now look very natural. Camilla Kirk-Reynolds (lash extensions, from £150, camillalashes.com) is the undisputed lash queen with a royal clientele (she was booked solid before the Queen’s funeral). She says extensions that look like your own lashes but better require a couture approach, varying the curl, the thickness, the length and the placement. Applied correctly, they ‘can take years off’. My advice is to go for individual lashes, not fans, and keep it subtle. Also try Shavata Singh, which has salons nationwide. I like to get a half set (from £86, shavata.co.uk).
My friend, make-up artist Caroline Barnes, loves Lashify’s stick-on lashes (from £20, lashify.com), which go under lashes rather than over them, creating a more natural-looking effect. Applying them requires dexterity and practice but, once mastered, thanks to stronger-than-average glue, they will last up to five days.
Remove make-up gently – and sustainably – with these super-soft Garnier Micellar Reusable Eco Pads (£9 for three, boots. com), which can be washed up to 1,000 times.
‘Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford.’
– Cindy Crawford
Mascaras you need to know about…
Lengthening Benefit Fan Fest Mascara, £25.50, benefitcosmetics.com
Affordable UKlash Lengthening Mascara, £11.99, uklash.com
Dramatic Max Factor Masterpiece 2 In 1 Lash Wow, £12.99, lookfantastic.com
Easy Huda Beauty 1 Coat Wow!, £20, sephora.co.uk
Non smudge Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara, £29, johnlewis.com