Ever noticed how much someone’s eyes stand out when their eyelashes are on point? Whether they are natural or some kind of extensions, when they are done up they always look great and give me massive eyelash envy. I want to be part of this crowd so desperately, with full and voluminous eyelashes that can be the envy of others. If you’re with me, stick around and we can explore the options together.
Eyelashes have been seen for centuries as a sign of beauty and even the history books mention how they were enhanced to display someone status even dating back to the Ancient Egyptians. All this fuss for a bunch of hairs over the eyelid? Believe it or not, eyelashes are a lot more important than just signs of beauty and serve a purpose in everyday life without even knowing it.
Our eyelashes are there to protect the eyes from falling debris and dust that may try to get closer to the eye and as they are really sensitive like the whiskers on a cat, they offer our eyes a reflexive action to shut as soon as danger is near. Of course that danger means dirt or particles and it would already have to be extremely close before the eyelashes can tell. But that’s what they do, so wouldn’t it be better if we could always have longer and fuller lashes to help ward off the dangers from a little further away?
Adding more volume to eyelashes benefits our eyes, but let’s face it, we just want them to look amazing. When our facial features look the best they can we feel great in ourselves and it can give us a certain confidence that helps us shine each day. So, what methods are there to turn up the volume on our eyelashes and how easy are all of the options?
This one is the easiest and most obvious choice to pump up the volume. Accessible to most people and sold at beauty counters and online stores, mascara has long been a favourite for many women in terms of enhancing our eyelashes without having to go through weird procedures and spending too much money.
Mascara is always a good option for people who like a less permanent method of eyelash enhancement but want to really go bold with them. It has been around since around 4000BC if records serve right and was used on the eyelashes as a substance called kohl to darken the lashes, thicken them to protect from the blinding sun, and to ward off evil spirits and protect the soul. I don’t know how much soul protection modern mascara offers, but it certainly warms my soul to know I can enhance my eyelashes with only a few simple steps!
There are so many different types of mascara around now though that knowing which one to use if you haven’t already got your favourite firmly secure in your makeup kit can be a nightmare. The best thing is to work out what you’ve got and what you want and find a way to do this with what is on offer. Thicker wands for fuller lashes are great for depositing more mascara onto each lash and give that thicker and voluminous appearance. Finer wands with firmer bristles tend to help wit separating and lengthening, which can be a blessing if you already have full lashes but need a bit more definition.
Coloured mascara is also an option, although is more saved for special occasions or makeup gurus. Eyelashes tend to have quite a bit of colour in them anyway, so depositing colour on top may not always have the bold effect as a simple black mascara, but for more natural lashes that are full of volume, a deep brown really does the trick.
Another less temporary option for eyelashes with a bit more volume is the false lash. This has method has been favoured by so many over the years as it does a bit more than mascara, doesn’t always cost the earth, and as long as you have a steady hand and some patience, a bit of practice would make applying false eyelashes the easiest option for eyelash enhancement.
Originally patented in 1911 by a very savvy Canadian lady called Anna Taylor, false lashes were created using a crescent-shaped strip of fabric with small pieces of hair attached to them. The glues and adhesives were not regulated back then so it caused a lot of swelling and irritation in the wearers. This was thankfully something that was sorted out as the years passed.
Starlets of Hollywood and women who yearned for some glamour started to wear false eyelashes in a bid to get longer, fuller lashes to get the huge, doll-eyed effect. Over the years, the make up of eyelashes evolved and synthetic fibres were used to get the same durable but sturdy shape of a real eyelash and to keep the products affordable enough for everyone.
These days, magnetic eyelashes are becoming more and more popular as they don’t need to use any glue or adhesive and can be removed painlessly with no damage to the existing eyelashes or follicles in the process. The great thing about magnetic eyelashes is that they can be positioned and repositioned as much as you want until you are happy with their placement and the amount of volume you are getting from them.
False eyelashes also look a lot more natural now than they ever did and even come in individual pieces to attach to the eyelid as you desire, so layering is an option in areas that are a bit sparse in the eyelash department!
Still relatively new to the world of eyelashes but playing as equally an important part in enhancing eyelashes in a safe way is eyelash serum. It may take a little longer to get the desired effect, but it can really be worth it for naturally long and voluminous eyelashes that don’t need false sets in the future.
Eyelash serums work by depositing growth promoting ingredients into the root of the hair and the follicle to prolong the growth and transition stages of the eyelash cycle so that not only do they add a few more millimetres onto the individual lashes but boost the volume in having more eyelashes in place at once.
As they do tend to fall out regularly and only about 50 out of your 200 eyelashes are in the growth cycle at any one time, you won’t ever experience a full set in one go. An eyelash serum helps to close this gap a little bit and doesn’t harm your eyelashes in the process.
It usually comes in a small tube and can be applied with the thin brush included to the upper row of eyelashes only, after all makeup is removed and the face is cleansed of daily dirt or particles. Our bodies work best in terms of growth and repair at night-time while we rest, so this is the best time to apply the eyelash serum. Keep the applications regular and you should start to see the results of thicker and longer eyelashes in just a few weeks.
There is always plenty of talk about different homemade concoctions for eyelash growth, including different ingredients and extracts that you can find at the back of your kitchen cupboards, and while they may work for some they may not work for others. But when we’re talking about volume, and getting those lashes looking thick, there has to be something that will work.
Castor oil has long been a favourite of many for hair growth, and the trick with this is that promoting growth leads to more eyelashes at once so you can get that thickness you so crave. When eyelashes look thin it is usually because of gaps where lashes tend to fall out before their time, so you never get that naturally full set that you see with false eyelashes. Certain oils like castor oil or olive oil are made up of fatty acids that deposit onto the hair to make it shinier and stronger. It is essentially food for your eyelashes and with regular application it can improve the quality of your lashes in a few short weeks.
Petroleum jelly has a similar effect to the castor and olive oils and helps to strengthen lashes and protect them at the same time. It has been said this stuff works really well in addition to your mascara to keep your lashes from getting dry and brittle. Just apply a small amount with a clean mascara wand and then your regular mascara over the top for a healthier approach to makeup. This extra layer also adds to the effect that your eyelashes have more volume than normal and can intensify the colour too for a bolder look.
Patience waiting for serums to work and searching for the right homemade options may not be your preferred option, in which case trusty eyelash extensions could be your way to volumized eyelashes. Just be prepared for a bit more of an expense and a fair bit of upkeep to make sure your eyelashes always look how you want them to.
Eyelash extensions can be a long process to apply as each new lash has to be applied individually so you will need some patience for this, but the results do look amazing. The lash fibres can be synthetic or natural and a glue adhesive is used to attach each new lash in a way that doesn’t look too over the top, but like they have naturally grown in themselves.
The good thing about false lashes is they are created bespoke to each wearer and a good lash technician will talk you through what to have and how to have them so that they don’t end up looking spidery and have more of a wispy vibe. The addition of these extensions will give you fuller and thicker looking eyelashes in just a couple of hours and as your natural lashes grow out they will require appointments regularly to keep them filled in. They also look great without lashings of mascara, so this is a step you don’t need to worry about if you’re considering lash extensions.
You can always use a serum in conjunctions with your eyelash extensions as long as you double check with your technician or make sure that there are no oils that could stop the adhesive from holding. This way your natural lashes will remain strong for the extensions and you should see vast improvement with their quality, and then who knows? Maybe you won’t need extensions anymore!
This hasn’t really been a thing for too long in comparison to other eyelash enhancement methods, but it doesn’t make it any less effective. Unlike adding lashes to your existing set, a lash lift changes the shape of your natural eyelashes – essentially a perm – and lasts around 6-8 weeks with proper care.
A mould is created, and your lashes are fixed in place to it in an upward position, usually with a keratin-based solution that can make even the straightest eyelashes curve into a more desirable shape. It can be an uncomfortable experience but as long as you get this done through a professional it is quite safe and can boost your eyelashes in ways you didn’t think were possible. So, in terms of volume, the lash lift depends on the natural fullness of your eyelashes in the first place, and although for some it may be enough just to have eyelashes that curve upward instead of falling flat, for others a bit more volume is needed.
A lot of conditioning is involved to get your lashes into great shape during the process so that they aren’t damaged or at risk of breaking and then a tine is added to further enhance their appearance. This tint is what boosts the colour and gives the appearance of fuller lashes. It can be quite pricey to go for a lash lift, but you know where you stand with your natural eyelashes and you can carry on wearing mascara over the top for further volume boosted eyelashes.