You've heard of Latisse, yes? It's the prescription treatment for growing your lashes longer, thicker and darker—and like most things that are awesome, not available in Canada just yet. (Health Canada is currently reviewing it but no word on a release date.)
Now some cool news: we don't have to wait to get in on the lash-lengthening action.
Lumigan for Eyelash Growth
I did some, uh, investigative journalism a few weeks back and happily discovered that the active ingredient (bimatoprost) in Latisse is ALSO present in another prescription product called Lumigan, which we CAN get here (both are made by Allergan). Lumigan is used to treat glaucoma, but according to the ophthalmologist I spoke with, any MD can safely prescribe it off-label for your lashes.
(What's an off-label prescription, you ask? It's just like some people take the birth control pill for acne, not birth control.) While Latisse comes in single-dose applications, you can use a Q-Tip to apply Lumigan to the base of your lashes once daily for four to six weeks (and then twice a week thereafter).
You may have heard stories about the stuff changing your eye colour, but the MDs I talked to felt these concerns were minor. (Studies were done of people putting the drops IN THEIR EYES, not on the roots of their lashes, and even then the incidence of iris darkening was only 1.5 percent.) You just need to be super-careful about how you apply it, as it WILL trigger hair growth. You don't want any weird strays on your eyelids!
New Lash Growth Products
If you've tried Latisse or Lumigan, I'd love to hear your experience—otherwise, in the meantime, you can rock some of these over-the-counter lash growth products. What they do is encourage blood circulation to the eyelash hair follicles and strengthen them to prevent them from falling out. The result? A longer eyelash growth phase, which means lashes appear longer and thicker. (But note: they don't actually make lashes grow... if they did, they'd be prescription products.) Still, who cares if they LOOK longer, right?
Here are some products to try:
L'Oréal Paris Lash Boosting Serum
This just launched with the promise that when applied daily, it will transform your lashes in four weeks. Use it alone at night and under mascara during the day. L'Oréal Paris are actually giving away 500 of these puppies right now! Head on over here to enter.
Smashbox Lash DNA Mascara
Don't have time to apply a nighttime treatment? This product has lash-enhancing amino acids and proteins blended right into regular mascara. I was sold on the promise of a "doe-eyed" effect.
Jan Marini Marini Lash Eyelash Conditioner
Jan Marini was the first company to come out with an OTC lash booster, which if I'm not mistaken, was so close to the prescription version that they had to reformulate. This new edition contains peptides and can be used on eyebrows too.
Cargo LashActivator Night
Cargo already offers LashActivator, a black mascara with lash-enhancing properties. This spring, they're launching a nighttime treatment, which doubles as a volumizing primer under your mascara. The claim: 169 percent improvement over the natural rate of lash growth in 30 days.
Fusion Beauty StimuLashFusion Intensive Night Conditioning Lash Enhancer
This product doubles as an eyebrow growth-booster, but takes a little longer—six weeks—to work its magic. Bonus: no parabens.
Talika Eyelash Lipocils
Another newcomer: this is a twice-daily treatment to lengthen and thicken lashes in 28 days. I like that it's plant-based (nettle, lethicin, apple extract, etc.) but wish they'd left out the parabens.
Disclaimer: I am not an MD so please speak to your doctor before using any of these products!
And the last word goes to this lady: