And the eyes have it!

Posted on September 16th, 2009 by Gina

crissy eyes
Let’s get right to it.  Eyelash growth products work.  Some work to varying degrees, but for the most part, they are what they claim to be.
Those beautiful eyes belong to Chrissy, attending Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts, who bought LiLash® on EBay for about $100, $39 less than the suggested retail price.  She followed the directions carefully, complained only of a little burning in her eyes if she was sloppy with the solution, and voila – she could be a commercial!

On the right are my eyes after two months of Latisse®, but the picture doesn’t do them justice.  I basically can’t wear glasses because my lashes get wedged against the lenses.  Okay, I am exaggerating a bit, but it really does bring new meaning to “lashing out.”Ginaeyes

Latisse is the most robust of the three brands we have seen in action, the other two being RiVitalash® and LiLash®, but Latisse is a pharmaceutical drug that requires a prescription as opposed to the other two “conditioners.”  The active ingredient in Latisse is bimatoprost ophthalmic solution, a drug to treat glaucoma that has the added side affect of enhancing eyelash growth.  Like any drug, it comes with some safety warnings: it generally causes reddening of the eyelids and some itchiness.  The biggest problem is that “there is a potential for increased brown iris pigmentation, which is likely to be permanent.”  That didn’t bother this brown-eyed girl, but I wouldn’t have taken the risk if my eyes were blue.

All the eyelash enhancers add length to your lashes, but Latisse adds a bit of thickness and they turn your eyelashes black – eliminating the need for mascara for some users.  What you get in Latisse’s efficacy, you pay for in time and money, however.  You need a doctor’s prescription to get it, a pharmacy that stocks it (and there aren’t many yet) and $100 for a 2-month supply – that’s $600 a year. It’s a heavy investment in your flirtability.

RiVitalash and LiLash have been on the market longer and are considerably less expensive at $100-150 a bottle that lasts for 5-6 months (that’s less than half of the price of Latisse.)  Ritavlash was developed by an opthamologist and contains what the company calls “functional cosmetic ingredients,” in other words, no drugs.  LiLash contains “botanical extracts” and mostly natural ingredients.  Both products contain preservatives called parabens that have come under environmental scrutiny lately.

I used RiVitalash for almost a year before testing Latisse and had great results.  While my lashes didn’t get as thick or turn black, the length was enough that I considered trimming them.  Crissy, a University of Maryland student also pictured here, has been using LiLash with no side affects and obviously wonderful results.  Both Crissy and I like to use a bit of mascara, so the blackness isn’t as important.

All these products may find themselves in the “Be careful what you wish for” category for many of us.  If you have errant eyelashes that occasionally grow sideways, for instance, they will grow very long sideways and perhaps need to be removed.  Your eyelashes don’t necessarily grow evenly, either, so one or two lashes will be itching your forehead while the rest are merely long.

So, if you are interested in these products, here’s a suggestion on how to choose the brand you use.  If you hate wearing eye makeup, yet want your eyelashes to stand out more and are willing to pay for it, try Latisse.  If you wear mascara, and enjoy putting it on to shape your eyelashes, try a less expensive brand first.

And by the way, let us know how it goes!

2 Comments on “And the eyes have it!”

  1. gina

    A couple of additions to the article. RiVitalash and Lilash make your eyelashes long, but do not add thickness and do not turn them black, as Latisse does. If you have thick lashes, then you don’t need the more expensive of the three products.

    Another thing I noticed with Latisse is that, even though I use as directed and only line the lids close to my eyelashes with the solution, the medicine must spread a bit because new hair has sprouted along the corners of my eyes. It’s a little extra plucking or waxing.

    Lastly, if you use Latisse, you won’t need mascara after awhile, but I am finding that my eyelashes need “managing.” They are curling and growing in ways I don’t want them to, so I am using a clear mascara just to train them into shape.


  2. Jane Scribner

    Great article, Gina!!! xoxo, j

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A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.