Today we’re going to focus on a topic that probably impacts most of us: how to help our eyelashes look fuller and longer when they don’t have quite the same length and fullness they used to have!
There are three stages to eyelash growth: resting, shedding and re-growth. Our lashes continuously cycle through these three stages. But as we get older, eyelash growth can slow or stop. But luckily there is a variety of different techniques and products that can help us reclaim that gorgeous full lash look.
Now you certainly don’t have to use all of the techniques below. As always, I’m going to give you a menu of options so you can choose which of these techniques will work the best for you based on how much curl and volume you want to create and the amount of time you want to spend.
Be sure to very gently remove eye makeup without rubbing your eyes. Rubbing can cause lashes to break or shed and we need every one of those precious lashes. I highly recommend using a cleansing balm or micellar water to gently remove eye makeup. Simply soak two cotton pads with micellar water, put one over each eye and let the cotton pads sit on the eyes for 15 seconds.
Then gently press down and wipe away your eye makeup. Be sure to fold over the pads to gently remove any remaining eye makeup, going all the way up to the brows. A micellar water brand that I particularly love is Bioderma.
Condition and moisturize your lashes with castor oil, coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil. I’d heard that castor oil can actually help eyebrows and eyelashes grow. However, I can tell you from a personal experiment that this is not the case. At least, it didn’t work for me.
However, castor oil – or any of these other oils – can help moisturize your lashes so they’re less fragile and less likely to break . All you need to do is dip a clean spoolie or a disposable mascara wand into the product, wipe off any excess, close your eyes and run the wand through the lashes, being careful not to get any product in your eyes.
These oils have nourishing fatty acids which provide much needed moisture and nutrition so it can be especially beneficial to do this at night before going to bed so the oil has a chance to really absorb into the lashes.
Coconut oil has been shown in studies to penetrate the hair shaft so it can be especially beneficial. However, some people can have reactions to coconut or these other oils, so be sure to do a patch test first. Simply put some oil onto a cotton pad, put the cotton pad on the inside bend of your arm, cover it with a band-aid and leave on for 24 hours to make sure you don’t have any kind of reaction.
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We can use eyeliner to help our lashes look thicker. Now this may sound a little counterintuitive, but adding black eyeliner to the eyelash area fills in lighter areas with black around the roots of the lashes which helps the lashes look thicker.
There are several different ways to do this. The first option is to tightline our eyes. This means applying eyeliner slightly underneath our lashes in our upper water line. Now I know this option isn’t right for everyone, but it can work beautifully.
One way to tightline is to wiggle an eyeliner at the lash line staying very close to the lashes. I prefer to lift the eye open and apply liner as close as possible to the lash line. It’s also helpful to hold the eye open for a few seconds to help prevent the eyeliner from transferring to the lower waterline.
Another way to use eyeliner is to dot it on between the lashes by coming in from either the top or the bottom of the lashes. This can be done with a regular eyeliner, but there is also a special brush which can be very helpful. It’s called an angled or a bent eyeliner brush. The one I’m using in the video is from Elf, but many brands have this type of brush.
Simply rub the tiny brush against an eyeliner pencil or dip it in cream eyeliner. And then gently dot it between the lashes. The longer, thinner brush tip makes it easier to dot on the eyeliner and because the brush is bent, it’s far easier to actually see our eyelid with an unobstructed view.
If you have sensitive eyes, as I do, you’ll want to use products that are less likely to irritate your eyes. I like Tarte’s products, but other good brands for sensitive eyes include Milk Makeup, Ilia and Honest Beauty.
Curling our eyelashes can make a huge difference. And there’s a specific technique for curling lashes that helps them look even more lifted and curled. Place the eyelash curler at the base of your lashes and lift your arm up. Lifting the arm up creates more curl. Then stairstep all the way up the lashes holding the eyelashes in place for five seconds each time you move up the eyelashes.
If you find an eyelash curler just too uncomfortable to use, here’s another technique that can help. After applying mascara – and while the mascara is still damp – hold your index finger up along the lashes horizontally and gently push them back so you’re creating more curl and lift. Then hold the lashes in this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
Applying an eyelash primer helps coat even the tiniest lashes with keratin which creates a bolder, fuller look when mascara is applied over it. It also helps keep lashes from clumping together. And as an added bonus, most primers have ingredients which help nourish and condition the eyelashes.
If you’ve chosen to use an eyelash primer, there are conflicting opinions on whether mascara should be applied while the eye primer is still wet or if the primer should be completely dry before applying mascara.
I recommend trying both methods since the ingredients in primers can vary and what works with one primer may not necessarily work with another. Primer ideally helps to delineate each lash so that you can cover them fully with mascara and get the most dramatic look possible.
So now let’s talk about the actual mascara application. Twist the wand as you pull it out of the tube (rather than pumping it) and wipe off any excess. Pumping the mascara dries it out faster and can also create greater bacteria build up.
This is a good time to mention that you don’t want to keep your mascara longer than three months.
To create a fanned, lifted look to the lashes, it helps to start at the base of the lashes and wiggle the mascara wand up to the tips of the lashes. Then, wait a bit for them to dry – but not totally dry – and apply a second coat.
Another way to create fuller, more voluminous looking lashes is to apply mascara and then, while the mascara is still damp, dip a small brush into a very small amount of powder. Keeping each eye closed, brush the powder over both the back and front of the lashes.
Then apply another coat of mascara to the back and front of the lashes. To remove any clumps, run a spoolie or a lash comb through the lashes. Repeat a second time to create more volume and length.
So those are the methods for our top lashes, but what about our lower lashes? Adding at least a little mascara to our lower lashes really extends the real estate of the eyes and makes them look larger. But for many of us, it’s challenging to get the mascara on the bottom lashes rather than on the skin under the lashes.
Using a mascara that’s specifically designed for lower lashes can make all the difference. And I only know of one brand that makes a mascara specifically for bottom lashes: Clinique. What makes all the difference is the small size of the wand.
I hope one or more of these techniques will help you create eyelashes that are longer and fuller which will complement your beautiful eyes.
Have you noticed a change in your lashes? Do you have any tips that help your lashes look fuller and longer? Are you interested in trying one of the techniques in this article? If so, which of these techniques sounds like a good fit for you?