Growth Serums For Long & Healthy Eyelashes

I have a ritual.  Every morning, without fail, I go to my bathroom mirror and study my face.  This probably isn’t the smartest thing to do.  It has a way of messing with my head a little bit.  Usually I am focused on fine lines and dark circles, but I noticed something new a month ago, and it threw me into a borderline panic.

There was a four day build up to my freak out.  I gave it a few days, studying everything closely and wanting to be absolutely sure.   But there was no denying it.  It was true.

My eyelashes were definitely looking stubby.

I can’t have this.

Since being diagnosed with lupus (and secondary fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue) nearly fifteen years ago, I’ve put up with a lot, having to accept what it has done to my appearance.  My skin calmed down several years ago, and by some miracle I have managed to keep my figure mostly intact.  Instead the crisis going on inside of me wreaked havoc on my hair.

The universe was on my side in some ways.  On my wedding day nearly five years ago my hair was long, full and healthy, and at that point I was ten years into my illness.  I am so grateful that I at least looked vibrant on the most important day of my life, immortalized so prevalently in photos.  But three months after the big day I hit a rough patch I never fully recovered from.  And that’s when I had hair all over my pillows, and in my brush and shower drain.

I baby the hell out of what I have left on my head.  But no matter what I do, no matter what products I choose, and no matter how my stylist cuts my hair, it seems terribly hopeless at this point.  I feel like a disaster.

All is not lost.  My hair may be fragile and half of it has fallen out, but my compromised follicles are not dead, just dormant.  If I can get my disease under control for any length of time and take good care of myself inside and out, I can get my lustrous locks back.  Unlikely, but at least there’s a chance.

I’m sure my stubby lash discovery last month is connected to my hair conundrum.  After I came off the ledge and calmed down a bit, I started looking into what I could do about it.  I don’t wear a lot of eye makeup.  Most days I don’t wear anything at all.  And on the days when I actually care enough to put forth some effort, one coat of mascara does it for me.  I don’t have the patience or desire to mess with the other stuff.   But this also makes my lash deficiency even more problematic.  I have counted on my long lashes to make my eyes pop without makeup.

Now what?

I’m sure most of us are familiar with those fabulous, seductive Latisse commercials.  The lash growth progression is amazing and being prescription strength, results are proven.  But like a lot of prescription drugs, side effects can complicate things.  Skin irritation and pigmentation changes around the eye have been reported.  And I understand you have to continually use it in order for results to last.  Continuous use translates to continuous cost.  My mom tried it for a while and it worked for her, but when she stopped her lashes went right back to the way they were.

My concern with Latisse is the cost, side effects are a concern, but secondary.  I believe it comes to about $130, maybe more, for a two month supply, and of course being cosmetic it isn’t covered by insurance (unless your reason for using it is glaucoma related, what the drug was originally marketed for).  My mom had no problem covering the cost, but she is in a much better position than I am financially.  I could swing it, but I can think of other things I could spend that $130 on, like acupuncture or other things I need to feel good.

I settled on two over-the-counter lash serums, and honestly I see a big difference in how my lashes look.  I am thrilled with the results.  First I tried  NYX Grow Lash Serum.  This is a mild product with zero irritation (at least for me) and I applied it at night after my contacts came out before bed.  It probably wasn’t necessary for sound results, but I drenched the roots of my lashes both top and bottom, and brushed the serum on to the length of my lashes as well.  Within one week I noticed my lower lashes were much longer, and my top lashes weren’t far behind.   I also bought NYX Long & Full Lash mascara formulated with the growth serum so I could get the benefits during the day with my mascara wear.  I wasn’t as impressed with the mascara product, but strictly from a cosmetic standpoint.   I expect a mascara to wow me and it really didn’t make my lashes look full and thick, though I do think wearing it during the day benefitted me in my lash growing goals.  The NYX serum (.15 oz)  was about $22, the mascara about $13 (.24 oz) at Ulta.  Ulta often has sales such as buy-one-get-one (same brand) for 50%.  Also there are coupons and other discounts if you are a participant in their points program, so cost can be substantially lower if you shop at the right time.  I did exactly that.

Me after using NYX grow lash serum for two weeks. I am wearing one light coat of Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara just so my lashes are more obvious in the photo. The Clinique mascara creates a lighter, more natural look, it isn’t overly lengthening or volumizing.

My other eye, with one light coat of Clinique Naturally Glossy.

My curiosity was getting the best of me, and I wanted to try another lash enhancing product.  The next one I tried is Smartlash by iQ Derma (.16 oz).  I found this gem at the Dermstore online, and I purchased it for $30.  It is my understanding the price is usually much higher, but I locked in to the introductory offer and will have a new tube sent to me every two months.  While this product is applied the same way as the NYX serum with a small precision brush, it can’t be applied as liberally.  There can be a slight sting if it drips into the eyes, so I applied it carefully to the lash base only, top and bottom, and I made sure my contacts were out beforehand.  I applied it just before bed, though the product literature does say it can be worn during the day, advising users to allow the product to dry before applying makeup.

I am experiencing good results with Smartlash, too.  Now I am less focused on lash length, and now I am noticing new growth and a thickness at my lash base.

I am one satisfied customer without having to resort to Latisse, with its cost and side effects.  I don’t see or sense any issues with using NYX and Smartlash interchangeably, so I’m running with it.

And the best part?  I feel prettier and more confident now that I have my lashes back.

For more information on NYX products, visit:

For more information on Smartlash at the Dermstore, visit:

Photo Source (done up eye with false lashes):

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