The eyes are arguably the most important feature of the face. We shape our brows to frame them, apply eyeliner and eyeshadows to make them appear bigger and brighter, and have a standing appointment for Botox® to keep crow’s-feet at bay. All these efforts mean nothing, however, if your lashes are lacking. Mascaras will accentuate the eyelashes but what if your flirty flutter is still wanting? If this is the case, you may be one of many who suffer from eyelash hypotrichosis (sparse or not enough lashes).
Two of the most common ways people are dealing with sparse, thin, and short lashes are Latisse® and Eyelash Extensions. But how do you choose between the two? When done well, eyelash extensions look very real, are beautifully thick, dark, and long. But there are disadvantages when it comes to extensions. Extensions can be improperly applied leaving you with glued together lashes, adhesive stuck to the skin itself, or the wrong lengths applied. These mistakes can cause, not only an unnatural look (like creepy spider legs hanging from your lids), but also pain when blinking, irritation to your lids, and loss of the few natural lashes you have. For these reasons it cannot be stressed enough that the person applying the extensions needs to be properly trained and that you don’t have an allergy to the adhesive. Something else to consider about extensions is that you will need to properly care for them and maintain them. Your first application can take an hour to 90 minutes. The lashes will last you around 4-6 weeks until you need to go in for a maintenance appointment. Also, there are restrictions on what kind of mascaras you can use while having extensions, and you may be advised to not wear any at all.
Latisse® is another option and is growing increasingly popular as myths about Latisse® are debunked. Latisse® is a medication prescribed to treat eyelash hypotrichosis. The ingredient that treats this condition is bimatoprost, the effects of which were found when glaucoma patients who used an eyedrop that utilized bimatoprost started to grow long, thick, dark lashes. The solution was quickly tested, formulated, and FDA approved for use on the lashes and Latisse® was born. How does it work? Latisse® allows the lashes to remain in their growth stage. This means that instead of passing into the stage where the lash eventually falls out, it continues to grow. It’s used once daily at nighttime and is an easy addition to any regimen. The results are, of course, not immediate. It takes a couple months for results to be apparent but this is simply due to the fact that this is the time it takes your own lashes to grow. They will grow to be longer, thicker, and fuller. How do you get Latisse®? A medical provider must write a prescription, and the product is often sold out of the prescribing provider’s office (click here for a link to find a physician). My advice? Use as directed. The most common complaint I hear about Latisse® is the irritation it can cause but 9 times out of 10 this is due to overuse. More of the product does not make it more effective or work faster. The product only needs one single drop. Place the drop on one of the brush provided for you, and apply it like eyeliner. The only other complaint I have heard is that lashes will grow too long. When this happens, the patient is usually advised to cut back on the product, waiting a few days in between applications. Like eyelash extensions however, results are not permanent and the product will need to be used ongoing. – AD