I was born with naturally short, blonde eyelashes so go-figure I’ve always lusted after long, dark lashes. Seeing celebrities and beautiful girls on social media with perfect makeup and luscious lashes had me trying all kinds of ways to achieve the look I wanted. After stages of over-coating my lashes with mascara, using eyelash extensions, and even dying my eyelashes darker; I finally found a *natural* way to grow thick, long lashes that I can’t wait to share with you guys. Since the end of my exploration of all things lash-related, I wanted to share my personal experience and opinions about what I tried, what it was like, and what I loved – for all those as ‘lash crazy’ as me!
Like most young girls, I first tried to over-compensate for what I lacked in lashes by using gobs on gobs of mascara. *coat,* *dry,* *coat,* *dry,* *coat,* *dry.* I repeated until I was satisfied with my ultra-thick, black lashes. Whenever an occasion came up where I wanted my makeup/eyelashes to look especially good I would buy drugstore fake eyelashes and try not to glue my eyelids together in the process of applying them. I hated both processes, I hated my eyelashes, but I didn’t know any other solution to my problem.
It wasn’t until the summer after my freshman year in college that the idea of eyelash extensions was brought to my attention. I was working in my hometown at the local tanning salon and noticed that the girls I worked with seemed to have flawless eyelashes that were seriously too perfect to be real. When I asked about them one of the girls gave me a card from the eyelash lady she booked with and told me that I should consider getting mine done as well. I literally made an appointment that same day. I was actually nervous before going in because I had no idea what to expect or what I would look like afterward, but the process changed my beauty routine, and even more so I would say, my life. (not being dramatic whatsoever)
The process of getting eyelash extensions is a little odd the first time around; my lash lady had me lay down in a reclining chair, cleansed my eyelashes, applied pads underneath my eyes, and for 45 min – 1 hour I would leave my eyes closed as she glued each individual lash to the skin just above my natural lashes. After a year of going, that time with my eyes closed quickly became relaxing and something I didn’t mind or felt lack of patience for (free nap with every lash service). Once finished she would fan my eyelashes to ensure they were dry before I opened my eyes; the glue would give a burning sensation if they weren’t fully dry.
Until now, I don’t believe I ever loved my eyelashes as much as I did during the year I kept up with my eyelash extensions. They were beautiful, everyday. My daily makeup routine became so minimal because I would only apply face-makeup and eyeshadow/bottom mascara if I wanted. I could do full-glam makeup in less than 10 minutes. My life was made so much easier since I could quite literally roll out of bed and still look like I tried to look good – that was the best part. Plus, it was summertime when I had first got them done, so whenever I went swimming with my group of friends I didn’t have to worry about wearing makeup or not and it coming off, or being sure to wear water-proof mascara if I did. Additionally, I always got compliments on MY eyelashes – something I never experienced before. I never lied about them being extensions, I felt more people should know and try them!
I would get my eyelash extensions filled twice a month usually – every two weeks – because they do fall out gradually. Some people can go three weeks, but I found that I had great loss and really needed to go after two. Generally, any place you go is priced differently, where I went she charged $60 for a fill. So yes, they were pretty expensive to keep up – but beauty is expensive. I reasoned that because I don’t get my nails or hair done often, I could afford to have pretty eyelashes at the least. So why did I stop filling them?
Though I was in love with my eyelashes 90% of the time, there were many days where I thought to myself that they looked too un-natural, too gaudy. If I could tell they weren’t real I’m sure others could too and I just didn’t like the idea of ‘being fake.’ Not that having eyelash extensions made me fake, but I still lusted after having more natural long eyelashes. Also, overtime booking appointments and attending every two weeks became so time-consuming and hard to keep up that I found it to be a hassle just to go get them filled – and $60 every two weeks started to eat away at my shopping/adventure money. It was honestly a tough decision to stop going, but after vacationing in the Dominican Republic this past summer and the salty sea multiplying to what is usually gradual fall-out, I decided I just shouldn’t go back.
Thus started the try-anything cycle I started with. Except after using eyelash-extensions I was left with even shorter, thinned-out lashes with some bald spots. Lets just say I looked worse than before – like ‘I didn’t wanna leave the house’ bad. Granted, I didn’t get mine removed properly and some I actually pulled out because they lingered and stuck out. I learned about dyeing my eyelashes black from my best friend, and hoping to solve one of my problems, we made an appointment to get our eyelashes dyed together.
The process was similar to getting extensions in that I laid back in a chair with my eyes closed for 30 minutes as the dye sat on my eyelashes. At the salon we went to they covered our eyes in vaseline before applying the black dye, and after 30 minutes they wiped away the dye with a wet rag to avoid getting the dye in my eyes – which didn’t work and I thought my eyes were gonna burn out of my head until I applied eyedrops. My now black eyelashes didnt fix the fact that they were so short they were barely see-able, but I did like that my eyelashes looked like I was wearing mascara even when I was not.
I told myself that once my eyelashes grew back to their natural length I would be okay and would consider dyeing them again, but I knew it would still take a few weeks to get to that point. Thats when I discovered what I consider the perfect duo. Many people aren’t aware that natural castor oil can be used to promote hair growth – crazy right!? It also prevents them from breaking and can trigger growth of eyelashes at places where they are not growing as fast or even at all. I was among the many who were ready to spend any amount of money on cosmetic products for achieving beautiful thick eyelashes without realizing this cheap natural way of growing my own! I bought a bottle of 100% castor oil from the beauty isle at Walmart and poured it into a little dropper bottle so I could apply it easier. Then, with a cleansed face, I add a drop of the oil to the tip of my finger and apply to both sets of eyelashes. Done! I added this to my nightly routine and sleep with the oil on, removing it in the morning.
The results I noticed from using castor oil for just one month made me oh so happy! I noticed they were longer in length than ever and looked so full! I continue to use castor oil usually every 2-3 days and can still see the improvement in length and fullness as I use it. Another new lash secret of mine, the other part of my duo, is the Urban Decay ‘Perversion’ mascara. Before I started using the castor oil I bought this mascara, recommended by my mom who gave me my short lashes, because she had said that since switching to it, her eyelashes appeared longer and more voluminous than with any other mascara she had tried (she knew how upset I was about my bald, shorter than ever lashes). I took her word for it and got my own and I was glad I did – she was so right, ya’ll. It’s the best mascara I have ever used and I will continue to use it as long as it’s on shelves! I don’t have to use gobs of it to get the look I want – long, dark, voluminous lashes. If it worked on my super-lacking eyelashes after removing my extensions, it can work for just about anyone!
Take my word, from a girl who has tried it all, these two products will be the end of your lash struggle.
100% Castor oil: Walmart | Urban Decay Perversion: Ulta Beauty