When you think of classic beauty icons — anyone from Twiggy to Jane Birkin to Brigitte Bardot to Grace Kelly — chances are good you’re thinking of somebody with killer lashes. Expertly-accentuated eyelashes are the perfect centerpiece to any beauty look. And because there are some annoying drawbacks to wearing fake eyelashes, most women opt to stick with their natural ones. Unless you already have an arsenal of lash-enhancing products on your bathroom counter, though, it can seem difficult to make the most of your eyelashes.
Luckily, there are a number of quick ways to make your lashes look longer and thicker. You can start with classic solutions like an eyelash curler and a swipe of mascara. Or you can opt for high-tech help with a conditioner or growth serum. If you’re really looking to shorten your morning routine, you can even try a lash perm or extensions. Read on to get the lowdown on all of your options.
1. Use a lash primer
You probably apply primer before you put on your foundation or other base makeup, so why not consider using a primer for your lashes? The right primer will lengthen and volumize your lashes. It can even make your mascara easier to apply and longer-lasting. Several mascara lines also include a primer, which offers you an easy place to start looking for options.
2. Condition your lashes
Since you condition your hair, doesn’t it make sense to condition your eyelashes? We think so. There are a variety of options, and they all provide different results, but products like Chanel’s Beauté de Cils or RevitaLash Advanced fortify and hydrate. That’s an important step in enhancing the length and volume of your lashes, whether you want to put it on before you apply your mascara in the morning or wear it as a treatment at night.
3. Try a lash curler
Curling your lashes is a time-tested way to make them appear look longer (and make your eyes look more open). A lash curler is a great tool to use before you even apply mascara. Of course, it’s a good idea to go gentle with your lashes. Gently — very gently — squeeze the curler along your lashes, aiming for a natural-looking curl instead of a sharp bend.
4. Switch up your mascara formula
Mascara is probably the easiest way to make your lashes look longer and thicker. That’s why it’s likely been on your radar since middle school. Mascara comes in a seemingly endless number of varieties, but there are a couple of basic types to choose from. Lengthening formulas often include nylon or rayon fibers, which adhere to your natural lashes to add length. Volumizing formulas are typically dense to bulk up your lashes. Plus, there are also waterproof formulas, which are great if you have oily skin or get teary.
Mascaras also come with wands of different sizes, shapes, and materials, so you can experiment to see what works best for you.
5. Experiment with colors
While most of us reach for a black or dark brown mascara automatically, choosing a different color may actually be a good way to find a more flattering look. You can certainly find recommendations online about which colors will be the most flattering for your eye color, but blue, green, gray, and even dark purple are all worth considering. The right color of mascara can be just what you need to enhance your lashes and make your eyes even more gorgeous.
6. Try tightlining
One easy way to fake longer, fuller lashes doesn’t have anything to do with your lashes at all. You can easily get the look you want by tightlining your upper lashline, a process Allure outlines. It’s a good idea to choose a waterproof, smudge-proof eyeliner and apply it directly at the roots of your eyelashes. We always love a good cat eye. But sometimes a more subtle style is exactly what you need to enhance your look.
7. Go for lash tinting
This is a great option for those with pale blonde or red hair, or even brunettes who want jet-black lashes. When you go to the salon or the spa to get your eyelashes tinted, the technician will use a semi-permanent dye to darken your lashes. Lash tinting is a pretty quick process, and it can actually be relaxing, too. The technician will apply a protective cream to your skin, then tape your lids to isolate your lashline before getting started. After application, the dye needs to set for around 15 minutes. The dye fades naturally, so you’ll only need to have the process redone once a month.
8. Get an eyelash perm
An eyelash perm, also referred to as a lash lift, is a great way to make your lashes look longer and your eyes appear more open without going through an extensive makeup routine every morning. In fact, an eyelash perm may be a less damaging alternative to manually curling them every day because, as StyleCaster notes, doing so can really damage your lashes.
During the process, the technician will apply shields to protect your skin and lower lashes. Then, the technician will comb your lashes against silicone molds to set the shape, and apply a perming treatment. The solution will be neutralized after about 10 minutes.
9. Try a lash growth serum
A growth serum is a proven way to enhance the length of your lashes (without relying on an arsenal of makeup products). Latisse, for instance, is an FDA-approved eyelash growth serum that offers results with 16 weeks of regular use. There are some common side effects, which your doctor will likely discuss with you before writing you a prescription.
10. Get lash extensions
Lash extensions sound pretty extreme — but they can actually result in a surprisingly natural look. A technician will apply semi-permanent lashes (which can be made from a variety of different materials) individually to your lashes. It’s a pretty time-consuming process, but your eyelids will be taped down, so you can relax the whole time. You can customize the look, too.
To make the extensions last, you’ll need to avoid using oil-based products around your eyes. And you’ll also want to avoid rubbing your eyes. The extensions will fall off as your lashes naturally shed. If you want them removed before they all fall off, you should go to a professional instead of risking damage by removing them yourself.