Your lashes and brows really do take the brunt of makeup removal. While the rest of your face makeup may come off easily, brow and lash makeup usually needs heavy duty cleansers and a bit of effort for the formulas to melt away. We don’t blame you if you worry every time you spot a couple of lashes or brow hair on your cotton pad—we would too. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up on using your favourite products; all your brows and lashes need is some love and attention. Here’s your guide to achieving healthier brows and eyelashes while you work from home—from treatments to massages, we’ve got you covered.
How to grow fuller, thicker brows
We’re glad to report the skinny ’90s brows are a definite thing of the past—thicker, healthier brows are here to stay. If the tweezer was your best friend for a long time or your neighbourhood parlour lady always took one too many hair off, there’s a good chance you’re waiting for them to grow back again. Jared Bailey, global brow artist, Benefit Cosmetics tells us all that you need to know to achieve fuller arches.
Bailey suggests that a combination of the right products and massages can help push your brow growth in the right direction. “Apply topical products to the brows that contain ingredients that are known to promote hair growth. Other than looking for known active ingredients, you should also look for products that fit into your lifestyle. There are some products on the market that call for several applications per day which may not be practical for the way you live. For me, I use the Benefit Cosmetics Browvo! Conditioning Eyebrow Primer and I keep it beside my toothbrush, so I remember to use a pea-sized amount, twice a day. It contains soy and keratin proteins that are both know to promote thicker, fuller, healthier looking hair.”
Giving your brow and eye area a relaxing massage helps too. “For healthy hair growth, you have to have healthy blood flow. Every hair is connected to a tiny blood vessel that needs a heathy amount of blood flow. To encourage blood to that area, gently massage in a serum in that area each night with your fingertips. Try a soft tapping motion along the brow bone for 30-45 seconds. Your brows will thank you,” he suggests.
For brow makeup, everything from the formula to application and removal techniques can affect your hair quality and density. “If you’re using high quality brow products you don’t need to really worry about them damaging your brow hair or affecting the growth pattern. When you start getting creative and using products that aren’t designed for the brows in the hair, like eyeshadows, lip liners and eyeliners, you may experience some problems,” says Bailey. The way you remove your brow makeup is the most important. “When it comes to removing your brow makeup, be gentle with those beauties. I always recommend using a makeup remover to take off your products vs going straight in with a cleanser. Depending on what you used to fill your brows, your makeup remover may vary. If you're using waterproof products, look for a remover that contains oil, so a lot of scrubbing isn't required.” And lastly, be mindful of the direction your hair grows in. “No matter which type of remover you use, remove your brow makeup in the same direction your hair grows. If you rub too hard in the opposite direction, you can lose quite a bit of hair in the process.”
How to get thicker and longer eyelashes
We quizzed London-based celebrity lash extension expert Camilla Kirk-Reynolds of Camilla Lashes about everything we should know when it comes to lash care. Here’s what we learned.
When it comes to lashes, the best way to bring them back to health is to simply let them be. “[This] is something that nobody wants to hear. The more your lashes are left alone and the better your diet and lifestyle, the better your lashes will be. You will find that children always tend to have better lashes than adults. This is because they don’t tamper with them,” says Kirk-Reynolds. Rubbing your eyes too much or being very harsh with your makeup remover doesn’t do your lashes any good. “The wear and tear that applying or removing make up has on the eyes and lashes, due to the extra rubbing or just generally fiddling with the lashes, the weaker the natural lashes will be."
Products like petroleum jelly and castor oil have often been touted to be ideal for lash growth, Kirk-Reynolds thinks otherwise due to their density. “They are barrier products which suffocate your lash follicles, making it almost impossible for new lashes to grow without air.” While trimming your hair helps reduce split ends and keeps it healthy, this isn’t the case for your lashes. "Trimming lashes just makes them shorter, as unlike head hair, lashes do not get split ends. On the other hand, for hair growing from your scalp, the more frequently you have it done, the less the split ends will split up the hair shaft, which is what enables us to maintain better hair health at a longer hair length,” says the lash expert.
Some lash growth serums are known to often cause damage to your lash line and sometimes even alter your eye colour. “I prefer healthier, more natural ways to improve your natural lashes. My advice is a healthy diet as it will always help hair and lash growth and supplements such as biotin, selenium and horse tail.” Also, if you’ve got lash extensions on, definitely stay away from growth treatments. “Lash growth serums should never be used with extensions as they change the growth cycle and can create obvious gaps within your lashes,” she suggests.
How lash makeup and treatments impact the quality of your lashes
While the process of wearing and removing mascara on a daily basis can impact your lashes, using quality products can reduce the detrimental effect. When treatments are in question, “you must always make sure the lash technicians are fully qualified, insured and have lash health as one of their core values.” Not every lash treatment has the same impact on them. “Lash perming can be more damaging than lash lifts, however they are both are chemical treatments which can change the makeup and shape of the lash hair. As long as the solution is kept on for the correct amount of time and you do not have the treatment too often, your lashes should maintain a healthy status. But it is important to know that as a worst-case scenario, if the treatment is left on for too long, your lashes can become singed and break off,” suggests Kirk-Reynolds. If you’re getting lash extensions, it’s important that your technician considers your lash health and then suggests the right ones for you. One size doesn’t fit all—weighty lashes applied to weak natural ones can further cause a hindrance to their natural growth.
Psst: These little tweaks can make a major difference.
I get it: There are so many ways to style and shape your brows that it can feel kinda really effing overwhelming. No two brows are the same (seriously—stare closely at all of your friends, pls), which means the journey to getting the “perfect” eyebrows is going to look a little different for everyone. That said, there are some general tips, tricks, and hacks you can try out to help get you there. Ahead, 15 kinda-genius ways to get the best brows of your life, including the best professional methods to try, the top at-home products to experiment with, and so much more.
1. Don’t over-pluck your brows
K, this might seem obvious for some people, but let me just quickly remind you: One of the easiest ways to get the best brows of your life is by leaving them alone (. ). Yes, tweezers are excellent for getting rid of rogue hairs here and there, but they aren’t your best option for shaping your brows (more on that in a bit).
“Try to tweeze pretty far away from your eyebrow—you don’t want to do any actual shaping, so just grab hairs that are out of place or further away from your brow line,” Umbreen Sheikh, founder and CEO of Wink Brow Bar, has told Cosmo. The Tl;dr: Over-plucking is basically a given when you pull out your tweezers, so use them with caution, alright?
2. Find the right eyebrow products
There are so many options when it comes to eyebrow products, which is why it’s super important to make sure you’re using the right one. First: Think about your brow goals. Are you trying to fill in sparse spots and add definition? Grab a brow powder and an angled brush. Are you trying to lightly shape and comb your hairs? Swipe on a lightweight brow gel. Not sure WTF you want or need? Don’t be afraid to play around and cocktail a few products—there’s no right or wrong, so just focus on finding the best product for you.
There are some people with very light eyebrows, bushy ones, or none at all. Having a poor eyebrow wax, going tweezer happy at home, or thinning your brows can leave you with an awkward brow shape. Regardless of your brow situation, you can clean them up in a way that makes them appear natural by filling them in using specific techniques, tools, and colors.
But these techniques aren’t limited to fixing brow mishaps. If you already have a great shape and you’re looking to enhance your look, several strokes of color can bring out your eyes. Light brows tend to disappear, especially when wearing a full face of makeup, so they can be more defined with some color. You can easily take care of light and sparse areas with pencil, powder, or mousse. Ahead, watch celebrity makeup artist Carissa Ferreri’s step-by-step tutorial for creating the look of natural, fluffy eyebrows.
Click Play to Watch MUA Carissa Ferreri’s Natural Brow Tutorial
Meet the Expert
Carissa Ferreri is a celebrity makeup artist with clients among the likes of Ashley Graham, Hannah Brown, Gina Rodriguez, and more.
Brush Eyebrows First
Before filling in your brows, use a brow brush or spoolie to brush your brows upwards. Although primarily used as a mascara applicator, a spoolie brush can work here too. Its spiraled bristles can shape brows and blend in eyebrow filler. After you fill in your brows, you can brush them upward again to blend in the color and shape any unruly hairs.
Choose a Color
If you have dark hair, pick a color that is a shade or two lighter than the natural color of your brows. On the other hand, if you have light hair and are deepening your brows, you can opt for a tone that's a half to one shade darker.
Select the Right Tools and Products
Beginners can try the popular Japonesque Eyebrow Kit which has all the tools you need to define your eyebrows. If purchasing products individually, consider whether an eyebrow powder, pencil, or mousse would best fit you and your brows. When you’re just getting started, it will take some time to learn which tools work best for your brows and how to use the product correctly for the best results:
- If you're using a powder, get a stiff angled brush. The stiff bristles of the brush are great for control when putting the product on and defining your eyebrow shape. Apply the powder in angles by following the way your hair is growing.
- Those choosing a pencil will find that they're great for filling in sparse spots. Work their magic by lightly holding the pencil and drawing hair strokes in the sparse areas. You can also use a stiff angled brush or an eyebrow brush here to soften the lines as needed.
- When opting for a mousse, you can cover gray brows, instantly deepen hair color, and provide some holding power. Simply stroke on your brows like you put mascara on your lashes—just avoid putting multiple coats on your brows.
If you’re using powder or a pencil, you can apply a brow wax to will keep your brows from smudging. Mousse, however, will dry on its own. A good product like Blinc Eyebrow Mousse ($24) won’t flake either. If you discover that your brows are sparse due to stress, aging, or thyroid issues, try testing an eyebrow revitalizer like Talika Lipocils ($60) which can help spur growth.
Apply Products Carefully
Ensure you have a mirror. Whichever method you choose, use a light hand and stray away from using too much product. Don't press on the skin hard, either. It's always easier to add color than it is to remove it. This kind of fine-tuning will help you to manage your product so that you don't over-do it by accident. As you're working on your brows, stand back and look at them from a distance in the mirror. This will help you see if they're appearing visually balanced and natural.
If you find that the color you chose is too dark or the wrong tone, it will look like you painted on fake eyebrows. Don't be afraid to ask your salesperson for testers. It's hard to tell how the product will look on you and your brow hair by simply glancing at the tube or color printed on the package.
Shape Your Eyebrows
When it comes to shaping your eyebrows for a natural (rather than dramatic) look, consider what would best complement your face shape. The main thing you want to do is create some shape by using small hair-like strokes. Make sure that the front of your brows aren’t squared off or appear too harsh. You also don’t want to overextend the tail end of your eyebrow, which can draw your face down. Finally, for a natural look, avoid an arch that is too pointy or over-exaggerated and instead focus on a simple and smooth curve.
There are tons of growth serums on the market. A few work. Most don’t.
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By Courtney Rubin
When an eyelash growth product called Lavish Lash became an Amazon best seller in 2017, a flood of customers promptly wrote to ask: Can I use this on my eyebrows?
Answer: Yes. But then, inevitably, the product’s maker, a Miami company called Hairgenics, released an eyebrow-specific formula. Asked about the key difference in the new product, Mark Transky, the president of the company, said in an interview: “It’s about 15 percent stronger.”
Then he laughed and said, almost ruefully, “Now people are going to use this one on their lashes.”
Such is the desperation for doe eyes and big brows that it seems customers (mostly women) will try almost anything. “There has been a cultural infatuation with brows for some time, along with an increased interest in glowing skin and big lashes,” Dave Kimbell, the president of the Ulta Beauty cosmetic chain, wrote in an email.
It’s a trend that shows little sign of stopping, he said. Besides the many offerings by niche companies like RapidLash, legacy brands like L’Oréal and Maybelline have recently released lash serums.
But what really does work? For actually growing hair, not very much.
This is partly because, compared with the hairs on your head, both lashes and brows have super-short growth phases, so it’s tough to catch them then, when they’re treatable.
“You wouldn’t want to yank out all your eyelashes just to get them all to start growing at the same time,” said Angela Christiano, a hair geneticist and a professor of dermatology at Columbia University.
For lashes, there is still only one product proven effective: Latisse, the brand name for a prostaglandin called bimatoprost. The 11-year-old prescription drug, made by Allergan, continues to be popular, in spite of its risks. Besides dry and itchy eyes, side effects include permanent darkening of the skin around the eye and of the iris itself (like from blue to brown).
Users may also see drooping of the upper eyelid and shrinking of the fat pad beneath the eye. (The shrinking may not be a bad thing if you have puffy eyes, but it can make your eyes look sunken if you have deep-set ones.)
There are also over-the-counter potions made with analogues of prostaglandins — often isopropyl cloprostenate, dechloro dihydroxy difluoro ethylcloprostenolamide or methylamido dihydro noralfaprostal on ingredient lists. These are very likely to work, said Maryanne Senna, a dermatologist and the director of the Hair Academic Innovative Research Unit (get it? HAIR) at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
But, she said, “the likelihood of them causing the same problems as Latisse is real.”
“That’s my big fear with people buying them, that they won’t be informed about the risk,” Dr. Senna said. (She does prescribe Latisse, though only after a rundown of potential drawbacks.)
A pending federal class-action suit against Rodan + Fields, the maker of the popular Lash Boost (which contains isopropyl cloprostenate), accuses the company of deceptive marketing and said it “failed to disclose the harmful side effects linked to an ingredient.”
A second-class action suit, as well as a personal injury lawsuit, are also pending. Rodan + Fields had no comment.
With any of the prostaglandins, you will need to keep using them or your lashes or brows will go back to whatever they were originally — or, if you have been using the products for years, possibly worse, because of age-related thinning.
Anything without a prostaglandin, no matter how impressive or scientific sounding the ingredients, is unlikely to make lashes grow. Most beauty products in this arena, including ones costing upward of $100, contain “completely inactive bogus ingredients,” said Dr. Senna, who is also an assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard University. (Somewhat tellingly, no doctor interviewed had specific products to recommend.)
What serums like Lavish Lash do, and what may prompt the thousands of five-star reviews, is make lashes look fuller and thicker by coating them with film, said Perry Romanowski, a cosmetic chemist and a founder of thebeautybrains.com, a site where scientists examine product claims.
Mr. Romanowski scoffs at myths companies spin around ingredients like horsetail root and sweet almond protein, saying results actually come from prosaic things like hydroxyethylcellulose, a gelling and thickening agent often found in plain old-fashioned (and much cheaper) mascara.
When it comes to growing brows, there is no product proven specifically effective for them. This doesn’t mean nothing works. Plenty of women successfully use either Latisse or a cheaper option, Rogaine 5 percent, applied carefully with a cotton bud.
Beware of dripping, Dr. Senna said. Otherwise you will have hair growth in areas you don’t want it. (Rogaine works slightly more slowly than Latisse, she said.)
You will get the best results from these products if your brows are naturally thin or if the thinning is, as happens to everyone, aging related. No growth-stimulating product will do anything if you have destroyed the hair follicle by overly aggressive plucking, said Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
“You could put on all of these products, and the hair around it will respond, but it won’t come back in that little spot,” she said. (Unfortunately, you can’t tell by looking if the follicle has been destroyed. All you can do is try a drug for at least three months.)
Serums and conditioning treatments may make your brow hair look thicker because of similar ingredients to the lash ones, but Mr. Romanowski said that the expensive ones are “pretty much just marketing.” No effective raw material costs that much.
Soul Lee, an aesthetician in Manhattan whose clients include Chrissy Teigen, said the current favorite among her customers, nearly half of whom use a serum, is NeuBrow. Ms. Lee herself avoids brow concoctions in a tube. She once tried a RevitaLash solution (it has ones for brows), which, she said, irritated her skin.
“I just fill in every day, and I don’t think about it anymore,” Ms. Lee said. (For lashes, her habitués who are wary of Latisse like GrandeLash serum, which, caveat emptor, contains a prostaglandin analog.)
New treatments may be on the horizon. Dr. Christiano and her colleagues have successfully sprouted new human hairs in the lab, using a multistep recipe that includes skin fibroblasts, collagen, hair follicle dermal cells and 3-D-printed comb-shaped molds that have holes that mimic different hair densities.
Dr. Christiano, who suffers from alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes partial or total hair loss, hopes to be able to implant these proto-hairs back into a patient’s scalp (or possibly, eyebrows).
Another goal of hers is that the “hair farms” the lab creates could help with screening for new hair drugs, something that was previously not possible because there was no way to create human hairs in a dish. Both Rogaine and Latisse were discovered by accident, happy side effects of drugs originally designed to treat other ailments, minoxidil (Rogaine) for hypertension and bimatoprost (Latisse) for glaucoma.
“There hasn’t been a lot of hair drug discovery because there hasn’t been a way to screen,” she said. “Finally we can break through the bottlenecks.”
We jumped on the 90s bandwagon of tiny eyebrows and now we just can't seem to achieve the Cara Delevgines of our dreams. Here's what you can do about it.
How can you make eyebrows grow back?
There are plenty of tips for making your eyebrows grow thicker naturally.
One of the most popular is by applying Castor Oil to your brows on a cotton bud.
After they've been thoroughly doused use two fingers to massage your both brows to stimulate blood flow and promote growth.
Leave the oil on overnight and wash off with warm water or a cleanser the next day.
This is best repeated every day until you start to see an improvement.
Some people also advocate using Olive oil or coconut oil in the same way.
Other tricks for making your eyebrows look bigger
While you're waiting for those lush brows to grow back, it's important to get yourself a good brow kit so you can fake it till you make it.
Using a fine brush and a brown brow cream you can carefully fill in your brows until they are as thick and as dense as you like.
Be sure to match the colour of your cream with your hair, otherwise you may end up with an odd looking result!
For a full guide check out our top tips here.
How can you reshape your brows?
If you've overplucked and been left with a straggly line, or worse punctuation-esque brows, the first step is to back away.
Hide your tweezers, and don't wax, pluck or shave them.
Let them grow back, as much as they can naturally, and resist the urge to trim them.
They may look a bit wild, but this is the first step to achieving a new shape.
Once you've left it around a month, either look online for a guide to what shape suits your face, or go to a brow bar.
They'll be able to advise you on shapes, styles and care.
Once you've worked out a shape, if you're going to a beautician make sure you go to the same one each time.
And resist plucking in between appointments, as you may end up interfering with the growth cycle, which should eventually see you with minimal appointments to keep your brows in order.
How to make eyelashes grow?
There are plenty of techniques that people use to help their lashes grow.
One of the popular options is by brushing – this gets ride of dirt and dust particles and encourages blood circulation.
Start by applying vitamin E oil or Vaseline to a eyelash brush.
Then run the brush through your lashes, gently stroking upwards starting from the root and moving toward the tip.
It's recommended that you do this for five minutes twice a day until you start seeing results.
You can also try coconut milk. Dip two cotton wool balls in coconut milk and leave them to soak on your eyes for ten minutes.
Wash the milk off with cold water and repeat each day.
MOST READ IN FABULOUS
Other tricks for making your eyelashes look bigger
Start by getting yourself a great volumising mascara and applying generously!
The right mascara will surround your lashes giving them instant volume and creating a fuller effect.
You can also apply fake lashes – either individuals or strips for an instant (but temporary) boost.
We love the Eylure range available in Boots or Superdrug.
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I had naively thought that after months of witnessing me roll needles, electrocurrents, and a small army of skincare products into my face without comment, perhaps my boyfriend really couldn’t be fazed by the intricacies of my beauty routine. But a few weeks ago, it was Just for Men beard dye that finally did it. “Uh… what?” he said, holding up the box I had left on the bathroom counter. “Why?”
I proceeded to very calmly woman-splain to him that good brows don’t just happen, and anyway, hadn’t he been paying attention? The fact that I use beard dye to tint my brows isn’t exactly a secret—I shout that shit from the virtual rooftops of Instagram.
For the record, here are my brows pre-tint.
Once upon a time I thought that the key to great brows was to leave them untouched. And while that was advice that served me well when I was rehabilitating my arches from my tweeze-happy teen years, a visit to brow guru Stevi Christine a couple of years ago changed everything. I winced with every hair she plucked away, convinced that when she handed me the mirror at the end, my 14-year-old self would be staring back at me. Instead, I was shocked to see that my brows somehow looked thicker—thicker, but more groomed and better-shaped than ever.
Tinting, after all, picks up all the little blonde hairs around our brows that we aren’t even aware exist: You’re left with a bigger canvas to work with, so tweezing the strays suddenly doesn’t seem so scary. Bonus: The right tint also makes your brows look impossibly thick and glossy. (If you didn’t exactly aspire to “glossy brows” I apologize in advance for adding a new beauty standard to your list. But hear me out!)
Which brings me back to my love affair with Just for Men: These days, I tint my own brows at home, typically once or twice per month. It’s a gloriously cost-effective way to zhuzh up and add balance to my whole face, and I like to think that in two-plus years of doing it, I’ve gotten pretty damn good. Recently, I branched out to lashes on a possibly-dangerous whim, and while I cannot recommend using Just for Men for that (more on that later) I’ve located a worthy alternative. So without further ado, these are the tips I’ve picked up on the journey to DIY brow nirvana (and an after shot to get you excited).
For brows, Just for Men is it.
While I’d love to eventually find a vegetable dye alternative, it’s been difficult for me to locate a formula that isn’t exclusively offered at a salon. So in the meantime, I’ll stick with my tried-and-true: Just for Men Beard & Mustache Dye ($10) in Medium Brown.
The whole process is foolproof: You mix the color and the developer, apply to your brows, leave it on for five minutes, and rinse it off with a gentle soap or shampoo. Et voila: glossy brows for days (or weeks, really).
A spooly brush is your friend.
I’m still working through a pack I bought on Amazon (which if I can help it, will last me through the end of time). This is the key to precise application.
Fill in your brows with makeup before tinting—and take a picture before wiping it off.
Think about your "problem areas" where you tend to fill in the most: I, for example, tend to focus on the top front of my brows, so I always make sure the dye covers that area. Just remember to wipe down your brows so that they’re free of any makeup before tinting.
Invest in a small bottle of baby shampoo.
Soap will get in your eyes when you’re washing the tint out. Tearless shampoo makes all the difference.
Keep the post-dye tweezing to a minimum if you can help it.
The first time you tint your brows, they might look alarmingly thick—I’ve made the mistake of going into major cleanup mode because it suddenly felt like I had all this hair to work with. The problem? When the tint starts to fade, your brows will start to look thin and patchy. Instead, focus on keeping the dye to a certain shape and only pluck the very obvious strays.
For lashes, please skip the beard dye and stick with something gentle and natural.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t had nice aesthetic results with beard dye on my lashes—but it occurred to me all too recently that putting chemicals on the surface area of my eye was probably the worst idea I’ve had in awhile. Instead, I now use this black henna dye.
From B-town to Hollywood, long lashes and thick brows are so in trend and are considered as a symbol of beauty. Long and voluminous lashes add a certain charisma and natural beauty to your face that no amount of makeup can. While thick brows will give your eyes a bolder and more dramatic effect, and will set you apart. Although there are artificial methods to attain these lashes, these methods are not always safe and sometimes too expensive. Here, we have listed a few super effective products that will help you attain permanent and healthy long lashes and thick brows in no time.
Brow Bro – Chemical Free Brow Styling Product
India’s first chemical-free brow styling product is specially formulated with supreme natural ingredients. It helps you achieve your brow goals by making your brows look fuller and fluffier. It is enriched with highly moisturising and growth-enhancing ingredients like coconut oil, castor oil, natural glycerin, lavender essential oil, etc. It will give you the prettiest natural feathered brows while keeping them in place all day long with no extra touch-ups.
Passion Indulge Serum For EyeLashes & Eyebrow Growth
This mild and natural eye brow and lash growth serum effectively enhances hair growth, strengthens hair, reduces breakage, fights follicle infection, and maintains voluminous eyelashes and eyebrows. It is infused with the goodness of castor oil, argan oil, ylang ylang, coconut, wheatgerm and lavender oil.
Bella Vita Organic Grow Brow
This eyelash and eyebrow growth serum effectively enhances hair growth, strengthens hair and reduces breakage. It also fights follicle infection, maintains voluminous eyelashes and eyebrows. It contains natural ingredients like castor oil, onion oil, amla oil, brahmi oil, bhringraj oil, vitamin E and sunflower oil.
Indulgeo Essentials Brow Grow
This is a one-box formula catering to all your brow needs with minimal effort. This product enhances hair growth, strengthens hair, and fights follicle infection and maintains voluminous eyebrows altogether. This glossy brow growth product is a complete package for thickness and fullness. It helps stimulate growth in sparse areas and prevents breakage providing complete nourishment. It is enriched with natural ingredients like sunflower seed oil, beeswax, coconut oil, vitamin E, etc. Apply the product by combing through your brows in all directions so that the product goes deeper into the roots. Combing also increases blood circulation leading to hair growth.
Renée Eyebrow Growth Roll On
This eyebrow growth roll on is super easy to use and will make your eyebrows big, bold and dense in no time. You simply have to roll it on to the roots of your eyebrows and see the results. It is infused with the goodness of coconut oil, castor oil and vitamin E. It provides an effective eyebrow hair growth, strengthens hair and helps gain volume.
Wearing a facial covering or mask—as many of us are doing this summer—draws a lot of attention to your eyes! Because of masks, you’re likely noticing other peoples’ eyes and eyebrows more than ever. Have you ever wondered why humans evolved to have eyelashes and eyebrows, and what functions these perform in overall eye health and function?
In addition to being uniquely expressive, eyebrows and eyelashes serve as the first line of natural defense against airborne debris and other hazards getting into the eyes.
How do eyelashes protect your eyes?
The focus on eyelashes is often for their aesthetic beauty. And indeed, mascara, eye makeup and false eyelash sales are increasing during the Covid era. However, while they add drama to the eyes, eyelashes also serve a critical function in eye safety.
Have you ever gotten a piece of lint or a grain of sand caught in your eyelashes? That’s the preventive nature of eyelashes in action. Eyelashes are a first line of defense for your eyes, keeping airborne dirt, dust, lint and other debris from reaching the delicate eye tissues.
With eyes open, eyelashes catch some airborne debris, but when closed, eyelashes form a nearly impenetrable barrier against foreign irritants in the eye.
Eyelashes are also incredibly sensitive.
How sensitive? Reach up and touch the very tip of one of your eyelashes. No matter how lightly you touch them, you can sense it immediately. Touching your eyelashes also triggers your body’s blinking reflex, which occurs to prevent debris or dirt from getting any closer to the eye itself. The blinking reflex is why it can be challenging to keep your eyes wide open while inserting a contact lens or applying makeup.
And while we mentioned false eyelashes above, we don’t recommend wearing them. The glue necessary to attach them to your eyelids can be an eye irritant. Extra “added” lashes can also be detrimental to the natural function of eyelashes, increasing your risk of dust exposure and even dry eye. Anytime you put a foreign material—mascara, false lashes, other cosmetics—near the eye, you risk eye infection and allergic reactions. If you must use these, do so very sparingly and practice the highest level of good hygiene with cosmetics and other eye accoutrements.
Why do we have eyebrows?
With everything the eyelashes do to protect the surface of your eyes, what purpose do eyebrows serve in eye health?
Though they’re positioned farther away from delicate eye tissue, eyebrows serve an essential purpose. The next time you’re outside in the hot summer sun and sweat starts dripping down your forehead, notice what happens. The eyebrows are positioned along the brow bone to help channel sweat and other liquids away from your eyes. Thanks to eyebrows, sweat flows down the side of your face so it won’t go directly into the eye socket.
Whether it’s sweat, rain, or shower water, eyebrows do a great job of re-routing liquids away from the eyes. Both the shape of your eyebrows and each individual hair within the brow play a role in this function.
Just as wearing false eyelashes can interfere with the natural protective function eyelashes serve, removing too many individual eyebrow hairs in the name of cosmetic appeal can hinder functionality. Your eyebrows evolved to serve their protective function, so don’t overpluck them.
The current trend of a “bold brow” is much healthier for your eyes than overplucked eyebrows—not to mention much less painful!—so we hope that trend is here to stay.
Why do we blink?
Blinking your eyes is necessary to maintain good eye health and lubrication. Did you know that the average adult blinks 10 to 20 times per minute? And that each blink takes just one-tenth of a second? What happens in that millisecond is critically important, though.
Blinking is a natural function that cleans and refreshes your eyes. When you blink, a thin layer of natural tear film spreads across the cornea of your eye. That tear layer keeps the eye moist while whisking away particles of dust or dirt that could irritate the eye and interfere with good vision. The excess tears and any particles of debris are washed down through your tear ducts into the nasal passages. This connection is also why you probably get a runny nose when you cry – the tear film and nose are interconnected.
Though the blinking rate is typically 10 to 20 times per minute, some tasks can be so intense that they interfere with your natural tendency to blink. Blinking less than usual isn’t ideal, because it reduces the frequency of that cleansing, refreshing bodily function. If you’re staring intently at a screen or reading a book, studies show that you may blink a lot less—sometimes as few as 3 to 8 times each minute. That’s a significant drop from the normal, healthy blinking rate. Over time, less frequent blinking can lead to conditions such as dry eye and eye strain.
Be intentional about blinking
Though blinking is involuntary, it’s a best practice to think about it and remember to blink more often during high-intensity visual activities. When staring at a screen and working hard on a project, remember to close your eyes occasionally, on purpose. This rest will be a welcome and healthy moment for your eyes!
If you can’t remember to blink while you’re highly focused, set a phone reminder each hour and purposefully close your eyes. Close them completely, pause, then squeeze your eyelids together intentionally so you can feel the top and bottom eyelids touching. Then pause again with your eyes closed for several seconds. Finally, open your eyes again and enjoy a more relaxed, refreshed feeling.
If your eyes feel tired or dry after hours spent staring at a screen, make an appointment to see us about getting a pair of computer glasses to ease eye strain, or for a dry eye disease screening.
The eyes are one of your body’s most important organs. When you take good care of them and support their natural function, they can perform their best. We’re here to help you take excellent care of them for a lifetime of healthy vision.
A dermatologist weighs in on which brow conditioners actually work.
If you over-plucked your brows back in the ’90s, you may find yourself still stuck with sparse brows today — and intrigued by the hundreds of products on the market that promise to help you achieve fuller-looking arches, including eyebrow makeup products, brow lamination kits and magical-sounding eyebrow growth potions. However, the truth behind whether or not the latter really work isn’t quite so straightforward. We turned to our Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts and board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, M.D., FAAD, to break it all down.
Do eyebrow growth serums really work?
Yes and no. Here’s the deal: If a product is “able to claim hair growth, it would have to be regulated as a drug by the Food and Drug Administration,” says Birnur Aral, Ph.D., director of the Health, Beauty and Environmental Sciences Lab at the GH Institute . Currently, the only ingredients proven to be effective at stimulating the growth of new hair that are approved by the FDA are bimatoprost and minoxidil. Bimatoprost is the active ingredient in prescription-only eyelash growth serum Latisse, while minoxidil is the active ingredient in over-the-counter topical treatment Rogaine.
While there is evidence that both bimatoprost and minoxidil are effective in growing eyebrow hair, neither ingredient is currently FDA-approved for eyebrows (Latisse is only FDA-approved for eyelashes; minoxidil is the only OTC ingredient approved by the FDA for head hair growth). So, if you’re interested in using either of these ingredients on your eyebrows, you’ll want to consult your doctor before doing so.
But if they don’t contain bimatoprost or minoxidil, you may be wondering what exactly all those non-prescription eyebrow growth serums on the market do contain. Well, some might be formulated with ingredients in the bimatoprost family, a.k.a. prostaglandin or its derivatives — but since these are known to have drug-like activity and are not approved by FDA for use on eyebrows, our Beauty Lab experts recommend avoiding them. “When prostaglandins or prostaglandin analogues are used in brow or lash serums, there is the potential risk of causing hyperpigmentation or discoloration of the skin as well as darkening of the iris or eye color,” says Dr. Garshick. “While this is considered a possible side effect with Latisse, because it requires a prescription, it is often discussed prior to use, whereas some of the bimatoprost derivates are available without a prescription and people may not be aware of these side effects.”
But are OTC brow serums actually effective?
In short, yes — there are non-prescription, prostaglandin-free eyebrow serums you can buy that can potentially enhance your natural brows. “While they cannot specifically grow eyebrow hairs, other cosmetic ingredients found in serums may help to improve the texture and quality of the brows, which can improve the overall appearance,” says Dr. Garshick. So while they won’t “grow” hair, formulas containing ingredients like peptides, panthenol, amino acids, plant extracts, oils and vitamins like biotin can promote healthy hair follicles and strengthen, nourish and condition existing hairs. The result? Brows that appear thicker and fuller. “By improving the health of the brow hair, they may also help make it less susceptible to breakage,” adds Dr. Garshick.
Based on dermatologist recommendations and rave reviews online, we’ve rounded up the best eyebrow serums from top-performing brands that are worth trying if you want to enhance and nourish your brows. And take note: Our Beauty Lab experts confirm that you won’t find any prostaglandins or prostaglandin derivatives on the ingredient lists of these picks.
If your eyelashes are virtually non-existent and your eyebrow arches look more 1990s than you’d ideally like, an eyebrow or eyelash growth serum could be the solution you seek.
Promising longer, stronger lashes and bushier brows in a matter of weeks, there’s good reason you’ll struggle to find a beauty editor that doesn’t have one stashed by their bedside. Some are even so effective, you might just be tempted to ditch the mascara.
How do eyelash and eyebrow growth serums work?
These mysterious tubes may appear to be magic, but there’s actually solid science behind the best lash and brow serums on the shelves. Like the hair on your head, your lashes and eyebrows grow according to a four-phase growth cycle: anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen. ‘Active’ lash growth serums – in the UK, Revitalash and Rapidlash are the most well-known – contain ingredients that studies suggest are able to keep hairs in the anagen, or growth, phase of the growth cycle.
How about lash conditioners?
Conditioning lash serums work in a slightly different way. They’re usually packed with amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Like the hair on your head, your eyelashes are made up of over 90% proteins, including keratin (for strength) and melanin (for colour). So, more amino acids = better potential for long, strong lashes.
If you’ve spotted peptides or collagen on your lash serum INCI list, that’s a good sign too: these ingredients are also both proteins. Essentially, a conditioning lash serum is a great nutrient-dense booster for your lashes, providing them with the fuel they need to grow to their best ability.
Are eyelash growth serums safe?
Eyelash growth serums have been subject to some controversy over the years. In short, an eyelash growth serum from a reputable brand will have been through rigorous testing and meet the necessary safety standards of the UK. However, you do need to take care when applying any lash growth serum. Read the instructions (one more time: Read. The. Instructions) and be sure to stop using your lash serum if you notice any irritation or discomfort.
So, ditch the falsies and bin your brow pencils this season – you no longer need them. Here, discover our verdict on the best eyelash and eyebrow growth products to try now.