6 Ways to Get Longer, Thicker Eyelashes

How to Grow Fuller Lashes & What to Do (and Avoid) to Thicken Existing Lashes

A pair of thick, long eyelashes beautifully makes your eyes pop, and when you have them, you can get away with wearing only minimal makeup. So we’ve outlined the most effective ways to lengthen and thicken your lashes—tips to help you better grow them, tips on which products and techniques are most effective, and tips on what NOT to do.    


Nutrition for Long Lashes

Beauty problems can often be traced back to, or improved by, the nutrients you consume. Beautiful eyelashes are no different.  

Registered dietitian Carlene Thomas explains: “B vitamins, and especially biotin, can help eyelashes and the hair on your head grow.” Additionally, a “biotin deficiency can actually cause eyelashes to fall out.”  

Many also believe that biotin can help strengthen brittle nails and improve acne. Yes please.  

The best way to consume nutrients is by eating them, rather than taking supplements (which is convenient since eating is so much more fun), so boost your biotin intake with foods like nutritional yeast, liver, cauliflower, salmon, bananas, carrots, egg yolks, sardines, legumes, and mushrooms—all rich in biotin.    


How to Pick the Right Mascara

There are critical things you should consider when choosing mascara, and important tips to follow to properly apply it.  
  • Hypoallergenic: If you have sensitive eyes or find mascara irritates your eyes when you wear contacts, you may want to opt for hypoallergenic mascara. It will say on the packaging whether it’s hypoallergenic. Almay is known for making a drugstore alternative for those with sensitive eyes.     
  • Waterproof:  Pass on waterproof mascara for day-to-day use and save it for beach days instead. The ingredients that bind the mascara to your lashes are too harsh to use daily, not to mention all the elbow grease it takes to remove the mascara can wreck havoc on your lashes.    
  • Double-layer:  Because it’s impossible to pack too many ingredients into a tiny tube of mascara without sacrificing their effects, it’s best to use two with separate purposes. Pick your favorite lengthening mascara and layer it on, then follow-up with a coat of your go-to volumizing mascara.    
  • Lower Lashes:  To avoid those pesky under eye smudges when you try to apply mascara to your bottom lashes, use a smaller wand designed to paint those little lashes. You can find mascara for bottom lashes (Clinique makes one), which comes with a teeny wand, or you can simply purchase small wands from the drugstore or a beauty store and use those with your current mascaras.      
  • Lash Serums & Primers: Lash serums are designed to boost your lashes with vitamins and protective ingredients. Primers, on the other hand, when applied as the first layer on your lashes, can enhance the effects of your mascara coated on top. There are several different product on the market that will get the job done, when you hit up your favorite beauty store, ask the assistants what their go-to serums and primers are.        
  • Tube Mascara: Tube mascara adheres to each lash in a tube-like manner—it does not simply refer to mascara that comes in a tube. Because of its properties, tube mascara results in lengthened, thickened lashes with less of those pesky little flakes. It also tends to have more staying power.       


How to Apply Fake Eyelashes

Mascara can only thicken and lengthen your lashes so much. If you’re looking for a more dramatic pop, consider fake eyelashes (which you would apply after putting on mascara).  

Gone are the caterpillar falsies of your mom’s years; today you can purchase well-manicured lashes at many price points. You can opt for separates (a cluster of just a few lashes) instead of whole strips, for more subtle, precise application.  

To apply false eyelashes:    
  • Practice makes perfect. If you have a big event coming up, try out your lashes a few days before. You’re not going to get it perfect right off, so you don’t want to be panicking a few hours before your big night out.     
  • Trim the fake lashes. If you’re using a lash strip that is too long for your lash line, simply cut away the extra length (from the inner lash side). Try to make sure that the strip at least extends to the edge of your iris, the colored part of your eye, on the side closest to your nose.     
  • Pick the right glue. Skip the lash glue that comes with the extensions and opt for one that beauty pros swear by: Duo is one of the most popular. It’s waterproof, will hold your eyelashes in place, but isn’t so strong that it’s hard to remove the lashes.     
  • Apply the glue to your hand, then the lashes. Apply a thin layer of glue to the back of your hand and then pull the strip of lashes through the glue. Be sure to really get the ends of the lashes. The ends are the key to staying power.      
  • Let glue set before applying. Before you try to attach the lashes to your lash line, let the glue set for about 40 seconds so that it becomes tacky, then stick on your lashes. It will stick to the skin better that way.     
  • Don’t skip on the eyeliner when using false lashes. Once they’re dry, apply liner between where your false lashes stop and the inner corner of your eye to prevent the area from looking bare and telltale fake.     
  • Carefully remove. Tempting as it might be, do not pull those suckers off. Instead, dip a Q-tip in makeup remover and gently dab it along the lash line, letting it sit for a few minutes. This will dissolve the glue and allow you to gently remove the lash strips.        


Eyelash Extensions

In the last year, eyelash extensions have become all the rage. Rather than applying false lashes yourself (which you’re generally only wearing for a day), you can go to a salon to get individual lashes glued in place between your natural lashes. You can even custom pick the length of your lashes if you’re worried about looking too drag queen fab at the office.  

The process can take a couple of hours, but can provide you with a few weeks of beautiful, eye-batting lashes (salons recommend you come in for touch ups every two to three weeks—those take about 30 minutes).  

To maintain the life of your extensions, try to sleep on your back (this is a great way to prevent wrinkles anyway). carefully remove your eye makeup with removers that are not oil free, and brush out extensions daily to prevent tangling. Some swear that if you properly care for your lashes, they can last from one to two months.  

Note, though, that as the lashes shed, they may cause a slight increase in shedding of your own lashes. If lash extensions are making your eyelashes thinner, certainly discontinue getting them.    


Prescription Treatments

If you’re sick of falsies, extensions, and endless tubes of mascara that never seem to do the trick, Latisse could be your answer.  

The FDA’s first approved product of its type, Latisse is a prescription topical medication that you apply to your lash line once a day. In most, it results in longer—sometimes mega-long, darker, thicker eyelashes.  

Like with all the prescriptions, there can be side effects, oh, and not to mention Latisse is pretty pricy.  

“Patients will generally notice fuller, longer eyelashes within two months of daily use,” explains dermatologist Dr. Debra Price. “However, the increase in eyelash fullness and growth is not permanent. Upon discontinuing Latisse, eyelashes will gradually return to their original state. Once optimal improvement is achieved, it is possible to maintain results with less frequent use.”    


Combat Eyelash Loss

Your eyelashes shed naturally, but if they’re falling out in clumps, you might want to evaluate the problem. Using expired mascara, overusing waterproof mascara, not removing your eye makeup religiously, or having a vitamin deficiency can all contribute to eyelash loss, among other things.  

So replace your mascara—you should be doing this at least every three months anyway, make sure you gently remove your eye makeup every night before hitting the sack, and incorporate more biotin-rich foods into your diet. You can also try applying an eyelash serum/conditioner after you’ve removed your makeup at night—this can help strengthen and moisturize your lashes.  

If your eyelashes are still shedding too rapidly, make an appointment with your doctor to rule out possible eye infections, thyroid or autoimmune diseases that could be leading to hair loss. 
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EXPERT
Alanna Gardner, MFT commented
Another great tip is using castor oil, specifically Jamaican Castor oil on your lashes to grow them. It works and it's all natural! I love it, it helps me grow out my lashes and eyebrows!
delivery.rn commented
I am allergic to the glue for the false eyelashes I bought at the store. Does the duo have the same ingredients?
Anonymous commented
Great tips, I used castor oil and Vaseline, but my eyelashes kept falling, I absolutely lost my eyelashes due to all experiments, like semi permanent eyelash clusters completely destroyed my eyelashes... I used natural fysiko to grow back my eyelashes, now I am not experimenting anymore http://fysikolashes.com
rubyjacksonn commented
This is very good tips but natural ways always take atime to show the expected result so better way to try some quality eyelash product like rapidlash, revitalash , maxolash that help to grow eyelashes longer eand srongere naturally.
Anonymous commented
I've literally tried 3 different eyelash serums until I found xlash, which is not only price appropriate, but really giving results. I highly recommend it, as it's my new nightly beauty routine go-to for beautiful lashes. Check it out here. http://xlash.net Xx
leektie commented
man..i heard so many side effect from latisse even thou it great to grow your eyelashes but you need something that conditions, make your eyelash stronger, and make it grow naturally specially since you use a lot of mascaras. I tried cellulash and it did wonders to me http://cellulash.com
NejraArjen commented
I agree with the comment above... I have tried everything from castor oil to olive oil.. but http://xlash.net just works wonders for me! A coat-two of mascara and I am ready to rock!
lee hyun ju commented
vaseline will help you grow your lashes, but it eventually will make them fall off, so i wouldnt recomend it. castor oil is good :) and also having keeping a balanced- healthy diet will help your hair, lashes etc grow faster and healthier
Anonymous commented
For thicker eyelashes try 100% natural 3D Fiber Lashes that result in a 300% increase in volume and length of your OWN eye lashes naturally. Younique products are organic, gluten free, hypoallergenic, & cruelty free visit www.youniquelyyourown.com for more info
Anonymous commented
carrot oil helps! ♥
lemming commented
I recently discovered Peptalash (a Canadian company) and it is helping my fine lashes grow thicker and longer! I have been using it for 4 weeks. It is available from Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada for $24.99 (reg) for 5 ml. It is also available in the UK from Boots Drug Stores. I don't know who carries it in the US. http://indeedlabs.com/peptalash/
farah commented
I always recommend using an eyelash primer (after curling lashes) any time you wear mascara. It conditions, defines, and adds length and volume to lashes and provides a great base for lashes.