Sadly, I'm not naturally blessed with full, thick eyelashes. Instead, I got sparse, thin, and short ones. I remember the life-changing moment in seventh grade when I discovered the power of a good eyelash curler. The little contraption lifted my lashes and actually made them look like they were doing something. I obsessively curled them every day before school.
So I was making do with an eyelash curler and mascara from the age of 13 to 24, when I was diagnosed with glaucoma. The eye condition is no joke—it can lead to blindness if left untreated. And because the condition affects a lot of older people, it seemed like a cruel twist of fate that I had gotten it in my early 20s. Blame genetics, I guess.
While the diagnosis was scary, it was all about treating and managing my glaucoma since there's no cure for it, and I needed my sight for at least a couple more decades. And this is where the silver lining comes in: The main part of my treatment was taking these prescription eye drops called Lumigan. These weren't just any ordinary eye drops. My ophthalmologist said there were two side effects. One, they might make my iris darker in color (which was okay for my brown eyes), and two, my eyelashes would get longer and thicker.
My jaw dropped in the doctor's office. These didn't sound like bad side effects at all. Longer and thicker eyelashes? Definitely not a burden. It turns out the medication was the exact same formula as Latisse, the popular eyelash-growth serum.
So I started taking the drops, and my eyelashes became so full and extra long. People would compliment me on them all the time. My eye makeup looked so much better. Curling them was so much more satisfying and looked like I was wearing a set of falsies. Aside from having a sight-threatening condition, I was living my best lash life for six years.
But last year, I got a procedure that my doctor hoped would make me less dependent on the eye drops. It was the right move, but I immediately thought about my lashes, slightly vain person that I am. And of course, after just a month, my lashes were turning back into a pumpkin (aka getting sparser). It seemed like a negligible thing to feel bummed about when I still had working eyes, but I was so used to thick lashes for years. The new reality was rough.
Then a few months ago, my waxing esthetician recommended NeuLash after I complained about my lack of lashes. The serum is formulated with hair-growth ingredients like polypeptides, sodium hyaluronate, pumpkin seed extract, and biotin. It didn't come cheap, but I was willing to invest in it.
I've been applying the serum to the base of my eyelashes before bed for the past two weeks, and I've already noticed some growth. They're not quite at the level of when I was on the prescription drops, but I really think they're getting there, and I can't wait to see the effects after 30 days, which is the average amount of time it takes for people to start seeing big results.
While I'm pretty happy with NeuLash, my success with this serum has made me curious to experiment with or look into other lash-growth products. So I did some research and made a list, based on reviews and other editors' picks. If you're dealing with some lashes that need a little more oomph, then take a look at some of the products I found below.
This popular serum is formulated with amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and botanical extracts to grow and strengthen lashes in four to six weeks. One tube contains a three-month supply.
What the reviews say: "This thing works if you use it consistently. Multiple people have asked me if I've started wearing false lashes. Even my boyfriend keeps saying 'What is going on with your lashes?' and that boy is not observant. I got the mini size and used it consistently, saw nothing until a couple of weeks in when they suddenly popped."
This castor oil also made our list of best hair-growth products. It works on your lashes, eyebrows, and hair. It comes with an application brush so you can apply the product directly to your lashes. It's recommended to do this before you go to bed.
What the reviews say: "I began using it every night for the first month. Then, I got a bit lazy and started using every other night or when I remembered for another month. I'm on my third month now and have been using every night again. I completely stopped checking to see if my lashes were any longer, until one day after washing my face I looked in the mirror and noticed that my lashes were a lot more noticeable without makeup. This was a big shock to me since I always had very short lashes that could barely see when I had no makeup on. I don't know exactly when this product started working, but all I know is that it definitely does, and I'm so happy with the results! My lashes and even brows are longer, thicker, and fuller."
Containing plant peptides and biotin, this serum helps make your lashes lush and shiny. To use, apply a thin layer to your upper and lower lash line at night. On average, users saw results in 60 days.
What the reviews say: "I didn't see that crazy change over two weeks or whatever, but I did notice that my lashes grew. While there wasn't a 'wow!' change, I had a small section on my lash line that was totally lash-less, and I completely saw new lashes starting to grow there. Last thing: Just know that you have to apply it daily. Lashes fall out, you can't apply it once and expect the results to stick."
No7's serum works on both lashes and brows for thicker and fuller hair. Users generally saw results in eight weeks.
What the reviews say: "I wish I would have taken before and after pictures because I’m already at the 4-week mark, and there is a noticeable difference! It took me by surprise to be honest! I applied the serum to both my lashes and eyebrows. My eyebrows became stubby and straight after all of my eyelash extensions fell off. By week two, I had already noticed my lashes starting to curl up again."
This serum not only makes your lashes longer and fuller, but it also conditions, moisturizes, and strengthens. Ingredients include polypeptides, biotin, panthenol (vitamin B5), amino acids, soybean oil, and pumpkin seed extract.
What the reviews say: "I've always had short, thin, weak, straight lashes. I decided to give Rapidlash a chance, and IT ACTUALLY WORKED. I couldn't believe it. I noticed a difference after about a month of use, and then continued growth/length for the next several months. We're talking long, shiny, healthy, barely-falling-out lashes."
This one does double-duty. Vichy's serum will lift and strengthen your lashes, and it will also reduce the appearance of wrinkles and firms skin around the eye. It's recommended to apply daily—you massage a drop to the eye area and on your lashes.
What the reviews say: "I like this product and I do think it actually does work. My lashes have been laying better, holding their curl more, and a bit thicker and longer. I also like how it helps brighten my undereyes."
Formulated with biotin, panthenol, and pumpkin seed extract, this serum promotes healthy and moisturized eyelashes. It's recommended to apply it to the base of your upper eyelashes nightly.
What the reviews say: "My lashes are so long now! I used for a couple weeks and didn't notice until I applied mascara and saw the drastic difference. It's not an overnight difference but I applied every night directly on my lash line before bed."
You can use this product as a primer for mascara since it makes your lashes appear thicker and longer. Or you can apply it to your brows and lashes at night as a conditioner. Ingredients like panthenol, sweet almond oil, and wheat protein work to volumize and hydrate.
What the reviews say: "I usually use this at night, rather than under my mascara. But I like it for sleeping: It leaves my lashes smooth and healthy-looking, and I think after several months they look noticeably more full and healthy. Tube lasts a long time too."
EssyNaturals' serum works to strengthen, lengthen, and magnify your lashes. Apply to the lash line (and even your brows) daily. Generally, people can see some results in two weeks and a 55% increase in eyelashes after six weeks of continued use.
What the reviews say: "I'm very excited to say that this stuff really works! I use it every night before bed. It's been about a month now and I can definitely see results! My lashes and brows are fairly light but this is really helping! Does not irritate my eyes either!"
Clump-free, smudge-proof, and water-resistant, this mascara also conditions and promotes lash growth. Ingredients include bamboo, aloe vera, macadamia nut oil, silk powder, and vitamins A, C, E, and B5.
What the reviews say: "I have Graves' disease and lost a lot of hair and eyelashes. I bought this mascara with the hopes of growing my lashes back and IT WORKED! My lashes have doubled in size and thickness. My lashes are the longest they've ever been."
This product pretty much does it all: volumizes, conditions and hydrates, enhances, tints, and curls. Ingredients include peptides, collagen, proteins, açaí, jojoba, green tea, and vitamins A, C, E, and B5.
What the reviews say: "I love the wand! It has a unique round tip which I use to coat my lower lashes. With just one coat my eyelashes get super long and really opens the look of my eyes. This mascara is definitely my new favorite."
Rimmel's mascara contains ingredients to fortify and lengthen lashes. The brand says you can expect to see longer lashes after 30 days of use.
What the reviews say: "Love, love, love this mascara. Makes lashes look fuller—more volume; and I am beginning to notice that they are looking fuller even without the mascara! Just be sure to apply coats lightly or it may get a little clumpy. It is not irritating to the eyes at all (and I have sensitive eyes). Definitely recommend this mascara!"
Perricone MD's mascara is formulated with biotin, avocado oil, and tocotrienols to promote lash growth, strengthen, and nourish. It comes in one universal shade.
What the reviews say: "I must have the shortest and sparsest lashes on the planet. I have been using this for a month or so and I like it—it stays in place and does not smear under my eyes. And I think it is increasing the length and fullness of my lashes too."