Welcome to Deep Reviews—your one-stop destination to discover the absolute best products and brands the beauty industry has to offer. Every month, the Who What Wear staffers you already know and trust will research, test, and review the market's most sought-after and buzzed-about products to see which formulas (of the hundreds up for consideration) are truly worth your hard-earned money and attention. You can expect honest, completely uncensored feedback and no-BS recommendations our hard-to-please testers endorse without reservations. To put it simply, stick with us, and buyer's remorse will be a thing of the past.
The majority of our Deep Reviews will feature our editors' honest, ultra-hot takes on entire product categories or multiple products from a particular beauty brand, but every so often, we'll sprinkle in a special single-product format called Honestly, I Love It. As the name suggests, these reviews will hone in on one standout beauty formula our editors quite literally can't shut up about. This time around, I'm highlighting Grande Cosmetics' GrandeLash-MD Lash Enhancing Serum ($68 for a three-month supply).
Also available on Sephora.
I got married abroad a handful of months ago and gave very few hoots about preparing my beauty look. TBH, doing wedding crafts was my priority, and I flat-out ran out of time! I didn't get my nails professionally done, barely found a lip color before I left L.A. (Victoria Beckham's Bitten Lip Tint in Bisou, if you're curious), and was googling hairstyles the day before the wedding—you get the picture. I managed to pull it all together, as evidenced by the image below. There was, however, one category where I had some accidental foresight: my lashes.
A couple of months ahead of the wedding, I was at VH Skincare Clinic, which is backed by the likes of Sydney Sweeney and Gwyneth Paltrow, attempting to whip my skin into shape. I was paying for some skincare products in the lobby and noticed the clinic sold GrandeLash-MD. I love an impulse buy, so I decided to give it a try. Of course, you can rely on the best mascaras for your big day, and there are now more incredible false eyelashes on the market than ever before, but I can still usually tell when someone is wearing even the subtlest of extensions or falsies. So it was decided—I'd aim for a naturally lush lash look with the help of GrandeLash-MD.
I kept my expectations low because I ended up applying it around four times a week—literally a 57% compliance rate—rather than the recommended daily use. I figured it was the kind of thing that needed vigilant consistency to work. Well, reader, I was wrong. I started noticing good results about a month and a half in, and by 2.5 months, I swear I could bat a lash and create a breeze. My eyelashes were at least twice as long as they were before. Wearing my favorite sunglasses actually felt slightly awkward because my lashes were pressed up against the lenses.
When I came back from the wedding, my colleagues thought I'd gotten extensions. Beauty Director Erin Jahns recalls, "The risk of sounding creepy aside, the first time I saw Kat post-wedding, we were in the conference room in a meeting, and I couldn't stop staring at the silhouette of her eyelashes! She was kind of in profile, and the sunlight was hitting them just so, and they just looked so long, lifted, and fluttery, but not fake at all. I thought they had to be extensions just due to the length, but they didn't have that obvious extension look to them. It was basically the end result everyone dreams about when they're looking to enhance their natural lashes."
Okay, it's settled. For me at least, the stuff works. But why is it so effective, and how does it compare to competitors like Latisse? What about any side effects? To answer these questions, I spoke to three experts to get different perspectives: the aforementioned celeb-loved esthetician who stocks GrandeLash-MD, a dermatologist who is the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, and the founder of GrandeLash-MD herself.
I want naturally longer lashes too! Where do I start?
Confession: Before I wrote this article, I didn't know that much about eyelash serums. If you're in the same boat, let Joshua Zeichner, MD, explain: "Eyelash-growth serums come in two categories—those that contain prostaglandin analogues (like GrandeLash-MD) and those that do not." The analogue part just means it's chemically similar to real prostaglandin, which your body produces naturally.
So what do these prostaglandins do? "Prostaglandins are messengers in the body that have been shown actually to stimulate hair-follicle activity. This means that they truly grow longer eyelashes. The second category of eyelash-growth serums act as conditioners to the eyelashes and do not contain prostaglandin analogue ingredients. These products offer some degree of improvements around thickness and length because they coat the lashes with a protective film that physically increases density," Zeichner says. In addition to prostaglandin analogues, GrandeLash-MD is packed with a ton of nourishing ingredients designed to encourage growth.
What about competitors like Latisse?
GrandeLash-MD and Latisse both have prostaglandin analogues, but GrandeLash-MD's prostaglandin analogue is in a form called isopropyl cloprostenate, and Latisse's is called bimatoprost. Bimatoprost is also used to treat glaucoma. I remember one of our former wellness editors with glaucoma loved the side benefit of her extra-long lashes!
One big difference between the two products is GrandeLash-MD is considered cosmetic and can be sold over the counter, and Latisse has to be prescribed by a doctor and is FDA cleared to treat "inadequate lashes." Alicia Grande, the CEO and founder of Grande Cosmetics, adds, "GrandeLash-MD is a cosmetic lash serum with cosmetic ingredients that are at a lower concentration than the drug ingredients in Latisse." If you can get incredible results like I did with a lower concentration of drug ingredients, then that sounds like a win to me.
Any application tips for success?
Despite how massively tempting it may be, "you don't need multiple applications or double dips. Using more than instructed will not yield quicker results. One dip into the bottle is enough for both eyes," coaches Grande. Vanessa Hernandez, founder of VH Skincare, agrees: "Remember, when applying to your lash line, less is more, as this will prevent irritation. I prefer using it with my a.m. routine." I personally liked to try and alternate which eye would get the first swipe of serum so I could evenly distribute the product. Another fun tip? "You can totally customize your lash-growth shape by applying to specific areas of your lash line. For example, applying at the ends would give you more of a cat-eye look. Applying in the middle of your eye will open your eyes up and create a bigger, Disney-princess appearance," says Hernandez.
Do I have to keep using it to see results?
"Just like any other skincare product, GrandeLash-MD does require continued use to maintain its benefits. After completing the initial three-month treatment, use it every other day to maintain your results," Grande shares. One of my friends told me she still gets great results after using the product for years. I decided to stop using GrandeLash-MD a month or so after the wedding, as my goal was to have exceptional eyelashes for the event, but it wasn't something I wanted to maintain forever. Now, three-plus months after stopping use, I find my eyelashes are back to their original length and, thankfully, not diminished from their original length. Grande confirms, "If you completely stop using GrandeLash-MD, your lashes will eventually revert to their original length and thickness as part of your natural lash cycle."
What about side effects?
There are two main possible side effects that you may hear about with lash serums that contain prostaglandin analogues: eyelid discoloration and periorbital fat loss, or fat loss around the eyes, which is also something that happens naturally as you age. In my experience using GrandeLash-MD for around three months, I didn't really experience any discoloration. Though, I have some friends who have used the product who did experience discoloration. One friend had some redness, so she stopped using the product. Another had discoloration that she says has lasted for years. A third friend experienced some redness, so she reduced the application to every other day and hasn't had any issues since. "Application of topical prostaglandin-containing products is not without potential side effects. They have been reported to cause hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin around the eyes, which can be long lasting, in some cases for months," Zeichner says. "[Hyperpigmentation] will improve on its own over time, and the same type of skin-brightening ingredients used for other forms of hyperpigmentation can help treat it." Hernandez adds, "Darkening of the lash line is usually temporary for the duration of application of the product plus 14+ days after stopping."
What about fat loss around the eye? Grande attests, "In our 90-day consumer-perception study, we did not find issues pertaining to periorbital fat loss and stand behind GrandeLash-MD as a safe cosmetic product." If you cruise TikTok on the subject, some users claim prostaglandins have changed their eye shape, making their eyelid larger or even giving those with monolids a fold. Other users say they love the way it makes hooded eyelids look less hooded. When I look at my before-and-after photos, it does appear that the part of my eyelid below the crease looks subtly larger, and overall, my eyelids look a bit less hooded. Hernandez examined my before-and-after images and said, "The good news is that your lashes had incredible results with zero fat loss." If you do have these effects, Zeichner says any fat loss will be permanent.
If you look at any retailer's reviews for GrandeLash-MD, from Sephora to Amazon, the vast majority are positive. When I asked Grande about the potential side effects, she said, "We pride ourselves on our extensive third-party testing to ensure the safety of our product." The product has been around for 15 years, and Grande shared some of the testing GrandeLash has undergone: Industry-standard RIPT testing concluded that the product does not present potential for dermal irritation or allergic contact sensitization, ophthalmologist testing has concluded that it is safe for use with contacts and lash extensions, and HET-CAM testing has graded its irritation potential at the lowest possible rating scale—none to slight.
My advice would be to take it slow and apply exactly as directed. Slow or stop use right away at the first sign of any side effects. Overall, it's more than likely that you'll be one of the many happy customers like yours truly.
Shop more Grande Cosmetics products:
One Sephora customer said, "It actually works! My eyebrows are the victim of the plucking, tweezing, and threading trends from previous decades. This is the first and only product that works to get growth in sparse areas. So happy!"
One Sephora customer review notes, "It adds just enough color and enhances the appearance of my brows so they look fuller! I like using this in the morning, and then I also use the GrandeBrow at night, and my brows have been looking amazing! So much fuller, especially in areas like the front and the tail that used to be really sparse!"
"I've always had thick, long hair, and as I have gotten older, my hair has thinned out, and I've lost so much hair. I do color my hair 2-3X a year and breakage happens every time. I was on the hunt for a hair growth serum, and I trust Grande Cosmetics because I've used their lash and eyebrow serum and have seen tremendous results, so I knew I had to give this a try too. It is a non-greasy formula, which I absolutely loved! I already use hair oil in my hair, so I was afraid it would be too oily, but rest assured it's not, and it's easy to apply with a dropper too. I use this twice a week, as I only wash my hair 3X a week. I've used this for over a little month, and I've already noticed some thicker and healthier growth," says one Sephora customer.
One Sephora customer shares, "I accidentally bought this product thinking it was the mascara, but I ended up loving it. It seriously strengthened my lashes, and I saw substantial growth!"
"The best! Super pigmented, doesn't budge, and the serum works! Please never stop making this," says one Sephora customer.
"I have tried every other lip plump product out there and finally found one that seems to be perfect for me. I have the ones that are painful so you think they are doing more than they are to ones that do absolutely nothing and are a waste of $$. I am loving this so far. I can feel a very slight tingle and have noticed plumper, more hydrated lips that last," says one Sephora customer.
Next up, see what our editors had to say about Grande Cosmetics' GrandeLips lip plumper.
Kat Collings has over 15 years of experience in the editorial fashion space, largely in digital publishing. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at WhoWhatWear.com as the site's editor in chief, having risen through the editorial ranks after joining the company in 2012. Collings is a Digiday Future Leader Awards nominee, was named Buzzfeed's best fashion Instagram accounts of the year, and is a member of the CFDA Awards Fashion Guild. Prior to Who What Wear, Collings worked on styling projects for brands such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and calls Los Angeles home.
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