I tossed the trouble liner and the mascara I was using-just to be safe-and stopped by my local medical spa to stock up on Latisse, which had my doc recommended as a safe and speedy solution for eyelash growth. (Related: Will Eyelash Extensions Make Your Real Lashes Case Out?)
How Latisse Works
First approved in December 2008, "Latisse is just a prescription because it has a real effect on yours Cohen and Swartz Cosmetic Surgeons in the Philadelphia area.
Latisse, scientifically known as bimatoprost 0.03 percent, was originally used as a glaucoma treatment. The US Food and Drug Administration performed a trial of nearly 300 participants to see if they could help to improve their strength, lengthen, and regrow eyelashes. Eyelash length was boosted by about 25 percent (compared to 2 percent for those receiving placebo treatment) and increased by 1
It makes sense, considering how much women put their lashes on, says Ivy Boyd, a make-up artist in Des Moines, Iowa. "I find that every client, regardless of how much they wear, is still lashes," she says. To the tune of Americans spending $ 1.1 billion each year on mascara alone.
After hearing that Dr. Swartz itself swears by using the product, I felt safe investing in it as well. Whether or not it would be worth the $ 180 price tag for a 5-milliliter bottle … TBD.
My Experience with Latisse
I took the bottle home, washed my face, peeled open an applicator (this resembles a Q-tip with a thin brush on one end). I'll take this strategy every night after my shower, and would eagerly flip on the bathroom light the next morning expecting lash sprouts. Two weeks? Nothing. Four weeks? Nada.
What I wasting my time and money? Well, maybe. $ 15 organic castor oil on them at night, "Boyd says. Some options include Rodan + Fields Lash. She suggests giving it a try, but if anything, it will strengthen and nourish what you have Boost ($ 150, rodanandfields.com), GrandeLashMD ($ 65, sephora.com), and RevitaLash ($ 98, dermstore.com).
For about one-twelfth the price, I now face-palming for not trying castor oil first, but Swartz inspired me to stick with it. "Eyelashes grow from hair follicles into our eyelids. Just follicles on our head, eyelash hair follicles go through cycles of growth and rest. "At any one time, approximately 90 percent of your 100 to 200 eyelash follicles per eyelid are in the growth phase," she explains. "In addition, there are more follicles in the growth phase at the same time, so you have more lashes growing."
Perhaps my follicles were just hibernating for a spell after the liner trauma? To find out, my science nerd-self fell down a rabbit hole, which taught me that it may take 12 to 16 weeks for noticeable results. (I) stumbled upon a handful of scary-sounding side effects, which include fades- gulp, yep- and in rare cases, permanent eye color change- eeks, not yet and hopefully not ever!
Slightly freaked out but undeterred, I forged ahead with nightly use. About four months after starting, I finally saw more than baby sprouts. Now, five months post-T Day (toilet day), my lashes are back and better than ever. Latisse on my right, semi-bald eye to save cash, and now can spot a noticeable difference between my two eyes. In fact, my right eyelashes are so long they sometimes stick together! And even without any mascara application, friends have been lauding my lashes. Since I've been using Latisse 10 days ago, my eyelid color is fading back to normal, too.
Would I bankroll a Latisse if I could do it all over? Perhaps, for the almost-guaranteed results. But I'd probably try Boyd's organic option first-especially if I just longer and stronger lashes rather than brand-new sprouts.