Do eyelash serums actually work? We test six popular brands

Do eyelash serums actually work? We test six popular brandsDo eyelash serums actually work? We test six popular brands.

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Longer lashes feature high on many of our aesthetic wishlists and luckily for us, it’s a highly achievable dream.

Lash extensions, fancy mascara and false eyelashes are all viable options, but what about those of us low maintenance (read: lazy) types who just want naturally longer lashes with minimal faff?

There are many eyelash serums on the market claiming to give us longer, stronger lashes, but are these just snake oil dressed in fancy packaging, or can they really give us the lashes we so desire?

‘While lash serum s do seem too good to be true, in my past experience they have been very beneficial for anyone who wants to give their lashes a boost,’ Hollie Bennett, senior therapist at Cecily Day Spa, who has 12 years experience working with lashes, tells Metro.co.uk.

‘They help by stimulating the root of the lash making them strong and thicker and have given plenty of desirable results.’

How do they work?

‘Most lash serum s have a combination of vitamins and oils in them which help to protect the lashes from everyday life such as pollution,’ explains Hollie.

‘It is these vitamins and oils that work to strengthen the hair follicles and improve each individual lash’s health.’

Still slightly sceptical, I dished out some popular lash serums to my pals to get their honest, non-biased reviews.

1. Advanced eyelash conditioner, Revitalash, £52 for 1ml.

How to use: ‘Once a day, apply a thin line to clean and dry eyelashes above the level of the skin.’

The claim: ‘ A proprietary blend of scientifically advanced technology and natural botanicals join in concert to protect against breakage and brittleness and improve flexibility, moisture, and shine for more dramatic-looking eyelashes.

‘Daily use provides immediate conditioning benefits; leading to healthier-looking, more luxurious lashes.’

Metro.co.uk’s review: ‘This was super easy to use with a liquid eyeliner style thin brush tip which you swipe across your lashline just before bed.

‘This definitely made a difference to my lashes and was most noticeable when I used my usual mascara after a few weeks of using the product – my lashes were definitely longer than they normally look with that mascara on. They looked great.

‘My lashes definitely fell out less and felt healthier, although once I stopped using the product, they seemed to go back to how they were.

‘£52 seems an awful lot of money for 1ml of product but it lasted for six weeks, which was really surprising.

‘I liked that the instructions stress not to use more product than advised as it won’t have any added benefit, as this stops you wasting the product.

‘This product is definitely something I’d like to use again, but as a treat due to the high price point.

‘I also love the story behind the product – RevitaLash’s ophthalmologist founder created it to help his wife when she was going through treatment for breast cancer.’

2. RapidLash Eyelash enhancing serum, Lookfantastic, £39.99 for 3ml.

How to use: ‘ Apply RapidLash to the base of the upper eyelashes using the applicator brush. RapidLash is to be used once daily in the evening before bedtime.’

The claim: ‘Improve the appearance of your natural lashes with a multi-award winning formula clinically proven to give up to 50% longer-looking natural lashes.

‘Promoting fuller-looking eyelashes, the lash-enhancing serum utilises a Hexatein® 1 Complex (combining a scientifically advanced blend of Polypeptides with Amino Acids, nourishing Pumpkin Seed extract, Biotin and Panthenol) to condition, nurture and hydrate lashes.

‘Promoting lash durability and shine, the high performance serum will leave lashes looking healthier, luscious and stronger.’

Metro.co.uk’s review: ‘This had an eyeliner style pen tip rather than a mascara wand, which I wasn’t a fan of.

‘I feel like if it was a mascara wand it would get to the root and tip better, whereas with the pen tip, you can get a bit glooping next to your lid which isn’t always ideal. Especially as this is applied once a day before bed, so you end up with gooey eyes going to sleep.

‘However, the stuff does feel really good, like a nourishing conditioner for your lashes. My lashes definitely feel stronger but this may also be because I’ve stopped wearing mascara, so have less cosmetic buildup on them.

‘I’ve not noticed a difference in length though.’

3. Beauty brow and lash enhancement serum, Image Skincare, £50 for 4ml.

How to use: ‘Apply twice a day to clean, makeup-free brows and the base of the upper lash line.’

The claim: ‘Frame your eyes with lengthier lashes and full, healthy brows with this specialty serum, an intensive blend of peptides, conditioners and plant stem cell extracts that supports healthy follicles and protects against breakage. It enhances short or sparse lashes and brows by visibly improving thickness and length.’

Metro.co.uk’s reviewer says: ‘The Image serum was super easy to use with a twist-up brush pen that you could wipe on your lashes and brows in a matter of seconds. The pen had a clear section so you could see when it was running out, which was handy.

‘I was keen to try this as I have dark but fairly short eyelashes, and I’d just had a facial laser treatment that had burned off a lot of my eyebrows.

‘I was really pleased with how this worked on my brows – my eyebrow hair is usually quite coarse with some rogue hairs growing in weird directions but after a few weeks of using this serum, the hair was much softer and less wayward.

‘New hairs coming through were also a lot softer than their predecessors.

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‘The effect wasn’t as obvious on my eyelashes – there was no real growth, but I noticed a definite reduction in lashes falling out when I rubbed my eyes.

‘I’d definitely use this again on my brows if it was cheaper but sadly, I can’t justify £50 on the money I earn.’

4. Prevage clinical lash and brow enhancing serum, Elizabeth Arden, £90 for 3.84ml.

How to use: ‘Apply every night with applicator brush to skin along clean lash line, from inner to outer corner.’

The claim: ‘Our exclusive triple peptide complex, boosted by vitamins, botanicals and lash conditioners, supports the natural lash cycle so they look lush, healthy and revitalised – and eyes appear younger than ever.

‘Not intended to prevent or reduce hair loss or to promote the growth of hair.’

Metro.co.uk’s reviewer says: ‘Unlike my other body hair, my eyelashes are worryingly conservative and prefer to play things straight. There is literally no curl or depth. In short, they’re mundane (and short).

‘I was excited to try this serum as the online reviews waxed lyrical about its lengthening and conditioning properties, and I too, am now one of these waxers.

‘My routine consists of swiping the little brush along my upper lash line once a day (FYI, there’s a slight tingly sensation, but I think this is the serum waging war on my lifeless yet iron-willed lashes).

‘Three weeks down the line, my eyelashes are longer, thicker and yes, more malleable. It’s a 10/10 from me.’

5. Lipocils expert collector edition eyelash growth and pigmentation gel, Talika, £39 for 10ml.

How to use: ‘Morning and night, as a 28-day treatment, repeated every three months. Apply to the base of the lashes using the foam tip, then along the entire length of the lashes, from the roots to the ends.’

The claim: ‘ Lipocils Expert is a unique treatment that no longer acts on eyelash growth only, but also on the lashes’ curve and natural pigmentation. Concentrated in Talika Mythical Botanical Complex, a combination of plants that has been stimulating eyelash growth in women for more than 70 years, Lipocils Expert is rich in anti-aging Peptide Expert, Coleus forskohlii, a natural pigmentation booster, and curling silk proteins.

‘After days of treatment, lash growth is stimulated: eyelashes are 36% longer (+2.1 mm on average**), their pigmentation is naturally darker (by 50%), and their curl is enhanced.’

Metro.co.uk’s reviewer says: ‘I’ve been using the Talika eyelash gel for the last eight weeks and as far as applying it went, found it incredibly easy to use. The packaging was very cute, and gave the impression that you were using a product that was a little bit special.

‘For me personally I would have preferred it to be a once a day application rather than twice a day because like so many others, I am often in a rush to leave the house in the mornings and found that my mascara didn’t seem to work as well if I applied it straight after the gel.

‘I have always had incredibly short eyelashes, and usually struggle to make them appear longer than they actually are, so I’m pleased to say it’s made a difference to both length and fullness of my eyelashes. As for curling, I didn’t have much to curl to start with so I wasn’t the best candidate for that.

‘However, as I struggled to apply twice a day, I don’t think I gave it the opportunity to work to its potential so I’ll carry on and see if it continues to make a difference.

‘This product seems to last quite a long time, though it’s a little more than what I would usually spend on a beauty product.

‘I’d definitely use it again though, but as something I treat myself to every now and then, as opposed to part of my everyday beauty regime.’

6. Chantecaille faux cils mascara longest lash, Space NK, £62 for 9g.

How to use: ‘Pull the mascara brush up from the base of lashes through to the tips, gently wiggling the wand as you go.’

The claim: ‘ A super volumising mascara that amplifies, nourishes and defines every single lash. Rich in mineral salts, seaweed extract and rosewater, this mascara will protect and regenerate eyelashes, rather than disguising them.

‘This bold, beautiful mascara boasts the latest innovation in lash technology, which blends powerful peptides to enhance the natural length, thickness and fullness of eyelashes. After just two weeks’ usage, lash growth will have been stimulated by 25%, encouraging stronger, longer hairs to grow. The mascara’s light, creamy texture thickens and curls without clumping, and will condition lashes with each application.

‘The double-helix mascara brush combs and feathers lashes as mascara is applied; the result is longer, stronger and infinitely more striking eyes.’

Metro.co.uk’s review: ‘I liked this as it was a black mascara containing eyelash serum that you could use everyday, so it slots into your normal routine with no faff.

‘Unlike a lot of mascaras I use, it was easy to apply straight away and turned out to be the best mascara I have ever used, especially in terms of making my eye lashes instantly look longer and fuller.

‘Crucially, it’s also really easy to remove.

‘My natural lashes are fairly long but I struggle to make them look full. After weeks of using this, my lashes were noticeably longer when I wasn’t wearing mascara and less were falling out.

‘I applied this to my bottom lashes too and the only downside is that it smudges under my eyes by the end of the day.

‘This is pricey but actually pretty good value for money as it lasts a lot longer than high street alternatives.’

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The problem with eyelash serums is that while many do seem to be effective, they only work as long as you’re using them and your lashes will go back to normal after you cease using the product.

Is there a cheaper, DIY solution for those of us who can’t afford to spend the best part of £100 every few months?

Weeks after finishing the lash serum I was testing, I got myself a small bottle of castor oil after reading rave reviews online about its lash growth abilities.

I wiped castor oil on my eyebrows and eyelashes with a cotton bud for a few weeks, every night before bed.

While it didn’t give me longer lashes, the oil did appear to make my brows and lashes seem glossier and more conditioned, which I was a huge fan of.

Glossier lashes give the illusion of fullness and conditioned lashes are less likely to break, so while castor oil isn’t the magic potion your eyes crave, it can work well as a decent, low budget lash conditioner.

Make sure you test a patch first to check for irritation.

If you’re in the market for better lashes, it’s also important to check you’re not screwing yourself over by using old makeup.

‘The most common mistake people make that can have a big impact on lash growth and health is using old mascara,’ says Hollie.

‘Mascara should only be kept for three months before being thrown away and replaced with a new one as they can cause a nasty build-up of bacteria.

‘Another common mistake is the use of strip lashes. The glue that is used to apply these block and clog up the tiny lash pores. This causes damage to the natural lashes and can potentially cause long term loss and damage.’