Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Going to Great Lengths

Shu Uemura, the "Rolls Royce" of eyelash curlers.

Marsi is back today with another one of her "value-added" posts. See below. . .

So, I've already told you about my thinning eyebrows. Alas, it doesn't stop there. My eyelashes aren't what they once were either, but it seemed like something I just had to live with. I know women get wonderful results from Latisse, but the potential side effects (changing iris colors, undereye discoloration) concern me. I filed spindly eyelashes under "C" -- for c'est la vie.

Covetworthy lashes. 
A couple of months ago, Allure magazine featured an article promising "16 Ways To Look Younger With Makeup." Read this:
Throw out your thickening mascara. Lashes get thinner as you age, so conventional wisdom says you need a thickening mascara to bulk them up, but common wisdom is wrong. "Your lashes can't support the extra weight," says [makeup artist Sandy] Linter. "Heavy formulas flatten the lashes." Instead, use a lengthening mascara, like Lancome Définicils High Definition Mascara, which tends to be lighter on the lashes, and look for mascaras with thin wands so you can easily coat each lash. 
I'd never thought about my eyelash issue in that way: that fewer eyelashes mean less support for the weight of mascara. For me, it was, as the French say, a coup de foudre -- a lightening bolt moment. After decades of using thickening, volumizing mascaras, I'd literally never tried a lengthening formula. I had to give it a whirl.

There are good lengthening mascaras available at every price point, but I'll confess, mascara is the one cosmetic item I never buy luxe. I like to replace it every six weeks so it's always really creamy. I've been really pleased so far with L'Oreal Telescopic Original. It has a nice, creamy formula that doesn't clump a bit, plus it has a slender brush that reaches every lash, even the tiniest ones in the corners. I've always loved L'Oreal's mascaras, and this is no exception.

L'Oreal makes great cheap thrills. 
Another plus: this lighter-weight formula is so much easier to remove at night, and I never find residue resisting my best efforts to remove it.

So tell me: are your lashes getting thinner, or is it just me? Have you tried lengthening mascara, and if so, what did you think?

P.S. I know you're curious about the other 15 ways, so here they are. I'm a little skeptical of some of them and the rest seem obvious, but judge for yourself.

  • Moisturize your skin. A lot.
  • Click-pen concealer formulas are best for not drawing attention to lines and crepiness. 
  • Buy a yellow(ish) foundation. 
  • Use a damp sponge to sheer out your foundation. 
  • Skip powder (or "use translucent, light-diffusing powder, nothing tinted").
  • Keep piling on the moisture -- creamy blush, creamy eyeshadow, creamy lip color. 

  • "Rub your blush in along the highest points of your cheekbones -- it makes your bone structure stand out."
  • Tweeze, but only if you absolutely must.
  • Use a brow pencil that's "a shade lighter than your natural coloring, and hold it at a 45-degree angle."
  • Unearth your eyelash curler. 
  • Use eyeshadow base. 
  • Swap out your black eyeliner for brown. 
  • Don't be afraid of a little shimmer, especially in the inner corners of the eyes. 
  • Stick to lipstick shades that "enhance your natural lip tone, rather than bringing attention to the area." 
  • Try highlighter on the cheekbones.


The enchanted home said...

Love these posts.....agree about the moisturizer everything, not sure what the yellow foundatoin is all about? My lashes have gotten a little thinner but I still prefer the thickening mascaras as they seem to have more "substance" and do the job with less coats!

The enchanted home said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spiral Style said...

I agree on the disappearing eyebrows and thinning lashes. One thing I discovered is a Laura Mercier product called tight line, a cake liner (applied with a flat eye liner brush). The product is applied underneath the root of the upper lash line. This line of brown/black etc color immediately makes lashes look fuller. The eyeliner is waterproof but is removed easily when you wish to take it off. This is one product I can't be without. It makes your eyes look bright and awake. You can wear tight line above your lash line and on top of the lower lash line for a more dramatic look.
You can see my post on the product here.
I'm not pushing Laura Mercier, I certainly don't get any benefit from them, I just LOVE the product.
(don't waste your time on the activator they may try to sell to you, just use water...but you NEED the brush)

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

"Use a damp sponge to sheer out your foundation" was worth the whole post to me. I just wondered yesterday if that would I will try it. Good advice all the way around!

Mary Timmers said...

I have been taking Biotin (a supplement) or Silica, an herbal supplement for over fifteen years. It is for hair health and growth. I feel as though it has worked well for me. On a blog that focuses on hair, the writer also recommends Biotin. They are both very safe, and not expensive. With any supplement, you should give it at least three months to see results.

Anonymous said...

I will definitely try your mascara. I have been having problems with the various thickening mascaras on my thinning lashes.

As with any beauty advice, we use what feels right for us. I have read over and over that older women should not wear red lipsticks. I still love, wear, and (I think I) look good in red. It is me. I have to be quite careful with a good liner, but really, aging cannot be only about muted palettes. There must be fun, jollity, frivolity.

déjà pseu said...

I do have thinning lashes too, and agree with Spiral Style that "tight-lining" use of eyeliner really helps. I hadn't thought about the negative effects of volumizing mascara, but it's a good point. I *always* curl my lashes, even if I don't wear mascara that day, really opens up the eyes.

Young at Heart said...

I was always told vasaline was good to remove mascara and thicken lashes.....!!

Anonymous said...

Just be careful with eyelash curlers. I've used a Shu Uemura for twenty years. A few months ago my hand slipped while the curler was clamped on my lashes, and boom! Half of my lashes fell out. Seriously. It took 6 months for them to grow back. Personally, I will never use an eyelash curler again. Too traumatic!

Anonymous said...

Terrific post. Both my eyelashes and eyebrows have thinned.
Have used She Umura eyelash curler for a while & it does work.

Have tried many eyebrow pencils & what seems to work for my thin brows is MAC's eybrows crayon pour les sourcils.

Laura Mercier's tight line eyeliner is my eyeliner now. In a pinch I
ran out of the tightline activator (a liquid)that was recommended I use to apply the liner & used visine instead. Worked very well,
The LM tightlining brush does a good job.
You can use just water with this eyeliner - but the activator or visine works better for me.

wellfedfred said...

I use dark brown mascara rather than black, and also brush on a cake mascara in a very thin line, in brown or deep purple. I learned to apply cake mascara with a pointy wet brush as a precocious child, and this knowledge has stood me in good stead over time. It does take practice, though.

Amanda said...

I have an appointment next week for something I've never tried yet but have been very curious about: eyelash extensions! I'm not sure if the $200 price tag for 4-6 weeks of "dramatic but natural" (their promise) looking lashes is worthwhile on a regular basis, but I am curious to try it out. Has anyone else tried this?

Annette said...

My eyelashes are thinner as well and, like you, I have been using thickening mascara. Time to try your suggestion -- thanks for the tip! (as always)

kathy peck said...

There is a great alternative to Latisse, that's sold at department stores, and it's called (I believe) ReNu?
Anyway, no side effects and makes your eyelashes and eyebrows thicker and darker within six weeks. It's a wand application, so easy to apply.
I've never used a mascara with volume - too clumpy on me. Going to try that L'Oreal.

Anonymous said...

I used castor oil, my eyebrows and lashes have gotten thicker and stronger..stopped using it when they grew back...ensure it is the best quality possible, 100% certified organic, cold pressed, palm of christ oil.

the results were amazing...took about a month..

it's all natural and has been used for centuries.

love your blog!

J. Beaudet said...

Great tips! I just ordered some brown eyeliner. I use a dark brown. I need to try the shade lighter on the brows though. I think what I have actually darkens them. Thanks for this! Have a great week!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

My brows and lashes are thinning too.
I do not tweeze unless absolutely necessary I trim them into shape with a small pair of scissors.
Mascara and eyeliner are a must or my eyes just disappear...

Moisturizing all the time here with water internally and serums and cream externally and a gentle exfoliation twice a week helps too.

I use less make up than I wore when younger...
sunscreen is more important now than it ever was...

BigLittleWolf said...

Your posts always make me smile...

I've been using lengthening mascara for years (I love Dior, or should I say... j'adore Dior). They're quite wonderful.

If only their lengthening properties worked on my little legs...

Ah, but that's what those 100mm Louboutins I covet are for, n'est-ce pas?

Anonymous said...

What a fabulous post! And so many helpful comments, too!
I'm going through the same thing with my eyelashes only mine are seem to be falling out in clumps in the middle of my lash line. so no amount of mascara can fill in a huge gap. They have started to grow back thank goodness! I had a "eureka!" moment when you mentioned that thickening mascara weighs your lashes down. I could not understand why my lashes would no longer hold a curl! It was making my crazy! I purchased CoverGirls Professional mascara in the hot pink tube (NOT the pink and green great lash) and it works beautifully at lengthening and holding a curl! No smudging or flaking and it's easy to remove! LOVE the tightening trick and use it with the Laura Mercier cake liner, with eyedrops but also with other dark eyeshadows. Oh, and please research lash extensions carefully. I have a few friends that had awful experiences and lost all their lashes in the end. It wasn't pretty. Again, thanks for all the great tips and the wonderful blog!

That's Not My Age said...

Some good advice here - and I need all the help I can get!

Joni James said...

What a great post! But I steer clear of any eyelash curler as they wreck havoc on my lashes.

Anonymous said...

How interesting - I have very thin and sparse lashes due to a thyroid condition and I have found that I get best results by first using a lengthening mascara and when that has dried I apply a voluminous mascara. Love these types of posts btw.
Cindy F

Fly Away Home said...

Great post! First, to answer Amanda - If you are getting the natural lashes for $200, it's a great deal! I tried it and loved it. They lasted for almost 3 weeks and made me look younger and more awake. I think I will now try something like Latisse or an alternative.

Things that seem to work well for me (not all make-up but I like to think they make the whole canvas easier to paint!!):

- Best quality moisturizer I can afford. Moisturize (a lot).
- Mix a dab of moisturizer with a dab of foundation, then apply; it glides on and looks dewey fresh
- Facials.
- Professional brow care - shaping and tinting one shade darker than natural color.
- A little highlighter (creme, of course) between the eye and the nose; brightens the eyes in amazing ways.
- Moisturizing lipstick with a hint of color

Jill Ann said...

Interesting post! I'm 55 and dealing with all sorts of hair issues...I've always had thick, curly/frizzy hair, but in the past year it seems to have thinned considerably. Very alarming, and two dermatologists pretty much said, "it's an age thing". NOT helpful. Eyelashes were never stellar, but seem more puny lately too. I have been taking biotin supplements for about a year, initially for my brittle nails...not sure if it's helping my hair or not. Would love to do Latisse, but won't, because I have nice green eyes and would be traumatized if they turned brown.

I am going to try the lengthening mascara! I thought thickening was the way to go, but this is worth a try. Regarding the eyelash extensions, I just saw a news story today about bad side effects from that, including permanent lash loss. So proceed with extreme caution, I think.

My eyebrows are still pretty good, but I'm debating getting a brow pencil to define & fill in a bit. I hate to add another step to my routine! My sister-in-law has very sparse brows (which are also short, ending about mid-eye); she got brows tattooed on last year, along with eyeliner tattoo. I would suggest VERY extreme caution with that approach.

Old age ain't for sissies, as my mom used to say. Today I was thinking how much easier it will be when I'm undeniably elderly; then I won't feel bad about my wrinkles, maybe!

Carol said...

Marsi, you are an absolute gem. l'm going to take your advice re the mascara as my lashes have lost their thickness.

Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell said...

It is funny to see this as I have been working on a post on mascara's. I did not know that about the voluminzing issue, so I learned something I did not know. I will have to get busy and get my post up. I had some more research to do, but I will try to get it out soon. I have a few tips that I would like to share.
I really appreciate posts like this and learned several things, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Please stop using the words "price point" incorrectly.
Just use "price"

Anonymous said...

And while we're fussing about bad vocabulary :-), 'coup de foudre' means 'love at first sight' and only that. Forehead-slapping, bolt of lightening events are quite different. The closest French could be 'revelation' which doesn't sound so hot, granted, so maybe revert to English when you mean that. But don't misuse French just because you think nobody will notice..

FOODalogue said...

I've been on Latisse for about 6 weeks and comme ci comme ca about the results. After reading your post, I immediately went out and bought a 'lengthening' mascara and all of a sudden the growth was apparent.

I think the volumizing mascara was weighing the lashes down as you suggested - not to mention fighting the clumps.


Anonymous said...


I hope you see this comment. I'm 53, and my hair is also thinning. Have your iron level checked. I was told by my endocrinologist that anything below 70ng/mL is the leading cause for hair loss. My thyroid checked out fine, so we're certain that my hair thinning out is due to a low iron level. Good luck you to!


Anonymous said...

Goodness, $200 for eyelashes! I assume you're in the US? I had my eyelashes done in New Zealand - they were 40 NZ dollars. The first lot lasted a month or more 'cos they used heaps of glue. It's not very comfy having blobs of glue on your eyelashes. I ended up fiddling them with them and pulling out quite a few eyelashes. The second time they used less glue and they mostly fell off after a couple of weeks.

Of course they can only stick the new lashes to your existing lashes so it's no good if you've got gaps.

The best thing I've found for my short, thin-ish lashes is 'They're Real' mascara by Benefit. Noticably longer, thicker lashes compared to any other mascara I've used.


Lesley said...

Have you tried revitalash - its well worth the money and lasts for ages. It was developed by a doctor when his wife was recovering from hair loss following cancer treatment. It really does make your lashes grow in thicker and longer - I'll never be without it after trying it.
This is the link to the US site

I buy it online in the UK.

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Lydia Niewarski said...

I have heard a lot about Vaseline. Something I tried recently for my puny lashes is Neulash. My lashes are longer and fuller. You can read about it at No more layers of mascara. They have a product for thinning brows too. There is hope! :)

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