Beautiful eyelashes naturally

August 19, 2015

Mascara has always been my "desert-island" choice of makeup (as in, if you could only take one item of makeup with you to a desert island . . . ).

Lancome Definicils, one of my favorites

But, as a committed mascara-wearer, I know too well the downside. The putting it on, taking it off, the flaking, melting, smearing (at least in this heat right now), clumps . . .  But what I really dislike is the removing part.

I can take a shower at night and wash my face, get out and clean the black rings under my eyes very thoroughly, and still wake up in the morning with more black under my eyes. And I don't use a ton of eye makeup.  Every time I remove mascara and eyeliner, I wonder how much damage I'm doing to the under-eye area, which is so sensitive and prone to fine lines and wrinkles.

I've experimented with going without mascara, but I always look a little tired and washed out. I recently went somewhere without it, and someone asked me if I was feeling okay.

So the last time I was at the dermatologist I asked him about Latisse, the FDA-approved drops that you brush near the lash line to grow your lashes. He gave me a script, but when I went to fill it, I discovered it's around $120 for a one-month supply!

I thought about how I could stretch the product (use only one drop for both eyes, instead of one for each), use my own applicator brush and clean between use, and apply only every other day, but I would still be spending $32/month. Turns out I'm not the only one trying to get the price down. I found a number of articles on the web describing how people were doing these very things in order to cut costs.

The thing with Latisse is that, according to everything I've read, it really works. I just wish it wasn't so expensive.

So . . . I've been researching other ways to grow my lashes naturally.

I won't see near the same results I'm sure, but it's worth a try. 

Here are some suggestions I've found:

*** Apply castor oil to the eyelashes once a day at bedtime. You can apply it with an old mascara wand, thoroughly cleaned, or with a clean eyeliner brush at the base of the lashes. You don't need much; it's pretty thick. I got it in my eyes the first time I tried it because I used too much.

*** Besides using castor oil, you can also use coconut or olive oils or other natural oil. You can even use Vitamin E capsules. Or aloe vera gel. You can apply these to the base of the lashes using a clean eyeliner brush or with a mascara wand. I've been using a little coconut oil to remove my mascara instead of the makeup remover wipes I had from Almay. It not only removes the mascara and eyeliner, but moisturizers as well.

I keep coconut oil in this little brown jar; it replaces the Almay makeup remover pads.
*** Use a comb (as pictured above) to comb out your lashes to remove dirt and debris, and stimulate growth. You can use the comb also to apply the castor or other oil.

*** Gently massage your eyelids to stimulate eyelash growth. It seems a little hard to believe that it would work, but it's relaxing if nothing else.

*** Soak a Q-tip with cooled, steeped green tea, and apply to the base of your lashes. The flavonoids in the tea help stimulate growth.

*** Eat a healthy diet (this is a good suggestion for whatever condition you have!).

*** Remove all makeup before bed, every night.

*** Take biotin. This vitamin is good for hair and nails. 

*** Go without eye makeup occasionally to give the lashes a rest. This works for me on days I don't go anywhere.

*** Don't use fake eyelashes. The glue is drying, and when you remove them, you can inadvertently remove some of your own eyelashes, too. I never got the hang of those things, anyway.

I think I'm going to concentrate on the castor oil treatment. I've read that it usually takes a couple months to see results. But results take that long using Latisse. I'll let you know how it goes.

How about you? Are you a committed mascara wearer? Have you ever tried any eyelash growth products? Have you tried any natural ways to grow your lashes?


  1. I have heard of Latisse but have never used it. I have used the same kind of mascara for years and years and I don't know if I would ever change because I like it so much. It is good ol' Cover Girl Remarkable Mascara in the purple tube. It is water and smudge-proof without taking a chisel to remove it. I can even cry and it barely will run. I remove it with make-up remover cloths but mostly use mild baby wipes to remove my make-up daily. I almost panicked one time when I couldn't find it...they just changed the look of the tube :) Good luck with whatever you decided to go with...and I'm really interested in how that castor oil works! Have a good night :)

  2. I have never come across the product and am not a fan of mascara, I do wear make up but I make such a mess with mascara it is just not worth the heartache. I will certainly be interested to hear how you get on with castor oil.

  3. Oh yes, I always use mascara , and then remove it before I go to bed. I have the same experiences as you in removing mascara. I am going to try your suggestions here . I have always had thick and long lashes but as I have aged they are not so thick and long and I know I have taken them for granted. Time to care for my lashes and eyes better. Thank-you for this informative post !

  4. Have you heard of RapidLash? I know someone who has used it for several months and swears her eyelashes and eyebrows are thicker. I just bought some from Costco yesterday and will let you know what I think. Costco sells them in a 2 pack for $49.99. I don't see any side-effects like eyes turning brown, either. (mine are blue, so that wouldn't work well for me)

    My favorite go-to mascara is Covergirl ClumpCrusher It works well for me!

  5. That's so interesting! : ) Mine washes off easily though I've had the black under your eyes kind before...I usually use:L'oreal now

  6. Hi Deborah, I am a committed mascara user too and since I've been wearing it from about 15 years old, I have removed it with baby oil each night. It comes off perfectly with no undereye rings and wake up rings, plus the oil keeps wrinkles at bay and brings softness to the area under the eye. It's cheap and really works. I use my fingers to work it around right over my whole eye while closed them wipe off gently with a warm black washcloth. Then I wash my face with baby shampoo which is another gently cleanser. Why spend a lot on something that will just go down the drain!!
    I have a friend who used Latisse and she grew long beautiful lashes but she also had dark areas begin to show where the med hit her skin.
    So nice to catch up with you after being away for a computer vacation!!
    Blessings, cm

    1. Thanks for the ideas; I like the black washcloth too. Mascara just doesn't come out, even when I bleach my white washcloths. I'm going to try your idea with coconut oil since I have so much of it.

  7. I've had a problem wearing mascara for years so would have my eyelashes dyed once a month. Wouldn't you know it, earlier this year I had a reaction twice and now I'm afraid to do it again.
    My eyelashes are the same colour as my hair, blond, and without any colour I do look tired and unwell as you mentioned Deborah. I purchased a mascara from our health food store and it makes my eyes ache like any other mascara.
    I would be happy with some colour let alone thickness so I will see how you make out experimenting.

  8. Hello, Great topic, I also use mascara daily and I use one from Sephoras Beauty Store It is called SPLASHES from Tarte. It has been really wonderful stays on and comes off.
    I do use castor oil on my lids! It does work!
    I use Ponds cold cream to remove my eye make-up.
    Blessings, Roxy

  9. These are wonderful tips, my friend. Unfortunately I have never tried any of these simply because I have naturally long and thick lashes. I use Neutrogena mascara and that is all. I have never tried fake lashes and once in a blue moon I will use liner :) Maybe that has helped with keeping my lashes healthy.... Thank you for sharing, dear Deborah. Hugs!

  10. I use mascara depending on my mood and wear it if I'm going out! I have not worn much of it this summer!
    I have heard about using coconut oil to remove eye makeup but I was afraid to use it.
    You seem to be going very natural and I do hope the castor oil works for you.
    I'm enjoying summer and I don't want it to be over.
    Enjoy the rest of the week.

  11. Great topic. I am a mascara user that never leaves the house without it.,I use chemical free. Cruelty free only,mascara from benefit . it's fantastic two swipes and your lashes look long and,lush. I am afraid,of your product.,I have beauitful dark green eyes and heard it changes eye color of green eues.,I also don't use chemicals on my body being organic and chemical free. I found a natural make,up remover wipe that I love. My Mom used Vit. E oil or olive oil on het lashes for years and she had thick lashes. I do apply Vit. E when I remember. Mine are thinning hence the need for mascara!

  12. Great beauty tip, Deborah. My desert island makeup item used to be lipstick, but these days I think I'm with you. My lashes and eyebrows have changed drastically, and I've never been one to pluck my eyebrows because their shape was just right for me. I use coconut oil for just about everything, and I like to remove my eye makeup with it and leave a little around my eyes overnight. It's fantastic!
    Was nice visiting and catching up a bit.
    Much love,

  13. Mascara is a must for me, too, (Almay hypoallergenic) and I experience the same issues with cleansing. I use a Vichy product that works well, but I think I'll try a little olive oil at night for lash health. It will be interesting to hear, in a couple of months, if you feel like there's been improvement.

  14. I feel naked without mascara and I use Jane Iredale's very gentle and to remove it I use a micellar face cleanser with a soft cotton pad. I'll be eager to hear what you find after using the castor oil regime.

  15. Im a mascara user, Deborah. I have never tried Latisse, but knew a friend that did and her lashes looked great. I use Cetaphil to take my mascara off at night and it doesn't seems to stay on my washcloth, but I think I'll try the coconut oil. I'll be anxious to hear how the castor oil works.

  16. Great and informative post, Deborah! I had to chuckle when I read that you are using caster oil as I took a whole bottle of that 35 years ago in hopes that it would cause me to go into labor with my oldest daughter. It was my dear mother's idea, lol.
    It was so gross!!
    Anyway~I use a natural mascara from melaleuca that is water proof but really comes off nicely with coconut oil or baby oil.
    My mother always said to use white face cloths as the dyes are not good for your complexion, and she is gorgeous at 75. She also recommends washing your face with cool water, hot water causes wrinkles.
    I too would have to take my mascara over anything else, it perks up the eyes especially as I get older.:-)
    Such a fun post~ Debbie

  17. Dearest Deborah,
    Glad that you too never have worn those fake eye lashes; not for me...
    With all I use or do I try to think about the long-term affects on my skin so safe ingredients is the most important thing.
    Coconut oil is a real safe ingredient and for sure does it help the overall condition of our lashes.
    I'm more and more going without mascara when I'm just at home, it irritates my eyes easily and also the cleaning, even when using mild products is something to consider for not causing more wrinkles in this tender area.
    When I'm driving long distance I do prefer to go au-naturelle as that way nothing gets into my eyes.
    You are smart for using the old (cleaned up) mascara wand. Should have kept my Chanel last week... that's really a clever idea!
    Sending you hugs,

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this! My lashes have been thinning out a lot as I go through my 40s, so I'm going to try it :)

    I hope you're having a lovely Sunday.


  19. I don't have great lashes without mascara, but it does seem like constant use of mascara does damage the lashes more. I often take a break from it when I'm not going anywhere special and that does seem to help. I saw on Pinterest that Vaseline made lashes grow so I tried it for several weeks and it did seem to work. BUT then I read that Vaseline is aging to skin cells (just a quick search and you will see some of these warnings) and I certainly don't want that. Thanks for some other ideas. I'm looking forward to seeing how you feel about the castor oil.

  20. How funny! Mascara is the one makeup item I absolutely will NOT wear. Ugh - hate it, for all the reasons you described :) I don't have fabulous lashes, but they're not insipid either. They're adequate. I'm sure if I wore mascara faithfully and then went without it one day, everybody I saw would ask if I were sick :) But since I don't ... they don't. With makeup, it's all a matter of what other people (and you) are used to as being "you." Makeup is expensive, but mostly it's time consuming, and I just don't like it. When I do occasionally wear it, people tell me I look glamorous - haha! So that's one plus side to NOT wearing is 99% of the time -- I look really good when I do - haha!!


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