I Bought Lash Growing Serum. Like a Weirdo.

Sick of fillers, falsies or puny eyelashes?  GROW YOUR OWN.  I grew my own and they’re officially long enough to sweep crumbs off of tables. 

You may remember a couple of years ago I tried out magnetic eyelashes.  They’re great for anyone going for the completely unnatural and borderline psychotic look.  With a touch of refrigerator magnet.

A few months after THAT particular life debacle I invested in genuine eye lash serum, which I figured was yet another kind of snake oil. You put a drop of it on a tiny brush and then swipe it across your lash line every night before bed. Just the upper lashes.

MY LATEST VIDEOS

You then wake up with feathery, luxurious, almost unappealingly long eyelashes – 3 months later.

I went with Latisse because in Canada it’s the only option that’s medically approved for use on eyelashes for growth. Because of that, you need to get it from a doctor.  Most dermatologist or plastic surgery offices carry it along with medispas.

There are a TON of other eyelash serums, most of them completely ineffective.  However I’ve heard  nothing but good feedback about the Rodan & Fields Lash Boost which you can get without a prescription (you can actually get it on Amazon), plus it’s a tiny bit cheaper. BUT not medically approved (in Canada) for lash growth.

Latisse was the first lash growth product on the market.

It was originally developed for use in glaucoma patients. Then all of a sudden all the test subjects started growing crazy long eyelashes and eye lash Latisse was born.  The active ingredient is a form of prostaglandin, which is also what’s in Rodan & Fields lash serum.

The problem is, Latisse admits to having that medical ingredient in it which is why it’s labelled as a drug and needs to be prescribed.

Rodan & Fields also uses the drug, but doesn’t “admit” to it and therefore isn’t listed as a drug. This is me dumbing down the lingo and circumstances because I’m basically dumb.

What I am sure of is that because of their use of this ingredient but not selling it as a “drug” Rodan & Fields is currently facing a couple of federal class action lawsuits.  Mainly because they didn’t acknowledge this ingredient or the side effects.

I’m so pretty.

The difference in my face between wearing mascara and not wearing mascara is unsettling. I look as though I’ve just crawled my way out of Chernobyl.

Latisse takes at least 3 months to work enough that you see the results. Rodan & Fields apparently only takes 8 weeks.

Latisse made my eyes quite dry when I first started using it but that seems to have levelled out. What do I mean by quite dry?  Do you remember when I took a woodworking course with my mother, Betty, a couple of winters ago?  We were using wood lathes to make pepper mills.  At one point she grabbed my elbow and pulled me to the side to whisper something to me.  Being a wood working shop there was a lot of machinery running so she ended up screaming at the top of her lungs  “I THINK YOU HAVE PINK EYE.”

That is how red and dry my eyes were. The forever floating sawdust in the shop wasn’t helping.

Which is one of the side effects.

Another side effect that people are worried about is the chance your eyes will change colour.  Although it’s technically a side effect for the drug there hasn’t been a single case of this happening in Latisse users.  Ever.  (as of this post)

That particular side effect happens (and even then only in 1-2% of patients) with people using this as an actual glaucoma medication where their entire eye is doused with it in the form of an eye dropper.

 

So if that’s been your fear about using these products, then fear no more.

Yes. I’m sure there are rare cases where people have unwanted side effects, but they are very rare and also will reverse once you stop using the product.

Now back to me and my broom-like eyelashes that just batted their way out of Chernobyl.

Being the worst blogger in the world I don’t have a very good before picture of me and my natural (un-Latissed) eyelashes.

This picture is from my review of the magnetic eyelashes post, which is worth reading if you’re ever considering clamping spiders to your eyes with magnets.

The eye on the right is my natural eyelashes. The one on the left is the magnetic lashes.  Trust me. It’s a GOOD shot of the magnetic lashes. The kind they’d use in promotional materials because it would almost make you believe these things are wearable.

magnetic lashes on left —- real lashes PRE Latisse, on right

As you can see my natural lashes (on the right) are puny.

Now what they look like after using Latisse (with my favourite Loreal Voluminous mascara).

Closed eyes. ( In case you weren’t familiar with the look of someone sleeping, deep in prayer or watching a horror movie. )

Opening up like a lash covered drawbridge.

 

BAM.  Terrifying. Those are terrifying lashes right there.


Latisse Eyelash Tips

  • Cost? Around $150 per 5 ml bottle.
  • The little bottle of Latisse goes much further than they say it will.  A bottle is supposed to last 1 month. I’ve found it lasts closer to 3-4 months.
  • You’ll go through the most amount of Latisse in your first 3 months while you’re wearing it every day.
  • Try very hard to remember to put Latisse on every single night.
  • After 3 months of continuous use you’ll have camel eyelashes but you’ll notice growth in the first month.
  • Once your initial 3 months of use are up you can slow the Latisse application down to 2 or 3 times a week.
  • I did not notice my lashes growing in any darker. They’re still invisible without mascara.
  • To help prevent dry eyes be careful not to use too much product. You only need a tiny bit. If you use too much it can seep down into your eyes which is what causes the red eyes and dryness.
  • The box recommends using a new brush for each eye every night. However this wastes product.  I use one brush for both eyes every night (and then throw it out and use a new brush the next night).  Doing this allows you to use just ONE drop of Latisse instead of two.  Which is how you can make your serum lasts months longer than they say.
  • Latisse will also work on eyebrows the same way it works on eyelashes.
  • If you STOP using Latisse your eyelashes will go back to the way they were.  I know this because I stopped once thinking they seemed long enough then just sort of randomly used it once every few weeks or so.  One day I looked in the mirror and realized all my lashes were back to normal and I had to start the whole 3 month every night process all over again.

All of these points would apply to the Rodan & Fields product as well.


 

If you have any questions ask away below.  I’ll just be over here doing a handstand, sweeping the floor by blinking my eyes.

 

→Follow me on Instagram where I often make a fool of myself←

 

64 Comments

  1. Kmarie says:

    Love it! Lol if you think that looks like spiders I’m guessing mine would be considered caterpillars when I wear them – I love the long black Dolly Parton ones!:) the magnetic ones never did work for me either and I wished I knew longer term effects of Duo glue – cuz I’d wear my lashes every day if I could but I get worried about eye health or effects so I only wear them once a week on outing days or pictures ect 😬 your lashes look great though! 😉 Suits you

  2. Audrey A. Ogilvie says:

    Hi Karen ~ Your eyelashes look smashing. I have been an eyelash fanatic since I was very young and feel I could write a book about them! I, too, have used Latisse and it definitely works. However, I believe that Careprost has the same formulation. It works like a charm at a fraction of the price and can be ordered on line. It now has a brush like liquid eyeliner so the application is a cinch. It usually comes three at a time. Just a tip that you and your interested fans might want to try. I have never had a single problem with it.

  3. Paula says:

    Holy crap! Is that stuff for real? Wow, impressive.

  4. Marcia says:

    I would advise caution using the Rodin and Fields product from Amazon. I think there are phony products out there. I tried what was advertised as that and ended up with swollen eyes after just a few times of using it. Probably best to buy directly from the Rodin and Fields website

  5. janie says:

    They look awesome…BUT…expensive. I use organic castor oil (about $5.00 for 8 oz.) on my eyelashes and nails every night at bedtime. Amazing results. Try it, you’ll love it. xo

    • Pat says:

      How much and nails also???

    • Jacquie says:

      I use castor oil on my eyebrows which need filling out at the outer edge but Vaseline petroleum jelly on my lashes; I find it works better and doesn’t get in to my eyes like the oil does. It is genuinely amazing the difference, I agree.

      • Mary W says:

        I had the same problem with eyebrows but turned out this is a very common side effect of thyroid problems. I would advise you to ask your doctor for a test of your thyroid. The medicine didn’t fix my eyebrows, but the eyebrows did alert me to the problem.

        • Amy says:

          Mary- what do you mean sparse eyebrows and eyelashes could signal thyroid issues? Curious.

    • Ashley Collins says:

      I’ve been hearing about this! I just bought my castor oil last night. Can’t wait to see what happens!

    • Christine says:

      I started the castor oil last week.Can you please tell me how long before l see results?

    • Karen says:

      I’m actually going to get a relative to do a test of the castor oil. I’ve seen many claims about it, but my initial thought is if Castor oil actually worked it would be more popular and women would have been using it for years. However … I will get someone to test it for me to see! ~ karen!

      • Heather Sykora says:

        I look forward to that post!! I actually suffer from dry eye syndrome and tried rubbing castor oil all over my eyes and lashes, so some migrates onto the inner part of the eyes. It was quite effective at relieving dry eye syndrome and I did think it made my lashes longer, but did not take a pic…

  6. canadamsel says:

    Thanks for posting this. I’d read about eye colour change as a possible side effect, and promptly dismissed any further research, or thoughts of trying it. Now, maybe I’ll give my sparse lashes some help.

  7. Maria says:

    Actually, Jan Marini was the first to come out with this product and then latisse, copied? Stole? Whatever, lawsuits and lots of drama came next. Big company won out.

    You know how they say not to put it on lower lashes? Believe them. Because I can speak from experience you don’t want to look like your eyes are covered with spiders.

    True story

    • Lauren says:

      The Jan Marini lash serum was so good too before they had to reformulate. I was in esthetics school the time this all happened and my teacher was a major Jan Marini fan.

    • whitequeen96 says:

      OMG – thanks for the warning! I want to see pictures of your spider-covered eyes! How long did it last once you stopped using it?

  8. Kim says:

    I tried tinting and curling (professionally) my eyelashes for awhile. It works amazing and is more gentle on your eyelashes than daily mascara. I totally recommend it for you fabulous new lashes! They are beautiful!

  9. Martha says:

    and…..I have a son who’s eyelashes are so thick and full he trims them off. Life is so NOT FAIR.

  10. Donna says:

    I have been Eye Envy product for months now. It Works Awesome. Much longe4 lashes in a few months. No side effects. You can buy this product in Canada at salons or at esthetician’s spas. About $75-80 per tube. My first tube has been use since last June and now almost empty.

    Check it out. 🥰

    • Danielle says:

      I also highly recommend Eye Envy! I used Latisse for a few months, but my eyelids were irritated and red the entire time. Then I made the mistake of trying lash extensions (professionally done). This completely deteriorated the sparse lashes that I did have. Eye Envy is amazing! It lasts much longer than the instructions (1 tube every 6 months minimum)

  11. Sara says:

    It will last even longer – a lot longer – if you use the thinest eyeliner brush you can find. It still holds a drop, but doesn’t scratch your eyelid and holds a ‘smaller’ drop, which is all you really need.

    • Ei Con says:

      Don’t buy an eyeliner brush. Buy a size ‘00’ sable paintbrush. Works wonderfully for me to apply a very thin eyeliner liner. Should work well for applying Latisse as well.

    • Yvonne says:

      Sara, my dermatologist told me the same thing. I use a thin eyeliner brush.

    • Jenny says:

      Sara, you are spot on! I work for a cosmetic dermatologist and we give each Latisse purchaser a fine point eyeliner brush and throw away the awful ones the company includes. One small drop easily does both eyelids! You can easily wash it out in the sink. The other recommendation is to use it IN THE MORNING-no more problems with the product migrating into your eyes while you sleep. (Plus, it will be on longer–all day vs. just overnight.) I’m post-menopausal and my once-glorious lashes had grown pale and thin, but Latisse made them long and full again. I’ll NEVER go back! (I find that I still have to use it 4-5 days a week to maintain them, although the dang younger office staff can get away with 3-4 days a week. )

  12. maura says:

    Interesting post and great comments!

  13. Ellen says:

    WOW…so Jellin’!
    I’ve only tried Lash Envy mascara and there was hardly any mascara in the tube, ugh.
    I also tried a Lash lift and tint, I liked those results even with my short lashes.
    Alas, my eyes are sensitive and easily irritated and pour tears at the slightest cool draft!
    I’ll stick with mascaras for now, waterproof until the temperatures rise.

  14. Ella says:

    I used Latisse for years until I discovered Eye Envy. Only $79 and works every bit as well as Latisse. Latisse actually made the skin on my eye lids darker. They’re almost back to normal since using Eye Envy. I buy it at my hair salon in Toronto. Comes in a tube with its own brush so I more disposable non-recyclable brushes either!

  15. Ron says:

    I think you might be better off with a separate brush for each eye and using each of them twice. That way if you happen to get an infection in one eye you won’t unknowingly pass it on to the other eye.

  16. Marilyn Meagher says:

    I would have liked to see a picture of your lashes after using the latisse without mascara. Side by side with the before pic. It’s hard to see if they really have grown much when you have mascara on. I know they have but it would be good to see the difference.

    • Karen says:

      I did! The photos of me without mascara ARE after using Latisse, lol. You just can’t see them because my lashes are clear. ~ karen!

  17. Angie S says:

    Your eyelashes look great, but what I want to know is what skin care products you use!?!? Seriously. Please?

  18. Debbie says:

    I had been using Latisse for several months and when I went to the eye doctor, she noticed some abnormality in my eye tests. Thought it might be the start of macular degeneration. Took several more tests which were inclusive. Stopped the Latisse immediately and next year for my eye exam, everything came back normal. Won’t use it again. Made my eye lashes longer (they would hit my sun glass lenses all the time), just wish they had made them a little thicker. In any case, I am fine with my lashes au natural anytime over possible eye problems.

    • Lynne Burns says:

      I also had a terrible reaction from using Latisse. I developed iritis in both eyes. This is a known side effect of the drug. Have a friend that same thing happened too. Very painful and scary.

  19. Alena says:

    I will have to give one of these a try. I used to have a very decent lashes – I could feel the bit touching my glasses if I had mascara on (I did not feel it with no mascara) – it was actually a bit irritating.
    Having lived the first half of my life in a socialist country, the choice of mascaras was rather limited but I found a product that worked wonders for me. It was a mascara that came in a tiny tube, a strip of firm plastic and a tiny brush. You squeezed out a bit of the mascara on the piece of plastic and used the brush to apply it to your lashes. I don’t know what made it so special, if the mascara was that good or if applying it with the brush (kinda like a tiny tootbrush but a lot thinner) made a difference. But the mascara stayed on all day, did not flake off, it was simply awesome. I think I was close to the camel eyelashes that Karen mentioned (my natural eyelashes were long at that time).
    Then, several decades later, I noticed that it REALLY is not good for you to sleep with mascara on – I sleep mostly on my left side and Inoticed that my lashes on the left eye were getting a lot shorter – I wondered if they broke off with the mascara on?
    And as with many other things, age certainly is not helping. My eye lashes are so short these days that I stopped using mascara altogether. Being even paler than Karen, I definitely look like I crawled out from Chernobyl myself. (Actually, I don’t like to use Chernobyl in this context because it was a horrible tragedy and out of respect for the victims, we should come up with something from the Adams family or something similar).

    • K. Hamilton says:

      My eyelashes on one side are much shorter now too, and I sleep on my left side. As I’ve aged, my lashes have definitely thinned out.

    • Dd51 says:

      My mother used “cake” mascara in the 50’s, Revlon and it came in a little red case that slid open to reveal a cake of dry hard mascara and a tiny little brush, like a toothbrush for dolls. I used it too and it was totally lump and bump free. You might be able to find it on the internet today for all I know. But it was strictly for color, not length or fullness. As we age, all hair (everywhere!) looses color and becomes thinner, a fact of life. I am choosing to live with this rather than spend money and time trying to alter this , mostly because I am also getting lazier as I age along with an attitude of who cares/notices? But this Prescription level formulation does work, and as with all drugs it comes with side effects which may or may not appear for you.

  20. Julie says:

    Hey Karen…I have been wondering about Latisse for years, so thanks for the review! Some women i know have had lash extensions, but that seems like misery to me…apparently up to an hour and a half to put them on…without opening your eyes! I may try Latisse!

  21. Mary W says:

    I hate spiders and this may frighten me when I blink or look sideways. You do look great but I would rather not be known as the crazy, screaming woman that constantly slaps at her eyes. As a kid I used to think that hell would be an especially picked destination and God would choose a pit full of spiders for me.

  22. Kim Kline says:

    I don’t often leave comments, but it’s time. I feel like the girl in the audience who isn’t clapping with the rest of the group, but just sitting there, really enjoying the show without showing due consideration. Every time I read your writing, I am clapping loudly inside my reading mind.
    I have followed you since the very beginning and have remained in awe of your continued writing brilliance. Truly.
    Thank you for generously sharing your very meaningful experiences, your take on life and your amazing talent.
    Bravo, Karen!

  23. judy says:

    Scary- folks,take it from an old lady-eye lashes are the least element of your charms,but are the protective curtain over your ability to see. The blue of your eyes Karen doesn’t need this tiny enhancement and nobody sees this like you do up close staring into a mirror. These products may be as safe as they claim but it reminds me of all the drugs that are miracle workers until the horrible side effects are revealed years later.

    • Tracey says:

      I was thinking the same thing. I would be very cautious of using these drugs/ingredients especially on my eyes. Whenever I get in a beauty slump, I constantly remind myself: “Don’t like your legs? Be thankful you have legs. Hate your hair? Be grateful you have hair. Teeth aren’t white enough? Be glad you are able to smile.” Karen, you are enough without the long lashes!

      • Karen says:

        Here is what I think about that. I am thankful I have the choice. 😉 ~ karen!

      • Pearl says:

        That’s my cop-out too, I have square wide feet, high arch blah blah on and on and cannot wear any cute shoes ever. But thank God I have feet, not everyone does. But I do want nice eye lashes, might be better than cute shoes.

  24. Susan says:

    Ok- as a person with glaucoma I had to respond. The dry eye is not the only concern here…. and the color change from blue eyes to brown. That would totally suck ( my Dad’s blue eyes?) Prostaglandins are what helps us lady folks go into labor. My ophthalmologist warned me to wash my hands after using the eye drops and before touching my male partner. He is not interested in growing boobs or delivering a baby. Just saying. And I didn’t even get eyelash growth tho I take 2 drops in the eyes daily.

  25. Ann C. says:

    How long before the redness/eye sensitivity stops?

  26. Danni McLaughlin says:

    So I have a few things to add. My husband got glaucoma young and used the drops. His eyes were already blue and they became movie-star blue, bordering at the end on White-Walker blue. (He eventually had a gross surgery to fix it and doesn’t use it anymore.) He had INSANE lashes, but only on the one eye, which was weird and he had to trim them. Hahahahaahhaaha! Fast forward to me buying Latisse. It works great, but my eyes itched like crazy and you have to be careful to really let it dry before going to bed, bc I think when I slept it sort of oozed backwards all over my eyes which looked in the am like I’d been punched while suffering from pink eye. After a few days, AND you get used to it while starting to see growth and then you don’t care bc omg, you have growth. I agree, a bottle lasts forever, and you can get it from your eye doc or your dermatologist. I also get the taller bottle which is a little bit more but lasts six or seven months. It’s probably shady, but I’m old and vain and I like eyelashes. Also if you quit using it, it’s a weirdly immediate punishment, your lashes seem to shrink super fast. Not sure why.

  27. whitequeen96 says:

    Wow! Your eyelashes in your new photos are even longer than when you tried the magnetic fakes! You really COULD sweep up crumbs with them!

  28. CK says:

    Your eyelashes look fab!!! And as a science-y person who uses Rodan + Fields Lash Boost, I think your assessment of the ingredients is reasonable. (Technically the prostaglandins in the RF version are slightly different, and the claims made are not about /structure/ but rather /appearance/, hence distinguishing between cosmetic and medical claims. Anyway, we’ll see how those claims play out legally). I experiences redness/irritation the first couple weeks when I was using too much and it got into my eyes, but no issues since I learned to apply more lightly (which, bonus–as you noted–makes it last longer). It sounds like Latisse is very similar to Lash Boost.

    You’re right that it’s pricy, but I absolutely love the simple joy that having longer-looking, my-very-own lashes brings to my life. (Which I never thought I would be into, but now I can’t imagine going without it. And I’m a pretty frugal, minimal-makeup person in almost every other way).

    If anyone’s curious about Lash Boost ingredients, usage, pricing, etc. feel free to email me (I’m a Rodan and Fields consultant–mostly for the discount–please know I’m not trying to “troll for customers” on here!)

    I love your blog. Thank you for sharing such an interesting mix of DIY home, garden, and life stuff! Your hinged hoop houses are top on my to-do list for when this snow finally melts.

  29. Helen Whaley says:

    I’ve been using Grande Lash MD (I’m in the US) and have terrific, long lashes. I didn’t notice any discomfort unless I sloshed too much on.
    The Grande Lash comes with its own skinny brush applicator inside like a mascara.

  30. TucsonPatty says:

    I absolutely second the advice for going to a salon for eyelash tinting! I am a cosmetologist and I tint eyelashes (and eyebrows) quite often. It takes only a few minutes, and the cost is minimal. (I’m pretty OCD about prep and rinsing, so 1/2 hour, with the product on your lashes for 10 minutes, and I charge $20. It lasts 4-5 weeks or longer. Bizarre to see new growth on your eyelashes.) As you can see from Karen’s photos, there are lashes that you did not know were there until mascara or color has been applied. It is awesome to wake up in the morning and see your lashes before you put on any makeup.
    I personally have used Jan Marini, NuLash, Grande Lash, LiLash, and am currently using nuvega lash. (I absolutely cannot believe this tube of product – it’s like it is magic and won’t run out. I actually have no idea how long it has lasted – months and months!)
    I usually use whichever serum the salon is selling at the moment, and lilash seems to be the winner for now. Grande Lash was a close second. I do have one client that did a “Scientific Study” using one of our serums (can’t remember which) in one eye, and Latisse on the other. The winner was Latisse because of the darkening of the lashes. She still has me tint her lashes regularly – every 6 weeks along with her hair color,- and her lashes are spectacular!
    Wonderful post, Karen. You wierdo. Lol.

  31. Idaho Girl says:

    I have used Careprost for over 5 years with very noticeable results, and have had no problems with dry eyes, color change, etc. The only issue I have is when I get lazy and quit using it for a few months and have to start all over like I am right now! I order my Careprost online and have to pay shipping, so I usually order several bottles at a time with my sisters so we can split the shipping (which is around $25, no matter the quantity). Ordering this way, we usually spend around $13-$15 a bottle (which includes shipping) and each bottle also comes with a small brush that can be washed after each use. The brushes we get are more tapered than the one you’re showing, so they work great for targeting just the lash line. The Careprost bottle looks very similar to the one you’re showing. And like you, I’m happy to have the choice, and love the way my eyes look when my lashes are longer. I’m going to try the castor oil for my eyebrows though, which have always been sparse (I blame that on my thyroid issues). Thanks ladies for sharing!

  32. Jacquie Gariano says:

    Thanks, everyone for all the great input. I have always wanted “great” lashes and have tried the lue on ones, the ones put on by my hairdresser that take an hour to set. She quit doing them as women complained about the pain in taking them off. I just waited till they fell Off LOL. But with all this great info I’m ready to try a serum type. I have a hair appt this Friday, so I’m taking all these names and see what she think of them. Thanks again.

  33. PMMK says:

    Karen, thanks for reviewing these lash serums. My manicurist has tried to get me to try Eye Envy. She definitely has long, thick lashes. She says she has had to stop wearing mascara to work because the acrylic from the nails gets stuck in it. Yuk.

    I recently tried L’Oréal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara. It’s a two-step mascara with a white primer and a black mascara. It’s a lot of eye bling. The only thing I don’t like is the brush is too big so I scrape most of the product off the brash back into the edge of the tube before applying. No point wasting it. It really does extend and thicken the lashes and stays put too. I wore it to two funerals in one month and can attest that it’s tear proof. I have worn it from 6:00 am to midnight and, even then, no raccoon eyes. I don’t put it on the bottom lashes to avoid that startled look.

    To get it off, use a warm wet compress, say, a sodden wash cloth to get them wet and and then just slide the tiny tubes off with a downward motion of the wet cloth. Your cheeks will look like they are covered in the legs of flies but no removers, no scrubbing, no traumatizing your eyes, no anything. Easy peasy.

    I love this stuff but I still might give in and try one of these growth potions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Art of Doing Stuff