Eyelashes Are Trending
There’s a lash lift bar that just opened around the corner from my apartment. I walk past it almost every day, slowing my stroll to peek through the glass and see what the fuss is all about. Petal pink couches and faux fur rugs decorate the waiting room, a bubbly receptionist answers the phone. There’s a price list hanging on the wall beside her: Full Set starting at $110; Infill & Tidy, $60.
The last time I wore fake eyelashes was for my wedding. They were the single-use ones, glued on by my sister and carefully peeled off by me later that night. I remember them hurting, irritating my eyes. I picked at the crusty glue residue for more than a week until it was finally gone. Beauty is pain, was the phrase I had in my mind. This was before I learned there are natural skin care products and oils that are actually kind to my body—not to mention to animals and the environment.
Even though lash bars and professional services are much safer than store-bought and single-use extensions, this boutique beauty process is still a painful and expensive experience. Lash extensions and lifts require maintenance and care, and the chemicals used in the procedure are rarely safe for you or the environment. The good news is, mother nature has us covered. We can have thicker, longer, and healthier lashes just by using plant-based oils and remedies. Here are a few of our favorite natural methods—and then a couple of our favorite natural products for when we’re feeling less DIY.
*When using oils, we recommend cold-pressed, fair-trade and organic.
At-Home Methods For Lash Lifting
1. Castor Oil
One of the most talked-about oils for lifting lashes is castor oil. A vegetable oil derived from seeds of a perennial flowering plant native to tropical areas in Africa and Asia, it’s a thick and glossy liquid with a yellowish tint, and it’s touted as being one of nature’s best for healthier and longer lashes.
Castor oil is made up mostly of Ricinoleic Acid, an omega fatty acid that nourishes brittle and fine hairs, spurring health and growth. The oil is also rich in Vitamin E, which repairs damaged follicles and prevents further breakage, as well as properties that moisturize and hydrate even the most delicate of lashes.
To apply castor oil to your eyelashes, use a small mascara wand and apply a few drops at night after washing your face. You can also use a q-tip or your fingers to gently coat your hairs. Apply faithfully for three to six months to begin seeing results.
Grapeseed oil has been used for beauty, skincare, and as a natural health remedy for centuries. It’s made from pressing grape seeds leftover in winemaking. There are mentions of the oil being used by kings in the Old Testament of the Bible, and historians believe it was used for medicinal purposes in ancient Greece.
For long and luscious lashes, grapeseed oil is ideal because of its linoleic acid content (an omega 6 fatty acid to combat hair loss). It’s a lightweight oil so it won’t weigh your lashes down. It also contains Vitamin E, which is loved for its moisturizing and strengthening abilities.
3. Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is a golden liquid extracted from Jojoba seeds; the shrubby plant is native to the dry, southern regions of Arizona and California, as well as parts of northwestern Mexico. The oil is loved for its abundance of rich vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E which, as mentioned above, is essential for healing damaged hair.
As an eyelash enhancer, jojoba oil is a favorite because it moisturizes, protects follicles, and encourages growth. It has regenerative properties as well and, when used loyally, it is said to gift longer and thicker lashes. Use like any of the other oils, applying small amounts at night and to your roots.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is one of those plants that has a laundry list of health and skincare benefits. The best part is, many of us have this lanky succulent growing in our home. Fab How has a fantastic article on how to extract aloe gel from the leaves of your aloe plant. If videos are more your thing though, YouTube creator T'keyah B can show you how to cut up and scoop the juice from the leaves.
For lash lifting, aloe vera gel is best used in conjunction with other oils—many DIY beauty bloggers recommend combining it with castor or jojoba oil, mixing one part oil with one part gel. Like with other natural lash applications, apply the mixture at night, using one of your old (cleaned) mascara brushes.
Aloe vera is also loved for gifting lashes a natural shine. The gel even has antibacterial and antifungal properties which combat infections that may be harming your hairs and preventing growth.
Natural & Eco-Friendly Products
A Canadian brand specializing in natural and vegan skincare and wellness products, Luna Nectar has one of the most natural and ethical lash-boosts on the market: Moon Boost. Packaged in a fair-trade bamboo tube and shipped in recycled paper boxes, this lash lifter is made with natural ingredients, including aloe vera juice, argan oil, red clover extract, and sweet almond oil.
All ingredients in Moon Boost are ethically-sourced, and the product is free from parabens, sulfates, dyes, fragrances, or any of the other harmful chemicals often found in cosmetic products. Users attest to seeing results after only two weeks.
Price | $75
LASHFOOD is “The World’s First & Only Ecocert Natural Eyelash Enhancer," and it comes in a mascara-like tube made with Ecocert compliant and sustainable materials. Created in California by a mother-daughter team, this natural lash serum is packed with skin-loving ingredients such as lavender water, herbal extracts, arginine, and soy protein.
The LASHBOOST formula is gluten-free and irritation-free, as well as certified natural & organic. It’s also free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and GMOs (just to name a few). Check out the LASHFOOD diaries on Youtube for application tips and to see real-life reviews.
Price | $80
Kayti Christian, a staff writer for The Good Trade, is a storyteller, creator, activist, and avid traveler hailing from Colorado, now living in London. With 30+ stamps in her passport, she is passionate about responsible tourism and is always looking for new ways to be a more conscious traveler. She is currently pursuing her MA in Creative Nonfiction Writing at City, University of London.