If you suffer from hair loss, you will understand that it can sometimes overwhelm your life. Something that you have no control over, even if it is 'just hair', can have a huge affect on your physical appearance and your emotional state of being. Having trichotillomania and pulling my eyelashes out since I was 3 years old has taught me that hair is actually so important to me, and as a result, my appearance has been a meticulously thought-out operation for the sake of resisting judgement from the outside world. I never knew eyelashes would become such a focal point in my life, but experiencing hair loss has taught me ways to deal with not having lashes, and how to cover up these gaps. These tips and tricks will also apply to anyone who has sparse or stubby lashes (as well as none whatsoever), as I share with you my favourite products to boost growth or give the illusion of fuller lashes.
This is without a doubt the best beauty product to have if you are looking to disguise a lack of eyelashes. It's perfect for those who never wear eye make-up, or aren't used to different eyeliner styles or gluing on false lashes. While it may be the simplest technique I have discovered, it does not mean it's not as effective. In fact, smudging a bit of black (or brown, if you are more fair-haired) kohl eyeliner along your top and bottom lids is probably the best way to cover sparse/stubby/a lack of eyelashes that I have come across. Make sure the eyeliner pencil is sharp (but not sharp enough to poke your eye out!), draw a line across your lids, and smudge with an eyeliner blending brush (or a clean finger if you are feeling lazy). It gives a subtly smoky effect, and smudging it just helps to get rid of those sharp lines which often draw attention. The best part is the ability to build the amount of product up gradually; perfect for those who never wear much make-up or have to keep make-up to a minimum due to school. My favourite is MUA's black eyeliner pencil- fab quality for only £1!
Benefit's Roller Lash
I know this may be a strange inclusion when talking about having no eyelashes, but for those who have eyelashes just growing through or have naturally stubby lashes, this product is an absolute life-saver. I reviewed it when it first launched and have loved it ever since. The plastic bristles contain little hooks aimed at grabbing onto each lash, defining and lifting it. When my lashes start to grow back through, I always reach for this mascara to make them seem fuller; it really makes the most of every single lash you have (perfect for when you are lacking a few). It doesn't go clumpy or flake (allowing you to resist the urge of picking it off), and lengthens your lashes like no other mascara I've tried. If your lashes are particularly delicate through trich damage, or have a tendency to fall out easily, this mascara cuts out the eyelash curler process (which is notorious for further damaging poor, weak lashes) by providing a gorgeous curl with the lengthening process. It's everything you'd ever want in a mascara.
This is a make-up item which I know not everyone is comfortable using, so if you just can't get to grips with liquid liner, then stick to the kohl! If you are skilled in the art of my liquidy friend, then this is another great option for covering up any missing eyelashes. Since Sixth Form (where I could finally get away with wearing a little bit more make-up), I've been experimenting with liquid eyeliner, and have found that the cat flick / winged liner look is personally the best style for covering up hair loss. Liquid eyeliner allows you to get away with a thicker line and not look like you walked out of the 90s; a thicker line covers more sins. It glides over where your lashes would naturally curl up to (thus disguising a bit more than kohl would), while the winged outer corner would just follow the natural line of your lashes. I have also found it draws attention away from any gaps in my lashes. This is my go-to look which I rely upon everyday, and it's served me well so far! My favourite eyeliners include Collection's Fast Stroke, Soap & Glory's Supercat, and Rimmel's Scandaleyes.
I used to wear false lashes every single day, but now I realise that it's simply not necessary. If you can be bothered to apply them every morning, and are prepared to keep reapplying throughout the day, then go ahead, but I have found I don't have the patience for it! Most people genuinely won't realise you don't have eyelashes, so false lashes probably won't make a huge amount of difference; I think they are purely there to boost your own confidence. They can be fiddly, they can be frustrating, but false lashes are the most obvious way you can replace your own. There are so many to chose from now, varying in style, length, price and quality, that you can go out and choose a pair perfect for you. I tend to look for styles with a natural length (avoid spidery ones) and a criss-cross feature at the base of the lash; the overlapping of lashes by the strip mimics what your own lashes would do, and avoids being able to see obvious gaps when you look down. Some of my regular falsies include Tanya Burr's 'Pretty Lady', Fleur de Force's 'Simply Fleur', Kiss 'Iconic' lashes and these Eylure natural ones.
You are probably sick of me constantly harping on about RapidLash, but it is single-handedly my most used product when trying to deal with trichotillomania. I cannot emphasise enough how much I love it (you can read my full review here). It's basically a serum which you glide onto your brows and lash line every morning and night (although I only usually use it before I go to bed) in order to boost growth and help strengthen the hair. It seriously speeds up the process of hair growing through; without it, I could wait 10 weeks for lashes to come through, but using RapidLash the wait is cut down to about 6 weeks. The serum is packed full of vitamins, amino acids and polypeptides which all aim and strengthening and nourishing the hair; I genuinely don't think I could live without it. If you have no lashes, it'll help them grow through faster, if you have weak lashes, it'll make them stronger, if you have stubby lashes, you will notice a huge difference in the length. A winner all around!
Do you have any beauty secrets when it comes to eyelashes? Which products do you use to cover gaps or make them appear fuller?