I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
If you had the chance to get some part of your body enhanced without invasive surgery and no annoying maintenance and also it was relatively cheap, would you do it?
I’m totally talking about eyelashes, you guys! Not boobs (but to be real, I miiiight get the boobs, too).
My small God-given lashes were always a source of tarnished vanity for me since it required such an effort to achieve the long, curled look I longed for. Nothing five minutes with an eyelash curler and some Dior Black Out couldn’t serve, but sans eye makeup I was all, “Where are my eyes?”
Asian lashes are particularly challenged. They’re short, sparse and straight. Boo. I would go to gameshow-contestant lengths to make them anything but.
A former coworker who somehow had found herself with a missing patch of eyelashes (possibly due to overzealous removal of false lashes?) recommended this product to me as a miracle worker for growing lashes super long and thick and bountiful. And at first, I of course was like NU-HUH, until she told me she wasn’t wearing mascara and in fact never wore mascara (or really any makeup, so that didn’t sound suspect).
This chick was “wish they all could be California girls” naturally sun-kissed fair skin and natural honey blond hair. But the lashes were dark. How! Wait, what? You mean those Bambi lashes grew plumb out of your face?
I immediately ordered myself a tube. An eyelash growing serum that actually works and is less than $60? That goes on my list of worth-its, along with my air-conditioning bill and waiting in line for Shake Shack burgers.
It’s called NutraLuxe MD. It kind of sounds like when someone yells, “Is there a doctor in the house?” and a handsome doctor is like, “Yes, I am a doctor in the house.”
The wand has a little baby brush at the end of it that you apply like eyeliner, and the texture of the stuff is a watery, clear liquid. I don’t think the MD actually stands for much, but it sounds nourishing and luxurious, which is how your lashes will look after five weeks of using this stuff religiously every day. Yep, beauty takes time--whole damn month and change. (The reason it takes five weeks for really noticeable results is most likely because that’s how long the cycle of natural lash-loss vs. new lash growth takes.)
Prompt as ever, though, after those five weeks, I really noticed that my lashes were longer, thicker and, to my delight, they curled on their own! They weren’t necessarily all synchronized with the curling, but I haven’t used my lash curler in two years. So there. There’s the one rogue lash towards the outer corner of my eyes that’s competing in some curling Olympics and refuses to stay in line with the others. I’d pluck it out but that seems kind of fascist, don’t you think?
Both my mother and a cousin immediately bought a tube after witnessing my eyelash resurgence.
Now, is it safe? How could something be so effective without any adverse effects?
The ingredient that many lash-growing serums have in common is prostaglandin, which is a chemical produced naturally in your body. Synthetic prostaglandins are used for all sorts of clinical treatments, from ulcers to glaucoma (most weird being erectile dysfunction), but the side effect of this synthetic compound is hair growth, which is why it’s added to some lash growth treatments. NutraLuxe is one of them.
The package promises that it’s “Physician formulated, ophthalmologist safety tested,” but the jury is out on whether prostaglandin is harmful for this use, and the FDA is pretty mum about this particular product. However, there is a ban on selling it in the state of Tennessee. On TN’s official site, the reason they won’t sell it is because it doesn’t have FDA approval.
Nowhere else seems to have the same hang-ups, and there’s no outright shaming of the product that says NutraLuxe is harmful or has adverse effects, but it’s reported that a slight darkening of the skin where the product is applied can appear. Obviously, if you choose to use it and are experiencing any kind of change in vision, pain or severe discomfort, STOP. My mother experienced redness in her eyes the first two or three days, but it went away. My cousin, however, did not, so who’s to say?
True to all the reviews I read, your eyelids will appear slightly red where you apply the stuff. Don’t worry--you don’t look rabid and it goes away after a few days. It’s nothing some basic concealer can’t cover up. Personally, it never struck me as offensive-looking, but then again, I have a sort of olive skin tone, so someone super-fair might have reason to complain.
I’ve been using it on and off for two-month stints, where I’d do the five-week ritual until my lashes were long enough to double as Venus fly traps, and then I’d stop for a while because I’m afraid if I don’t, my eyes will look like that Tales From The Crypt segment with the space moss that keeps growing on Stephen King’s body until he’s dead.
Yes, your lashes will fall out at their normal rate. If you’re like me and put on eye makeup every day, and also rub your eyes a lot when removing said eye makeup, or even rub them throughout the day even though you shouldn’t, your lashes will fall out.
Once I notice that the new lashes growing in are once more my genetics-cursed sparse, straight and thin wee little hairs, I’ll start up again.
My former coworker did give me one warning, which I will pass on to you. Only use whatever liquid is on the brush when you pull it out of the tube for both eyes. No double dipping. You need only the tiniest bit—so tiny that you probably think it’s not enough—to apply every day.
The package’s directions say to apply it at night after you clean your face. Because I was so excited/impatient I applied it every morning and night after washing my face. Rookie mistake. I also made the mistake of beginning the process a night before a date.
Remember how I said it made the skin of your eyelids a little red? Yeah, FUNNY STORY: The first three days of using this stuff, my eyes were bloodshot to hell (I was also warned that this could happen and was told it was go way in a day or two.; they weren’t itchy or bothersome otherwise). I looked stoned for two days straight. This could be for any number of reasons, except really it was just these: I was using too much liquid in one go, and I was applying it twice in a day instead of the prescribed once. Duh.
After adhering to the no-double-dipping rule, my Dave Matthews Band eyes went away. Also, that dude never got in touch with me after that date. I was even on my A-game with charm due to my self-consciousness. I half don’t blame him, but I also admonish his small-mindedness. Stoner girlfriend could be fun, right?