Mike Parker

Lovely lashes that go on forever with no need of messy mascara? If something sounds too good to be true… well, you know the rest of that old saying. But when it comes to eyelash growth serums, you might just be able to skip the mascara; for a price.

Back around the turn of the 21st century, doctors treating glaucoma patients with the drug, bimatoprost, noticed an unexpected side effect; their patients’ eyelashes started growing long and lush. Seeing a new market for an old product, manufacturer Allergan earned FDA approval and branded the product as Latisse, for the treatment of inadequate eyelashes. It takes 8–10 weeks for the drug to produce the full result, and to make a good thing even better, it also works on your eyebrows!

Of course, there is always a downside, and the big downside for Latisse is the price tag. A month’s supply will set you back around $120, and it’s available only by prescription. And while you can cut back on the daily application once you’ve achieved your desired results, if you stop altogether, your eyelashes will revert to their previous state.

There are a number of over-the-counter products that also claim to grow thick, long lashes, for significantly less money than Latisse; and many have received glowing accolades from users. Some use the same active ingredient as Latisse (bimatoprost), while other use a combination of conditioners and botanical ingredients. Some carry a premium price tag that rivals the prescription only product, while others are less than the cost of a tube o mascara. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some OTC lash growth products work, but most don’t. In the words of the Grail Knight, “Choose, but choose wisely.”

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