#MakeupMonday: How I Got My Lashes Back

See regular Intro to the #MakeupMonday series below.

Remember my previous post on eye makeup, and my attempts to find a good long-wear mascara that stays on through my dance classes and long speaking days on campuses while not irritating my hyper-sensitive eyes? I talk about my love of Eyeko Sport Mascara, which is an amazing product that stay on through rivers of sweat–yay!

But in that post I noted that one of my big challenges was just getting mascara to stay on my thin middle-aged lashes at all:

My only complaint about Eyeko is its huge curved brush that scatters mascara everywhere. Not to make everything about age, but another aspect of middle-aged eyes is thin eyelashes. They won’t hold mascara bulk, and if you’re not very very careful, the product flies through them onto your skin.

It was SUCH a hassle trying apply any mascara at all, no matter what kind, because every single time I ended up with mascara-scatter all over my eyelids. I’d use my Elf Makeup Remover Pen, which was fine… except that doing that would inevitably wipe off some of my painstakingly applied eyeshadow as well.


So, I decided to work on the problem.  And I found two solutions that have truly made a difference. I now have lashes! That are visible! And mascara-spatter is a thing of the past. Check it out:



2018 – lashes AND brows!

[Update one month later:

What did I do?

First, I started using lash primer.  I actually used lash primer years ago with L’Oreal Paris Double Extend, and really liked it. But as so often happens with makeup, you move on, and get into new products, and forget about old loves. And when I moved to higher end  mascara I just assumed that primer was no longer necessary.

But that didn’t account for my aging lash situation!  After months of frustration, I finally in exasperation googled, “how to stop mascara from spattering,” and lo, suggestion #1 was: use primer.

So I did. I went first to my old standby, L’Oreal, because as with all things makeup, I never spring for high end items until I’m sure I can get behind the basic idea first.  So I got L’Oreal Voluminous Primer at Riteaid. And instantly–it solved the problem of mascara-spatter.  Just, gone. No more. At all.  Like magic.  The primer just went on white, dried clear, and then grabbed hold of any and all mascara and allowed not a single speck to pass through onto my lids. I was thrilled!

But the L’Oreal product was thick and clumpy and hard to manage. So when I found the chance to get a free sample of the legendary Lancome Cils Booster XL at Sephora, I jumped at it.

And….wow…. this is a wonderful, spectacular lash primer. Because it contains fibers, it visibly extends your lashes out to amazing lengths. And it HOLDS–so your mascara is as fresh at the end of the day as the beginning.

I thought: my search is OVER!

Until…  dance class…. and red, irritated, inflamed eyes…. tears mixed with sweat… running down my cheeks.

So sad.

My search continued.

Right now, I’m trying out Blinc Lash Primer and Clinique Lash Building Primer. Neither delivers the amazing length of Lancome, and the Blinc is oddly clumpy, but the Clinique does a good job, and looks like it’s going to be see me through dance class.

I’ll keep you updated on results.  But suffice to say:  I am never going primer-less again.

Second, I started using an eyelash growth serum.

I began with  Organys Lash and Brow Booster Serum, and used it for over a year.  I chose it based on Amazon reviews (there are almost 8000!), and…. it worked.  Particularly on my eyebrows, which grew in REALLY well.  My lash outcome was less dramatic, but they definitely got consistently filled in.  No more holes and gaps, which had become a daily irritation.

And interestingly, when I stopped using it for a couple weeks while traveling, my lashes noticeably thinned back out.

Based on my success with Organys,  a few months ago I decided to spring for the Rodan & Fields Lash Boost that gets all kinds of buzz, especially as seen on a new Makeup for Academics Facebook group that I belong to, that was apparently inspired by #MakeupMonday on Professor Is In! (Check out DoctorWhy’s Makeup Academy here.)

It’s a LOT more expensive, and I hesitated a long time.  But people on the Facebook page raved about it, and I subjected it to my “forget about it” test (ie, in a couple months have I totally moved on to some new obsession?) and found that I just couldn’t quite set down the idea of trying it. So I finagled it as a Christmas present!

And wow.  Yeah, it has made a major difference, even compared to my already improved Organys lashes.

not a great pic, but visible lashes!

My lashes are now not just filled in, but actually noticeably longer and noticeably thicker.  And my brows are so much thicker that it’s actually a little bit jarring to look in the mirror. I look…different. For awhile I kept thinking: ack, I over-penciled my brows only to realize: wait, that’s just how they look now…

But honestly, if your budget very reasonably precludes spending $150 on lash serum, I highly recommend Organys.  That stuff, at a MUCH more reasonable $24.99 on Amazon, will make a difference — as long as you stick with it. Because no matter what brand lash serum you use, you have to use it faithfully for 8-12 weeks to see an impact.

*My regular intro:

Welcome to #MakeupMonday, my weekly series on makeup; academic and postacademic job market and productivity posts will continue on Tuesday and Friday as usual.

Here is my weekly reminder:  I will not engage with makeup-shaming here or on any Facebook or Twitter comment threads. I support your right to not wear makeup, and anyone who dislikes makeup, disapproves of makeup, or wants to argue that no academic woman should be judged on the basis of makeup (which nobody is claiming anyway), I suggest you come back for my other posts on other topics.

For previous posts, see the following:

Similar Posts:

About Karen Kelsky

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I've created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don't.


#MakeupMonday: How I Got My Lashes Back — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback: #MakeupMonday: Updates From Karen | The Professor Is In

  2. Pingback: #MakeupMonday: Beyoncé’s Makeup Artist, Sir John | The Professor Is In

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