So a few months ago, I had this unexpected tender moment with Jelly Bean:
She had told me that she just wanted “to snuggle for a minute” and then she promptly fell asleep on my lap. My all-grown-up do-it-myself six-year-old didn’t want to admit she still needed a nap (or her mom!) — but she did. And I love it. Unabashedly. Plus, she’s the only kid who will even fit in my lap to sleep anymore. So I had to document it, right?
But when I posted the pic to Facebook, I was surprised to see that many of the comments focused on my eyelashes. “Are those all YOUR lashes?!” said one friend. It’s been over a week since I posted that picture and I’m still getting questions about my eyelashes.
Here’s the thing: Yes, they are all my real eyelashes (i.e. no falsies but I am wearing mascara) and no, I was not genetically blessed in the lash department. Like the hair on my head, my eyelashes have always been thin and sparse. Sigh. But a couple of months ago I lucked into an awesome trick and since so many people have asked me about it, I figured I’d share it here.
Let me start by saying I certainly didn’t invent this trick. In fact, it’s been around for centuries and been on Instagram and Pinterest for years now. I’m just the last person to know about it. So what is this amazing not-so-secret? Coconut and castor oils. Yep, that’s it.
Awhile ago I was trying to take off some stubborn waterproof mascara without completely denuding my poor eyes and tried using coconut oil. It worked like a charm and didn’t sting like normal makeup remover (I have crazy sensitive dry skin) so I kept using it. After a week or two I started to notice my eyelashes looked amazing – fuller and a bit longer. So I googled it. And it turns out that people, who are not babies, putting food on their face is A Real Thing Women Do.
After reading through a bunch of sites, I decided to continue my experiment with a mixture of about 3/4 castor oil and 1/4 coconut oil. I don’t measure it because lazy. I just pour a bunch in a squeeze bottle and use an old eyeliner brush to put it on every night.
Super high tech, here! (That’s a valentine Jelly Bean “made” me… and my one attempt at “staging” a pic ahahahahaaa)
Since coconut oil is generally solid at room temp, I melt it and then add it to the castor oil. Once mixed, it all stays liquid. Then I use the eyeliner brush to put it on the base of my lashes (don’t coat your lashes, doesn’t help and makes it hard to see!). I just do the upper lashes and when I close my eyes it kind of rubs off on the lower ones too.
After a couple of months I started to see real results. I wish I’d taken a before picture without mascara so you could see how seriously stubby my lashes were. But honestly I didn’t really expect it to work as well as it has!
Now, here are my eyelashes today with NO makeup:
Pretty amazing, right? (I was standing in front of my curtain trying to get a consistent backdrop. It worked. It also made my hair really staticky!)
Oh HAI internets, here is my completely bare face. This feels awkward.
Obligatory scary close up of my peepers!
Now look what happens when I add my usual mascara (Maybelline “the falsies” in black, nothing fancy):
This is just two coats of normal mascara (no fibers or primers or anything) on my top lashes and nothing else. I’m also not wearing eyeliner or shadow. But I did put on lipstick and brushed my hair. Just for you guys. YOU’RE WELCOME.
See? They even touch my eyebrows in some places! And the effect is even more pronounced when I go all out with eyeliner, eyeshadow, and fiber mascara on the top and bottom. It’s crazy! Although they can look a little spidery, especially since the oils seem to mainly make them grow longer, not thicker.
Second scary close up.
And it’s official, I’ve spent way too much time looking at close ups of my face and I’m starting to freak myself out! Anyhow, here are my tips if you’re interested in trying this yourself:
1. Buy quality. The great thing is that even the nicest castor oil is stupid cheap. I got a 16 ounce bottle for six dollars at the grocery store. And I already had a tub of virgin coconut oil. Normally I eat my food products but sometimes I wear them, as one does. I got organic because I figured if I’m going to blind myself with it might as well be organically blind.
(Note: there are lots of “recipes” for eyelash serum online that use these oils plus other stuff like essential oils and herbs but I am nothing if not lazy and the oils seem to work great just themselves. But knock yourself out if you’re feeling crafty and/or you like your eyes to smell like lavender and Pinterest.)
2. You will blind yourself. And it will be scary. The first time I used waaay too much and it got on my eyeball, clouding my vision and forcing me to run around my house yelping like a cat with glaucoma. (Can cats get glaucoma? Or does my cat just have the cRaZy eyes naturally? Mysteries.) I tried to rinse it out with water but since the rules of chemistry are legit, water doesn’t do much to oil. But! It didn’t really hurt and after a few minutes I blinked it all away and I can only hope it made my tear ducts lusciously supple.
3. Put it on at night, with a clean brush. Use an old eyeliner brush and wash it thoroughly. (You’re sticking it in your eye!) Then put a tiny drop of oil on it and brush it on the base of your lashes, just like you would eyeliner. Note: The oils will take your makeup off so I recommend doing it at night after you’ve washed your face.
4. Be patient. This is the hardest part. I think I began to see some difference after one or two weeks of doing this every day but it was subtle. The results pictured above are after two months of daily application. It’s not a quick fix and I’m pretty sure you have to keep doing it if you want to keep having butterfly lashes.
5. Feel free to rub it other places too. Lots of the sites I read also recommended using castor oil and/or coconut oil on your hair roots to help it grow. In the past I would have thought this ridiculous but since it worked so well on my face I am now trying it on my head. Using the same squirt bottle, I put it all over my scalp. After massaging it in and appreciating how well I rock the greasy hooligan look, I leave it on for… a while. Some sites say overnight but I can’t sleep smelling like salad. So I leave it on for at least a half an hour and sometimes several hours. I’ve only been doing it for a week and I have a feeling it will take a very long time to tell if it’s working. All I can tell you for sure now is that it is a b*$%& to wash out. But I’ll let you know how it goes. (Here’s a good tutorial on how to use it on your hair, by a woman with the most adorable accent ever.)
Have any of you ever tried using oils to grow any of your hairs? Any tips for me?? What other cool beauty tricks have I been missing out on?