Our beauty expert’s tried-and-tested product picks for luscious lashes
While my love of makeup originated with me rummaging in my granny’s makeup drawer, there is no doubt that the product that hooked me for life was mascara. I remember the first time I put it on, and found that I did, in fact, have lashes, and just how transformative it could be to make them visible. Since then, the lash obsession has only grown and, fortunately for me, lash innovation has grown with it.
There are so many ways to have full, fluttery lashes these days, aside from mascara. For a time, I was totally addicted to lash extensions, which entail individual false lashes being glued to your own. The beauty of this process is that it can be entirely tailored to you in terms of what style you like, whether you’re a natural gal (and I use that as a gender-neutral term) or someone who wants them thick and dense.
A really good lash technician will apply them in a way that suits your specific eye shape and face as well, which is an effect you could never achieve with off-the-shelf falsies. The downside of lash extensions is that they can be pricey and time-consuming (about 90 minutes per application every six weeks) and when they’re nearing the end of their life cycle, they can look a little unkempt.
False lashes have come a long way, too. These days, there are lots of options in terms of style, length and density, but what I love is that they come in different forms, meaning even those of us who find the strips too finicky to apply (I know I do) can get them on. Individual clusters like Ardell Duralash Individual Naturals (€5.03 via amazon.co.uk) are easy to pop on with tweezers to add a bit of length or thickness to your lashes.
Half or three-quarter lashes like Eyelure’s Fluttery Light No. 008s (€7.99 via boots.ie) are another great option as they are easy enough to pop on the outer half of the eyelid and give a feline effect.
My personal favourites these days, though, are Kiss’s Falscara. The Kiss Falscara Eyelash Lengthening Starter Kit (€27.75 via mccabespharmacy.com) comes with 10 chunks of lashes (five for each eye), a double-ended tube of adhesive and sealant, and a useful tweezers for application. When I say you can have these on in two minutes, I am being totally serious. You apply the adhesive-like mascara, use the tweezers to apply the lashes under your own natural eyelashes, then apply the sealant as you would mascara. The result is the most natural-looking, long, fluttery lashes you could imagine. Anyone can do this, I promise you.
If that’s still too much faff, then a lash serum may be just the ticket. They absolutely work, if applied consistently and you have the patience to wait for results, which can take eight to 10 weeks to appear. Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner (€130 via millies.ie) is very effective, but its price tag is steep.
iGlow Lash Maximizer eyelash serum (€55 via iglow.me) is a less expensive alternative that still delivers, although perhaps in a slightly less spectacular way than Revitalash.
If that price tag is still too steep, The Ordinary has just launched a Lash and Brow Serum (€15.10 via theordinary.com), which I’ve been testing for a few months. While it’s not as effective as the aforementioned options, I have definitely seen an improvement in the thickness and length of both my brows and lashes.
Whichever route you take, the joy of a long, full lash cannot be denied, especially in the summer when the rest of your makeup may be light.
Lash long and prosper!
You probably know Voya from various spas and hotels around the country — the seaweed-based Irish brand specialises in products that feel luxe, smell delicious and work well. Lately, I’ve been loving the Effervescence Nourishing Sugar Scrub (€40 via voya.ie), which does a brilliant job of getting rid of dead skin on the body and leaving it feeling soft, supple and hydrated. The fragrance — a blend of lavender and rosemary — is a delight as well, making the experience of using it relaxing and luxurious.
I discovered MAC’s Lady Danger lipstick (€16 for a mini version via beautybay.com) around 2008 while reading an interview with a deeply, profoundly cool rock star. She was everything I wanted to be, so when she said it was her favourite lipstick, I went out immediately and bought it. Since then, it’s been a staple of my makeup collection. A fully matte formula, its bright, orangey-red colour suits pale skin, tanned skin, dark skin and everything in between. You can pop it on without any other makeup and you’ll look like you’re wearing a full look — in fact, I think it looks its coolest when it’s the only thing being worn. Pair it with a dark, smudgy eye and you’ll look like the rock star I desperately wanted to emulate.
I’ve become a real fan of Irish beauty influencer Aideen Kate’s True Beauty brand since it launched earlier this year. The products are well-formulated, well-designed and packaged beautifully. The latest launch is the Sunset Red Luxury Lip Trio (€34.99 via truebeautybyak.com), which contains a beautifully bright, slightly orange-red lipstick, a matching red liner and a neutral lip gloss. Each product is individually gorgeous and can be worn on its own, but together they deliver a bright, glossy summery red finish that will suit everyone.