The desire to draw attention to the eyelashes has been going strong since around 4000 BC, when ancient Egyptians used kohl to darken lashes and eye areas. Fast-forward thousands of years later, and the mascara industry brings in over an astonishing one billion dollars a year. That's not even including other eyelash-enhancing products such as extensions, false eyelashes, and now Latisse, an eyelash-growth drug approved by the FDA last December. Take a look at my chart below to compare products available on the market now. How much would you pay for long and full lashes?
||Easy to find and come in a wide variety of styles from vibrating, scented, colored, thickening, and lengthening. Cheap — ranging in price from $5 to $10 at the drugstore. Assuming you keep your mascara around three months, it's mere pennies per use.||Can run and smudge, doesn't always look natural, and very temporary.|
|Very accessible, easy to apply (see my attempt here), and relatively cheap, ranging in price from inexpensive like E.L.F. False Eyelashes ($1 to $3) to moderate/slightly expensive such as Shu Uemura ($16 for accent lashes to $95 for fantasy lashes). Also, they're just plain fun — bedazzled lashes, anyone?||Can fall off easily, don't last very long, can't always be reused, and can look, well, fake!|
||Natural looking, long lasting (around two to three months), and doesn't take very long to apply by a spa professional (around 80 minutes or so). Check out my experience with eyelash extensions here.||Expensive, averaging around $200 to $600.|
||Effective, easy to apply — similar to putting on eyeliner, treats hypotrichosis (sparse eyelashes), long-lasting (several weeks to months), and looks very natural because it's your own hair growing out.||Available by prescription only, expensive ($120 for 30-day supply), needs to be applied daily, and side effects can include skin darkening, irritation, dryness, and redness of the eyelids.|