According to DadJokes I am somewhat obsessed with wig talk and eyelash talk. He's worried about how many times I can post about these two things without boring all of womankind. This is partly because he is male, partly because he has the luxury of his own hair and eyelashes, and yes, could partly be true. But since he is right about my level of obsession, I'm guessing there are others out there who will think about these two appearance altering things about as much as I do.
At the moment my morning routine starts with an eyelid inspection. I'm somewhere between confused and frustrated at how showy my head hairs are, while the eyelashes are about as forthcoming as Cliff Richard at a swingers party. Surely hair is hair?
So, while its reappearance remains so selective, I need more and more help in trying to eek out some eyelash. Mascara is not my friend these days, I still insist on attempting it every day, but that does more to highlight how pathetic my collection is rather than make me look like I have some. I have developed extreme lash envy and spend several of my working hours gazing at Katie's and thinking she has something of the Friesian about her. In a lash sense only.
I have turned to the experts, namely top makeup artist Caroline Barnes. You might know her from those Max Factor makeover ads on TV, but she also happens to be long term contributor and supporter of LGFB, a lovely lady and colleague of mine (we've shot together and share an agent), and a practiced expert in knowing how to make Cliff Richard lashes look more like Friesian ones. So over to her...
I started working with LGFB in 2004, at the time I was working with countless celebrities and although I adored it, I wanted to do something to help give people a lift. I've done everything from film their Confidence Kit DVD, to join in with the actual workshops, where I soon realised that actually all the girls wanted to do was have fun and chat about make-up and beauty, which is easy for me! So I know that it can feel like a great loss when you loose your eyelashes as it changes the whole shape and look of your eyes.
We'll start with the extreme end of the scale. If you loose all your lashes, unfortunately you'll struggle to wear false ones. This is because the false lash needs the support of a rooted lash to stay in place otherwise they'll just end up bending down over your lids and look very unnatural. Disappointing I know, but a wash of a neutral shadow around your lid and lower lashes does works a treat.
Your eyes can become more sensitive to light so might run more than usual. A waterproof liner like the new Max Factor Liquid Line Effect or the YSL waterproof liner can look fabulous, just ensure its softly blended around the eye so it doesn't look too hard - this will have the opposite effect and make your eyes look piggy. Its not lashes I know, but at least from a distance your eyes are framed.
On a couple of my clients we had great fun painting in very fine lashes on the lower lash line. Use a fine angled brush, think of Twiggy in her hey-day and paint delicately! In the outer corner angle them towards your hairline then gradually angle them down, with a bit of practise they can look fabulous
Cream eyeshadows can also be really flattering as the reflect the light and generally look softer on the skin. If the skin around your eyes is more sensitive, this could be a gentler option for you. Try Clinique Quick Eyes, (my favourite colour is Sea Shell), Benefit Creaseless or Estee Lauder Double Wear Cream Eyeshadow.
If your lashes are hanging in but just very fine you can add individual lashes, which look really natural. Get them in brown if you're pale skinned and black if you have dark hair.
If you're going trough chemo you might find you're more sensitive to things that you weren't before, so please test the glue out first - it's only latex so it'll peel of, but better to get a reaction on your inner arm than your poor eyelid!
If you fancy or find it easier to use a strip lash, opt for the finest around. By this I mean the thread which links the lashes together needs to be super fine and the lashes delicate. You don't want to weaken old or especially new hairs. I recommend Ardell fashion Lashes in 110 or Eyelure Natralities in 020.
Duo adhesive is the best glue to use, and gentle removal of the lashes in essential, because you need to nurture your existing lashes. Use an oil based remover so they slide off easily, try Mac Cleanse off Oil. If you don't want something so oily, try Lancome Bi-Facil eye make-up remover. It's the one I use at work and is very gentle for sensitive eyes, but also very effective.
The Other Side
When you do have new lashes the best mascara to invest in is one that lengthens, rather than volumises. You'll be tempted to opt for the latter, but it would only give you cloggy stumps as your lashes will be fine initially, and this type of mascara is far too heavy. Try Max Factor Lash Extension Effect, it's perfect to subtly extend the lashes. Again if you have watery eyes syndrome opt for a waterproof option with one of the above removers.
Also don't forget you have other features on your face to highlight, and luckily coloured lipsticks are bang on trend at the moment! Wearing a brand new bright lippy will give you added confidence and take the main focus away from your eyes. This is such a simple way to add glamour to your look without too much stress or aggravation to your eyes.