We tend to swipe on mascara to mask our sparse, less-than-full lashes. But the harsh formulas in some products can actually cause lash damage, resulting in eyelash breakage, thinning, and hair loss. Luckily, these latest mascara innovations help nourish, repair and thicken lashes. Read on for our picks for the best mascaras for thin lashes.
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Hormone flux, makeup allergies, and stress can cause lashes to become sparse. To regrow lashes, brush them twice daily with a biotin-, peptide- and castor oil-infused serum. Biotin and peptides form the amino acids needed to produce hair-building keratin. And castor oil’s ricinoleic acid delivers growth-enhancing nutrients to follicles while plumping hairs’ diameter to fill in empty spaces. One study found that the mix grew lashes by 24 percent in a month!
Promising review: “I have been using another serum for years and I feel like it has helped with the length of my lashes … This serum has not only helped keep the length but I feel like my lashes are so much thicker. I also feel like I do not lose as many lashes. Great product! I will for sure buy this again.”
Drying chemicals in some mascaras make already brittle lashes even more prone to breakage for a shorter flutter. The fix: Swipe on a primer before applying mascara, says lash expert and EndureLash founder Nikki Huebner.
The gel-like fibers form a protective barrier over lashes and give mascara something to latch on to, lengthening even the shortest of hairs. And one made with conditioning oils moisturizes lashes to prevent future breakage.
Promising review: “I am 56 years old and my lashes are not as thick as they used to be. This product together with the mascara does such a nice job filling in sparse areas, and making all my lashes look fuller. There was no smudging through my daughter’s wedding day. This was applied at 2:00 PM and when I finally got home to take off my makeup at 1:00 AM, my mascara was still in place. It comes off with my regular cleanser or a makeup wipe. Love this primer!”
We’re born with three rows of upper eyelashes, but they dwindle down to a single row over time. And while we may be inclined to pile on layers of mascara to pump up the volume, too many coats can leave a dark, clumpy mess that ages eyes. The breakthrough alternative? A magnetic mascara containing panthenol (vitamin B-5). Since all of the hairs on our body are negatively charged, the magnet’s positively charged ions cling to them, wrapping a tube-like coat around individual lashes to bulk up hairs in one swipe. And vitamin B-5 is study-proven to deeply hydrate hairs so they can grow in thicker and stronger with less fallout.
Huebner’s volume-building tip: When using mascara, place the brush at the lash’s base and hold for 10 seconds (this props up hair at the roots), then wiggle from side to side as you move up to the tips.
Promising review: “Best mascara I’ve ever used! It doesn’t have any fragrance so it doesn’t irritate your eyes. You only need two swipes per eye and it looks like you have eyelash extensions or fake eyelashes. Not as pricey as department stores but at $18 it’s a few extra dollars than L’Oréal and worth it!”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.