Longer, Thicker Eyelashes without Extensions

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Natural Beauty Series Part 1: Longer, Thicker Eyelashes without Extensions

This Natural Beauty Series is kicking off with how to get longer, thicker eyelashes because I think the beauty industry is having a fake eyelashes epidemic.

This is not a sponsored post and these opinions are my own. This post does contain affiliate links for some products, but you never pay more. In fact, in most cases you get a better deal when buying from these links. You’re also supporting the free blog content we provide and the causes we support, so thank you for being here. I am grateful for you!

I had eyelash extensions once and I’ll never do it again for the reasons in this post.

However, I did love the look of them so over the last year I’ve been in search of more natural ways to grow longer, thicker eyelashes. Then over the last few months I’ve had a ton of questions on my Instagram Stories asking if my eyelashes are real (they are!) and when I polled the viewers all about writing this post, 97% of you said that yes, you want to learn how to grow longer, thicker eyelashes too!

So here it is, everything I know about growing longer, thicker eyelashes so you don’t have to rely on extensions.

From the Instagram Story when I was in Bali and everyone was asking.
I used the eyelash curler and mascara mentioned below before snapping this photo:

Elizabeth Rider natural eyelashes

Before I get into the details of how to grow your own lashes thicker and darker, I want to mention that I know that the women who provide eyelash extensions as a service are awesome and really talented. Many of them offer more than one service and can help you with many things besides just eyelashes. This isn’t a knock on the profession, it’s a real honest look at why extensions aren’t as great as they might seem.

Sometimes eyelash extensions look great. However—and I know some people are going to be mad at me for saying this—a lot of them don’t look that great. They are way too overdone and completely unnatural looking. A giant full set of long black falsies looks great in a formal dress, but looks really out of place on a Sunday supermarket run. This, of course, is my own opinion. I don’t want women to think that they need to have eyelash extensions to be beautiful, or that you have to get them because it’s a popular beauty trend.

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Plus, the maintenance. Good grief the maintenance and cost of eyelash extensions is overwhelming. $150-$300 and two hours twice a month equates to a good car payment and a half a day’s worth of work every month.

The time zoning out on the table could be used for yoga, energy & healing work, reading, or a zillion other more productive ways to spend your time.

Aside from the maintenance and cost—and the toxic glue—the biggest reason eyelash extensions are so unhealthy is that they pull your natural eyelashes out as they fall out. Your eyelashes are important to your eye health, so try to let them breathe a little and grow back in.

Let’s back up though. Why do we want longer, thicker lashes in the first place?

Don’t worry, it’s not shallow vanity. It’s just part of our biology and it’s a completely normal thing to want.

Most female animal species are darker around the eyes and have more color in the lips—it’s a primitive way the species distinguish between male and female for mating purposes. Humans are no different. When looking for female mates, humans are attracted to the darkening around the eyes and deeper hued lips. Which is why if most women could have two beauty products on hand they would be mascara and lipgloss. Betcha didn’t ever know why those are your go-to’s. Now you know.

5 Tips for Longer, Thicker Eyelashes without Extensions

1. Consistently take a high-quality multivitamin.

This is the #1 thing you can do to help your eyelashes grow longer and thicker.

It sounds so simple but it’s true. Your eyelashes are hair, and the more you can support your hair the longer and thicker your eyelashes will be. A high-quality multivitamin is one of the easiest things you can do for this. A well-rounded whole food eating plan helps, but consistently taking a high-quality multivitamin allows your body to have enough nutrients to support critical systems, and have enough leftover to maintain your hair, skin, and nails.

But remember, supplements don’t work if you don’t take them. Simply buying the bottle doesn’t help, and looking at it every day on the counter doesn’t help either. Opening the bottle and taking the supplement helps.

I take the USANA Cellsentials Multivitamin twice per day, and since I started taking this product my eyelashes have seemed to be much fuller. I take the full daily dose every single day. You can order it from my distributor account here to get 10% off of retail pricing.


Aside from helping your eyelashes, taking a high-quality multi is something you should be doing anyways to fill in nutritional gaps even if you eat well, so this one is a double win.

Quick tip: NEVER buy any supplements on Amazon.

I use Amazon for just about everything, but not supplements. Most are counterfeit—people actually buy good ones, keep the good tablets, refill the bottles with cheap counterfeits, and sell them on 3rd party sites like Amazon to unknowing consumers. Only buy high-quality supplements direct from authorized distributors.

2. Use a lash serum.

This is the #2 thing you can do to grow longer, thicker lashes.

Lash serums have taken the world by storm in the last few years because they work! Latisse was the first but it’s a pharmaceutical and the ingredients are absorbed into your bloodstream and need to be processed by your liver, so I don’t recommend it. Plus, it can change the color of your eyes. Newer over-the-counter lash serums are mostly peptides and vitamins to strengthen your lashes allowing them to grow longer. I’ve used Vegalash, Revitalash, and LashBoost and like them all about the same. Most of them say to use every night, but I find once I use it for two weeks, five nights a week I can use it just twice per week to maintain long lashes.

Simply doing #1 and #2 on this list for 4-6 weeks will give you great results. Remember, your eyelashes are hair. The same things that help your hair grow will help your eyelashes grow, too.

3. Don’t get eyelash extensions.

This might seem counterintuitive at first, but again, eyelash extensions tend to take your natural lashes with them as they fall out. This leaves you with stubby little lashes, so the viscous cycle of wanting extensions will continue.

4. If you use falsies, use the individual false lashes not strips.

Just because you don’t use extensions doesn’t mean you can’t use falsies sometimes to get that big lash look. If you want to use falsies for special events, don’t use strips of falsies because they pull out your natural lashes too when you take them off.

If you want the falsie look, use the individual falsie lashes because they’re less likely to pull out your own eyelashes when you remove them. My makeup artist uses the individual ones with three lashes each on me when filming my TV show to fill in gaps for the camera. About 2-3 per eye really goes a long way. I don’t do this every single time I film and leave it up to the makeup artist; if she thinks the mascara looks uneven she’ll fill them.

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5. Gently curl your natural lashes.

This last tip doesn’t make them grow, but it will make your natural lashes look longer and thicker.

First a word of caution, never put a hot eyelash curler next to your eye and always test it on your wrist first. Use common sense and be smart. To make your own natural lashes really pop, gently heat an eyelash curler with your blow dryer then curl your lashes. Again, be uber careful to use a warm (not hot) setting and don’t burn yourself.

Start with a clean eyelash curler that doesn’t have any residual mascara on it. Heat it for about 5-10 seconds with your blow dryer, test it to make sure it’s not too hot, then use it to curl your eyelashes. Boom! Instant lift.

This is the eyelash curler I use. 

Good mascara helps, too.

I left this out of the tips above because this doesn’t really help your lashes grow or look better naturally, but of course a good mascara really helps. I’ve been loving Maneater by Tarte. It’s great for length, fullness, and definition, and Tarte is a more natural brand that doesn’t test on animals.

There you have it. A few easy, simple solutions for longer, thicker eyelashes without the cost and time of extensions.

What do you think? I’d love your take on this in the comments below.

Up Next in the Natural Beauty Series:

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  • P R

    I have an incredible DIY EyeLash Serum if you ever want to try making your own. You also got to control the ingredients 🙂

  • Zenes

    So how can you be certain the serums you use are fine to use all the time? Sorry but this is so misleading because it is not a natural solution at all.

    • Hi Zenes, in my opinion using a serum or castor oil for hair growth is more natural than gluing extensions on. Every person is different and has to make the best choices for them. This is simply what I do and use. ~E

  • Elizabeth

    FYI… Rodan + fields has a class action suit for fraudulent & unfair marketing of its Lash Boost. it uses a chemical that is extremely dangerous to the eyes.

  • Jennifer

    I have skimpy, short eyelashes. Dermalmd eyelash serum gives me darker, fuller, and longer lashes in just a couple of weeks when used nightly. Even spots on my lid where lashes refuse to grow, now have thick, long lashes growing. This is a miracle! A must-have!

  • Alice

    Great tips, thanks)) I remember my first curlers and they were changing my looks so much. After I started to use Cherish Lash serum, my eyelashes grew so much longer that they also got more curly.)) But I still use the curler right before big events

  • Mirley (meer-lay)

    Love this post! I personally have used Vegalash and it irritated my eyes, so I’m just using castor oil now. We’ll see how that turns out. Also, for whatever reason, my eyelashes shrunk after I stopped breastfeeding my oldest. So I’m working on getting my eyelashes back. Again, thank you for this post. I loved it!

  • Melinda

    The Core Minerals and Vita Oxidant seem to come together in a package. Is this what you take? (Both)?

    • Melinda, yes, Core Minerals and Vita Oxidant together make up the multivitamin—you need them both. They are separated into two tablets to keep them shelf stable :)

  • Melinda

    Do you take the Core Minerals and the Vita Oxidant? They seem to come as a package. I’m almost out of my multi and have been shopping for a new one. So many out there but I have heard good things about Usana for quite a while now.

    I had the same bad experience with lash extensions. After 3 mos. I stopped having them put on for all the reasons you mention and more.

    • Melinda, yes, Core Minerals and Vita Oxidant together make up the multivitamin—you need them both. They are separated into two tablets to keep them shelf stable :)

  • Lynn

    What about the magnetic ones? I’ve seen them advertised on TV.

    • Hi Lynn, I haven’t tried them but seems way easier and healthier than glue. Let us know if you try them and how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by! ~E

      • Nancy

        Hello Lynn, I am an esthetician. My girlfriend was getting married. I ordered two different thickness. We tried for days. It is a great concept. But not easily applied. The magnets slid away from each other. The company was great. They took them back without any worries. Nancy

  • Pamela

    Thanks for the article and helpful information. I’ve read what seems to be good for growing longer, thicker eyelashes is Castor oil Palma Christi by Baar. Careful not getting in our eyes or a serum. Your option on this would be thankful. What is the reason for heating our eyelash curler first; I’ve never heard of doing this before? I am reading your post from my iPad and while scrolling down the page to read your top header (changes) displays an e-mail Opt-in that says FOMO Sucks – Grab Free your 7 part ebook. It’s the FOMO Sucks I guess I’m not understanding. I’m not able to insert a screenshot or I would have.

    • Pamela

      Oops! *Opinion. Your opinion on this would be thankful. Castor oil by Baar is organic, cold pressed and cold processed. TIA :-)

    • I use castor oil on my scalp but don’t use it near my eyes because it’s not known if it’s safe. The eyelash curler is just like curling your hair, it lifts up your lashes. :) And your last question, that is the email optin on my whole site. It’s supposed to be there. FOMO means fear of missing out, we don’t want anyone to miss a healthy recipe or post. ~E

      • Denise Clark

        HI Elizabeth, Organic Castor Oil should be safe for your eyes. One drop in your eyes at night is considered helpful for those who have cataracts. Google it.

  • Astrid Van Der Linden

    Thank you for the really interesting post Elizabeth :) I was always quite concerned about the toxic glue & it being near the eyes so this was enough to stop me from getting fake eyelashes! The natural way is definitely the way to go! Lovely pic of you as your whole face glows !!

    • Astrid, glad to hear it. And thank you for the sweet comment. You are a bright light and I’m grateful to have you in our community! ~E

  • Grace

    Thank you Elizabeth for sharing this super important information! I have been seeing these false lashes everywhere! But now I know that I am not missing out and I wanted to thank you.

    <3 Grace

  • Annie

    I love that your natural beauty post includes suggestions from the inside out; Starting with supplements! When we are healthy on the inside and take good care of our outside we can’t help but shine beautifully. Your lashes are gorgeous!

    • Hi Annie! Happy to hear you liked it. I agree, it’s almost all from the inside out. A good mascara doesn’t hurt, either ;) ~E

      • Tammy Ray

        I have discovered an excellent healthy mascara brand called
        Well People. It’s wonderful!

  • Michelle McGlade

    I LOVE that you wrote this post Elizabeth! The falsies are tempting but I’ve hesitated for all the reasons you’ve shared. I’m adding a lash serum ASAP and will definitely be checking out those you’ve recommended. Thank you!

    • Michelle, thanks for letting us know! Let us know how the serum works after a few months and keep us updated, it helps all of us to know what works for people. Thanks for stopping by the blog. ~E

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