'Eyelash extensions ruined my lashes, so here are 5 things I've done to make them grow.'

I got eyelash extensions again, and I immediately regret it.

It was a whole three months ago. And yes, my lashes are still buckled. 

They look and feel like a short, sad, damaged mess — and I've got no one to blame but myself (okay, maybe the lash technician too) because as someone who used to be a big eyelash extension addict, I KNEW this was going to happen. Because of course I picked and pulled at them. 

A couple of years ago, I'd get them done every couple of months and would always make sure I had a fresh set on for events, weddings, special occasions, and so forth. They looked sooo good. 

Opened up my eyes. Made me feel like I didn't need to wear a sniff of makeup.

But in 2023, I decided to take a break. 

Watch: Handy tips for applying fake lashes. Post continues.

Video via Mamamia.

The damage to my natural lashes, not to mention the insane cost of regular treatments, made me rediscover the magic of eyelash curlers and a good mascara, and focusing on a wispy, fluttery look, as opposed to that thick, dramatic look. 

I even tried playing with some individual falsies (!!) on the outside of my lashes for a really subtle, natural look. I've always been rubbish at applying false lashes, but I discovered magnetic ones that were super easy to use.


The best part? My lashes had never been in better condition. They looked full and healthy, for the first time in years.

Then I f**ked it and got them before my recent honeymoon to the US — and while they looked incredible for the first couple of weeks (see below), they soon went all twisted and gross and now I'm back to square one.

Lash extensions (left), post-lash extensions (right).


So! In the spirit of sharing, I've pulled together all the things I've been doing to help them grow. 

Along with ditching eyelash extensions and false lashes, here are 5 things I'm doing for thicker, fuller, longer lashes.

How to grow eyelashes.

1. Started using a lash serum. 

Image: Supplied

While you'll generally need a prescription serum to boost your lash growth cycle, there are some amazing over-the-counter lash 'enhancing' formulas out there.

I've recently purchased a lash serum from a brand called NYK1 LashForce Eyelash Growth Serum, $88, after scientist and beauty wizard Hannah English recommended it. It's from the UK and shipping was hefty but I'm desperate, so.


Hannah told me you need to use it for at least three months to see results — she uses it once a day but you can use it twice a day if you can be bothered/if you can remember.

I've obviously gone ham and have been using it morning and evening for the past three weeks, and I'm excited to see results. My lashes already feel stronger but I know I gotta be consistent.

2. Switched to a tubing mascara.

I'm a huge fan of tubing mascaras anyway, but post-lash dramas I've decided to exclusively use tubing mascaras as my go-to, daily formula. Why? It's way easier to take off. 

No matter how much I preach for gentle cleansing around the eyes, I'm almost always rubbing my eyes with micellar water in a bid to get all my waterproof mascara off, taking my lashes off with it.

My two favourites right now are the cult favourite MCoBeauty XtendLash Mascara, $27.99 and Holme Beauty Loyal Lash Mascara, $42.

3. Started taking collagen daily. Consistently.

Image: Supplied.


Apparently you need to take beauty supplements for more than one week to see results?? Shocked and confused. 

Every so often I jump back on the supplement bandwagon, stay on it for a few weeks, then fall off it again — only to have a whine about not seeing results. Ha. The key to supplements is obviously consistency and patience — both of which I'm very not good at. 

The sheer inconsistency in which I try (and fail) to stay consistent is actually quite impressive/embarrassing, but in any case — I'm committing to it for real this time.

Marine collagen, when taken orally, is said to have anti-ageing properties that can benefit not only the skin but also hair and nails. I started taking Vida Glow Liquid Collagen Advance, $70 daily — throwing it back in a cup of water first thing in the morning (rather than trusting myself to take it later on in the day/that evening). (Just won't).

4. Double cleanse lashes in the evening.

Back on the mascara thing, I've been really making sure I've removed every last morsel of mascara off my lashes before jumping in to bed. Most mascaras contain ingredients like alcohol, which can be drying to lashes — and we don't want to risk more snapping!


I use an oil-based cleanser first to break it all up (I love Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Cleansing Oil, $33.99), followed by a lash-friendly remover that doesn't sting or irritate the eyes (I use a bunch of different ones, but really like Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution, $32.99 or Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, $10.49). I also like using a (soaked) cotton bud to make sure I get nice and close to the lash line.

5. Use silk pillowcases.

Silk pillowcases have a friction-free surface, and are supposed to not only be gentler on your skin but your hair and lashes too, especially if you're a tummy sleeper. 

The only annoying this? Silk pillowcases can be expensive — and just like your standard cotton pillowcases, you really ought to have more than one to rotate through the wash.

Many of the bougie brands can cost upwards of $70 or 80 — however, you if you're looking for alternatives you can also look for satin pillowcases — which are still smooth and way more affordable. (Just keep in mind you may get a little sweatier because it's a synthetic material).

They're an investment, but if you care for them correctly (don't just check them in the wash with your towels), they'll last. 

Want to hear more from Erin? Oh, nice! Follow her on Instagram.

What are your to tricks to longer, better lashes? Share in the comment section below.

Feature image: Supplied/Erin Docherty.

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