Lustrous, fluttery lashes have always been a beauty holy grail. While the traditional route to getting them has been promise-all mascaras or extensions, more recently, however, we’ve seen a slew of eyelash serums with promising claims.
Many serums work by adding growth-encouraging ingredients like peptides, proteins and conditioning ingredients (commonly vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and castor oil) to the lashes.
But one thing to note is that sadly, this isn’t an overnight experiment. To really see any change, you do have to commit to see any results, and get into the habit of applying it routinely (keeping it by your bedside table is a good idea to help jog your memory.)
And because each person reacts differently to them, some might see results faster than others – though as a ballpark, three months (our lashes have a 90-day cycle) is a good time to look back at your progress.
One way of making sure you’re seeing a difference, is to take a profile shot before and after picture – comparing in monthly intervals. And thing to bear in mind, they tend to work with continual usage – so if you stop using it entirely, the results might not stick around.
Another thing to note is that our eyes, and the skin around it is extra sensitive, so even if a product is hypoallergenic, stop if you notice any irritation and consult your doctor.
How we tested
We tested a number of eyelash serums over the period of many months to see how efficacious each one was. Above all we were looking for glossier, healthier lashes, with added length as a bonus.
The best eyelash serums for 2021 are:
Best overall – RevitaLash advanced: £89, Cultbeauty.co.uk
Best budget option – RapidLash eyelash enhancing serum: £31.19, Lookfantastic.com
Best for false lash wearers – Elizabeth Arden prevage clinical lash and brow enhancing serum: £90, Elizabetharden.co.uk
Best multi-tasking serum – Vichy liftactiv anti-aging serum 10 eyes and lashes: £27, Boots.com
Best vegan serum – Luna Nectar the moon boost tonic for lashes and brows: £63, Skinforia.com
Best hypoallergenic serum – No7 lash impact serum: £16.50, Boots.com
Best for lash extension wearers – L'Oreal Paris clinically proven lash serum: £14.99, Lookfantastic.com
Best for sparse lashes – UKlash eyelash conditioning serum: £37.99, Feelunique.com
Best for fast results – Indeed Labs peptalash: £16.59, Superdrug.com
Best for dry lashes – Lancôme cils booster activating serum: £36, Feelunique.com
A firm favourite in the beauty industry and one of the OG lash serums, this is the one to beat. Revitalash works by slowing down the growth cycle so that they stay at fuller-length for longer. With one swipe across a dry lash line at night, the brand says you can potentially see a difference in a couple of weeks.
The serum was created by Dr Brinkenhoff, an ophthalmologist, who was looking to help his wife regain her lash confidence after cancer. It contains ingredients like peptides (the building blocks of proteins), moisturising agents (like glycerine) and nourishing botanicals. We found that it applied easily, and that – as its rave reviews suggest – our lashes looked noticeably more conditioned, thicker and longer after roughly six weeks of continual usage. A definite repeat purchase.
Buy now £89.00, Cultbeauty.co.uk
RapidLash eyelash enhancing serum
Best: Budget option
One of the more affordable options, RapidLash aims to strengthen your lashes using a blend of polypeptides and also stimulate growth by using the vitamin biotin. It’s clinically proven to help boost how they look, with an everyday application that’s pretty similar to Revitalash (£89, Cultbeauty.co.uk) you simply paint it along your lash line once a day.
The brand says you can expect to see results in as little as eight weeks. While we saw that there was a definite improvement in length and condition in this time, the results didn’t feel quite as dramatic as RevitaLash, though were still noticeable.
Buy now £31.19, Lookfantastic.com
Elizabeth Arden PRevage clinical lash and brow enhancing serum
Best: For false lash wearers
Creeping into the pricier end of the market, this brow and lash serum uses a combination of vitamins A, C and E, peptides and conditioners to support the natural lash cycle, for glossier and less dry-looking lengths. While the brand says it’s not intended to prevent hair loss or promote growth, they do claim that you can see an improvement in condition in as little as two weeks.
We think it’s best suited for anyone with very parched, damaged lashes looking to recondition them. After a month of painting it on, we did notice that ours looked longer and felt more robust. A great choice for anyone who wears false lashes frequently to help condition your natural hairs.
Buy now £90.00, Elizabetharden.co.uk
Vichy LiftActiv anti-aging serum 10 eyes and lashes
Best: Multi-tasking serum
More of a multi-tasker, this eye serum-meets-lash booster aims to target signs of ageing around the entire eye area. It’s a much less fiddly application than the paint-on lash serums, so a great option for anyone looking for a multi-purpose, fast option.
It contains rhamnose (an anti-inflammatory ingredient), ceramides (which help to prevent moisture loss) and instant light reflectors too. While this one didn’t give us the dramatic results some of the others did, it did improve the condition of our lashes leaving them looking healthier and our eye area definitely looked brighter after a month of usage.
Buy now £27.00, Boots.com
Luna Nectar the moon boost tonic for lashes and brows
Best: Vegan serum
This cult US brand uses antioxidants and plant-nutrient formulas promising to nourish lashes and brows in just under three weeks, by prolonging the growth phase of the hair follicles. Using ingredients like nourishing vitamin E and argan oil and soothing aloe, we did indeed see that our lashes looked visibly glossier, healthier and appeared thicker too. We also liked that it’s vegan, and fragrance-free – and a great choice for anyone looking to recondition their parched lashes.
Buy now £63.00, Skinforia.com
No7 lash impact serum
Best: Hypoallergenic serum
One of the less expensive options, this serum – applied at the lashes – is designed to give thicker and darker lashes and brows in eight weeks. It’s hypoallergenic, which is a big USP, and although the brush applicator isn’t the easiest to use this is a great entry level option to the world of lash serums. With ingredients like protein-rich keratin and plenty of conditioning agents, we definitely noticed a gentle difference in the eight-week period. But it wasn’t quite as dramatic as some of the other options.
Buy now £16.50, Boots.com
L'Oreal Paris clinically proven lash serum
Best: For lash extension wearers
Aiming to strengthen and nourish, this impressive formula uses castor oil, boosting vitamin b5 and moisturising hyaluronic acid. You can even brush it on as a base coat before you apply mascara as it acts like a moisturising mask for the lashes.
The brush made it easy to apply and after three weeks we noticed they looked more conditioned, and a little longer – although it wasn’t a dramatic change. This could be a great option for anyone looking to up the condition of their lashes post extensions.
Buy now £14.99, Lookfantastic.com
UKlash eyelash conditioning serum
Best: For sparse lashes
Using hyaluronic acid, peptides and biotin as its mainstay this serum is ideal for anyone with sparse lashes looking to beef them up a tad. Its recommended usage period is eight to 12 weeks, so on the longer side. But it does contain similar ingredients to some the pricier serums, which is great. We did have a little redness from this one, which went away after we skipped a night, but there was a visible difference after eight weeks, in both length and condition too.
Buy now £37.99, Feelunique.com
Indeed Labs peptalash
Best: For fast results
Using a pen applicator, this well-priced option says it can lengthen, thicken and darken lashes, promising more volume in a very short 15 days. It uses plant stem cells from a rare Swiss apple plus a blend of two peptides which aims to create less breakage, as well as helping soothe the skin around the eyes as a bonus.
This one needed to be used twice a day, and although the pen was a little hard, the results showed more conditioned lashes, with a definite improvement in their health, in time period promised.
Buy now £16.59, Superdrug.com
Lancôme cils booster activating serum
Best: For dry lashes
Definitely the chicest looking of the bunch, this luxury serum is infused with hyaluronic acid, a four amino acid concentrate and cicaa reparative plant extract to help nourish lashes. After a month of usage, we saw a big improvement in their condition and a little growth too.
The formula was thicker and heavier than the others, making it ideal for bedtime use – it felt vaguely like a hair mask. It could be one for anyone with very dry lashes, as a brilliant conditioning treatment.
Buy now £36.00, Feelunique.com
Eyelash serums FAQs
Do eyelash growth serums really work?
In short, yes. However, the effectiveness of eyelash serums is dependent on continuous usage. It’s not a one-time treatment or overnight quick fix, as our lashes have a 90-day cycle, so it’s a good idea to use them regularly over the course of three months to see the best results.
Most have formulas enriched with ingredients such as peptides and proteins which promote growth, combined with vitamin E, castor oil and hyaluronic acid which condition dry lashes.
It also helps to track your progress by taking before and after pictures, so you can compare changes in length. Of course, everyone’s hair growth speed is different, so some may notice results quicker than others.
Are eyelash serums dangerous?
Our eyes and the skin surrounding them are the most sensitive part of our face, so there is a risk of irritation involved. However many lash serum formulas are now made to be hypoallergenic, which means they are unlikely to cause a reaction.
Lash serums typically have brush or pen applicators that are designed to make using the product easier and safer to apply at your lash line. If you have eye issues such as conjunctivitis, it’s advised to steer clear of putting anything near your eyes that could worsen an infection.
If you notice any redness, itchy sensation, increased dryness or any other irritation, stop using the serum immediately and consult your doctor.
What happens if you stop using eyelash serum?
Lash serums work with regular use over the course of three months, though some do promise faster, noticeable results in as little as eight weeks.
If you run out, or forget to keep up with applying it consistently, then your lashes will simply stop growing and return to their usual length.
The verdict: Lash serums
RevitaLash Advanced was definitely the one that made the most dramatic impact on the length of our lashes. But we also liked Luna Nectar’s conditioning and more holistic approach for a gentler approach to reconditioning your lashes – so that could be a great regular-use option too.
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