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When Your Eyelashes Fall Out

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

Whilst I was pregnant I didn’t get that much talked about glow. My skin just became even more dry than usual. I didn’t develop thick lustrous locks either, absolutely nothing changed – except perhaps my scalp was slightly less oily so I guess that was a bonus.

What did happen though, literally straight after we welcomed Mabel into the world, was my eyelashes started falling out in clumps.

I had always been blessed with thick, long lashes. I have never really concerned myself with them much before – only felt lucky (and perhaps a little bit smug) when my friends were paying a small fortune for lash extensions and all sorts of jiggery pokery to endeavour to improve their flutter factor.

It started on my left eye, a weird bald patch towards the inner corner that almost appeared out of no-where. And then the outer corner of my right eye started to shed, I would notice up to 10 lashes on my cotton wool pad as I removed my eyeliner and mascara in the evening.

I’ll cut a long story short, I have had issues with losing lashes ever since, and have only really been able to get the situation under control recently. Initially I thought I perhaps had blepharitis which is where your eyelids become red, itchy and inflamed and a combination of this and dry scaly skin can cause your hair follicles to become blocked with oil. Sexy.

A visit to my GP and my Optometrist concluded that I didn’t in fact have blepharitis, Alopecia Areata was also ruled out. If you believe you might be suffering from the former there is an excellent article on the Liz Earle Well Being website. I found it incredibly useful with regards how to better take care of your lashes in general.

I firmly believe that I essentially bought my lash line baldness upon myself. Being a new Mum meant I was continually exhausted and I simply wasn’t taking my eye make-up off properly at night. I was also turning to waterproof products as I was finding I didn’t have time for touch ups during the day so anything long lasting was my go-to.

The problem with waterproof liners and mascara is they are indisputably difficult to remove. I would would find myself scrubbing away half-asleep taking off several lashes in the process. I am also coming to realise that many products (no matter how covetable) can make your lashes very brittle, thus they become weak and increase the volume of breakages.

I no longer use eyelash curlers and whenever possible use a mascara with a soft flexible bristle type wand as I find these are much kinder that the stiff rubber variety. Unfortunately my beloved Max Factor Clump Defy is now saved for special occasions and I whip out the Bobbi Brown “Everything” on an almost daily basis instead. It gives natural glossy definition and separates exceptionally well – which is exactly what you need when you’re feeling on the sparse side.

I rate Rimmel Exaggerate liquid eyeliner for a no smudge formula but easy removal. Dotted in-between lashes (particularly on more obvious gaps) really helps to give the illusion of lash volume at the root. I favour Avene gentle eye make-up remover as it’s super gentle and never stings. It’s gel formulation is refreshing and non-oily too. As I type you can purchase Avene from Look Fantastic with 20% off by using the code “Miracle”.

If you are REALLY feeling lash-less then Shiseido Full Lash Volume Mascara is something magical. It builds and lengthens like nothing else, seriously. To be perfectly honest I’m not a huge fan of the OTT almost-spiders-legs look but when I’ve worn this several folks have asked if I’m wearing falsies. And I guess you can’t get much more of a compliment than that.

I’m yet to venture into the world of growth serums – I’ve read a few horror stories about various formulations containing ingredients not approved by the FDA, I also don’t want to promote any further irritation. However my sister really rates Rapidlash (currently 15% off at FeelUnique.com) and there’s no denying the reviews and claims online are dazzling.

Apparently plain old Castor Oil works well to promote natural growth and improve condition, it contains ricinoleic acid (also known as omega-9 fatty acid) which stimulates lash growth and nourishes your hair follicles. I have bought myself a bottle with the view to apply a very thin layer to my lash line before bed, I’ll let you know if I notice anything amazing occurring.

All of the above lash loss causes and potential cures of course also apply to the hair follicles of your eyebrows.

Have you ever experienced lash loss? have you ever tried a fancy growth serum and witnessed impressive results? Any recommendations for excellent eye make-up removers that don’t cause redness or leave a greasy residue?

Please do feel free to ask me any questions and make recommendations in the comments box below.

P.S Completely unrelated to your peepers but if I don’t tell you now the opportunity might be missed. And the would be tragic. Chanel blusher in “HyperFresh” is one of my favourite make-up discoveries of 2016. Scarily bright pink in the pan, the tiniest dab can’t fail to make you look healthy in a brisk-walk/roll-in-the-hay type of way. So. Good. I’ve received so many compliments on it recently and many of my friends will be unwrapping one come the 25th of December.

However, it’s ruddy limited edition. And it’s nearly sold out. Everywhere. The only place I can find it’s still stocked is Boots. Hurry up and treat yourself before I bulk buy them all as back-ups.

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24 thoughts on “When Your Eyelashes Fall Out

  1. Ah Charlotte- thanks so much for this post! I’m really struggling with hair loss at the moment and finding lashes everywhere. I had my babe about 5 months ago and I’m balding in patches on the front of my scalp. I had a good old look at the situation in the mirror the other day as I’ve been avoiding it and I look, quite frankly, awful. I’ll be looking into your mascara as I’m due a new one and castor oil sounds interesting. I wasn’t sure if there were any vitamins you could take to help promote regrowth?! I am not looking ‘yummy mummy’ right now!

    1. Anything nourishing/conditioning for lashes can only be a plus and there are lots of omega oil based supplements that have been reported to improve hair growth. Check out victoriahealth.com – it’s a super website for supplements and there is lots of information on there about health and wellbeing x

    2. Hi Naomi, i started losing hair about 5 months after having my LO. Worth having a blood test and making sure your iron levels are ok, I started taking iron supplements and it made a big difference (wish I’d started sooner!!) castor oil is also great, I use it on my lashes brows and scalp. Another natural aid is lavender or peppermint oil, these increase circulation to your scalp (and smell lovely!). Another great trick is dry shampoo with a colourant (superdrug own brand stuff is fab). It so upsetting I know, it really got me down but it will come back- I’ve stopped shedding and have regrowth and its like Christmas come early!

      1. Thanks so so much for taking the time to reply Rosie!!! I’m definitely going to ask about iron as I’m still breastfeeding so I forget how much this drains your resources. I keep forgetting to take my vitamin D! It really is difficult- I’ve not got the thickest hair in the first place! I’ll also look into your oil ideas too. Thank you so much! So pleased you’ve got re-growth! xx

  2. Do you suffer from panda eyes? I do – really badly! I think my skin is quite oily…I’m using Estee Lauder Double Wear Mascara right now and it doesn’t budge but I think it’s irritating my eyes a little. Any recommendations for alternatives? Finding one that works is turning into my life’s work!

    1. Hi Louisa! No I don’t, my eyes are dry if anything – although if I use a lot of eye cream and don’t let it sink in properly then I can get black smudges. Sometimes it’s your concealer/skincare that can assist in making mascara migrate (if that makes sense). I find Max Factor mascaras on the whole really good – they don’t flake or smudge on me. I tend to avoid waterproof formulations altogether to be honest, have you tried “tubing” mascaras? I have heard excellent thing about them in terms of non smudge and easy to remove with warm water. Blinc made the original I believe but Clinique do one called “Lash power” which is supposed to be excellent x

      1. Oh I second tubing masacaras they are indestructible! I use a L’Oréal one called something like ‘double lash extension beauty tubes’ (or similar ridiculous name!) it’s in a red and white tube.
        It’s a 2 phase one with a conditioning white base coat then the black top coat. It gives you more dramatic eyelashes than many other tubing mascaras. I love it!

  3. I rarely wear mascara during the week as I notice my eyelashes do not look so think if I wear eye make up daily. Although tints do not quite have the same effect as mascara I mostly stick to having my lashes tinted and non-waterproof mascara.

    1. Claire I have always had my lashes and brows tinted because they are so fair – it definitely helps to make them look a bit thicker too x

  4. Oh no Charlotte, this sounds horrible! Poor you – hairs coming off onto cotton wool pads would terrify me.

    I have tried growth serum and would definitely recommend. I don’t have particularly problematic lashes, but I treated myself to a bottle of Revitalash as part of my ‘pre-wedding get my face ready’ spending extravaganza and it really worked for me. I used it once a day before bed for about 3 months, had to stop using at the point my eyelashes (which are short but naturally curly) had grown to almost touch my eyebrows! Honestly the number of people who mentioned them was ridiculous – even my very fusty middle aged man boss pointed out ‘there is something different with you face, I think its your eyelashes – are they real or stuck on’!! Very occasionally I noticed a little bit of redness on the eyelash line in the mornings, but nothing too bad. I have sensitive + combination skin + rosacea (the dream combo!) – so not quite like yours but I do tend to have bad reactions to anything but the gentlest of stuff. Post-wedding I use it for a couple of weeks every now and then when I fancy a boost – its pricey but I’m still on my first bottle so it lasts ages. My mum has also used the equivalent thing for eyebrows as hers had got a bit patchy and she raves about it too. Hope that’s helpful

    1. Oh Jenni this sounds marvellous! I have a tube of the Rapidlash after mentioning the discount above (an early Xmas treat to myself!) but if it doesn’t work then I’ll definitely have a butchers at the one you use.

      Also “there is something different with you face, I think its your eyelashes – are they real or stuck on’!!

      This made me laugh out loud! I remember in my previous career life I once made quite an effort with make-up one day for no particular reason (I worked in a very male dominated environment so I used to wear non-figure hugging trouser suits and generally try and blend in as much as I could so to be taken seriously – sad when I look back) anyway, my then boss was like “Your eyes! They are very blue aren’t they? Also you do not look tired? Have you had lots of sleep?”

      That will be the eyeliner and the concealer then ?

      Bless, I think he meant well.

  5. Charlotte I am going through the menopause and also a redhead so I have fine eyelashes to start with but mine got even sparser and dry.However I have just found an excellent mascara that does the job and my lashes have never felt better so soft …its Rimmel Wonderful mascara with Argan oil …it makes my lashes look thicker longer and easy to take off and super soft.

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Lorraine, will have a look next time I’m in Boots – sounds wonderful! plus they often have 3 for 2 on Rimmel so…….x

  6. Hi Charlotte,

    I have recently discovered Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm (Space NK do a travel size with cloth for £15 which is great to start as a trial). Before I got it I thought it was an expensive cult beauty must have and how could it be that good? How wrong I was! My Mum got me the travel size and the full size is now top of my Christmas list! It warms up in your fingers and gets rid of my trusty Benefit RollerLash and waterproof eyeliner without rubbing your eyes and leaves your skin feeling like you’ve put three layers of moisturiser on! A definite must have for me x

  7. Hi Charlotte, glad you have found some mascaras which are working with your lashes. I had a similar problem last year, every mascara and eyeliner would sting my eyes so bad when I took them off, I would get red raw dry skin around the lash line and more and more would fall out.
    Spent ALOT of money trying all sorts of eye liners, mascaras and removers to realise it was mainly the remover for me.
    I have FINALLY found that I can use most eye products (including my go to Avon mascara) as long as I use Lancôme Bi-Facil to remove, and I HAVE to remove. One night of ‘can’t be bothered’ is an absolute no no for me.
    If you haven’t tried it, I definitely recommend.

    1. Thanks for the tip Evie, I actually had the same problem about 10 years ago – I thought it was make-up but it was actually my cleanser all along – and an expensive “organic” one at that. I’ll have a look at this Lancome one, sounds fab x

  8. I was in Hong Kong recently and thick and full lashes are top of the beauty wish list there, I notice you mentioned the shiseido mascara but they also do a lash growth serum too and it’s a sell out so it must be good! Might be worth a try ??

    1. Oh Emily I didn’t know they did a lash growth serum, after this post I will have about 5 on my bathroom shelf, my lashes will be HUGE 🙂 x

  9. Great post, nice to read a ‘real life’ beauty post! My husband and little boy have the most amazing lashes, I’d love to get some mascara on them!

  10. For a long time I has semi permenant lashes. After stopping my eyelashes were minute and loads of them fell,out. I met a friend who had amazing lashes and she recommended me Revitalash. It’s brilliant. You put it on every night for a month or so. You don’t see anything but you must persevere. After a month my lashes started to grow and get thicker. You can then use it two or three times a week to maintain them. It’s amazing stuff. Costly at about £60 but it lasts months. My friend has a beauty salon and she know sells it and has great feedback. There are cheaper versions such as namolash but it made my eyes red so I stopped using it. Revitalash was made by an optometrist for his wife who had cancer and her lashes fell out. It’s really well made so you shouldn’t get any side effects. I would really recommend it.

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