One thing I love about Manhattan is the number of huge drugstores everywhere. I can't walk a block without popping in to a 24-hour Duane Reade for a "quick browse". I could spend three hours in some of the fancier ones and still not feel like I've had a good enough look at every piece of make-up.
This weekend I found myself in ol' Duane again and randomly came across something called Natural Angel Lash Extender, hanging up with the make-up accessories. It was only $10 and I figured I'd never know if it works if I didn't try it. Check out the "after" pic on the packaging below - it's not digitally enhanced at all(!) Anyway, it turned out to be quite a nice little find...
If you've seen the ModelCo Fibre Lash mascara which had a big PR push lately, you'll be familiar with the brush-on lash extensions concept -
"Instantly brush on hundreds of tiny lash hairs in seconds! Natural Angel Lash Extender instantly and dramatically lengthens, adds volume and strengthens your lashes. Delivers longer, fuller, thicker, healthier lashes in seconds."
The instructions are to apply mascara as normal, then layer on the fibres to just the tips of lashes while the mascara is still wet, then finally seal the fibres in with another layer of mascara.
The applicator of Natural Angel Lash Extender is basically just a little stick covered in millions of little black cellulose fibres, each measuring about 1.5mm long.
Because the fibres are so minuscule and lightweight, they get everywhere. Using a tissue to catch the strays fibres is essential in order to avoid a hairy face.
Applying the fibres is a cinch and takes just seconds. I can literally see my lashes getting thicker, plusher and longer with one sweep of the wand.
Once the fibres are on, I find it best to use a "wet" mascara to seal them on e.g. Max Factor 2000 Calorie. If the mascara is too dry, it can end up pulling the fibres around too much (which happened to me when I was taking photos for this post) instead of just sticking them in place. The fibres are black so are easily covered up.
Weirdly, it doesn't matter how much mascara is loaded on top of my newly extended lashes, it doesn't drop the curl from using eyelash curlers. As anyone with straight lashes knows, this is truly a miracle.
While the final coat of mascara is almost dry but not yet fully dry, the "extensions" are very pliable and can be pushed with a finger to get a extra bit of curl at the ends of the lashes.
Here is a photo of my everyday lashes with one coat of mascara. I can't usually go much thicker with (non-waterproof) mascara because my lashes would end up straightening out from the weight:
And here is the result of Natural Angel Lash Extender. The result is a little clumpier than it should be because I was faffing around too much with the camera between coats and the mascara I used was too dry. The fibres would otherwise normally lie flat and be smoothly blended into my lashes.
I'm really pleased with Natural Angel Lash Extender - it thickens and lengthens my lashes in a way that no other mascara can do on its own. I also love the way that I can load up my lashes without the curl dropping out. I now have a use for all the mascaras I almost threw out for not holding a curl.
If it works on my pitiful lashes, it wouldn't surprise me if you could achieve a similar effect to the absurd "after" pic on the packaging if you have naturally long and curled lashes.
I have been known to wear false lashes on the rare occasion but I always feel self conscious wearing them (I'm permanently convinced they're peeling off but no-one's telling me), so I think I'll be swapping them for brush-on fibres from now on.
The application of the fibres is so quick that I would even use the product for days I'm not doing anything special. It makes my normal lashes look so wimpy in comparison. The only thing that would put me off using it every day is having to brush off all those little fibres which fall on my face.. it takes ages to get them all. I need a little lint roller for my face!
I don't notice any flaking when I'm wearing the fibres - as long as they're sealed in with enough mascara, they stay put until I remove my mascara at the end of the day.
Overall, a big thumbs up from me!
Ingredients of Natural Angel Lash Extender
Cellulose, Panthenol, Tocopherol, Cynara Scolymus, Oscimum Basilicum
If you can't get hold of the Natural Angel brand of brush-on lashes, there are some similar products available in the UK and US from around £13 and $15:
Talika Lash Extender
Divaderme Lash Extender - pretty much identical ingredients to Natural Angel Lash Extender
Japonesque Fast Lash Thickening Fibers - but fibres are white
ModelCo Fibre Lash - includes mascara too, but fibres are white, and expensive at £35 / $43
Update: I'm thinking white fibres might actually be better because they won't look so much like facial hair when they fall on my face!