No-One Wants To Know The Real Truth About Parabens

Parabens. It’s seen as a dirty word amongst the “natural beauty” movement and the “mainstream” cosmetics industry is trying its best to ignore it, right? Because of parabens, many people are spending more money than ever on cosmetics and personal care products to avoid those scary-sounding paraben ingredients.

Today I want to step (mostly) aside from the quibble over whose scientific paraben research was more inaccurate, to examine the bigger question; who really benefits from the fears surrounding parabens?

To get at the answer, we need to do some digging. You may have noticed the unbelievable number of very expensive “natural beauty” paraben-free organic natural companies that have sprung up over the past couple of years. They charge you an arm and a leg for beautifully coloured, luxuriously scented containers of goop with names such as “thermal spa minerals bath elixir” “cleansing water mist” and “nourishing body souffle.”

Paraben free products are not necessarily being marketed by ethical companies.

Okay, so some of you are thinking “what is going on? Has she been paid to say this?”

I am an independent researcher, sitting at home writing this, and I look at all the information I can get my hands on and I base my conclusion on the information I find.

Here’s some things you need to know about the people telling you to avoid parabens:

1. The “natural beauty” companies who are selling the paraben free products are operating on a much higher profit margin than conventional companies. It doesn’t cost them more money to avoid putting an ingredient in a product because they’re not replacing parabens with something else that costs more. Here’s an analogy: Think of a cake, if you made a cake without chocolate powder, so it was a plain flavoured cake, would it cost you more to make that cake, or a cake which used chocolate powder? When all the other ingredients stayed the same, the chocolate cake would cost more to make. So why is the plain cake costing so much more to buy? Why are the paraben free products costing up to ten times more than their paraben-containing counterparts? It’s very profitable to make paraben-free products.

2. The “big beauty companies” that some sensationalist self-styled “health journalists” are criticizing? Most of them are benefiting from the paraben myth in some way. Here’s a list of well-known beauty companies who have at least one product that they’re marketing as paraben free:

Clarins, Clinique, Ojon, Pureology (and by extension, L’Oreal), Dead Sea Spa, Aveda, Morrocan Oil, Vaseline, Revlon, Dr Organic, Physician’s Formula, Burt’s Bees, Bare Escentuals (and Bare Minerals), L’Occitane, Origins.

This is where the biggest money behind the anti-paraben hype is overtly coming from, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only people making megabucks from scaring you away from parabens.

3. A lot of the smaller start-up companies (such as all the new startup sellers of natural, paraben-free, organic, very expensive products) don’t have to list their board of directors or key shareholders, particularly if they’re not floated on the stock exchange or aren’t incorporated. This means that, to start a smaller start-up company that makes big bucks from the current “natural beauty” craze, a larger company can finance it for a share of the profits, guide product development and marketing, then step back and let the smaller company turn a profit – who then repay a percentage of that to the larger company. We’ve seen this time and again on Dragon’s Den, you think they’re the only people doing it? Everyone in business with investment capital is doing it! If the smaller company goes bankrupt (such as “organic skincare” company Davina Peace… they had a waiting list of clients when they launched in 2010. You can find Davina Peace halfway down this list of insolvent companies in administration in 2012, along with the date of insolvency), the larger company washes their hands of the whole thing because it was nothing to do with them. If anything, they end up on the list of creditors (people owed money). If and when the current “natural skincare” craze ends, and the consumers start looking for something else, the larger company comes out of this beauty trend totally unscathed, with their reputation in tact when everyone goes back to buying “normal” stuff again. It is impossible to know behind the scenes who is financing and guiding these companies. It is impossible to know if any company is truly independent because corporate accounting strategies are inscrutable. Smaller companies are less accountable than larger ones.

4. You know whose products still contain parabens? The Body Shop! They’re an independent company not affiliated to any others, they are all about “natural” skincare and beauty, but their products are still packed with parabens. Why? Because they want to kill you? Uh, reality check, if cosmetics companies kill their customers, who’s going to be left alive to buy cosmetics? They use parabens because the evidence for the current paraben-noia is flimsy, it all comes from studies where at least one of the same people were involved, they all use very small sample sizes (the latest one, the one that “proves” parabens are dangerous? 40 participants.  All in Britain. That’s 0.0000000006% of the world’s population (or 0.000000012% of the population of America). And the researcher was forced to conclude that parabens are “only part of the bigger picture” which is scientist speak for “I’ve spent nearly a decade of my life barking up the wrong tree.” Why was this conclusion made? Well 7 of the 40 participants didn’t even use any cosmetics in the underarm area, so they weren’t getting any parabens from those products and yet the tissue samples still contained parabens. No deodorant, no body lotion… do you know anyone who doesn’t use any deodorant, any lotion, anything at all under their arms, who ALSO wears face cream or make-up? Who bathes regularly?? I don’t. These things tend to come in groups – people who don’t use deodorant (including natural ones) or body lotion tend not to use other products. Such as shower gel. And that’s if we totally ignore her first study on the effect of parabens, published in January 2004, which had a sample of twenty participants (also in Britain) and didn’t have a control group (a group of people who didn’t have cancer, or who didn’t use parabens, for example, to check if their paraben level was the same), which is the study everyone keeps misquoting.

5. Research is driven by funding.  Without funding, people don’t research things.  Every job in science has to be paid for and accounted for.  Researchers have to justify why they need money in most fields.  By studying parabens, an oncologist (for example) would no longer need to depend on funding from public health bodies (such as the nearly-bankrupt British NHS, Britain being the country where all of the research on parabens was carried out by the same lead author) or charities specialising in cancer research, and instead, that researcher could open up a huge avenue of funding for the university they work for, from cosmetics companies (or subsidiary research institutes funded by straw-man companies funded by cosmetics companies) who stand to gain from the results – if those results mean they can sell more paraben-free products.  Additionally, these big companies don’t require the results to be very rigorous (unlike health organizations) as long as they’re sensational.  Just like the beauty blogger who sells her scruples for a free mascara, the researcher claims that “all opinions are my own” although in science-speak, that’s “the research method was robust.”  For good measure, the researcher could get other people they know to peer-review it (everyone in the same field knows each other).  This is sadly how a lot of corporate-relevant scientific research is being done nowadays – fund a university, they can claim they’re independent, the company might even guide the university’s researchers about sharing the results with the world to get maximum impact but because it came from a university lab, we believe every word as infallible.  This is how many people get a PhD these days!  It all depends how financially malleable the researchers are, but there are hints that this happens all over academia, especially in the research areas most relevant to the pharmaceutical, nutritional and cosmetics industries.  If the research had showed parabens were not implicated in cancer, the cosmetics companies would gain less overall.  When was the last time a newspaper ran a story that said “fresh broccoli doesn’t cause cancer” (for example)?  It doesn’t sell products.

Cashing In

So what, exactly am I trying to say, and who do I think I am that I can say this? Just like animal testing, the truth behind these “natural beauty” companies is surrounded by a mystique of obfuscation, corporate financial backing and bad science… which makes them no better than the regular cosmetics companies. I wrote this because I value honesty and I was compelled to show that you don’t need to spend large amounts of money on “paraben free” products. These companies are cashing in on our biggest fears.

I think that in order to really get to the heart of the paraben issue, we’ve got to examine why we react so strongly to allegations that products are dangerous: Fear.

The Role Of Fear

We fear cancer more than anything else because we feel powerless, most of us know someone who has died of cancer. Breast cancer is terrifying because we don’t know why some people get it and others don’t. We don’t know why cancer seems to be getting more common than ever before. Personally, I believe it’s down to processed food; I think there’s something about all those condiments, sauces, ready meals and so on. But that doesn’t net an attention grabbing headline, that’s never going to produce viral content, so nobody writes about it or researches it for long because they can’t get funding.  Research is driven by funding – especially at universities.  Who funds research?  Companies who stand to gain from it!

Look at the recent evidence linking bacon to cancer. What was the public’s response? Oh, I love bacon, I’m never going to stop eating bacon! It hardly made the news for a week before disappearing! These are the same people avoiding cigarettes and parabens! The reason I wanted the world to know what fuels the paraben myth is because people think that if they avoid parabens they get some kind of points, that they can then use to smoke, drink and eat bacon. It doesn’t work like that. The things you eat, drink and smoke are the real culprits here.

Japanese women have a lower incidence of breast cancer than anyone else in the world because of their diet. Tokyo is a very polluted urban environment; have you ever been there? Huge skyscrapers, people’s living space is tiny, ventilation is complicated, and yet those women are getting breast cancer less often than women living in the Great Plains. Do Japanese women use parabens? Of course they do! They may use some “traditional Japanese” products, but when was the last time you used a “traditional” product of your own nationality? The only traditional English beauty product I use is rosewater from the supermarket (the stuff in the beauty shop is full of alcohol – which DOES cause cancer when ingested), and if I’m honest, I don’t use it as often as I should.

By avoiding parabens, consumers are being given a false sense of control, a false sense of security, a false sense of everything’s fine. Clearly, everything is not fine. Vegetarians and meat eaters are getting cancer at similar rates. Natural organic homeopaths are getting cancer at the same rate as people using branded products full of parabens and “chemicals.” The lie is that we are safe if we avoid parabens and other molecules labeled as “nasties.” We are not safe. None of us are. That’s the truth about parabens: You can avoid any ingredient with more than ten letters in the name as much as you like, it’s not going to help you. All this is doing is letting the real culprits get away with murder for longer while the cosmetics companies get even richer than ever from people’s fear.

Cosmetics companies are experts in using fear to sell products – fear of looking old, fear of really being old… those anti-ageing creams are cashing in on people’s fear of mortality. Fear of being ugly, of not looking attractive… make-up cashes in on people’s fear of being alone, people’s fear of rejection. The cosmetics industry has a long track record of subtly using fear to motivate women to buy their products. I’m not telling you to start buying products full of parabens, or to stop buying cosmetics; you should look how you want to, but you need to be aware of the truth about parabens. Avoiding parabens is not going to save you. We will all get old. We will all be alone sometimes. We will all die one day. And that’s the real truth about parabens.  It’s a shame everyone’s so busy being scared of parabens to understand what’s really at play here.

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[beauty] MAC Extreme Dimension Review

MAC Extreme Dimension Review, with somewhat excessive amounts of pictures to show you what I thought of it.

Two days ago I read this mascara reviewed by Maria at mariamakinitup, and I was so taken by the amazing results that I had to buy it myself.   Before today, the best mascara I’d ever come across was the L’Oreal Million Lashes Mascara.  I didn’t think any mascara existed that could be better than Million Lashes.

So today I went to get Extreme Dimension from the MAC counter.  I tried it out in-store before I bought it.  I was very impressed and totally agree that this is worth £19.

This is what it looks like boxed and unboxed:

MAC extreme dimension1 MAC extreme dimension2

This is what the brush looks like (sorry, my flash broke after this one and I wasn’t able to get another picture of the brush)  it’s one of the rubbery plasticky spiny brushes such as the one found in Max Factor Masterpiece Mascara, but the spines are shorter, thinner and more flexible meaning exceptional definition on all lengths of lash:

MAC extreme dimension3

The awesome thing about this mascara is that it lengthens your lashes using special fibres, but unlike a lot of these that I’ve tried, the fibres that MAC uses don’t fall off through the day, so you don’t end up looking like an out of date Christmas tree after a few hours (unlike another brand I tried, which retails for about the same price).

Another thing I loved was that it didn’t add too much volume per application, meaning you can layer this to make your lashes as long as you like without all that clumping and lashes sticking together that I’ve gotten from my previous mascara if I try to do more than 3 layers, so the MAC extreme dimension is really buildable too.

This is what my lashes look like with no mascara on, so you can see that I don’t have inserts/extensions:

No mascara at all.
No mascara at all.

In all the next four photos below, I have NOT curled my lashes.  I also have NOT used Rapid Lash (or any other serum) for about 3 weeks because I ran out and haven’t gotten round to buying any more yet.  Throughout this review I did not use any lash primer.  The length and curl you see in the next 4 pictures is 100% coming from the mascara.  I put MAC Extreme Dimension on both eyelashes in three coats to assess length, buildability and clumping:
MAC extreme dimension4 MAC extreme dimension6 MAC extreme dimension7 MAC extreme dimension8

The length was astounding, with virtually no clumping either.  I didn’t think the third coat added a lot to the second coat.  I decided that it was impossible to show you how good it was by just showing you photos of it on my lashes, so I curled my lashes and took some comparison photos as well.  As you will see below, there’s not much difference in two or more coats, so two coats is probably all you need to get these results (which will save you mascara, and therefore save you money, because you will run out less soon than if you use loads of coats unnecessarily).

If you want to know what it looks like with curled lashes, here are some photos after I curled my lashes and reapplied it in various different ways so you could see how the comparison photos were taken.  On the left hand side I’ve used my L’Oreal Million Lashes Mascara (which I only recently discovered and am VERY impressed with anyway, which just goes to show how amazing this MAC Extreme Dimension mascara is), on the left hand side I’ve used the MAC Extreme Dimension.  In this first photo, I’ve applied one coat of L’Oreal Million Lashes (so you can see from my next photo that I haven’t faked the results by using less of the comparison mascara, so it’s all a fair test), and on the right there’s two coats of MAC Extreme Dimension.

This is MAC Extreme Dimension on the right and L'Oreal Million Lashes on the left, only one coat of Million Lashes.
This is MAC Extreme Dimension on the right and L’Oreal Million Lashes on the left, only one coat of Million Lashes.

In this second photo, I’ve applied a second coat of L’Oreal Million Lashes (left) and there are two coats of MAC Extreme Dimension (right):

This is with two coats of each.  As you can see the MAC Extreme Dimension is still winning.
This is with two coats of each. As you can see the MAC Extreme Dimension is still winning.

Here is a second photo of two coats of Million Lashes on the left and MAC Extreme Dimension on the right:

This is another photo of L'Oreal Million Lashes (left) vs MAC Extreme Dimension (right).
This is another photo of L’Oreal Million Lashes (left) vs MAC Extreme Dimension (right).

The MAC Extreme Dimension gives much more length and is the first mascara I’ve ever used that genuinely gives a “false lash effect” that so many other mascaras claim to do.  In the words of the Scottish weather forecasting service, it’s phenomenal!

For everyday use, I will continue to use Million Lashes, but for evenings, events and date nights with my husband, I will be using the MAC Extreme Dimension; isn’t there just something special about being able to look even more amazing after a day at work?  If I didn’t work as a teacher, I would wear MAC Extreme Dimension every day, as it is just the most amazing thing I’ve used on my lashes, like, ever, but sadly, I have to set a good example and I think this look is a bit over the top for school – and that’s a good thing, I’ve never found a mascara that delivers so well before, or one that shows up so good in photos!!

As far as value for money goes, I’ve spent £10 and £12 on mascaras recently that I’ve left unused after the first use.  I used a No7 mascara for my wedding because I was worried about spending too much money on a mascara that wouldn’t give me good results.  I wish this mascara had been out this time last year then I would have been able to wear it on my wedding day, because this mascara is truly special.  I will definitely be getting it on my eyes for my First Anniversary party in a few months time.  I predict this would also make a fabulous mother’s day or birthday present for any woman because the appeal of the false lash effect that this product gives is universal.  I just can’t get over how good this product is, and am so glad I saw Maria’s review otherwise I never would have heard about it because everyone is so dismissive of MAC mascaras but they’ve really hit the target with this one!

The only downside to this mascara is that it only comes in black, but if you’re like me, you probably love the blackest black mascaras anyway.  There was a trend last summer for coloured mascaras again and I’m so glad it’s over now because honestly they never show up how they ought to and the colours they come in just don’t seem to suit anyone, so I’m fully supportive of a mascara that only comes in black, although I know some people prefer brown or navy, I think they would dull the effect of this one.

As a final comparison, this is what it looks like with Extreme Dimension vs no mascara:

Extreme Dimension (right) no mascara (left).
Extreme Dimension (right) no mascara (left).

What do you think, will you be trying MAC Extreme Dimension?  Which mascaras are you loving at the moment?  Let me know in the comments!

Lash Growth Serums REVIEWED: Rapid Lash, Eveline SOS Lash Booster and Rimmel Lash Accelerator

Lash serums reviewed!
Rapid Lash, Rimmel London Lash Serum, Eveline SOS Lash Booster (aka Eveline Eyelash Growth Activator Concentrated Serum 3 in 1)

Updated version comparing RapidLash and RevitaLash here.

Lash serums claim to be able to make your lashes grow. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews of them across the internet, and couldn’t really find many compare and contrast discussions except for the most popular ones. I did read a very scathing “scientific” review of lash serums in general, which claimed (using what is termed in science a “common sense” conclusion, meaning, a conclusion with no actual evidence to back it up, and based entirely on assumptions, therefore this “scientific” review was really very unscientific) that none of them could possibly work because if they did, they’d be FDA registered as pharmaceuticals, and therefore that only Latisse could possibly do what it said in the advertising spiel.

The translucent thingy at the top is a Moonstone because the tubes kept rolling away!
The translucent thingy at the top is a Moonstone because the tubes kept rolling away!

I disagree with this, primarily because Latisse is only registered as a pharmaceutical product because it has an ingredient in it which is used to treat glaucoma, an eye disease. Think about all the products you can get without a prescription – paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, cough mixture, athelete’s foot cream… just take a walk around a drugstore, the only reason things get labelled as “POM” or Prescription Only Medicine is if they have a potentially unsafe side effect, or if the condition they are licensed to treat HAS to be confirmed by a doctor, for public health reasons. The potentially unsafe side effect of Latisse is it can turn your eyes brown, although the incidents of this happening have not happened with Latisse, just with the active ingredient in Latisse, which is also used to treat glaucoma. Ergo, Latisse is a POM. Are you still with me?

In order to register something as a POM, it has to be supported by very expensive clinical trials – including mandatory animal testing in many countries. I’d rather buy a lash serum that hasn’t been forced into the eyes of bunnies, so I think it’s a good thing that none of them are licensed as pharmaceuticals. On top of that, there would be no point in any brand of lash serum registering their product as a medicine unless it could perform as well as Latisse, or better than Latisse, because otherwise, who is going to prescribe it to patients, and what patients would use it? As a beauty product, however, they can reach a wider market and achieve their goal – to help women grow their lashes. By not doing clinical trials, they are also saving a lot of money – which is what makes these products a lot cheaper than Latisse. I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t assume it won’t work just because it’s not on prescription, and don’t assume it’ll give results that are as good as Latisse just because someone on one of those review aggreggating websites said it was true. With my expectations managed, I made a start with Rapid Lash.

I’d never actually heard about lash serums until I saw Rapid Lash for sale a couple of months ago. Before buying, I researched profusely to find out which one was the best value for money; obviously that’s generally going to be a trade-off against what is most likely to work. I narrowed the choices down to Rapid Lash, L’Oreal’s lash serum, Rimmel London’s lash serum and Eveline SOS lash booster (the Eveline one was my “wildcard” – the one I knew nothing about, hadn’t even heard of the brand, but I wanted to try anyway).

Rapid Lash:

This is the first lash growth serum I had tried. I found it was quite often compared with Latisse so thought it would probably be quite good.

rapid lash rapidlash lash serum bottle

First impressions:

I bought my Rapid Lash from Amazon.  It’s also available at Boots in the UK.

When it arrived, the outer packaging was a bit squashed, but when I opened it the packaging of the product itself was fine. It has an opalescent glow to the tube that makes me slightly mesmerised if I stare at it for too long.

The instructions said “use once daily at bedtime,” I wasn’t sure why specifically at bedtime, maybe because it doesn’t combine with mascara very well. I waited over twelve hours until bedtime to try it out. I was very excited, but ready to be disappointed at the same time.

First application:

On first application, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It said to apply at the base of the lashes, so I ensured both the eyelid and hairs were coated where they met. It dried my eyes out considerably even the next morning when I woke up they still felt dried out. I also dabbed a bit on my eyebrows where I’ve been trying (completely unsuccessfully) to get them to grow in for over a year.

The second and third applications also dried my eyes out – I think this continued for about the first week of using Rapid Lash. Also I started to get a slightly darkened strip on my eyelid around where I’d applied it, I am hoping this isn’t permanent.

Initial results:
The first week showed no results. Neither did the second week. About halfway through the third week, however, I suddenly noticed a dramatic change in my lash length. I don’t wear mascara during my day-to-day life (or any makeup) because I don’t think it’s great for my skin to be constantly removing it, and have only worn it once during the time I was using Rapid Lash.

Mid-term results:

In my natural lashes, I noticed after three and a half weeks, some of them were considerably longer than others. When I scrutinised my lashes in the mirror, I realised something profound – I have a double layer of lashes, a la Elizabeth Taylor and Catherine Zeta Jones. I always thought my eyes were my best feature, but I had no idea I had twice as many lashes as most people. It kind of figures though, since I have more hair on my head as well (no, I don’t wear extensions).

I was thrilled that the product was working, but needed to work out how to get it to cover all my lashes, since applying over the top of the base clearly wasn’t getting product onto the lowest layer of lashes on my upper lids. I decided to defy the product’s packaging, since it wasn’t drying my eyes out any more, and started applying it underneath the lashes at the very base, almost like a mascara, except you don’t need to coat the length of the lashes. I also wiggled the brush sideways to get it in between the two layers of lashes as well.

Two more weeks later, and my lashes are even longer. Now that they’re all growing, I look like I’m wearing mascara when I’m not. My lashes have definitely grown although I didn’t see the sort of growth some rave reviewers said they’d had. What’s more, the hair on the ends of my brows has definitely grown in, too. It’s not back to how it was when I was 14, before I plucked every week for 12 years, but it’s definitely an improvement.

Mid-term side effects:

After a week or so, the staining of my eyelid and the drying effect on my eyeballs seemed to have died out, and I haven’t noticed it happening in a while. The eyebrow hairs are growing through quite nicely too. There was a week around week two or three where my under-eye area was irritated, but I think it was because my longer eyelashes were touching part of my face that wasn’t used to having so much contact with hairs (i.e. every time I blinked). I curled my eyelashes for a few days and when I stopped my under-eye area seemed fine again. I haven’t noticed any other side effects.

Conclusion:
Some people’s claims about Rapid Lash sound a bit exaggerated, and some are overly skeptical. Basically, it helped my lashes grow, improved their condition, and reduced lash fallout, and I started noticing results about three and a half weeks in, even though the packet said you needed to use it for eight weeks. I will continue to use it (although I do have other lash serums to try out after Christmas, for comparison) until it runs out because I really like what its doing to my lashes, but it is still £20 which is a significant expenditure. If in the next couple of weeks I get “eyebrow length lashes” from using Rapidlash as some people have claimed, I will update y’all. I’m glad I bought this though, even though it was expensive, it is still cheaper and a lot easier than lash extensions (although length and volume aren’t as good). This was the most expensive product I reviewed, as a 3ml tube cost £21.88, which was a stunning £7.29 per 1ml.


Eveline SOS Lash Booster aka Eveline Eyelash Growth Activator Concentrated Serum 3 in 1

Eveline SOS Lash Booster was another find from Amazon, it retails for about a fiver, and there was a matching mascara. Being a complete sucker for sets of products, I bought both.  This review is specifically about the Lash Booster (aka Eveline Eyelash Growth Activator Concentrated Serum 3 in 1), not the mascara.

Eveline SOS lash booster applicator

First Impressions:

The SOS Lash booster comes in a mascara-like tube, with a mascara wand. When you open it, the brush is coated in white stuff, which coats your lashes. The instructions said “use under mascara.” I liked the packaging design it looks very classy.  I was quite excited after discovering I have two layers of lashes, because I thought a product like this that coats the lashes would ensure all my lashes got product on them, something that had been hard to work out with the Rapid Lash (although once I’d worked it out, it was fine).

First Application:

I read the instructions. Then, like a muppet, I put it on last thing at night before I went to bed. I guess I was missing my Rapid Lash as this was the first thing I tried afterwards (also, it was Christmastime and I was tired and drunk). Whereas Rapid Lash goes on colourless and is completely undetectable on your eyes, this stuff is super-obvious, it coats your eyelashes in white so you look a bit like the Snow Queen out of Narnia. There’s quite a few eyelash primers on the market at the moment, and that’s what this SOS Lash Booster most closely resembles. I left it on overnight to see what would happen.

Initial Results:
Initial results were really good, I thought my lashes looked a lot longer over that first week, regardless of whether I was wearing mascara or not. I did coat them more lightly though after that first application, because I was trying to find out if I really needed to wear mascara or if there was an optimal application amount which would be less obvious. There wasn’t. You need to put mascara on top of this or not go anywhere where people will see you. Unless it’s snowing. Which it actually was when I started using this. But it wasn’t snowing indoors so it was still really obvious that I’d got white stuff on my lashes. It really didn’t help with the “you look like Elsa from Frozen” comments I’ve been getting lately, due to my silver hair, and while I love the character and film, it’s still not a good everyday look.

Do you wanna build a SNOWMAN???
Do you wanna build a SNOWMAN???

Mid-Term Results:
After three weeks, my eyelashes don’t seem to have grown any more than before. If anything, I’d say that without anything on, for example just after I’ve washed my face in the morning, they are shorter now than before I started using this. The white Eveline SOS Lash Booster always makes my lashes look longer and thicker, but I don’t think there’s any long lasting benefit to using this product. It is a really nice first step for under mascara, however. The mascara itself was disappointingly clumpy and didn’t add much length or volume, I think I used it twice, and the second time was an attempt to get a good photo. I prefer to use this Eveline Eyelash Growth Activator (aka SOS Lash Booster) under my L’Oreal Million Lashes Mascara, and it gives an intense result (if I opened my eyes so my eyelashes were flat against my eyelids, I could feel my lashes touching my eyebrows, although it didn’t quite look like falsies), but I don’t think it makes my lashes grow, I think it just coats the lashes. One thing I have noticed though, which also makes this product worth buying, is that it does make mascara removal a LOT easier, as well as reducing the number of lashes that fall out when removing eye make-up.

Conclusion:
With nothing to go on, because nobody else had reviewed this product when I bought it, I knew I was taking a risk. While it appears to have done nothing to make my eyelashes grow, it does make them look very long and thick and is the perfect primer to go on underneath the L’Oreal Million Lashes Mascara. I would buy it again as a fantastic primer but not as a lash growth serum.

Rimmel London Lash Accelerator
The Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum was the cheapest of the lot. I was really expecting nothing from this. Like, I really didn’t think it could have any effect whatsoever that wasn’t just an illusion.

rimmel lash accelerator

First Impressions:

It arrived in a nice tube that showed clearly that the product was colourless. The applicator was an interesting shape. It didn’t smell of anything and the instructions said I could use it more than once a day at any time of day. I was a little suspicious of this after the incredibly specific instructions on the Rapid Lash. The tube was a very generous 11ml of product.


First Application:

The applicator seemed to bring a LOT of product out of the tube. I had to keep wiping the brush at the top of the tube to try and make sure I wasn’t just dousing my eyelashes in the stuff. I still ended up putting far too much on, and since I decided to give it a first try before bed, it stuck my lashes together and meant I couldn’t roll over and go to sleep until it dried, which took forever.

Initial Results:
This didn’t seem to give much of a result for a few days, but as time went on I realised it was having a subtle effect. It didn’t have any kind of reaction or stinging, and didn’t leave a dark line around the base of my lashes like the Rapid Lash did, so that was really nice. I felt under less pressure to get this one on every single lash on each application because it could be used more than once per day, and I did find myself using it morning and evening for first few days.

Mid-Term Results:

After about a week my eyelashes stopped growing any further and I noticed much more eyelash loss than I’d had with either the Rapid Lash or the Eveline. I would say the Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum works more quickly than the RapidLash and has an effect sooner, but its maximum length was less – so if you want medium lash growth in a week, this is the product for you, but if you want longer lashes after about three to six weeks, the Rapid Lash is the better product. I never did get to grips with the crazy amount of product that the applicator dispensed, and as a result, sometimes my lashes looked like they were covered in latex lash glue when all that product dried and left a whitish residue. Not a good look. So while, in theory, this one should be usable without having to put a mascara on top, I didn’t feel confident walking around with residue on my lashes so ended up putting mascara on top anyway. Unfortunately, this seemed to cause a clumping effect. The applicator was a lovely idea but I think it could have been designed a bit more effectively because, whichever hand you write with, you will poke yourself in the nose with the brush whilst trying to cover the lengths of your lashes.

Conclusion:

I liked the fact that the Rimmel Lash Accelerator could be used more than once per day and that the results showed quite quickly, and I thought that the length was good as a short term fix, or if you already have fairly long lashes. However, I would have liked a better applicator. If you’re making your decision based on price per product, this one definitely beats the lot at £2.99 per 11ml, or 27p per 1ml of product.  NOTE: Since I bought this, barely a month ago, the UK price has tripled to £9.99 per 11ml (plus over £2 postage)! In the US, it’s now around the $11.99 mark.  I’d have to say, I wouldn’t pay £9.99 plus postage, making the Eveline Eyelash Growth Activator one the cheapest at around $7.99 on Amazon.com.


In Closing…

The Rapidlash was really the only product that grew my lashes to an impressive length – but at ten times the price of the Rimmel one, I don’t think this product is necessarily going to suit everyone’s budget. I would certainly buy it again and, now that this trial is over, I am going to go back to using the Rapidlash because I felt it was the most effective product, and was the most hassle free application. The Rimmel Lash Accelerator was excellent as a starter serum, having some effect without necessarily being life-changing. It took a while to dry, however, and left a residue, so isn’t great if you’re on the go, and I am still stunned by the price increase. The Eveline Eyelash Growth Activator (Eveline SOS Lash Booster) didn’t do an awful lot to grow my lashes, perhaps because they were quite long and in good condition already from the Rapid Lash , but the Eveline one was certainly a good lash conditioner, a fantastic mascara primer, it did make lashes look longer even if it didn’t grow them, and it made eye-make-up removal really easy, as well as being very conditioning, and so I will keep that as part of my make-up routine.  I would have liked some more photos of my eyelashes, but the effects of all of these products don’t seem to show up on camera very well, unless you wear mascara, and it’s so easy to fake an eyelash review picture when you’re wearing mascara that it’s not even worth trying to do a comparison before and after pic, because it’s not a true representation of the results.  At the end of the day, they are all cheaper and easier than eyelash extensions, and require less downtime because you don’t need to spend hours at the salon.  HOWEVER, if you want a result that lasts and that looks like eyelash extensions, you’ll need to get some eyelash extensions put in. Duh.

August 2015: I’ve written a newer article comparing RapidLash and RevitaLash here
May 2016: I’ve written a NEWER NEWER article comparing Grande Lash MD to RapidLash and Revitalash.