With chemotherapy, come a host of appearance-related side effects, including hair loss from the eyelashes and eyebrows. These changes in physical appearance are some of the most challenging to deal with, as they are some of the most apparent to us when we look in the mirror. Rest assured that along the road to recovery, the important thing is your health and that these physical changes are only temporary. In the meantime for women concerned with sparse eyelashes, there are simple make-up tips to mimic the effect of a full lash line and help pump up the lash volume!
"How do I make the most of my spare lashes?" is a very common question I hear from women undergoing treatment. As the immune system is weakened and the body is more prone to infection, it is not recommended that women wear false eyelashes. The ingredients used in the eyelash glue can be too harsh for the body at this time and when the eyelashes are removed, they also risk pulling at what remains of the natural eyelashes. Instead, save those falsies for a special occasion and try these alternatives that help give the eye the definition a lash line provides:
1. Use eyeliner.
Apply eyeliner on the top lash line, drawing it thinner on the inner corner and gradually thicker as it approaches the outer corner (see top diagram above). This technique mimics the way the eyelashes would frame the eye - shorter hairs on the inner corner that gradually increase in length as they approach the outer corner of the eye. Eyeliner applied in this way will help to open up the eye and make it appear larger. (Who doesn't love that?!) To add even more depth, smudge the eyeliner slightly upwards while still keeping the line thinner on the inner corner.2. Try to avoid the eyelash curler, but use a volumizing and washable mascara formula to enhance lashes.
NOTE: Try to avoid using eyeliner on the inside rim of the eye, as this tends to make the eye look smaller and can be harmful for those with sensitive eyes. To still get the fully lined look, use eyeliner just right below the lower rim, on the outer third of the bottom lashline (as in bottom right diagram above). Smudging this line will also create the illusion of more dimension around the eye and make your eyes pop by framing the whites of your eyes!
I love eyelash curlers, but unfortunately, long-term repeated use of one can make eyelashes brittle, especially at a time when they are more prone to breakage and fall-out. Instead, skip the curler and try a curl-enhancing or volumizing mascara in a washable formula to add emphasis to the lashes.3. Make sure to conceal under-eye circles.
- I know we all love our waterproof make-up, but as durable as waterproof is, it can also be tough to remove. With sensitive eyes and lashes, a washable formula would still help achieve the fuller lash look but spare you the struggle that removing waterproof mascara usually entails.
- Avoid using an eyelash curler once mascara has been applied - the eyelashes may stick to the curler and you may risk losing some strands!
- Use an eyelash primer and mascara combination formula to maximize your lashes. (L'oreal's Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara--that Make-up Junkie has been highlighting from Fashion Week--looks like the perfect product to try for this!)
Think of it this way: whenever you do eye make-up remember it's not just the eyelid area that needs tending to - the eyebrows (we'll discuss these in our next installment!) and the undereye area all do their parts to frame the eye. These areas need proper make-up attention as well to get an overall polished look; a smoky eye would never look proper without some undereye concealer to camouflage any dark circles! Use a colour correcting concealer to brighten any dark areas and then blend it all in with your skin tone colour concealer. Try a pink concealer to brighten fair skin tones, a peachy concealer for medium skin tones, and an orange concealer for darker skin tones. Use your concealer sparingly - just in the areas that need attention. Once camouflaged, a concealed undereye area will help to brighten the entire face and highlight your beautifully lined eyes!For more helpful Think Pink Make-up Tips, check back on Make-up Junkie to see more from this series:
I. How to Maximize Sparse Eyelashes
II. Brow Know-How
III. Applying False Eyelashes
IV. Taking Care of Skin and Nails
V. The Importance of Proper Hygiene
Rhia Amio is a Freelance Make-up Artist, Beauty Blogger and self-confessed Make-up Addict based in Toronto, ON.