Eyelashes are BIG business, we want them longer, stronger, neatly curled and beautifully coloured.  If the old cliche of the eyes being the windows to the soul is still valid we want our souls guarded by a generous display of neatly presented lashes, the bigger, the better!

The recent beauty expo in Sydney showcased a number of different methods for achieving “the look”. We spoke to companies who could aid you in faking it through their glue on individual lashes and  companies who could enhance what nature gave you through lash thickening mascara’s. Then there were the companies supplying eyelash dyes,  ridding  you of the need for mascara – at least for a few weeks  BUT the most exciting find of the expo was the company promising to grow you longer lashes!  We spoke to them to find out a bit more…..

Bamboo Lashes caught my attention even before we entered the expo. I had been reading about eyelash growing products for a while and had been following the discussions coming out of the US surrounding Lilash and its rival  RevitaLash which was sued by Allergen for patent infringement along with MD Lash Factor and Age Intervention Eyelash.   None of these  are readily available in Australia due to issues with their ingredients (Aussies have been trying it though if the Vogue and Adore Beauty forums are anything to go by).   These products seem quite expensive at around $175  for a pack lasting around 8 week however when compared to the cost of keeping up fake lashes the price becomes quite reasonable. The added bonus with these products is the benefit of being able to “do it yourself” in the comfort of you own bathroom!

Bamboo lashes comes in a mascara like pack and is applied via a brush to the eye lashes once or twice a day. The eyelashes should start to grow immediately, with a good result visible within 4-6 weeks. One pack contains enough for up to 8 weeks of applications, depending on how often and how much you apply.  Shall we take a look at the ingredients?

Amanda and the Lilash Team at the Beauty Expo

Amanda and the Bamboo Lash Team at the Beauty Expo

The formulation is huge,  contains lots of tongue twisting ingredients and  is marketed as being natural without using the term  chemical free (which is good as nothing is chemical free).  Although the product does contain some natural ingredients,it is worth noting that this product took a bit more putting together than just picking bamboo off a tree – no big drama!

Without going into masses of details the product contains a few conditioning agents and additives that work to add volume to hair – rather like the ingredients found in volumising hair conditioners or styling products (polyquaternium 67, Hydroxyethyl Behenamidopropyl Dimonium Chloride and more).  These will give the instant gratification of making your lashes look fuller and thicker!

Secondly there are the true actives – the things that have been proved to positively affect hair growth. Things like Apigenin (a plant flavinoid), Oleanoic Acid (also plant based), Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1 (also plant based) . The latter extract is also found in hair growth products such as minoxyil and has been proven to stimulate the hair follicles. There is also a little Keratin growth factor but I imagine that it is present in such small volume that it doesn’t do an awful lot.

Thirdly there are the botanical extracts that offer some conditioning / nutritive properties but are mainly there as the little bit of magic. These are the Bamboo extract, Apple Extract,  English Ash tree etc.

Lastly are the bits and pieces that hold it all together such as the shea butter, the emulsifiers, the preservatives and humectants (water binders) and a few other bits and pieces making it quite a complicated formulation!

As to the question of whether this product works, the proof should be in the pudding. We have set Sharon off on a 6 week trial run to put the product through its paces. Based on the products chemistry, the patent data and the feedback from other users around the world there is no reason why this product shouldn’t work so I look forward to seeing the pictures. As with all products that are applied to the eye area, take care and if your skin or eye becomes irritated stop using the product immediately!

We would love to hear from any of you who have tried Bamboo lashes or any other lash grow treatment. Would you use it again? Did you get good results? How convenient was it?  Our trial results will be posted weekly starting with the “before” shots below.

Take care and enjoy watching the hair grow! For more information on Bamboo lashes or to find a distributor go to their website or talk to their lovely team.

Before Shot of Sharon’s eye. 17th August 2009.Sharons eye before


UPDATE:  Well, there are lots of comments below about Revitalash and most of them are coming from spammers. I have no reason to think that Revitalash is any better or worse than the product we tested so I would encourage you to make you own mind up and take no notice of the poorly disgised endorsements below – I only let it run to see what would happen but now I’m bored!