Where the Hell Are My Eyelashes?

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So I have this gift that I think is pretty amazing. It’s a gift that my beautiful mom gave to me at birth. I have the gift of big eyes.

A Little Backstory

Let me preface this by saying this isn’t a pity party; it gets better . . . sorta.

I used to hate looking at myself in the mirror or having others look at me. I was ashamed of my protruding eyes. As a kid, I went through the ‘miserable’ phase. You do know kids are monsters, don’t you?

Children can be incredibly cruel. Couple that cruelty with no filter and you have a hot mess on two ashy legs (also known as kids). Yeah, they were mean to me. I was called a myriad of names, ranging from amphibian comparisons (frog eyes) to cartoon names (PopEYE the sailor) to being likened to an insect (bug eyes) to folks believing that I had perfect eye sight (“Damn girl…you got some big eyes. I bet you can see everything.”). This latter insult was usually uttered by adults. Hey, cruel kids grow up to be cruel adults, but that’s another story.

I was so overcome by the bullying and hurling of insults that I resorted to beating the shit out of kids. The tormented became the tormentor. I soon grew out of the ‘beat the crap out of anyone who makes fun of me’ stage and realized that my eyes were, indeed, beautiful. I was especially narcissistically charmed by my long and lush eyelashes. Going light on the mascara enhanced them without giving me that dreaded spider lashes look and, at times, my lashes even appeared false.

That was back in my teens. In my 20s, all was still well and good. Even into my 30s, my eyelashes were still blossoming and fluttering. By the time I reached my late 40s, David Copperfield had nothing on me. My lashes began to do a disappearing act worthy of a lavish Las Vegas production. Now that I’ve reached 52, I think that, between the two eyes, I have about 40 lashes left. The wispy look is not cute on me.


Where the hell are my eyelashes?

The condition, known as madarosis, is marked by the absence or loss of eyelashes. That sucks on so many levels. Lucky me. Because of the dwindling amount of estrogen that our bodies produce during (and after) menopause, lash growth can be stunted. Well just dayum.

Look, I get it. It’s part of the aging process. That’s the good news. The bad news is: it’s part of the aging process.

So what can be done about faltering eyelashes?

There are a variety of options from which to choose.

False lashes – you affix a strip of falsh lashes to the eye by placing it along the lash line. The downside: lash glue or cheap adhesive that won’t aehere properly. And do you really want to go through that routine every day?

Lash boosting serums – these syrums typically contain moisturizers and vitamins that nourish and strengthen lashes to boost lash growth. Some of the more popular ones on the market are L’Oreal Lash Boosting Serum and Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum with Grow-Lash Complex.

Eyelash extension – just as you can go to your favorite cosmetologist to get extensions to give you long, flowing, bouncin’ and behavin’ hair, so too can you can pop in at your local nail salon or spa for lash extensions. [It goes without saying, but do your homework before deciding on the person or place to get this done.] These are fake lashes which are individually bonded to your natural lashes with glue. The downside: if not applied properly, you run the risk of your eyelids sticking together or you could have an allergic reaction to the glue.

Eyelash transplant/implants – This is a more permanent solution to eyelash loss. The procedure is done under anesthesia and real eyelashes are implanted into the eyelid. Yeeesh. [As with the extensions, do your homework here. This is a costly procedure.]

If you really want to get medicinal on a sister, try a product like Latisse. Latisse is a prescription drug that Brooke Shields promoted a few years ago. This product scares the heck out of me because it’s an eye drop, hence, you put it in your eyes. What are the side effects? Oh….I shudder at the thought, but you can read them here.

You know what? I think I’ll just live with my depleting eyelashes. My husband loves me for my mind, anyway.


valerie albardaAbout the Author: Valerie Albarda is a Women’s Empowerment & Transformation Coach, author, midlife blogger and creator of Midlife-A-Go-Go. In her everyday life, she’s wife to Maarten, mom to dog Chaka and active in and around her community. Follow Valerie on Twitter @MidlifeAGoGo

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