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Sarasota, Florida 34239
Thursday, 01 March 2012 00:00

Q. As I get older, my eyelashes are more sparse, especially at the outer corners of my eyes. What can I do?

A. Why we lose hair where we want it and sprout it where we don’t want it has always seemed to be a basic engineering problem to me, but there you are. Here are a few ideas to help:

1. Lash enhancers such as Latisse or RevitaLash really work and their effects will show up usually within a few weeks. Occasionally, someone may be a little sensitive to them, but they work beautifully for most people. Remember to apply them to the base of the lashes – that’s where they do their work – rather than applying them (like eyeliner) more on the lid skin. It also takes a wee bit more attention to apply them at the exact outer corner of the eye, but it’s just another few seconds out of your evening, so make every bit count. A number of my patients report that their eyebrows have responded well to these lash enhancers as well.

2. You can also create the effect of lashes at the outer corners of the eyes by placing liner or shadow there.

If you use a pencil liner, make sure the texture is soft enough to make a smudgy little V-on-its-side shape at the outer corner without your having to pull your eyelid at the corner (more on that next month). Use light, short strokes and keep the V slightly tilted upwards as you place one leg of it at the upper lash line and the other at the lower lash line. Continue the line toward the nose at the upper and lower lash lines to taste but keep the V a bit thicker and more dense at the outer corner of the eye. Make sure the whole thing is softened a bit at the edges, unless you’re purposefully aiming for a hard line. Most of us can’t get away with that after the mid-twenties -- Mother Nature is quite adept at making us look harder as we get older anyway, without our help, thank you.

For more control in application, you can use eye shadow to achieve the same effect. Use a deep color, even a black, and apply it with a small brush and a light hand. If you use powder shadow, tap off the excess before applying it so you don’t end up with a sooty cheek. Keep it darkest at the corner and right at the lashline, and blend it slightly out and up at the outer edges. If you’re really artistic, you can take a pencil and draw little lines radiating out at the corners to simulate lashes (remember Twiggy?). If you do this, soften the effect with a bit of shadow or a few extra pats with an eyeliner brush.

3. Finally, remember that your eyelashes are subject to breakage, just like the hair on your head. Since most waterproof mascaras almost require a jackhammer to remove, try to wear regular mascara whenever you can. If you have a problem with regular mascara smudging onto your lower lid, wear regular mascara at the upper lashes and apply waterproof mascara very lightly at the lower lashes. At night, remove the eye make-up as gently as possible.

These techniques may require a little learning curve, but they’ll become quick and easy in no time. If you want some help, schedule an appointment with Jill, our talented aesthetician, and she can show you exactly what to do.

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dr barbour

Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon,
Sarasota, Florida

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