The eyebrow struggle is still as real today as it ever was, with so many of us trying and failing to get the bushiest most arched, and matching pair of brows. But why does no one talk about the eyelash struggle?
When you have naturally short, light, and straight eyelashes, it can really mess up your makeup game. Though there are a bunch of people out there who absolutely kill it with light eyelashes, it can be a real pain if all you’ve ever wanted was long lashes that look fantastic, with or without make-up.
It’s not as if there aren’t any solutions for darkening and lengthening them, but the amount of extra effort to look like you put in minimum effort can be exhausting. And sometimes you just want to get up, get washed, and go outside with a bare set of lashes for a change. But what’s the point in going bare if you can’t even see them?
As someone with lashes lighter than the sun itself, I’ve had so many assumptions made about myself, including how I take care of my eyes and how much sleep I’m (not) getting, and I’ve also been given a lot of condescending advice that I’ve already tried time and time again. So if you’re in the same boat as me, then you’ll have surely been asked or told at least half of these things…
“What happened to your eyes, do you need an antihistamine?”
When you have short or light eyelashes, it can make your eyelids look pretty puffy, almost as if the skin is so inflamed that it’s taking center stage over the lashes themselves. For some people it can even make their eyes look smaller. But there’s no inflammation, the eyelids are simply all you can see because the hair is lacking. But this worries people nonetheless, and the Benadryl packet sometimes gets waved in your face until you tell them you always look like that.
“Are you getting enough sleep?”
Okay, many people hear this on a daily basis, but not many people hear this during a conversation about eyelashes, of all things. This one ties right into my first entry, because when your eyes look puffy, you look tired. Those of us with light eyelashes often like this after a good sleep just as much as after a terrible sleep. The double whammy is having eye bags on top of having light eyelashes (actually that would be under…), and this really gets people worried. Yes, we’re drinking enough water. No, we’re not staying up too late. Yes, work is stressful, but that’s not the point – my eyelashes just thought I was supposed to be a natural blonde, I guess.
“Why don’t you wear falsies?… oh, you already are?”
I like false eyelashes, but the annoying thing about them is when I wear them my eyes look exactly what I’d want them to look like with mascara. Which sounds like a good thing at first. They look natural? Great! But couldn’t I have gotten that natural look without the glue and threat of poking myself in the eye with tweezers? We all have that friend with naturally bushy dark eyelashes, so it’s really not fair that we have to work three times as hard to get what they have naturally! I’m kidding, but kind of not… Falsies are a lifesaver on a night out, but I don’t want to have to wear them every day and spend all that money just to get the lashes I wish I had naturally. I buy in bulk, but not THAT bulk.
“Do you dye your eyelashes?”
For those of us who have light-colored eyelashes, they can look a completely different color than the hair on our heads. Even people with black hair can somehow wind up with blonde eyelashes, and for some reason this gives people the impression they can just snoop into our hair coloring routine. No, I’m not a natural blonde, as cool as that’d be, and no, I don’t use eyelash tints; if I had dark vibrant eyelashes then I wouldn’t dare dye them. That being said, a lot of people prefer lighter eyelashes and I’ve seen so many people who it suits well, but on my face? If I could swap eyelashes with my boyfriend who has Disney prince eyes, then I’d do it in a heartbeat. One day I’ll learn to love them, but not before I get the irritation out of my system.
“You just need a better mascara.”
I confess that I do tend to buy cheaper mascaras due to a low budget, but this is because all of the high brand mascaras I’ve used aren’t much different. The formulas are better, they smudge less, they go on smoother, even smell nicer, but make my eyelashes magically heavier and longer they do not. I’m aware that they make formulas specifically for intense volumizing, but I suppose what bugs me is the fact that people just assume we haven’t done our research, or that we can magically afford those high-end products in the first place. Honestly folks, I’ve used $2 mascaras that work better than $12 ones, but neither of them give me what I want. Not that I’m done searching for the perfect product, but I know if I find it then it won’t fix my problem entirely. So as soon as people know that the brand isn’t the problem, they usually go on to say…
“Then you’re not applying it right!”
I’ve watched more beauty vlogs than you’ve had hot dinners, I’ve tried practically every life hack on Pinterest, I’ve had a professional beautician apply it, and experimented with every angle and wand you can think of; I am doing it right. I was once told that a lot of people only paint the tips of their eyelashes, by drawing the brush along the bottom of the lashes too quickly, and avoiding this at least helps a little. So if you want the formula to stick a little better, brush both sides from the very root of your lashes, moving the wand left and right to really gunk that formula on there. This is solid info, but like a lot of you out there, I already knew this and learned nothing new from the hack. And though there are tons of other tips out there, sometimes they all do the same thing; if you have a small canvas, then a lot of paint wont make it any bigger.
“Your eyes make you look so young!”
Hollywood has made long, curled, black eyelashes a big indicator of womanhood; showing images of women batting their eyes provocatively at their man, it screams adulthood, so for people with light or short eyelashes, it can make us look more like a kid. That image is something I don’t buy, as how the heck can tiny bits of hair relate in any way to age? But the image is still pushed on us unfairly.
“You’re not pulling them out are you?”
The first time I heard this one, I was baffled by how someone could actually think that I’d pluck individual hairs from my eyes, then I discovered trichotillomania exists. I actually suffer from this condition myself, and for years there were big bald patches on my head and horrible little red bumps on my legs. That being said, my eyelashes weren’t one of the areas I plucked, though I can understand that horrible urge to go there. However, when these words come from someone who isn’t aware of the condition and thinks you’re doing it out of boredom or whatever, it can be pretty insulting and hurtful. The answer for me is no — I just have short blonde eyelashes, but if you were to ask someone who was pulling them out, it would actually be pretty inappropriate.
“They’re fine, they don’t need be heavy or dark.”
While I agree with this and appreciate the encouragement and body-positive sentiment, we’re allowed to have our own opinions about our bodies. Though I know in my heart of hearts that I don’t need Hollywood-style eyelashes, I still want them. I know so many people look great with eyelashes like mine, so at the end of the day it’s not a big deal — I also don’t want anyone reading to feel insecure about theirs, as I’m writing this to relate with others. That being said, it’s still kind of annoying to hear that our complaints mean nothing. All I’m saying is that I’m entitled to feel the way I want to about my body and my appearance.