How to make your lashes look longer and thicker – without extensions

How to make your lashes look longer and thicker – without extensions

Getting eyelash extensions applied by a professional beauty therapist instantly makes lashes look longer, thicker and more dramatic, and can eliminate the fiddly act of glueing on falsies every day. But this salon treatment can be time-consuming, expensive and require regular maintenance, with top-ups needed every 3-4 weeks to keep them looking their best.

Luckily there are some clever tricks you can do to your natural lashes to create a more fluttery, feathery lash look – without getting extensions. Here’s how…

Use a lash serum

According to beauty e-tailer LookFantastic, online searches for lash serums are up 163% from this time last year, and it’s currently a hot topic on TikTok, no doubt in part because of the popularity of the “clean girl aesthetic” trend.

Lash serum formulas usually contain a combination of vitamins and proteins and work by strengthening and hydrating your eyelash hairs. This reduces how frequently they fall out, and therefore makes them grow longer and stronger. It’s worth noting that these formulas need to be applied every night, and for at least six weeks, before you can expect to see effects.

Some can be pricey, but there are lots of lash serums on the market nowadays to suit all budgets.

Curl your eyelashes

Curl your eyelashes

Add this quick and easy step into your makeup routine and you’ll immediately notice a difference. Gently pressing your lashes between the pads of a curler before applying mascara will flip them skywards, making your eyes look bigger and brighter.

If you’re looking to add an eyelash curler to your makeup bag, you’ll find a great one by So Eco inside the latest OK! Beauty Box. This month’s Good Times Edit contains five products worth over £130, but new subscribers can pick it up for just £7.50 here.

Apply mascara correctly

Choosing the right mascara is also important – as is how you apply it. Makeup artist and Max Factor brand ambassador Caroline Barnes has this advice: “Wearing lots of mascara can often weigh down your lashes which can make them appear shorter. Look for a formula that you can achieve long thick lashes without the weight.” 

“Wiggle the brush into the root of the lash and then pull through to really stretch them out,” she adds. “This will make them look long and fluttery.”

Try this eyeliner hack

Clever liner placement can also make your lashes look longer and thicker. Take a waterproof eyeliner pencil and run it along your upper waterline – this will add subtle density to the lashes’ roots (it doesn’t require particularly steady hands to pull this off either!)

Book in for a lash lift

Yes, it’s a salon treatment, but lash lifts give a more natural effect than extensions – and don’t require as much upkeep, either. During the process, the eyelashes are tinted and then gently curled upwards using a perming solution, giving a flattering, defined and open-eyed effect. The result lasts about 6-8 weeks, and wears off gradually.