My eyelashes have always been somewhat of a sore spot for me. While they’ve got nothing on Elizabeth Taylor’s famous double-set, with a couple of coats of mascara, I could bat my lashes with the best of them. The source of my insecurity, then, actually had nothing to do with their length—it was all about their color.
I was born with chimeric eyelashes and eyebrows, meaning that those on the left side of my face are blonde and those on the right are brown. It’s never been totally clear whether this asymmetry was the result of some weird genetic mutation or it’s merely a symptom of my vitiligo, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve essentially looked like a spliced photo of two different people. And the worst part of all was that the blonde side was so blonde that my lashes weren’t even visible from more than a foot or two away.
The only thing that finally offered me some solace was mascara, which I started wearing in my teenage years and swore never to stop. When the pandemic hit a few years ago, however, I discovered the joy of an occasional day (or week) off of makeup. I enjoyed it so much, in fact, that even when the world started opening back up and I found myself interacting with someone other than my dog, I wasn’t in any hurry to return to mascara seven days a week.
At the same time, I didn’t want my blonde eyelashes to all but disappear without the help of a hefty coat of black, so I started thinking of alternative solutions, and a fellow beauty aficionado recommended an eyelash serum.
Although I was no stranger to the category—my job as a beauty editor ensured I always knew about the latest and greatest lash products—I had never really considered that they may offer some assistance to my little lash disappearing act. I figured it was worth a shot, and officially commenced my search for the best serum. There was one option that had been around longer than any other and had consistently achieved great results, but it required a prescription, which I decided would be too big a hassle if I wound up using it long-term. Then, as though the eyelash gods had been smiling down upon me, I was invited to try a brand-new, just-launched eyelash serum that claimed to deliver the same results as its prescription-grade counterpart but was available over the counter: Obagi Nu-Cil Eyelash Enhancing Serum ($120).
I had heard through the beauty grapevine that the new serum was truly something to behold, but as always, I remained dubious. I combed through every inch of the clinical trials and was admittedly impressed. I knew the true test of Nu-Cil’s abilities would come only from trying it on my own lashes, though. And after a month of applying it nightly, I understood the hype.
Nu-Cil is designed to stimulate the growth phase of the lash cycle and improve the overall appearance of lashes—but its impressive results are thanks to Obagi’s proprietary NouriPlex technology, which targets the five signs of lash aging (volume, density, pigment, length, and condition). The formula contains a blend of four ingredients: biotin, which is known to support keratin production and help thicken and lengthen lashes; dehydrolatanaprost, which targets the anagen phase of the lash cycle; sodium hyaluronate to nourish and moisturize lashes and enhance volume; and panthenol to increase shine and soften lashes. It’s this combination of ingredients that Obagi says allows the serum to not only lengthen lashes but also increase their fullness and density while improving their pigment—the very mission I was looking to accomplish with my own lashes.
I’ve now been using the Nu-Cil Eyelash Enhancing Serum (and its partner, the Nu-Cil Eyebrow Boosting Serum, for my beloved blonde brow) for roughly two years, and it’s given me the bold, long, dense, and most importantly, visible lashes I’ve always dreamed of. And more than that, the serum has given me the confidence I long needed to ditch the mascara now and then (without even batting an eyelash).
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