How to Get Longer Eyelashes Naturally Without Putting Extensions Or Weird Chemicals Near Your Eyeballs

For years I've been coveted a good pal's super long lashes: They are everything I want my eyelashes to be, but can't seem to achieve. They are long, they are voluptuous, and they are the first thing you notice when you see her. Mascara is one of the few products that I will spend literally any amount of money on, with only fancy packaging and a promise of longer, thicker eyelashes to justify a $50 purchase for a tiny tube. What I've found is that the problem isn't empty promises from high-end retailers or cheap mascara that doesn't provide volumizing affects, but merely attaches in clumps to my thin, short lashes. No — the problem isn't the product. The problem is the natural length of my lashes.

I certainly am not going to carry on in the world envying all the lashes around me. After finding out that my eyelash crush had been getting eyelash extensions for our entire friendship, I realized that I could have longer lashes, but it would involve me riding the subway to a salon, when I refuse to ride the subway even to pick up groceries. Plus, did I really want to be living a beauty-related lie like my pal had for the past five years? Before I made any bold decisions, I had to check in with Mother Nature and make sure she didn't already have a solution to my new beauty woe.

Luckily, there are several natural oils and foods that can enhance our eyelash length and, even better, help grow BACK eyelashes. Common causes for the loss of eyelashes are thyroid issues, alopecia, allergic reactions to mascara, and of course, chemotherapy. These reasons are serious enough without having to worry about growing your eyelashes back, and natural remedies are a great way to get those lashes back without putting harmful ingredients on your body.

I usually ignore my eyelashes until it's time to apply mascara. I peer into the mirror and think to myself (on almost a daily basis), "Have my eyelashes gotten shorter??" No, they have not, they are just the most neglected hair on my body. For starters, removing your eye makeup everyday is key to keep your eyelashes healthy. Brushing your lashes and keeping them moisturized is another fantastic way to begin your quest to plumper lashes.

After you fall into a daily remove-and-brush routine, try these natural remedies to pump up your lashes even more.

1. Lemon & Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is excellent at promoting hair growth and it's rich in vitamin E and antioxidants which will keep your eyelashes from stunting their full growth potential. Lemon juice is a great source of vitamin A & C which aids hair growth. Take a cup of olive oil and fresh lemon peels and mix in a sealable jar. Let your mixture sit overnight so the EVOO can absorb the juice from the lemons. Dip an eyelash brush into your mixture and comb through daily.

2. Castor Oil & Fresh Rosemary

Jamaican black castor oil is the jam for hair growth. It's also super thick and crazy smelling, but in my opinion, that stink is well worth it for the results you'll get. Castor oil is a common home remedy for eyelash growth, while rosemary will not only just promote hair growth, but can also help reverse signs of graying. Infuse your castor oil with fresh rosemary by heating at a low temperature on your stove. Heat for about 10 minutes and then let your rosemary steep into the castor oil. Use a clean eyebrow brush to apply your new remedy before bed — you don't want to go out with sticky eyelashes. Trust me.

3. Green Tea

Brewed, chilled green tea is filled with antioxidants and antibacterial properties that are super beneficial for hair. It's gentle enough to have near your eye lids, and those flavonoids that naturally occur in green tea can keep your eyelashes healthy as well as stimulate growth.

Image: Christina Alexenderson, James Jardine/Flickr; Giphy; Kristin Collins Jackson