Strengthen and condition your natural lashes and help them grow longer, fuller and glossier with the best eyelash serums
Long, thick and healthy lashes will always be in style – and is one of the reasons that several brands of mascara sit among the world’s best-selling beauty products. As well as framing your peepers, well-defined lashes can instantly perk up tired-looking eyes, which is the reason that a flick of mascara is a popular choice even for those who don’t wear a full face of makeup daily.
Adding length and volume to eyelashes is a quick way to make eyes pop; and mascara, false eyelashes or eyelash extensions are all useful ways to thicken and lengthen eyelashes temporarily. However, if you’re looking for a way to improve your natural lashes longer-term, then eyelash serums are a great solution. These conditioning products, formulated specifically for the lash area, promise to care for the eyelashes that were doled out by Mother Nature, so we can help them look and feel their best with or without makeup.
There’s a growing range of conditioning serums available on the market that promise longer and stronger lashes. Which will deliver the most impactful natural flutter? We’ve tried serums at all price points and share our favourites below.
Best eyelash serum: At a glance
|Best under £20
|L’Oreal Paris Clinically Proven Lash Serum (~£15)
|Check price at Amazon
|Best for lash growth
|RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner (~£116)
|Check price at Face the Future
|Best for darkening pale lashes
|Talika Lipocils Expert Collector’s Edition (£50)
|Check price at Talika
How to choose the best eyelash serum for you
How do eyelash serums work?
Like all hair on your body, eyelashes follow a predictable cycle of growth before naturally falling out – a process known as shedding. Eyelash serums work by coating the lashes and eyelid near the lash root with a blend of conditioning ingredients designed to strengthen the eyelash so that it remains in the follicle for longer. This, in turn, will lead to the eyelash growing longer before it sheds. Softer, conditioned eyelash hairs are also less likely to break off at the ends, which will again help your natural lashes achieve their maximum length before shedding.
Conditioning serums add volume to the eyelash in the same way that a conditioning hair treatment does to the hair on your head, plumping up individual hairs with oils and peptides to make the lash appear thicker. Finally, eyelash serums include ingredients designed to stimulate the hair follicle and invigorate growth, boosting the speed at which your lashes will grow (and hence the length they grow to) before they shed.
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What ingredients will the serum contain?
Most lash serum formulations will contain at least one kind of peptide: protein-boosting amino acids that are naturally present in the skin and help boost hair density. You’ll also often find keratin, which is the protein that builds skin, hair and nails; the vitamin Biotin, to nourish hair and promote growth; and botanical ingredients such as ginseng or caffeine to stimulate the follicle and improve hair health.
You’ll also find moisturising oils and hydrators such as hyaluronic acid to improve lash volume, and some lash serums will contain ingredients designed to darken the natural colour of the lashes for a more defined look.
How much should I spend?
How much you spend will depend in part on the effect you’re after: simpler formulas will condition and nourish lashes and help boost growth by reducing breakage, while pricier serums contain active ingredients that promise growth at the cellular level.
Are eyelash serums safe to use?
Conditioning eyelash serums are ophthalmologically and dermatologically tested and are specifically designed for use around the delicate eye area, so for most people they’re perfectly safe for use as directed. As with all skin products, however, it’s best to complete a patch test on a small section of skin near the lash area before using to ensure no irritation occurs; discontinue use if the patch test results in any redness or inflammation. Always follow the instructions on the product packaging carefully to ensure you don’t end up with excess serum making its way into the eye itself, which can cause mild discomfort.
Note that, in the UK, over-the-counter eyelash serums don’t contain growth-stimulating medication. The stimulant prostaglandin (used in the serum brands Latisse and Lumigan) is available in the UK only with prescription, most commonly for hair loss caused by illness. Always follow your GP’s directions if using a prescription serum.
How do I apply my eyelash serum?
Eyelash serum is applied either using a brush (of the type you might find in a liquid eyeliner), or a wand (as you would use to apply a mascara). You might find one method of application easier than the other – so, with each of our recommendations, we’ve noted the applicator type a serum uses.
Apply your serum after cleansing and before eye cream or other moisturisers. Use the brush or wand to apply the serum to your upper lash line only, working close to the roots. One dip should be enough; avoid using more than this or applying to the lower lash line, since this may cause the product to get into your eyes, causing irritation.
Most lash serums require only one application daily, although some recommend use twice daily; we’ve noted below if this is the case. You might find it simplest to apply after cleansing and before moisturising at night. If using eyelash serum in the morning, wait around 15 minutes for it to be absorbed before applying mascara or other makeup.
Once you’ve attained the desired results (typically with six to eight weeks of regular use), you’ll need to continue using your serum two or three times a week to maintain length and volume.
How we test eyelash serums
At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete understanding of a product. As such, we personally test all of the eyelash serums in the roundup, following the directions on the packaging.
We first note the active ingredients used in the cream, and whether the serum is recommended for use once or twice daily. We then use the serum for one week, applying it to eyelashes after cleansing the skin, as many times per day as directed. We note the effects on eyelashes in terms of softening, strengthening and lengthening, using photographs to help us document the performance of the serum. We note how easy the serum is to apply using the brush or wand provided, and we estimate how long one tube of serum could be expected to last with typical use.
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The best eyelash serums to buy in 2023
1. RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner: Best eyelash serum for lash growth
Price when reviewed: £116 | Check price at Face the Future
Arguably the best-known premium eyelash serum, RevitaLash boasts both clinical credentials and an inspiring backstory, having been created by Dr Michael Brinkenhoff to help his wife Gayle recover her lashes following successful treatment for breast cancer. The serum contains a blend of peptides and Biotin to improve the density and strength of each eyelash hair, and botanicals including ginseng to stimulate growth.
At £116 for a three-month supply, the product isn’t cheap, but it’s known to be effective and celebrities including Meghan Markle wax lyrical about the serum’s lash-growing powers. Apply once daily to see results within six weeks.
Key features — Package size: 3.5ml; Active ingredients: Biotin, calendula, ginseng, camellia; Applicator type: Brush
2. RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum: Best eyelash serum under £50
Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at LookFantastic
A good mid-price conditioning serum, RapidLash is one of the best-known products on the lash market. The concentrated formula contains Biotin and Panthenol to strengthen and condition lashes, together with nourishing pumpkin seed extract and soybean oil.
Eyelashes will appear longer, thicker and darker with four to six weeks of regular use; for best results, apply one sweep of serum along the upper lash line once daily for eight weeks before switching to maintenance use two or three times a week. If your eyebrows are also on the sparse side, check out the RapidBrow serum in the same range.
Key features — Package size: 3ml; Active ingredients: Sodium Hyaluronate, Biotin, Panthenol, pumpkin seed extract; Applicator type: Brush
3. L’Oreal Paris Clinically Proven Lash Serum: Best eyelash serum under £20
Price when reviewed: £15 | Check price at Amazon
A more budget-friendly option than the popular-but-pricey RevitaLash, L’Oreal’s lash serum promises slightly less dramatic effects than its big-name competitor but will still plump up lash volume with moisturising hyaluronic acid, castor oil and strengthening Vitamin B5.
The integral brush makes application easy, and L’Oreal recommends application twice per day. Lashes will look fuller and, as the conditioning formula discourages breakage, regular use will promote longer lashes. A great budget option.
Key features — Package size: 2ml; Active ingredients: Castor oil, sodium hyaluronate, vitamin B5; Applicator type: Brush
4. Clinique High Impact Lash Amplifying Serum: Best eyelash serum for adding volume to sparse lashes
Price when reviewed: £39 | Check price at LookFantastic
Clinique’s conditioning lash serum promises fuller, darker and thicker lashes with a single daily swipe. The ingredients include moisturising hyaluronic acid, together with nourishing vitamin E, peptides to build strength and reduce breakage, and natural caffeine and ginseng extracts to boost growth at the follicle.
Apply nightly to the upper lashes using the soft-tipped applicator; the serum feels pleasant and non-sticky on application and absorbs quickly into the lashes. An excellent choice if your lashes are on the sparse side, you can expect to see an improvement in length and lash density in 6-8 weeks.
Key details – Package size: 3ml; Active ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, caffeine, ginseng; Applicator type: Soft-tip applicator
5. UKLash Eyelash Conditioning Serum: Best vegan eyelash serum
Price when reviewed: £38 | Check price at Boots
One of the most popular lash serums in Britain, UKLash offers an excellent mid-price product formulated using vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. With regular use, this hypoallergenic formula combining Biotin, hyaluronic acid, healing vitamin E and natural extracts will strengthen lashes, reducing breakage and helping lashes grow to their full natural length.
The non-greasy serum is easy to use with its eyeliner-style brush. Swipe on once a day to see initial results within four to eight weeks, and full results after three months. UKLash also offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, if you don’t see fuller and more fluttery lashes within this timeframe.
Key features — Package size: 3ml; Active ingredients: Bioton, Pentapeptide-17, Hyaluronic Acid Vitamin E; Applicator type: brush
6. e.l.f. Cosmetics Enhancing Lash & Brow Serum: Best eyelash serum under £10
Price when reviewed: £7.95 | Check price at Amazon
Vegan brand e.l.f’s conditioning lash serum with hyaluronic acid and nourishing castor oil promises to soften lashes and enhance length by reducing breakage. The serum also contains ginseng to promote growth, and soothing tea extract. While it’s low in price at under a tenner, e.l.f’s serum does an effective job of conditioning at an affordable price, and feels silky and lightweight on the lashes.
As well as being cruelty-free and vegan, the formula is free from parabens and suitable for sensitive skins. e.l.f recommends applying this serum twice a day for noticeable results in around two months. A great budget choice – and even better, it’s suitable for use on the brows too.
Key details – Package size: 3.5ml; Active ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, castor oil, glycerin, ginseng; Applicator type: Brush
7. Talika Lipocils Expert Collector’s Edition: Best for darkening pale lashes
Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Talika Cosmetics
French beauty brand Talika’s Lipocil eyelash formula includes the natural ingredients witch hazel, apple, nettle, horse chestnut and St. John’s wort to condition lashes and stimulate growth, alongside strengthening peptides and silk proteins. Lipocils Expert also contains coleus forskohlii, which is a melanin-boosting ingredient that promises to promote natural lash pigmentation for darker, thicker-looking lashes – excellent, if a light natural hair colour makes your lashes appear shorter.
This Collector’s Edition, celebrating 10 years since Lipocil Expert’s launch, comes in a funky bottle that will look great on your nightstand or dressing table. Apply the healing formula onto lashes with the mascara-style wand twice per day for 28 days to see longer, darker and stronger lashes.
Key features — Package size: 10ml; Active ingredients: Peptide complex, silk protein, natural extracts including coleus forskohlii; Applicator type: Mascara wand
8. Elizabeth Arden Prevage Clinical Lash and Brow enhancing serum: Best for repairing breakage
Price when reviewed: £95 | Check price at LookFantastic
If your natural lashes are suffering from breakage owing to medical treatments, environmental factors or overuse of eyelash extensions, Elizabeth Arden’s clinically proven lash and brow serum is an ideal product to improve the strength and suppleness of your lashes and help them grow back longer and fuller. The luxurious formula contains an effective combination of peptides to help new lashes grow stronger, together with nourishing vitamins A, C and E to improve the health of lash follicles.
Elizabeth Arden promises rapid results: testers noticed an improvement within 2 weeks and noticeably fuller and longer lashes in 4 weeks. The serum can be used on both upper and lower lashes, and the eyebrows, too – so if both your lashes and brows are sparse or thinning, this hero product should improve the whole eye area. At almost £100, this serum sits at the luxurious end of our list, but the results are well worth the investment.
Key details – Package size: 3.84ml; Active ingredients: Peptide complex, glycerin, natural extracts including chamomile and cucumber; Applicator type: brush