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Mascara has long been used as a quick fix for faking longer, thicker lashes. But if you're noticing brittle lashes that have the tendency to break off once that mascara has been removed, it may be time to incorporate an eyelash serum into your routine. Though the best drugstore eyelash serums may not be clinically proven to actually grow your lashes, they do contain conditioning ingredients like peptides, biotin, and castor oil that will help promote stronger, healthier lashes. Best of all, these highly rated eyelash serums all ring up at less than $15 on Amazon.
Currently, bimatoprost, which can be found in the prescription-only Latisse, is the only FDA-approved ingredient that’s been proven to promote longer, thicker, darker lashes. Over-the-counter eyelash serums — like the ones featured in this article — instead work to nourish and condition your lash hairs. While this doesn't stimulate new lash growth, improving the strength and hydration of your lashes can boost the appearance of fuller lashes by helping to prevent breakage and lash loss.
Each product has its own specific instructions when it comes to the method and frequency of application. But no matter which product you use, you'll want to apply your serum on clean, dry lashes. You also probably won't notice results overnight, as most eyelash serums take around 30 days to see start seeing the benefits.
As with any new product you introduce into your routine, you should do so with caution. Discontinue your usage immediately if you experience any negative side effects like redness or itchiness. And because an eyelash serum is applied in such close proximity to your eyes, checking with your doctor or ophthalmologist before using a lash serum is always the best practice.
Keep scrolling to shop the best eyelash serums under $15, all available on Amazon.
1. The Best Eyelash Serum & Mascara Primer
You're probably already familiar with Maybelline's cult-favorite Lash Sensational Mascara, but to maximize the length and appearance of your lashes, the brand introduced its Lash Sensational Boosting Eyelash Serum. With its mini mascara wand that lets you easily comb the product through your lashes, this serum was designed to be used as a primer prior to your mascara application, or you can also wear it sans mascara, if you prefer. The formula focuses on leaving lashes hydrated, glossy, and soft, thanks to ingredients like glycerin, vitamin B5, arginine, and hyaluronic acid.
2. Best Eyelash Serum With Biotin
Like the hair on your scalp, your eyelashes are primarily made up of keratin, a type of protein. Neutrogena's Healthy Lash + Brow Enhancer Serum is formulated with biotin, a B vitamin that supports keratin production and is believed to support hair growth (and nail growth, too). Designed to be used on both your lashes once or twice daily, the serum also contains glycerin and peptides to hydrate and strengthen your lashes. While the tube looks like it houses a mascara wand, the serum is actually applied via a fine-tip applicator, kind of like eyeliner, to target the roots of your lash hairs.
3. A Cheaper Alternative
For a slightly less expensive take on a biotin-infused formula, try CoverGirl Lash Blast Lash & Brow Serum. Combining biotin with peptides, bamboo extract, and castor oil, the clear serum applies like a traditional mascara (or brow mascara), and can be used as a primer before the brand's Lash Blast Volume Mascara, or worn solo. As a bonus, this drugstore eyelash serum is both vegan and cruelty-free.
4. Best Organic Eyelash Serum
Cold-pressed, USDA-certified-organic castor oil is the only ingredient in this serum, which is a fan favorite on Amazon with thousands of five-star ratings. The dual-sided applicator of the Live Fraîche serum has a spoolie on one end and a fine-tip brush on the other, so you can apply the product to your brows and lashes two ways. Though there isn’t any scientific evidence to support the purported benefits of castor oil in terms of hair growth, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, and it’s one of the most natural ways to boost your brows and lashes.
5. Best Eyelash Serum & Mascara In One
If you're looking to improve your lashes without having to add an extra step into your routine, try MIZON’s Collagen Curling Fix Mascara. Combining the long-term benefits of an eyelash serum with the instant lash-enhancing effects of a mascara, this two-in-one product uses glycerin, vitamin E, and several forms of collagen (like marine collagen and hydrolyzed collagen) to strengthen and moisturize lashes. Meanwhile, the black mascara immediately defines lashes by lifting and darkening them with a sweat-resistant formula that won't smudge or smear.
Enhanced Eyelashes: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Options, by Derek Jones; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3036812/