Have you heard of Idol Lash? Does it work?
– Andrea W.
Andrea… get ready for me to spill some tea today.
Surprisingly, even though I created an eyelash/eyebrow enhancer because I didn’t really like any of the formulations on the market, I get asked pretty often, “Does X lash enhancer work?”
In the beginning, I dodged these questions like bullets. I just didn’t feel comfortable giving my opinion. But then I realized that I might be doing a disservice by not speaking up about some of the shadier things that go on in the beauty biz. And–obviously–this is Beauty Q&A, so I opened myself up to answering ANY and ALL of your questions.
So here we go… one bloggers’ unedited opinion about the ingredients of Idol Lash.
Again, let me repeat: These are the opinions of one writer/blogger and do not reflect the opinions of Amalie Beauty Inc. These are my opinions. This blog–full of my and only my opinions–is for educational purposes only.
Okay. That’s done. So here we go. Here’s my review of Idol Lash and its ingredients:
IDOL LASH: THE INGREDIENTS
The first thing I want to mention is the ingredient deck. Here’s Idol Lash’s ingredients in order:
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Panthenol, Allantoin, Alfalfa Extract, Arnica Extract, Propylene Glycol, Honey Extract, Chammomile Extract, Kelp Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acetamide MEA, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Sorbitol, Sodium Cocoyl Collagen Amino Acid, Cocoyl Sarcosine, Wheat Germ Acid, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Sulfur, Polysorbate 80, Oleth-10 Simmondsia Chinensis 9 (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycerin, Bitter Orange Flower Oil, Polysorbate 20 Tetrasodium EDTA.
The Really Bad?: I Can’t Even With This Ingredient List Right Now
Nope, no errors in that title, no word exclusions. I. Can’t. Even. (ref)
Before I even get STARTED, can I point out the PROPYLENE GLYCOL staring me in the face so high up in this ingredient listing? Besides getting a 3 score on EWG (which is bad, but not the worst), I first encountered propylene glycol one extra cold winter day in Boston, because they were using it to de-ice my plane. No wonder people are saying in the reviews that it burns their eyes. Propylene glycol is a deicing agent. It says on EWG that it’s expected to be harmful or toxic.
That’s enough for me to call it quits on a formula. I should stop there, but that wouldn’t be fair to my readers.
So, if you still want to read further, here’s my full review of the ingredient deck:
The Good: Peptides and EFAs
Idol Lash uses a lot of natural, plant based ingredients like kelp and honey extract. Along with several natural ingredients, it also contains a polypeptide (a form of protein), which is great for encouraging hair follicle penetration (Silva, Vasconcelos, Cavaco-Paulo, 2007). The hydrolized keratin comes at a max concentration of 6%, but probably more like 1-3%. Idol Lash also uses wheat germ oil, which is a good source of essential fatty acids that your lashes need in order to have any chance of growing long and strong.
The Bad: What Are These Things Doing Here?
Regarding plant-based ingredients, Idol Lash contains kelp extract, honey extract, nettle extract, chamomile extract, and alfalfa extract. Kelp extract contains a wide variety of nutrients and vitamins that may help your hair look healthier. Those same claims can be made for honey (which is said to “strengthen hair follicles for healthy growth”), however, there is very little clinical evidence to prove this. There is also zero evidence showing nettle, chamomile, or alfalfa (Idol Lash’s other ingredients) can improve eyelash growth or thickness.
I found very strange is that this product doesn’t include castor oil (one of the best ingredients for growing lashes), but it does contain the isolates that help lashes grow: linoleic acid, linolenic acid.. but from what? What are they derived from? Or is this just improper labeling per the INCI standards?
They also threw in sulfur near the end, which has been a hot brow topic lately, as sulfur from onion juice showed to help patients with alopecia areata in a 2012 study (here), which then was tried out by blogger Farah Dhukai (whose beauty blogging methods I call into serious questioning here), which was then covered by Allure and everyone else with some healthy skepticism (here). As for whether it works or not… probably!.. in higher concentrations than what we see here. If they’re following FDA labeling standards, we are at most talking about a 4.2% concentration, and more likely talking about a 0.1 – 1% concentration of sulfur.
I thought that peptides would be the main ingredient here, which do have efficacy and research backing them up — though peptide serums in general have had a bit of trouble staying “clean” for many reasons, which is more worrisome to me (I totally spill the tea on this here) — but I just see one in this list, at a maximum concentration of about 6%, and more realistically at near 1 – 3%.
It seems odd to include so many natural ingredients, which have little to no evidence of actually working, instead of using something that is known to help grow your lashes. Juxtapose those natural ingredients with some seriously harmful chemicals and… it starts to sound like we’re stuffing the ingredient deck just to confuse the consumer. Again, one blogger’s brutal opinion.
IDOL LASH’S INDEPENDENT TRIALS
When doing research for this article, I visited the Idol Lash website to read up on their “clinical studies”. I think we’re using the term “clinical” a little loosely here, since Idol Lash is not a drug, and is and can not be tested by the FDA via clinical trials for approval, so I’ll call them independent trials. The website claims that an independent third party conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study and found that after using Idol Lash there was an:
- Increased eyelash length by 25%
- Increased eyelash thickness by 82%.
- Increased keratin genes.
- Provided “substantial, visible” growth
Which sounds really awesome, but (and this is a Kim Kardashian sized but) there are no citations provided for this study! It’s hard to trust these results when it’s possible that the numbers have been manipulated to show the results the manufacturer wanted.
CUSTOMER REVIEWS OF IDOL LASH
There’s some great photos in the Google Images search associated with Idol Lash. Unfortunately, these are mostly stock photos for eyelash extensions.
On Amazon, Idol Lash gets a 2.7 out of 5 stars, with 47% of the reviews at 1 star. You can read customer’s reviews of Idol Lash on Amazon, here.
Some customers say they saw the product “trumped up” everywhere, with little results. Why? Onto this next..
THE SHADIEST PART OF IT ALL!?
Not only do some users claim that it irritates the eyes, but there were also little to no results. Google “Idol Lash Review” and you will find hundreds of verified customers with similar experiences. In fact, the only people I saw giving this a positive review were sponsored websites (hmm….sketchy?).
Further, many of the sites giving glowing reviews of Idol Lash have urls like:
Ok… Who in their right mind would make their URL ALL about ONE product.. Unless they were the manufacturer themselves? The only person I know on planet earth who would buy a domain like www.WINKROCKS.com is… me. Nobody else in their right mind would make a website dedicated to my product, with my product name in the URL. If I have any superfans out there that are truly that dedicated, please, EMAIL ME NOW. LET’S JOIN FORCES!!
…but yeah probably not. I’ll keep dreaming of having those type of fans.
In the mean time, you can guess for yourself who probably made these review sites.
CONCLUSION: SHOULD I TRY IDOL LASH?
While the price is very tempting, I would say this is a no. This is definitely something you should skip. Even though better lash serums may cost more, it’s worth the investment if the product actually works! You know which one I’m talking about of course (cmon it’s right here)..
But whew! That’s it. Thanks for asking. Now back to my comfort zone.
What do you think? Have you tried Idol Lash?
*This post was part of our Beauty Q&A series, where our founder Megan answers your beauty questions every Tuesday and Thursday on the blog. Submit your beauty question to firstname.lastname@example.org