It is a mascara, a primer, an eyelash growth enhancer AND it will prevent eyelash loss. Sound too good to be true? Well, Cargo's LashActivator just might well be ($35).

In my experience, multitaskers are likely to disappoint. Jacks of all trades, they are masters of none. Or, they compromise on some tasks and really just end up pulling off one of them. Make no mistake, Cargo's LashActivator is a mascara and not much else. The ingredient that could be associated with eyelash growth, laminaria, is way down the ingredients list. Laminaria is an alga that has been demonstrated to boost cell growth due to the fact that it is popping with amino acids. It is followed by common brown seaweed. I have no idea whether it is an effective booster of hair/eyelash growth, but there is no doubt that marine extracts are the cosmetic industry's new black.

Meanwhile, the peptide that is supposed to prevent eyelash loss is at the very end. The peptide in question, biotinoyl tripeptide-1, turns up in quite a few hair growth products, such as Librow and Ookisa Hair Thickening System. However, apart from a couple of patent applications, I've found nothing backing up claims that it prevents hair loss.

The rest of LashActivator is mostly made up the various waxes that make up your average mascara. And that's OK, especially if you can say that this is aa mascara that also has a couple of things that might be good for your lashes. The trouble is that the couple of good things are outnumbered by nasty irritants, such as triethanolalmine, phenoxyethanol and five kinds of paraben.

Having said all of that, I should in fairness point out that Cargo claims that clinical trials of LashActivator resulted in eyelash growth of a 169% over natural rates. So if you are dedicated to longer lashes, it might be worth checking out. If anyone already has, we'd love to hear how you got on.


Aqua (Water), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), Cera Alba (Beeswax), Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Acrylates Copolymer, Tribehenin, Cera Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax), Triethanolamine, Synthetic Beeswax, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Candelilla Cera (Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax), Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Phenoxyethanol, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Potassium Sorbate, Lecithin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Propylene Glycol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Pelvetia Canaliculata Extract, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Panicum Miliaceum (Millet) Seed Extract, Xanthan Gum, Butylparaben, Apigenin, Isobutylparaben, Ethylparaben, Oleanolic Acid, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1.