A couple of months ago I noticed a well-known New York dermatologist raving in a magazine article about the miracle that is Jan Marini Age Intervention Eyelash Conditioner. To paraphrase, she said: "I didn't have eyelashes and now I do. Period."

I presented a tube to my husband (otherwise an Adonis, his eyelashes have, over the years, progressed from stubby to sparse). He shot me a look that was both baffled and sardonic (not everyone can pull that off) and then his expression dissolved into something else. Pity, perhaps.

Anyway, waste not want not.

After three weeks of applying it once a day to my upper eyelid (its rather like putting on eyeliner), I can report that it really, really works. My eyelashes are darker, longer and thicker. I feel thoroughly vindicated - which, given the $160 price tag, is important. Note: one tube is supposed to last about six months.

So this weekend, to prepare for this post I went straight to the Jan Marini website for some background information. I went there with two questions: why do the directions stipulate applying it to the upper lid only; and what are the active ingredients? Frustratingly, there is very little of substance. Now, this product may be one of the most effective things I've come across for a while but there is no such thing as a miracle. Clearly more digging is required.