I was frankly skeptical when TIA asked me whether I’d be interested in trying the LashFood Nano-Peptide Natural Eyelash Conditioner, even though it garnered some fairly positive comments on TIA a couple of years ago. But I was determined to open my not-very-flexible mind and gave it a try, with surprising results.

Why so skeptical? First of all, the craze for eyelash-growing products introduced in recent years (and the early ones had all kinds of bizarre side effects) struck me as another example of marketeers inventing a problem most people don’t actually have. “Inadequate” eyelashes? Really? And secondly, however long my list of problem features, eyelash deficit wouldn’t even make the first page. I come from a long line of hairy people. And while that means that I invested a lot of time and money in my 30s and 40s on hair removal – with great success, by the way, thanks to laser/light treatment – it also means that I have dark, reasonably long and thick eyelashes. My expectations were very low.

The tester TIA sent me is smaller than the commercial size, which is 5 ml (and priced at $80). It’s a little cylinder that unscrews for use, like a small mascara, and the product is applied along the lash line, like liquid eyeliner. The company’s website says to apply it once or twice a day (it’s a bit unclear). I did so as a last step after cleansing my face and applying other products (but before makeup; incidentally, the site says it’s fine to follow it with makeup as usual). I tried to remember to use it both morning and night, but probably only managed to do so once a day about half the time. I started using it just over six weeks ago.

And didn’t really think too much about it; several weeks went by, and my eyes looked the same as ever. And then, about a week or two ago, I started to think that my eyelashes looked fuller. Not radically or dramatically so, but definitely. I looked again a day later, and again. To my surprise I actually think they that, yes, they are thicker. This turns out to be consistent with LashFood’s claims. The site says to expect “noticeable results” at four to eight weeks, and “full results” within two to three months. (LashFood also sells eyeliner and mascara that I presume deliver another dose of its therapy.) So I will finish out the tester – which seems to be nearly done anyway – and report again.

I gather from some quick searches that the key ingredient is Myristoyl Pentapeptide 17, a product introduced by Symrise that has become the standard for eyelash growth products replacing the first-generation prostaglandin-based serums. It’s the principal ingredient in LashFood (after water), which also has a long list of vitamins and a remarkable array of botanical extracts.

I honestly have no idea how applying this serum to the eyelid can actually affect eyelash growth, but I have to admit I’ve seen it with my own eyes – or lashes. Will I continue? Perhaps not, only because I’m not sure this “problem” ranks high on my list. But for those who do feel their lashes are sparse or stunted, Lashfood should be something to try.

Ingredients: Water, Myristoyl Pentapeptide 17, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Niacinamide, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Rehmannia Chinensis Root Extract, Aspalathus Linearis Leaf Extract, Trehalose, Swertia Japonica Extract, Artemisia Princeps Leaf Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Flower Extract, Butylene Glycol, Acorus Calamus Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Lonicera Japonica Flower Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Maltodextrin, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Sorbic Acid, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Biotin, Tocopherol, Arginine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Chloride, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Adenosine