A decent eyelash growth stimulator is likely to cost upwards of $60 and even as much as double that, so I was interested to see makeup company M.A.C enter this crowded field with a $30 product called Prep + Prime Future Length Lash Serum.

When I was first alerted to it by a comment on my Five Best eyelash growth product picks, I thought that, despite it being named a serum, M.A.C Prep + Prime would be little more than a lash conditioner or mascara primer. But more recently I read that M.AC. claims that it will give you “longer, thicker, stronger-looking” lashes with “dramatic results visible in eight weeks”.

Looking at Prep + Prime’ s ingredients, I am hard pressed to see how it pulls off dramatic longer, thicker lashes. Generally speaking, there are three approaches formulators use to create an eyelash growth stimulator. One is to use a prostaglandin, which is a drug used for glaucoma that can have some unfortunate side effects (Latisse would be an example). Then there’s growth factors such as those used by ReLuma (this is one that I use). The most common alternative to prostaglandins though are peptides and amino acids or a blend of both.

M.A.C Prep + Prime has a couple of amino acids Acetyl Carnitine HCL and arginine, but can hardly be said to major on this approach. The two other potential actives are kind of enigmatic, although intriguing. There is creatine, something that is produced by amino acids. It is sometimes taken as a supplement to increase hair growth, although I haven’t found research to back this up. The other one, adenosine diphosphate, is interesting (and complex) as it has to do with energy transfer in cells. On trying to find out what it had to do with hair growth, I kept finding references to cold laser and a much repeated quote from the “Hair Loss Learning Center”, claiming that during laser treatment on hair, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is converted to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to release energy, supply extra nutrients and oxygen to the scalp, increase blood circulation and, hence, stimulate hair growth. Maybe, but frustratingly I can’t find any harder evidence.

Even though Prep + Prime is only $30, I'm not convinced enough to give it a try. I would love to hear from anyone who has though.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Creatine, Glycerin, Adenosine Phosphate, Acetyl Carnitine HCL, Disodium NADH, Arginine, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Carbomer, Sodium Chloride, Ammonium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol.