We’re all aware of what effect a well-timed flutter of the eyelashes can have on an admirer. But what is it that makes those long pieces of thick hair protruding from the eyelids so alluring?
Well, there’s no point in looking to the scientists for an answer. As far as many are concerned, eyelashes have a necessary, but slightly dull, reason for existing – they diffuse the flow of air into the eyeball which would otherwise dry them out. And the length? Well, according to these boffins, it’s in direct correlation with the size of the eyeball.
So what about the poets and the artists, those renowned appreciators of beauty in all its forms? What do they know about lashes? Unfortunately, not very much. Several of Picasso’s paintings focus on his subjects lashes, and the Poet Thomas Hood once wrote: “long lashes veiled a light that had else been all too bright!” This all sounds very nice, but the beauty of long lashes remains a mystery!
But a few theories are kicking about, with the emphasis on the theory part! One idea suggests long lashes are a sign of good health, including resistance to many diseases. An older (and slightly more amusing theory) is that lashes are associated with purity and virtue. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder believed if young maidens enjoyed an excess of “physical” relations, they’d soon wake up with no lashes left. Frankly, I’m not buying this one!
A more modern study found that longer lashes, particularly darker ones, emphasise parts of the eye called the sclera (the white part) and the limbal ring, which is the dark ring around the iris. Such bright, vibrant eyes are associated with facial attractiveness in men and women, but they might be telling us something else about our potential partner. The whites of the eyes are brighter during our most fertile years.
Another one of the more credible theories is also one of the most obvious. Long lashes create an illusion of larger and rounder eyes, a feature which stimulates our natural caregiving responses. What’s more, big rounded eyes positively correlate with our perceptions of honesty, kindness, and warmth. In other words, big eyes are cute, and long eyelashes make them even cuter. But we knew this already, right?
So if you fancy cranking up your cuteness metre even higher, then add a little more length to your lashes. Designer Lashes by Janette is an extension clinic in central London and a celeb hotspot. Janette and the team specialise in semi-permanent eyelash extensions to suit every individual client. You can choose from a soft, alluring style, or really stand out from the crowd with some super-dramatic Russian 3D and 6D lashes. Check out the gallery to see the amazing results for yourself.