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Check Out These Natural Ways To Get Thicker Eyelashes & Eyebrows

You'd be amazed what a little oil and biotin can do...

Beauty & Fashion

Thankfully, something that my ancestors blessed me with are thick eyebrows and long eyelashes. But because I actually prefer to do my own eyebrows at home (because sometimes the professionals shape them in a way that I'm not exactly thrilled with), there are times when I can get a little, shall we say overzealous, when it comes to removing sparse hairs. If you can relate to where I am coming from, then you know that it can feel like for-e-ver when you're waiting for your eyebrows to fill back in. Something that has helped are some of these all-natural remedies below.

Whether you're looking to have thicker brows or you want to be able to get a little more length on those lashes of yours, here are some things, that you probably already have at your crib somewhere, that can totally help you out and hook you up.

Jamaican Black Castor Oil

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Personally, I'm a big fan of Mango & Lime's Jamaican Black Castor Oil line. Currently, my collection consists of their rosemary, lavender and vitamins A-D-E bottles. Jamaican black castor oil is dope because the properties in it are able to heal acne marks, deeply moisturize your skin and, it even contains antifungal and antibacterial ingredients that can help to heal skin infections over time. What I personally use this type of oil for is my hair. It conditions my tresses, helps to prevent breakage and even makes my hair thicker too. Something else that Jamaican black castor oil is able to do is nourish your eyebrows' and eyelashes' hair follicles so that they grow thicker over time.

How to Apply: All you need to pour about a half teaspoon of the oil into the bottle's top. Then dip a Q-tip into the oil and spread the oil over your brows and along your eyelashes. If you do this every night, you should notice fuller eyebrows and eyelashes in about a month. (Bonus tip: If you add a drop of vegetable glycerin to the oil, it can help your eyebrows to fill in even faster. Just make sure to NOT do this with your eyelashes. Vegetable glycerin can irritate your eyes if it comes into contact with them.)

Shea Butter

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Shea butter is the ish. It really is. The reason why it's considered to be a "superfood for your skin" is because it has a combination of nutrients (including vitamins A and E) and essential fatty acids that helps your skin to produce collagen, soften scars, reduce skin inflammation, seal ends of your hair and heal chapped lips. It's a great base for DIY deodorant as well (you can cop a great recipe here).

Something else that's special about shea butter is it's able to coat your eyebrows' and eyelashes' hair follicles as it provides vitamins to help them thrive. It's pretty common to notice that your eyebrows seem thicker, even after your first use.

How to Apply: For your eyebrows, all you need to do is scrape a little bit of shea butter out of its container and gently massage your eyebrows with it. Then use an eyebrow brush to smooth your eyebrows over. For your eyelashes, just rub a tiny amount between one of your index fingers and thumbs until the butter melts. Glide your index finger along the top of your eyelid where your eyelashes are. Do this before turning in every night. Growth should be noticeable in 4-6 weeks.

Onion Juice

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Onion juice is great for our health in a myriad of ways. Thanks to the sulfur, vitamins B and C and potassium that's in onions, if you consume them on a regular basis, they will help to maintain your heart health, fight cancer cells, boost bone density and fight off bacteria that can lead to infections up the road. Since onions also have properties that strengthen hair follicles while increasing your hair's volume too, that's what makes it another awesome treatment for your eyebrows and eyelashes.

How to Apply: Onions are pretty potent, so of course you don't want the juice to get into your eyes. As far as your eyebrows go, once you DIY some onion juice (there's a cool recipe here), you can apply it directly onto your brows. Dip a Q-tip into the juice and let it sit on your brows for 10 minutes. Then, with a wet washcloth, thoroughly wipe the onion juice off of them. If you want your eyelashes to get in on the action, drinking a little onion juice is the route that you should take. If you add some honey to it, you'll instantly have a potent all-natural cough syrup too.

Fenugreek

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Something that I've been taking for a while now is fenugreek supplements. I do it because, believe it or not, it keeps my breasts "perky", thanks to the phytoestrogen that's in it (if you're a new mom, it helps to get your milk flowing too). Some other things that fenugreek does is it regulates blood sugar levels, boosts the libido in men as well as in women, balances cholesterol levels, relieves menstrual cramps, maintains liver and kidney health, and can even help to reduce a virus-related fever. Something else that the properties in fenugreek does is strengthen hair follicles. Plus, the lecithin that's in it can help your eyebrows to retain their natural color and even slow down premature greying.

How to Apply: This particular remedy is best for your eyebrows only. If you soak one-fourth cup of fenugreek seeds overnight and grind them into a paste the following day, it will create a paste that you can put directly onto your eyebrows. Do this twice a week. You'll see results in around five weeks.

Coconut Oil & Olive Oil

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The combination of coconut oil and olive oil is a pretty impressive one. Coconut oil has fatty acids, lauric acid, Vitamin E and iron that all work together to support your brain, kill various forms of bacteria, viruses and fungi, satisfy intense hunger cravings, reduce eczema symptoms, improve oral health and deeply moisturize your skin. Virgin (unrefined) olive oil is loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins A and E, polyphenols, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and antioxidants that will protect against heart disease, reduce type 2 diabetes risk, treat rheumatoid arthritis and even improve bone health.

The fatty acids in the coconut oil supports the protein that your hair is made out of while the Vitamin A in olive oil will stimulate the production of sebum in your hair follicles so that your eyebrows and eyelashes are both strong and well-conditioned.

How to Apply: If you scoop out a half teaspoon of coconut oil, add a half teaspoon of olive oil to that and stir them both together, you can then apply a thin layer of the combination on your eyebrows and over your eyelids. Do this at nighttime and you should see thicker and healthier hair within 3-4 weeks.

Vitamin E

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If you don't have a bottle of Vitamin E (or a multi-vitamin that contains it), you definitely should. It's a fat-soluble oil that can deeply moisturize your skin, heal wounds, smooth out scars and fight signs of aging. Thanks to the emollients that it contains, Vitamin E can actually balance the sebum that your skin naturally produces. Also, thanks to all of the antioxidants that are in it, Vitamin E can also help to prevent infection too. Vitamin E is great on the eyebrows and eyelashes tip because it contains compounds that can increase blood circulation to your hair's follicles while strengthening the hair that comes out of them at the same time.

How to Apply: Vitamin E is super easy to apply. Use a needle to pop a hole into a Vitamin E capsule. As you squeeze the capsule, rub the oil over your eyebrows. When it comes to your eyelashes, because this type of oil is a little on the sticky side, just keep in mind that a very little bit goes a long way. Mixing a half teaspoon of almond oil with the oil from a capsule, then apply the combo to a disposable mascara wand. 3-4 weeks should give you some of the results you've been looking for.

Aloe Vera

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Aloe vera is a plant that contains around 75 different components including vitamins A, several Bs, C and E along with calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and copper. So, it's no wonder that it's such a powerhouse with regards to maintaining our health. If you consume 100 percent pure Aloe vera juice, it will build your immune system, maintain your digestion, lower your cholesterol levels, relieve arthritic pain and can relieve constipation. If you apply it onto your skin in gel form, Aloe vera has antifungal elements that can treat dandruff on your scalp, soothe psoriasis and, thanks to the antioxidants that are in the plant, it can relieve chapped lips and tone your skin as well. Also, if you apply Aloe vera, in gel form, to your eyebrows and eyelashes, it can strengthen your hair follicles so that there is less shedding.

How to Apply: With a disposable mascara wand, put a thin layer of 100 pure Aloe vera gel onto your eyebrows and eyelashes before turning in at night, then wash your face in the morning as usual. Noticeable results should occur within a couple of weeks.

Biotin-Rich Foods

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Biotin is a vitamin that all of us need. It improves the quality of our skin, strengthens our nails, stabilizes our blood sugar levels, boosts our energy levels and even helps to keep our thyroid levels in check. You know what else it does? It makes our hair healthier as it helps it to appear thicker too. So, if you're looking for an "inside out" way to get your eyebrows and eyelashes to flourish, getting more biotin-rich foods into your diet is definitely one of the best ways to do it.

Foods You Should Eat More Often: Next time you're at the grocery store, make sure to pick up sweet potatoes, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, spinach, nuts, avocados, almonds and sunflower seeds. All of them will give you the biotin boost you've been seeking so that your eyebrows and eyelashes are more glorious than ever, girl. Enjoy!

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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