Mirror, mirror on the wall: Who has the longest, darkest lashes of them all? Photo: Getty Images

In a world of eyelash extensions, eyelash prescriptions, and a slew of so-called miracle-in-a-tube products, the eyelashes are certainly having a moment. Perhaps that's why French brand Talika, maker of the very first eyelash growth product, Lipocils, is relaunching its 60-year-old formula this year.

A little background...

While many of the more aggressive newer eyelash growth formulas come with the chance of various side effects -- from redness to itching to eye and skin discolorations -- Talika has long been a safe, all-natural option.

The formula was first created in 1948 by French doctor Danielle Roches (we love us some female inventors!). Dr. Roches was mixing up a blend of plant extracts in order to create a healing formula for eyes. She discovered that her new potion also had the effect of lengthening eyelashes, and the first eyelash growth product was officially born.

"Discoveries usually happen by mistake," says company spokesperson Alexis De Brosses. "Christopher Columbus was looking for India and found America."


Photo courtesy of Talika

During it's 60-year run, the original Lipocils product garnered fans from Victoria Beckham to Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, and sold for $40. The tube holds a generous amount of product that will last at least several months. But does it work? Depends on your expectations.

Lipocils is an all-natural product that helps your lashes reach their own full potential. It doesn't necessarily make them dramatically longer, but by counteracting environmental and physical factors that may limit their growth (allergies, mascara, daily lash curling), it will help your lashes grow as long as they are genetically predetermined to be. For some women, that may be a very slight change, and for others, it may be more noticeable.

The original Talika Lipocils formula contains just a handful of common and largely nature-based ingredients, like Lecithin, Hypericum Extract, Apple Extract, Witch Hazel Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract, Nettle Extract, Lactic Acid, and Allantoin. The new formula (which is called Talika Lipocils Expert) has upgraded the existing blend to include extra power for the three most common goals:

Lengthen: Nettle and Hamamelis provide nutrition to the lash bulb, Baobab leaf and Bitter Orange Fruit protect and nourish the lashline for maximum growth

Darken: UV filters protect lashes from sun-induced fading, and Coleus Forskholii (an Ayurvedic plant) stimulates melanin for darker lashes

Curl: Silk proteins nourish the lash fiber and promote a natural curl

Lipocils Expert will cost $55, up slightly from the $40 pricetag of the original. The brush has also been upgraded to include a sponge-like tip at the end of the mascara wand, intended for dual usage: Sweep the product across your lashline with the sponge tip, then brush it onto lashes with the traditional spooly end.

Talika Lipocils expert launches exclusively at Sephora in June 2010.