Long eyelashes are kind of my thing. Growing up envious of my brother's naturally-lengthy lashes, I started using eyelash growth serums in the early days of my beauty career, and quickly found a favorite that triggered mine to span out in a matter of two weeks. I religiously applied the stuff every day, and it got to the point that I had to get a new lash curler just to fit every single hair.
Everyone should have these problems, I know.
The new growth alone would have been enough for most, but I still piled my mascara on over the top because more is always more in terms of my lashes. Friends began to ask me whether or not I had extensions, and I continued to sing the serum's praises to the tune of whichever Nicki Minaj song I had on repeat at the time. At one point, the tips of my lashes came pretty close to hitting the very bottoms of my brows. My boyfriend joked that eventually, I'd be able to turn them into reverse bangs.
"You need to calm down with that lash serum," my mother told me. "Your eyelashes are starting to look scary."
I didn't completely grasp what she meant, until I laid eyes (pun intended) on You Jianxia's five-inch set.
Jianxia, who is from Changzhou in China's Jiangsu province, is the current 2018 Guinness World Record holder for the world's longest eyelashes, with hers measuring 4.88 inches as of last June. Considering that was over a year ago, they've likely gotten longer since then. Unlike yours truly, she didn't rely on any serums to get to her lengthy state. According to a press release from the Guinness Book of World Records, she first noticed her eyelashes growing during an 18-month nature retreat back in 2013, and credits "the life she lives at one with nature" for the growth.
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Forgive me if I'm not totally buying the latter. If that were true, wouldn't there be more nature enthusiasts walking around with five-inch lashes? I'm not one of them—maybe you are—I'm not outdoorsy and I don't pretend to be, and I'm also not a scientist, but it's a pretty safe bet that there isn't a correlation between time spent outside and/or time spent being one with nature and lash growth. I'm also not one to knock a person's beauty choices, you do you, Ms. Jianxia. It's a crazy look for me personally, but we probably have different ideas on beauty, and that's totally fine. Beauty is meant to be fun and experimental.
Still, I have a ton of questions.
Have you ever accidentally rolled over on them in your sleep? That would be my absolute worst fear. Do they ever get tangled and you have to brush them out? What about mascara? How long does coating all five inches in mascara typically take? Also, how crazy do they get after you've covered them in mascara, but watched Beaches starring Bette Midler? You can't not cry when watching that movie. What do they feel like when you blink and they graze your cheeks? Do they ever fall out? I still do the dumb thing where, whenever I have a lash fall out, I'll blow it away and make a wish (I know, I know), but I'm pretty sure if one of yours ever did, it would count for at least five wishes. You know, one per inch. Do they get split ends? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?
Jianxia isn't the only person making strides in the beauty category—26 year-old Benny Harlem of Los Angeles is the current record holder for the tallest high top fade, with his style currently standing at 20.5 inches, and Ayanna Williams was awarded the honor of longest fingernails on a pair of hands. She started growing her fingernails out 23 years ago, and today, they're over 18 feet long. She gives them a daily cleaning with anti-bacterial soap paired with a nail brush, and maintains them with a cocktail of nail hardener and a thin layer of acrylic, which can take about a week for her to paint.