Are people really that worried about the length of their eyelashes?

The other day I’m sittin’ on the couch watching something I can’t recall at the moment, probably How It’s Made on the Discovery Channel, when an advertisement for something called Latisse comes on during a break. The ad features Brook Shields in what starts off looking like your typical push for a mascara product, but she ain’t shillin’ for mascara this time. No, Latisse is a drug that’s supposed to give you longer and fuller eye lashes. They bill it as the first FDA approved drug to treat, and I quote, “inadequate or not enough eyelashes.” According to their website the technical term for this condition is hyptrichosis, but according to the folks at the American Hair Loss Association I just linked to, that term is used by dermatologists to describe a condition of no hair growth. Which I suppose would be pretty inadequate eyelashes.

So I’m watching this ad unfold as they explain that you apply it to the base of your lashes on the upper eyelid and in a few weeks you’ll have eyelashes you could beat a horse to death with. Then they get into the traditional Listing Of The Side Effects phase of the ad. As they list off the numerous things that could go wrong my jaw slowly hit the floor. Here’s the official list directly from their website:

If you are using prescription products for lowering eye pressure or have a history of eye pressure problems, only use LATISSE® under close doctor supervision. May cause eyelid skin darkening which may be reversible, and there is potential for increased brown iris pigmentation which is likely to be permanent. There is a potential for hair growth to occur in areas where LATISSE® solution comes in repeated contact with skin surfaces. If you develop or experience any eye problems or have eye surgery, consult your doctor immediately about continued use of LATISSE®. The most common side effects after using LATISSE® solution are an itching sensation in the eyes and/or eye redness.

Got that? If you have a history of eye pressure problems then this drug could make them worse. It could darken up your eyelids so you look like you’ve got a couple of shiners from someone, but that may be, not necessarily is mind you, but may be reversible. It could also turn your eyes brown if they aren’t already and that’s not reversible. You could grow hair where you don’t want it to if you are sloppy in applying this product! Best of all it’s likely to make your eyes red and itchy like your allergies are acting up. But at least you won’t have inadequate lashes!

As it turns out, Latisse is actually just another drug, called Lumigan which is used to treat glaucoma, with a new name. One of the side effects of Lumigan is increased hair growth so it didn’t take much thinkin’ for someone to figure out that they could sell it to people who suffer from eyelash insecurity and make some extra bucks. If you go to their website they spend a lot of time downplaying the risks of the product, which should come as no big surprise.

The folks at the FDA, however, they ain’t too happy about that:

We’ve blogged about the new eyelash enhancement drug Latisse several times before. And we’ve talked about how the drug has some side effects that are rather serious for a cosmetic product, and that Allergan’s promotional materials tend to downplay such risks. Now the Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to Allergan, saying that many claims on its website are misleading and, in fact, unlawful.

You can read the whole letter for yourself, but here some highlights.

Latisse’s Website says:
In the “Is Latisse safe?” section of the drug’s website: “The FDA reviewed clinical study results to verify the identity, potency, purity and stability of the ingredients, and demonstrated that the product is safe and effective for its intended use if used as prescribed.”

The FDA says:
This description is misleading and it fails to mention that Latisse may have side effects, or mention any of those side effects. It also implies, according to the FDA, that Latisse is “especially safe because the FDA has verified the identity, potency, purity, and stability of the ingredients.”

Latisse’s website says:
The site repeatedly mentions that the eye redness and itching that can accompany the use of Latisse are “not allergic reactions.”

The FDA says:
That’s misleading. In fact, allergic conjunctivitis is an adverse reaction reported with the use of the active ingredient, bimatoprost ophthalmic solution. Further, these symptoms are usually resolved only after discontinuing treatment with the drug. The FDA was particularly concerned about these claims, according to the letter, “because patients are highly unlikely to be able to differentiate between eye redness associated with conjunctival hyperemia, allergic reaction, or inflammation without the advice of a healthcare provider.”

The FDA lists off several misleading claims and has told the folks at Allergan they’d best be making some changes or they’ll be facing some fines.

If you watch the video you’ll be even more stunned to hear that it costs about $120 a month to use this drug and if you stop using it your lashes go back to their old wussy assed ways. So once you start I hope you can afford to keep using it while avoiding all those side effects. Now I’m no fashion diva, but that sounds like a lot to go through because you think some guy isn’t going out with you because your eyelashes are too thin and wispy.

And I’ll let you in on a little secret: In all my 42 years of being a guy I have never once heard a man say to me: “Ya know, she’s got a great personality and a body that would make the Pope give up celibacy, but I just can’t get past her inadequate eyelashes!”

14 thoughts on “Are people really that worried about the length of their eyelashes?

  1. Some women are very much obsessed with how long and thick their eyelashes appear, hence the plethora of mascaras on the market (particularly those promising to “plump” or “lengthen” your lashes).  It’s sad that people would use drugs with their potential side effects for vanity, but then they go as far as surgery for the same purpose so…..

  2. The first time I saw the commercial, I was all no freakin’ way! A drug that you brush on and it grows eyelashes, but it can darken the skin, turn your eyes brown, AND make your eyes all red and itchy?! Awesome! LoL

    I seriously LOVE drug commercials.
    Listening to the spokesperson say all of the super twisted side effects as fast as they can is hysterical!
    You’re not sure if should ask your doctor about that new drug for your depression if you’re not quite sure that you just heard the guy say,

    *Drug name* may cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, and insomnia.

    If you take this new drug, you won’t be able to sleep, you’ll feel like puking all of the time, your chest will be on fire, and you won’t know if you’re going to be able to shit or if your ass is going to explode, but dammit, you’ll be so fucking happy you won’t care! LMAO

    I don’t understand why so many women are obsessed with their eyelashes being long and dark, what is the appeal?
    It’s not for men, I’ve asked guys about it, and they don’t care.
    When a guy says you have beautiful eyes, it usually has nothing to do with the eyelashes, it’s the eye color he’s talking about.
    So if it’s not for men, it must be for other women.
    You know, to out-do other women.
    Women are always trying to one up each other.
    Be skinnier, dress better, look better, have bigger tits, have a tighter ass, dance better, have a better boyfriend, have the coolest and most expensive handbag/shoes, whatever.
    It’s crazy.
    I’ve never been that kind of girl and really glad that I’m not.
    I know plenty of other girls though that are.
    They would definitely risk their eyes turning brown if it meant they would have super long and thick lashes.
    They would pay any price too.

  3. In Japan there are a plethora of fake eyelash products that women use on a daily basis, because according to them their eyes aren’t pretty unless they use falsies.

    It would not surprise me if people here wanted to take that drug, even knowing the side affects. But then again, Japan is very strict on medicines. Which has good and bad things about it.

  4. You might be interested to know that ads for several eyelash enhancers, including Latisse are right oposite the comment form.

    Not an MD, but think that eyelashes have some purpose in eyeprotection as do tears.

  5. Chicks. 😐

    To be fair, isn’t Rogaine a blood pressure medicine which was found to cause increased hair growth, so they came up with a topical version of it?

    Better to say:

    Vanity. 😐

  6. Wait a minute…there are drugs that can change your eye colour? I want that! I’ve always wanted to have brown eyes. I think I can take a little extra hair growth and…darkened eyelids…er…and redness…

    Screw it, I’ll get coloured contacts instead. No, wait: those also turn my eyes red and puffy.

    Is there some sort of surgery for this? I’m really sick of having blue eyes.

  7. Really? I love my blue eyes. Actually, I wish they were bluer than they are. But I’ll settle for what I’ve got.

    I could see wanting to go for a nice green color, but brown? Really?

  8. Mine are a sort of greyish-blue. My hair is a greyish-brown.

    Despite what porn and/or Nazis may have told you, Icelanders don’t all have startling blue eyes and shining blond hair. I’ve always wanted to have either black hair and brown eyes or red hair and green eyes.

    I suppose it’s just wanting what you can’t have. My ginger friends think I’m insane.

  9. Sounds like we share both eye and hair color. My eyes are blue-ish. My hair went from a wonderful blond in my youth to the mousy brown with some gray starting to show up that it is today.

    I’ve been letting my hair grow out for a bit now just to see if I have any gray in it. I have some in my beard, but I’ve been shaving my head for so long that I wasn’t sure about the topside. Yep, I got gray there too now.

  10. Whateves. I ordered generic Latisse from an online pharmacy located in India for $10 a bottle. I’m going to have the longest eyelashes ever and it’s going to be really cool. I don’t care what my boyfriend (or anyone else) thinks about it either. I don’t care if the eye drops change my eye color since I can only see my eyes when I look in a mirror so my eye color doesn’t matter to me anyway. My eye color is not a major concern when it comes to my daily life. Plus, if my eyes do turn brown, and I don’t like them brown, I can always get colored contacts to change them back to green. So once again, it’s whateves. My eyes do itch a little since I’ve begun applying the eye drops, and yeah, I think my eyelids might look a little darker. . . but that doesn’t bother me either. I’m a little worried about going blind, but I think major things that happen to people like going blind are fated events. I don’t think I’ll go blind if it’s not a part of my destiny. Plus, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Why would I deny myself the opportunity to have exceptional eyelashes just because I might go blind when I don’t even know how long I’m going to live anyway? F**k that s**t, I’m going to have the longest eyelashes EVER, and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about it either.

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