I've professed my love of lashes to you before. While I remain clueless to the rest of the beauty industry, lashes I know and love and thus regularly spend $27 every couple of months on Dior. But you couldn't pay me $27 a day to take drugs to make my lashes longer. Especially not when said drugs may cause "red, itchy eyes and changes in eyelid pigmentation" and costs roughly $4 a day. Because, ew. The New York Times has a rundown on Latisse, the latest drug from Allergan (the geniuses who brought you Botox). Latisse has the same formula as the medication used for glaucoma, a formula whose side effects include longer, fuller lashes ("25 percent longer, 106 percent thicker and 18 percent darker") and costs about $120 a month. There's something kind of asinine about using a drug that's actually meant to cure a disease for purely cosmetic reasons (this includes Botox), but Latisse already has tons of fans and is expected to be an $80 million business by 2012. So, would take drugs to make yourself prettier?
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My So-Called Lashes: Claire Danes Talks Latisse
Yesterday I attended an intimate luncheon hosted by Latisse--you know, that product that Brooke Shields used to hawk that promises to make your eyelashes grow--to meet with their latest spokeswoman, Claire Danes. Latisse, made by Allergan (the same folks who brought you Botox), was approved by the FDA at the end of 2008 and launched in March of 2009. To date, over 1.5 million bottles have been sold. The product, as the ubiquitous commercials make plain, is the "first and only prescription treatment approved by the FDA to grow lashes longer, fuller and darker for those with inadequate or not enough lashes (eyelash hypotrichosis)." Talk about a problem you never knew you had. Whenever I see the commercials I feel bad for my eyelashes and their inadequacies. So I was curious to find out why Claire Danes, who once uttered, "I bet people can actually die of embarrassment. I bet it’s been medically proven,” as Angela Chase back in 1994 (thanks EW for pointing this out), was shilling for Latisse. It's a product that has come under fire for side effects that include discoloration of the iris and eyelid. Danes even admitted to experiencing some redness within the first few weeks of using Latisse. To be fair, these side effects are rare and only effect one to three percent of users. And that NYT article with the scary picture of a woman whose whole eyelids had been discolored by the lash-lengthening drug had used it without a prescription.