Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Everygirl's Solution to Hypotrichosis

 Don’t be alarmed by the photo above. No squirrels were harmed in the making of this photo (to my knowledge anyway). Honestly, I don’t know who this woman is and it really doesn’t matter. What matters is she’s clearly one of the many women who obsessed with having fuller, thicker, darker, eyelashes. Women who’ll do anything to get them. The Wall Street Journal published an article (“Eyelash Lovers Clamor For Strokes of Genius.") about women who separate them with safety pins. (I have done this.) Wear 20 to 30 coats of mascara each day. (I'm thinking this would be really heavy.) Or even have extentions put in every two weeks. (Can you get these with corn rows?)

Is hypotrichosis keeping you up at night? Do you have nightmares that you go to put on your mascara and your eyelashes simply aren’t there anymore? Do you secretly dream of looking like Tammy Faye Baker in her heyday, even if you think she was a bit off her rocker? Me neither. That’s why I didn’t realize I may be missing out on one of the best beauty products ever accidentally invented.

I’ve never heard of hypotrichosis before I saw a commercial for Latisse, being proffered by none other than Brooke Shields. For those of you who don’t run in well-groomed, high society style circles like myself and all my super rich extremely posh friends, hypotrichosis is the condition of having thin or not enough eyelashes. Latisse is a serum you apply to your upper eyelid that makes your eyelashes grow thicker, longer, and darker. The active ingredient is a drug called bimatoprost which was originally designed to treat patients with glaucoma. Turns out, this little bottle of Potter-esque potion has the added benefit of making your eye lashes grow.

Who knew that this was such a problem plaguing millions of women everywhere? I mean, premature hair thinning on your head, okay. I get that. But eye lashes? And Brooke Shields as their spokesperson? Doesn’t she have more eyebrow and eyelash follicles per millimeter than any other female actress in Hollywood? When you think “Brooke Shields” do you imagine a woman with not enough hair on her face? I didn’t think so. Is Brooke so desperate to pay her mortgage she has to take on beauty products like these? (If so I can give her some really helpful tips on how to cancel your newspaper subscriptions and cable to save a buck or two. Not that I’ve done it of course...) I understand the Colgate spokesperson thing. She does have big chicklet-like teeth.

Well, you may remember your mother telling you as a child, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Latisse is no different. While it does help make your eyelashes grow, and it does tend to make them longer, thicker, and darker, there are a few little side effects that you may experience. (Read Consmer Reports health blog.)

Latisse may darken your upper eyelid.
This side effect may go away when you quit using it. Well, that’s not so terrible you may think. It’ll save me money on brown eye shadow and give me that ‘smokey look’ that’s all the rage these days. No biggie. My question is, what’s in it that’s turning my eye lid brown—self-tanner? Toxic waste?

Latisse may turn your eye color brown.
This side effect will most likely be permanent. Sayonara light eyes. The good thing here is that if you don’t really like your eye color and you were contemplating getting brown contacts, using Latisse will kill two eyes with one application. That actually could save you money in the long run. Unfortunately, if you change your mind about it later, you’ll just have to drown your sorrows in your serum, because it ain’t changing.

Latisse may cause:
“…an itching sensation in the eyes and/or eye redness. This was reported in approximately 4% of patients. LATISSE® solution may cause other less common side effects which typically occur on the skin close to where LATISSE® is applied, or in the eyes. These include…eye irritation, dryness of the eyes, and redness of the eyelids.” (Taken from the Safety section of their website.)
Basically it may look like the result of a raging-fight-with-your-significant-other-where-you-spent-the-whole-night- crying-hysterically-and-now-your-eyes-are-so-red-puffy-and-swollen-you-may-as-well- call-into-work-because-no-amount-of-makeup-is-going-to-fix-it kind of problem. But it’s not really a problem if you hate your job. Or if you’re manic depressive and cry all the time anyway.

Latisse is expensive.
It’s estimated to cost around $120.00 a month for the prescription, which you’ll need to use everyday to keep the lashes growing. Stop using the product and your lashes will revert back to their original puny, wispy, thin, poor-excuse for eye lashes consistency. I don’t know about you, but I’m not prepared to drop $120 dollars a month on medication that is not keeping my blood sugar under control or my arteries open or otherwise saving my life somehow. I fully understand that at some point in my future I will need to drop this much and more on pills, liquids, patches, and inhalants, along with all their delivery devices in order to keep my old-age ass alive and kicking. But I’m not even forty yet. I have better things to do with my money. Like get acrylic nails. Or a boob job. Or have my eyes lifted. Real beauty solutions to problems that matter.

Latisse may cause hair to grow in other places the liquid touches.Again from their website:
 “It is possible for hair growth to occur in other areas of your skin that LATISSE® frequently touches. Any excess solution outside the upper eyelid margin should be blotted with a tissue or other absorbent material to reduce the chance of this from happening. It is also possible for a difference in eyelash length, thickness, fullness, pigmentation, number of eyelash hairs, and/or direction of eyelash growth to occur between eyes. These differences, should they occur, will usually go away if you stop using LATISSE®.”
 Ummm, didn’t Brooke read the fine print, especially the line that reads, “eyelash growth to occur between the eyes?” That line alone wasn’t enough to dissuade her from using the product? If you look at her pictures over the years, it’s clear the woman has spent a mint on removing a good portion of the hair between her eyes. And they are eyelash hairs, not eyebrow hairs. I wonder if they blink when you frown or laugh?

I have a few questions for the makers of Allergan, the drug manufacturer of Latisse. I thoroughly searched their website and couldn’t find the answers. If you work for Allergan and have some answers for me, feel free to leave a comment after this blog. I really like reading those.

  1. Have you thought about marketing this to fraternities on college campuses nationwide? Those boys are always looking for ways to burn through Daddy’s money. Seems to me this product would add an exciting new element to the frat parties drunken pranks. Writing on the face with sharpie? Too old school. Shaving someone’s chest and nether regions? So yesterday! But dumping a bottle of Latisse on their nose or painting it on their ears? Now you’re talking! A fresh take on old classics. Hey, that would even be a great tag line. (If you use it though, I’ll need an advance.)
  2. If I started in September and took a bath in Latisse everyday, could I go to my favorite neighborhood Halloween party as Chewbacca? I think I would win the costume contest hands down. The prize money is like, $50 bucks.
  3. Could women use Latisse in other areas? Like to correct a botched Brazilian? An over plucked eyebrow?
  4. If a person were to use Nair and Latisse at the same time, would you implode?

 These questions keep me up at night, but not as much as worrying that my mascara doesn’t separate and elongate the sparse lashes that I have, giving me the much desired appearance of an waif-like runway model. Or Brooke Shields. I’ve always wanted to look just like Brooke.


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