Would you like a drug with those eye lashes?

By Lynda Wharton

Living in a house with two teenage daughters means I’m constantly monitoring the excesses of modern beauty, writes Lynd Wharton.

Living in a house with two teenage daughters means I’m constantly monitoring the excesses of modern “beauty.” It usually goes something like this: “go and wash your face before you leave the house, there’s no way you’re going out looking like that!”.

Now, courtesy of Allergan, we have a new designer drug that could make mascara excess a thing of the past.  Why then, am I not jumping for joy at the prospect of an end to the teenage mascara wars?  Because, we’re talking about a drug. A powerful drug. With side effects (some of them still not known), just in order to grow a thick, luxurious crop of eyelashes.  I prefer mascara any day.

Allergans drug, Latisse was originally formulated to be a treatment for the eye disease glaucoma.  The fact that it causes a thick crop of eyelash hair was observed simply as a side effect to begin with.  Allergan quickly twigged to the fact that this side effect could itself allow marketing which could see Latisse stowed in every makeup bag alongside the lip gloss and blush.  With the gorgeous Brook Shields as front person, Latisse has quickly attracted teens and 20 something’s as its biggest consumer base, despite its $120 a month price tag.

There is no doubt that Latisse works, and very quickly you or your teenage daughter can become the proud new owners of a set of lashes to turn daisy the cow green with envy.  The problem is it comes with side effects. These can include: hair growing in strange places on your cheeks; or ingrown eyelashes; or eyelashes growing to weird lengths.  Not to mention permanently darkened eye lids, or weirder still, a change in eye colour from beautiful blue or green eyes to a permanent shade of brown? 

Then there’s the “per orbital fat atrophy” which is to say the fat around your eye sockets simply disappears, giving you a very caved in appearance around your eyes. 

In common with many other pharmaceutical drugs on the market, Lattise can be purchased and used (long term) by young women who will inadvertently become the guinea pigs to discover long-term consequences and further side effects of the drug.

So for me and mine, it looks like the mascara wars are here to stay, and Latisse will not be coming to live in a make up bag anywhere near this house.  


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