… By An Eyelash
I was making one of my rare but periodic attempts to watch commercial television. Sometimes I amaze myself that I have not given up, especially when I saw a few minutes of “the View.” I mean, someone has to get in there and promote stereotypes about women, and they are doing an incredible job, what with asking women involved in politics about bathing their babies or something.
I admittedly learn a great deal from the commercials.
Like Claire Danes — whom I used to consider a Shakespearean-quality actress — does not seem to be getting any good roles, because she did this incredible commercial, where her eyelashes and face were photographed every couple of weeks. Admittedly, after four to six weeks, she had pretty lush looking eyelashes compared to week 1.
Here is the prescription drug– yes prescription drug — she was advertising. On the website they have Brooke Shields, too.
In order to have a prescription drug, you have to have a condition to treat.
The condition here is “eyelash hypotrichosis,” or inadequate or not enough eyelashes.
I had absolutely never heard of this condition, although I am willing to bet that of the millions of women watching in the morning when I was, at least some of them ran to the mirror to check their eyelashes.
I did not.
I remember from medical school that at age 17 or 18 females have the bushiest eyelashes, about three rows thick, and these tend to thin out, getting shorter and a tad more sparse so that we postmenopausal ladies can just about scrape up a single layer.
It is two eyes to a customer and I have no intention of gluing on false eyelashes. This was done to me once for some sort of “glam” photo shoot, many years ago, when we sent my poor husband out in the middle of the thing to buy me false eyelashes. “We need more eyelashes!” was the cry – long before, “We need more cowbell.”
As always, my amazing man did a very creditable job. This fact did not stop the procedure for removing them from hurting, and so we have never gone that route a second time.
Even though a dance troupe I recently danced with told me I would be quite lovely if I added some prosthetic eyelashes, I informed them I was lovely enough and declined the “falsies.” Apparently millions of women are doing not just false eyelashes but woven lash extensions and other things of which I have little comprehension or interest.
I am interested that the magic eyelash drug belonged to the folks at Allergan, who already held the patent for bimatoprost — which is a very common glaucoma medication — brand name “Lumigan.” Somebody noticed that one consistent side effect was that it grew eyelashes, and apparently some folks had been prescribing it off-label, which is perfectly legal for an MD to do – it just means without FDA approved indication.
Not that unusual, but it can change the color of your iris and presumably grow hair almost anywhere. Frankly, I am surprised they did not test it (at least no place I can find right now) on male baldness, because folks pay a lot of money for that.
As a matter of fact, all the research I can find talks about “Alopecia of the eyelashes.” They must have developed the term “hypotrichosis” just to impress the prescription drug consuming public.
I guess that they have created an indication and found a bigger market. I mean not all men get bald. But according to what I remember from medical school, ALL women who live long enough get hypotrichosis of the eyelashes. I got it in spades. I treat it with makeup, if at all. A little black shadow ….
A wonderful British female reporter put it all together. She went through more than I would ever go through, and says that men seemed to lean in closer for conversation. A new erogenous zone — the eyelash.
The package insert for this medication says 50% improvement in lashes in two months.
I am not terribly excited about that kind of a result of a clinical trial, but apparently someone is.
But wait, there’s more.
This same compound seems to be a “prostaglandin analogue” – a little like prostaglandin F2alpha. It somehow diminishes fat by screwing up the maturation and survival of adipocytes.
Yep, that’s fat cells. They didn’t go for an indication of local fat reduction, either, but I have heard a lot of wackier ideas. But one thing is for sure. Other folks tried to put a little of this stuff in other kinds of cosmetics, in one way or another, and the folks at Allergan seem to have sued them all for patent infringement.
They own this compound, and my bet is they are going to do more with it. I always liked prostaglandins. They certainly can have multiple applications, as this chemical proves.
We have looked a little at the chemistry. Now, back to being female.
How important is it to look like you have long eyelashes? I cannot find a single serious study suggesting that this makes any difference to males interested in females at all. (We all know there are other forms of attraction and we can’t find anything about that either.) Only some highly informal stuff on the net and this is it.
Assuming for the moment that some females find long eyelashes attractive and wish to attain them, well, Latisse may not be the best way to do this.
With $130 dollars per treatment, plus the cost of seeing a doctor who knows about this stuff — and it can easily take a good 8 weeks to work — it may not be everyone’s favorite method.
The package insert says to call a doctor about changes in vision, should that happen. I do not know how often it happened in whatever pre-marketing clinical trials. I do know I am not the only woman who is a little skittish about things that go on around her eyes. I have an aunt who was once secretary to an ophthalmologist and swore never to wear eye makeup because suffering women were always coming in because it ended up in their eyes and not on their lids.
Redness and itching and allergy seem to be the most frequent side effects, but you can get that with plain old makeup.
Miss the lids when applying and I suppose someone could grow a hair on their eyeball.
There are great instructions on (other) things someone can do to lengthen lashes.
Obviously not everyone is crazy about the look, because there are also instructions on how to shorten lashes.
Me, I’m sticking with a little dark eyeshadow. I started using it because people told me I was working too hard and looked tired. I have started developing some darkened skin under my eyes — once called “allergic shiners” — and I can do a pretty good job of getting rid of allergic symptoms but I could not ditch this pigmentation.
I studied hard (on the internet, of course) to learn how to apply eye shadow (I had gone without makeup for years) and now people tell me I look too young to know this much, which bothers me considerably less.
It’s a nice way to be misjudged.