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Sunday, February 22, 2009
The health fairy hasn't been kind to my cousin. 50 years old, she's been on oxygen and cortisone 24/7 for decades. She doesn't consider herself alluring, but what eyelashes! At a recent visit, I couldn't help noticing her lashes; they looked downright "spidery," they were so long and curly. "Awesome lashes," I told her, thinking she had on over-the-top false lashes, the kind worn by drag queens. "My doctor has me on eye drops for glaucoma," she explained. "Now my lashes are growing out of control; they squish into my eyeglasses." I asked if she'd heard that a side effect of glaucoma drops is lash growth. "My ophthalmologist never mentioned that, but knowing it now is a big relief," she said. I also told her how a few beauty companies had illegally used the drug in OTC lash growth products, until the FDA got wind of it. Tempted to ask if I could try her eye drops, instead I offered to trim her lashes for her; she refused to let me.
Although this seemingly miraculous lash growth is no longer attainable over-the- counter, Allergan (maker of Lumigan, the eye drops for glaucoma) just introduced Latisse, the first and only FDA approved prescription drug for growing longer, fuller lashes. In a clinical trial, lashes typically grew 25 percent longer, 106 percent thicker and 18 percent darker.
Parting ways with your lash curler and never fussing with mascara again is a convenient concept, but unless you already indulge in professional lash extensions or you wear mink eyelashes like Madonna does, the $120 price tag for a monthly dose of Latisse might seem extravagant. If so, plump your peepers the old fashioned way: In a recent review in Consumer Reports Shop Smart Magazine, Lancome Paris Definicils, $24, got the highest marks. The runner up: Max Factor Lash Perfection Volume Couture, $7. Honorable mentions include Maybelline Defin-A-Lash, $8 and L'Oreal Telescopic Clean Definition, $9.