Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Unhealth and Beauty

I was never a big fan of Brooke Shields. Nothing against her personally, I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but her movies aren’t on my hit parade.

No matter. It’s not her movies that get under my skin, but the choices she makes when it comes to hawking products on TV. She’s a big advocate of toothpaste – which I have to admit, can be useful. I like minty-fresh breath as much as the next person though I’m beginning to worry about fluoride. [That’s a topic for another post]. Ms. Shields’s recent car commercial was just ridiculous – something about women getting pregnant just so they could buy a certain type of car? Someone at the ad agency dropped the ball with that clunker, but the worst of the lot has to be the ads for Latisse, a prescription drug for growing longer eyelashes.

This product recently made a list of the decades worst beauty products which is not surprising. I find it baffling that anyone is in such dire need of longer eyelashes that they need to paint a drug on their eyelids. I also find it hard to believe that Ms. Shields suffers from a clinical eyelash deficiency, also known as eyelash hypotrichosis.

Speaking from experience with ophthalmological drugs, I can say, it probably does work. My son suffers from glaucoma [he was born with it] and he relies on the medication Xalatan to help control intra-occular pressure in his right eye. The side effects of Xalatan include lengthening of the eyelashes and darkening of the iris. So far his right eye has not changed color despite his having used the drug for the past eight years, but his lashes have grown considerably – so much so that we have had to cut them to keep them from brushing against his glasses.

I looked up eyelash hypotrichosis and didn’t find much about the condition that wasn’t directly linked to ads for Latisse. It makes me wonder if this ‘condition’ is something that really doesn’t pose a problem for the majority of humans. It’s interesting that ads for the medication talk about growing ‘longer, thicker, darker lashes’ but don’t mention much about the medical problem of not having enough eyelashes. It seems to me that Allergan [the maker of Latisse] is plugging a beauty product in its ads more so than a medicine.

I would love to hear from someone with eyelash hypotrichosis or anyone whose doctor has prescribed Latisse. Do you think this is a breakthrough drug that will offer relief to people suffering from a serious medical disorder, or do you think it’s a poorly thought-out beauty gimmick designed to bring the need for longer, thicker lashes out of the OTC makeup game and into the pharmaceutical arena?

Is Latisse a bad beauty product because it's really a medicine? Or is Lastisse a bad medicine because it's really a beauty product?


  1. I'm with you on those awful car commercials she did. Definitely the worst of the year.

    It really annoyed me that she was on actual tv shows hawking Latisse.

  2. I look askance at celebrities hawking medicine. It's one thing if they're notorious advocates for a particular illness that actually affects them. It wouldn't bother me as much if let's say Michael J. Fox were in ads for a Parkinson's drug.