Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ladies, rogaine for your eyes!

Want luscious lashes? Grow your own
British singer Amy Winehouse typically wears loads of heavy eye makeup. (TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS FILE PHOTO)

August 19, 2009
David Graham
Fashion Editor

For the millions of women who wouldn't bat an eye at spending hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to transform skimpy, lifeless lashes into something longer and more luxurious, the beauty industry's new motto is: Grow your own.

Scientists and cosmetics researchers are working around the clock to find the magic ingredients that will render mascara – every woman's most indispensable beauty weapon – obsolete.

Earlier this year, the makers of Botox unleashed Latisse on Americans. Allergan uses actress Brooke Shields and her infamous eyes to sell the drug, introduced after the company discovered that a side effect of a glaucoma medication is longer lashes.

Health Canada is reviewing Latisse for distribution here.

Meanwhile, researchers at L'Oréal laboratories in France are scurrying to push their new eyelash-extending gel onto a cosmetics counter near you.

While the beauty giant continues to extol the virtues of mascara, their researchers have gone to the heart, or rather, the root of the lash matter. They've discovered that the hairs on our heads grow for years before falling out, while eyelashes hang in there for three months before collapsing on your pillow.

Their goal: to get eyelash hair to behave more like the hair on your head.

According to an article in The Sunday Telegraph, L'Oréal's gel is made from a cocktail of "citric acid, an amino acid known as arginine, and extracts from a Mexican plant known as Centella asiatica."

The white treatment is applied to the roots of eyelashes each night for three months, the article continues.

A three-month clinical trial involving 32 women revealed that lashes increased in length and density by about 30 per cent.

Call it Rogaine for your eyes.

Dave Lackie, editor of Cosmetics magazine, is overwhelmed by the recent deluge of advancements in eyelash technology, from motorized, vibrating wands to treatments that combine vitamins and testosterone blockers (testosterone being the arch-enemy of the hair follicle).

Lackie says Canadian women spent $368 million on eye makeup last year, in attempts to get those sultry, Cleopatra by way of Amy Winehouse eyes using mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow.

But mascara, with its mandate to turn ordinary eyelashes into dense, fluttering marvels, leads the pack.

Karen Szlamkowicz of L'Oréal is excited about the lash gel, a "pro-keratin complex" to be unveiled in 2010.

She'll reveal little about the "concentrated, lash-boosting serum" – except to say its applicator looks more like a spatula than a mascara wand.

While some beauty experts are mourning the end of an era, others are convinced mascara will hold onto its place in most beauty regimens. Even women with naturally long lashes will continue to enlist the power of mascara, says Szlamkowicz.

"Mascara is the little black dress of makeup. It drives cosmetics growth in Canada," she says.

More poetically she adds, "Your eyes are the window to your soul. Mascara enhances your personal reveal to the world and that includes your inner beauty."


Blogger HeidiJordan said...

Hey all, I use a cosmetic called Revitalash. It is a lash conditioner that helped my lashes grow longer and thicker. It was much less expensive than latisse, is created by an eye doctor and does not have the nasty side effects of the drug. I love it!!

1:55 PM  

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