For those of you who want long, lushes, lashes, the beauty industry's new motto is: Grow your own.
Earlier this year, the makers of Botox unleashed Latisse on Americans. Health Canada is reviewing Latisse for distribution here. Allergan introduced the drug after the company discovered that a side effect of a glaucoma medication is longer lashes.
Researchers at L'Oréal laboratories in France are rushing 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 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.
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.
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."
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