Long Live Long Lashes (Side Effects and All)

We trust that, like any self-respecting woman, you're no longer sporting the pathetic stunted eyelashes you had to go out and buy, but have been using Latisse to grow lashes that are "longer, thicker and darker." And as shocking as it might be that Latisse manufacturer Allergan, in its noble quest to save us from the shame of small eyelashes, would mislead its customers, the FDA recently sent out a letter warning the company that it's been minimizing some of the risks associated with use of the product.

Yes, it turns out that there are some bizarre things that can happen when you apply the patented—and totally affordable!—ophthalmic solution. According to the FDA, they include eyelash growth in areas besides the lash area (hairy cheeks, perhaps?) and inflammation of the cornea, and there's even the potential for light-colored eyes to turn brown. That's not all: In one trial, some users experienced eye redness, itchy eyes, and hyper-pigmentation of the skin in areas where the product was applied. One would think such potentially horrifying outcomes would cause an eyelash backlash. Not so much. In the first half of 2009 alone, the product raked in $25.4 million. And sales for all of 2009 are expected to top $60 million.

Historically, women who sexily bat their eyelashes have seemed to possess extraordinary, almost superhuman, flirting capabilities. (It's no coincidence that Brooke Shields and Cindy Crawford are spokeswomen for Latisse.) But in recent years, some celebs—like Lindsay Lohan, Tyra Banks, and Eva Longoria—have taken this to heart and gone a little overkill with the falsies.

So now there's Latisse, which could make you look great. But could also leave you with multi-colored eyes and a hairy face, too. And while that might seem like a serious trade-off for you, it isn't posing much of a quandary for some devoted users:

"I don't care if my eyes bleed," one fan recently posted on Twitter. "I use it and love it!"

That's the spirit! Of course, the only downside is that if you use Latisse and end up blind as a result, your lashes may end up looking fantastic. But you're going to have to take someone else's word for it, clearly.

In lust for lashes, few bat an eye at odd risks [MSNBC]
Previously: Long, Expensive Eyelashes But a Minor Luxury [Cityfile]