Shine On

A chemical prescription for lush lashes? How about a natural fix

A popular chemical eye serum that promises to give you full lashes has a few serious side effects. (Thinkstock …Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's a prescription eyelash treatment?

With holiday parties and social events filling up the calendar for the rest of the year, women everywhere are putting their best faces forward, come-hither eyelashes included.

Some are opting for a little help from a prescription treatment.

"Latisse is applied almost like a liquid liner right at the base of your upper lashes for a minimum of eight weeks before you start to see results – officially, anyway," writes Canadian Beauty editor Wynzie Chai, who tested the product herself.

See her before and after shots here.

Also see: Real-life Ken doll spends almost $100,000 on plastic surgery

Chai warns that the product, which costs about $150 for a two-month supply, only works for as long as you use it. Stop applying Latisse, and your full lashes will revert to their wimpier status.

Latisse is an eyelash-boosting serum from Healthcare company Allergen that more than four million people in Canada, the United States and India have already tried.

This controversial prescription product is spread over the eyelash area and promises to make your eyelashes 18 per cent darker and 25 per cent longer in just eight weeks.

While lush lashes may be desirable -- side effects which can include permanent brown pigmentation of the iris, red eyes and eyelid-skin darkening -- are not.

"Latisse Is 0.93% bimatoprost, an eye drop liquid that is used to treat hypotrichosis which is a reduced growth of hair in a specific area," says Raina Zarb Adami, one of Allergan's county ambassadors. "It is used topically on the affected area and over about 16 weeks, boosts hair growth. Bimatoprost is usually used for glaucoma treatment in higher concentrations. However, it may have unpleasant side effects. Hence it's use is strictly by prescription."

Also see: Five tips for quick, holiday-ready hair

Marie Claire editors alert users to another scary risk associated with the wonder-serum.

"More alarmingly, the company explains that any part of the body exposed to the cream could show hair growth. Watch out when applying then – slipping could be fatal!"

While the product is manufactured by the creator of BOTOX, Latisse is far from a face-freezing injectable. Instead, users carefully apply the product like they would a familiar cosmetic.

For those of us uninterested in acquiring an expensive eyelash-lengthening prescription, there are simpler, more cost-effective tricks to maxing out our eyelashes en route to holiday fetes.

Here are some pro tips from Flare for getting long, full lashes from products available at your nearest drug store or beauty counter:

1. Pick your wand wisely. A fat, dense mascara wand will give you thick, full lashes. A skinny comb will create a more feathery look.
2. Coat your lashes with a little loose powder before applying the mascara.
3. Coat both the top and underside of your lashes.
4. Use eyeliner and eyeshadow along the lash line to create the illusion of full lashes.

Read the rest here.

Also see: Ways to hide signs of a hangover

And if you've got a steady hand, why not try fake eyelashes this New Year's Eve? (If you're a Beyonce devotee, consider going mink.)

But don't go overboard if you're seeking Mr. Right. According to a Cosmo survey, men aren't impressed with anything that looks too fake.

"It's distracting, and they want to see the real you," says anthropologist Helen Fisher, PhD.

What's your secret to great lashes? Tell us in the comments. 

Watch the video below for 2012's worst makeup offenders.

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