Does anyone remember the hubbub a few years back about Latisse, the prescription lash enhancer for the “thousands” suffering from “inadequate lashes?” Inadequate lashes! Just when you thought restless leg syndrome was the pinnacle of absurd, Pharma-induced medical hype* …
Which is not to say my ears didn’t perk up when I heard about it. If I could only choose one makeup or beauty-enhancing product to use for the rest of my life, it would totally be mascara. But I was quickly turned off of Latisse after hearing about one side effect in particular: ability to cause random hair growth. Yes, Latisse doesn’t just grow eyelashes; spill a drop on your nose or cheek during application, and you could end up with some perfectly adequate random facial hair. No thank you.
This week in the New York Times, though, I read about Cry Baby Mascara, a semi-permanent mascara that promises two weeks of eyelash lengthening, volume and color. The mascara, which must be applied in a salon, is 100 percent water- and smear-proof, takes about 30 minutes to have applied and can last upwards of two weeks—”perfect for events, weddings and vacations,” the product’s website touts. And at approximately $45-$65 per application it’s not cheap, though that’s apparently less than the cost of lash extensions (in which synthetic hairs are glued on one by one).
But is it safe? Right now, the ingredient-list for Cry Baby Mascara isn’t public, but “all of ingredients are individually FDA approved for cosmetic use,” the company notes (so at least you know it’s not filled with formaldehyde or lead or anything like that). And it’s free of aniline, a potentially toxic ingredient used in some lash dyes (not enough studies have been done on humans for the FDA to say anything about aniline).
“Cry Baby Mascara is not a dye or tint, we are a custom mixed mascara,” says Cry Baby spokeswoman Bailey Fenimore. “We have been through 3+ years of research and development ensuring the safety for use on the eyes. Once the coating is cured onto the lash it is 100% anti-microbial.”
“The only people who may experience any type of reaction would be those allergic to adhesives,” Fenimore adds. “Otherwise we have had no negative reactions to the product.”
* Yes, I know that there are people who cannot grow lashes for medical reasons.