Brooke Shields Has Hypotrichosis

Oh no! Brooke Shields used to have stringy, stick-figure eyelashes! I figured this out after watching Consumer Reports’ video dissection of a new commercial for Latisse, the glaucoma medication that has been rebranded as an expensive, temporary eyelash enhancer with side effects.

Since it’s still a drug and not an actual beauty product, you have to have some sort of medical condition to take it. That’s why one of the first bits of fine print in the commercial says that the drug is only for people who suffer from “inadequate or not enough lashes, also known as hypotrichosis.” Like Brooke, apparently.





“Ad for eyelash drug Latisse goes too far” [Consumer Reports Health Blog]

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  1. GitEmSteveDave_Right: 1 Wrong: ∞ says:

    Wow, thankfully only NOW can Brooke Shields have a career.

  2. sixseeds says:

    …and this is why I have trouble trusting big pharmaceutical companies.

    • bohemian says:

      @sixseeds: There is way too much bleeding the line between medical care and the beauty salon.

      Does the FDA even have any rules regarding medical usefulness? This seems purely cosmetic. Did it get approved based on some super rare condition where people lose all their eyelashes but is being marketed as a cosmetic drug?

      • sixseeds says:

        @bohemian: I believe the drug was originally approved to treat glaucoma. Somebody discovered this handy side effect, and started prescribing it off label.

        And it’s not just the beauty salon aspect, although that bothers me (if you must do this, just stick with mascara, ye gods!). These companies blur the line between really helpful, necessary drugs and unhelpful or unnecessary/ineffective drugs and there seems to be very little enforcement regarding information, testing, etc.

        • bohemian says:

          @sixseeds: IIRC they only need to show a 20% effectiveness of a drug to get it approved. IE: it only needs to work for 20% of the people who used it. If you have a really low effectiveness along with some really extreme side effects it seems like a problem.

          People might be willing to tolerate the low effectiveness and high dangerous side effects if it was for a hard to treat disabling or life threatening condition. Many of these drugs are for trivial issues.

          • ExtraCelestial says:

            @bohemian: There isn’t an across board percentage requirement for approval. Like you mentioned, a disease with a high death rate should have an easier time getting approval over something more trivial. The FDA has the same guidelines.

            The FDA actually has a really thorough system in place, the problem is money will always win out over ethics so, in practice the system loses a lot of its stringency. At least trial results have to be made public upon approval.

            @sixseeds: Yup. Lutisse=Bimatoprost Ophthalmic =Lumigan

    • Coles_Law says:

      @sixseeds: Fortunately, Pfizer has a new drug for you. Taking Confidy once a week will allow you to have unshakable faith in big pharma. It’s only intended for people diagnosed with hypercynicism though.

  3. floraposte says:

    I’m sure we’ve all thought that she could actually be a really pretty woman if only she fixed her horrible eyelashes.

  4. remington870_20ga says:

    Its sad that we live in a world like this these days.

  5. geekgrrl77 says:

    I don’t understand people’s obsession with having thick, long eyelashes. Whatever your eyelashes are like, they’re fine– just like Brooke’s were!

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      @geekgrrl77: I always thought her problem was the ‘brows

      • memphis9 says:

        @The Porkchop Express:
        Yep. I remember back when my peer group was making fun of her for the shaggy brows. I assume that shaggy brows must be “back” or some pharma co. would be pushing a “cure” for *that*, too.

    • RPHP says:

      @geekgrrl77: yea – my attraction to a girl does not in any way depend on how thick her eye lashes are.

    • oneandone says:

      @geekgrrl77: I agree – but a lot of my female friends who are Chinese are very concerned about their lashes, particularly for special events like weddings (I’m of European ancestry). The amount of time they spend talking about false eyelashes astonishes me. One has also gotten the eyelid surgery and a few others are considering it.

      I think Asian women are the target demographic for this drug, when used for eyelash purposes.

  6. barb95 says:

    I went a “girls night out” event promoting the product with special guest Brooke Shields about a month ago. Don’t hate, I only wanted to meet Brooke and had no interest in the product : ) The turnout was astonishing. The auditorium was packed with women who were so excited about the product, that everytime the guests said something great about it, the women would cheer as if the Red Sox had won the world series. Amazing.

  7. subtlefrog says:

    I’m so glad they gave me a place to find a doctor so I could finally find out if Latisse is right for me. No – my lashes are fine, it’s just that raccoon look I’m after. I think it’d be hawt.

  8. amysisson says:

    Yeah, gotta say…. I was so completely on Brooke Shields’ side after the jerk Tom Cruise made of himself. But I think it’s at the least irresponsible, and possibly unethical, for Brooke Shields to be hawking a medication for glaucoma for beauty purposes. And not just any beauty purpose, but a fairly frivolous one.

    Hopefully doctors are laughing off anyone who comes to them with a request for this drug.

  9. lalaland13 says:

    This ad makes me want to rub my eyes almost every time it comes on. What freaks me out is that your eyes can change color. No, I like green eyes. Don’t want brown. If I did, I would have colored contacts.

    I’m sure there are some people who could really benefit from this, but I don’t think Brooke Shields is one of them. She benefits from the money, though, even if the commercial is silly and patronizing. It’s like if she was promoting postpartum depression awareness by showing a bunch of well-lit and snappily dressed people tossing a baby around like a hot potato, until one sad woman throws it out the window.

    OK, maybe not. But this just blows my mind that advertisers can get away with this.

    • laughingisfree says:

      @lalaland13:

      Latisse is a lower concentration of the Glaucoma medication Lumigan(made by Allergan). Lumigan side effects are basically eye lash growth, darker color iris (for example a browner pigmentation of the iris), also darker pigmentation of the skin around the eyes, and also redness of the eye. Lumigan is instilled directly into the eyes. Latisse is applied differently.

      Latisse is only applied to the top lid eyelashes. Should never come into contact with the eyeball at all. This would prevent eye color change and should only promote eyelash growth.

      Pharmaceutical companies pump a lot of money into R&D so selling one product that has many different useful is golden.

      But yeah, I hate when I see the abuse of a medication just for purely cosmetic reason.

      • azsumrg1rl says:

        @laughingisfree: You may be right, but Latisse still carries the warning about eye color change. I’m with lalaland13. I wouldn’t want to take the chance and ruin my green eyes. Not that I need it. (I don’t.)

      • bon says:

        @laughingisfree: actually this is even better. Latisse is exactly the same formula and packaging (different label) as Lumigan. Latisse comes with cheap disposable brushes that actually waste product and it costs about $105 more than Lumigan. For the exact same medicine in the exact same bottle.

        • Megalomania says:

          @bon: uh.. i’m kind of in favor of that. If one is going to subsidize the other, wouldn’t you prefer it to be the frivolous beauty product?

  10. Coelacanth says:

    All Brooke needs to do now is actually develop glaucoma. Maybe in a few decades…

    / Wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

  11. bbagdan says:

    Glaucoma causes one’s eyelashes to thin? I thought it just gave you bulgy eyes!

  12. Stephmo says:

    There are medically legitimate uses for this – if you lost your lashes to chemotherapy and they never grew back. If they’ve thinned to the point where you can no longer get the protection you’re normally afforded from your lashes (they do serve a purpose). Or if you have alopecia.

    Of course, most of those individuals will consider an eyelash implant instead – [hubpages.com] – at 3 grand, I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t hit the payout for Latisse at some point. And insurance would probably pick up the tab for the surgery before Latisse if it were medically necessary.

    • El Alarmist says:

      @Stephmo:
      And those are good reasons to take it. However, the ad is directed soleley at people who want to use it to look better, not out of necessity. It’s being marketed as a cosmetic product! If it was purely medical, they wouldn’t use a famous model to promote it.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @Stephmo: true enough.i have a friend whose anti depressants caused him to lose every bit of hair on his body, including eyelashes.
      he’s not interested in growing them back unless it can also put the hair back on his head

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Stephmo: Yeah, I know a woman who, for the longest time, had no eyelashes or eyebrows to speak of. (I made this comment earlier but it disappeared.)

  13. juri squared says:

    Whatever happened to just getting fake eyelashes? At least then any redness and puffiness is only a result of me poking myself in the eye while applying them.

  14. nstonep says:

    This is stupid. Don’t take a drug to make you look better because you’ll still be ugly on the inside.

  15. G.O.B.: Come on! says:

    Is there a reverse-Latisse for guys? My eyelashes are longer and fuller than almost any woman’s natural lashes. They distract from my multi-thousand dollar suits.

  16. Daveinva says:

    Seriously, politely. . . why does this matter to anyone?

    If someone wants to take this, or anything else, and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, than they shouldn’t need anyone’s permission to do so. Is risking eye color change that terrible a risk that people– adults, like your or I– should be prevented from making an informed decision? Have you SEEN what breast augmentation surgery looks like? Trust me, this is small beer in the pantheon of irrelevant cosmetic choices in comparison.

    As for the sadly typical Consumerist comentariat venom directed towards any company that dares to make a profit, Allergan figured out a beneficial side effect for a drug they already had. Yes, the benefit is ludicrous, and in the storied halls of medical conditions, losing your eyelashes is the smallest of concerns. But again, it’s stuff like this that pays for stuff we need. Or do folks think “Big Pharma” makes tons of money on glaucoma medication? Those R&D dollars have to come from somewhere– why not from vain women?

    BTW, in the interest of full disclosure, my GF uses this stuff (it works, incredibly, bizarrely). Do I make fun of her using it? Yes, I do, very much so. *I* think it’s ridiculous, but again, she’s an adult– an RN with a Master’s, in fact. She understands the risks, she weighed them, she takes this, and she likes it.

    C’mon, folks– this isn’t fraud, it’s not criminal, it’s not evil.

    Now, if only someone can explain to me what the difference between “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” and “Fibromyalgia” is, THEN we can talk about invented diseases requiring expensive-yet-needless pharmaceutical intervention…

    ;-)

    • ZoeSchizzel says:

      @Daveinva: Well “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” means that you’ve been to every doctor in town and no one can tell you why you are so tired you can’t physically lift your head, even after a full night’s sleep, and why your brain feels foggy and you genuinely can’t remember if you fed the dogs or ate breakfast yourself, when only a month ago you passed the bar exam. “Fibromyalgia” means that you’ve got this horrible joint pain, and everything in your system feels swollen and achy, but — again — every doctor you’ve seen can’t figure out why you’re in so much chronic pain so they give you mild painkillers and a fibromyalgia diagnosis. I have friends with both. Each of them are INCREDIBLY productive, physically active intelligent women who are (at times) crippled by these illnesses. It’s bizarre because if it was ME who had either illness, I’d pooh-pooh the symptoms because even though I’m naturally slim and apparently productive, I’m kinda lazy and low-energy on my best days and if you ever see me break a sweat I hope you call an ambulance because I’m having a heart attack — but these women are WOW!!! Knowing them put both illnesses in perspective to me as very real, painful burdens that they shoulder and bravely live with and fight as their quality of life diminishes.

      On the other hand — no eyelashes means….er…no eyelashes? I mean, we’d all like long thick eyelashes. I’d like my legs to be six inches longer. But it’s not painful or debilitating having legs that are a mere foot long (visually). Not much anyway.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        “Fibromyalgia” means that you’ve got this horrible joint pain

        @ZoeSchizzel: Not just joint pain. It also means that if you hurt yourself anywhere the pain will increase and spread from the site of impact instead of just gradually lessening on it’s own. That means if you bump your arm into a table your entire arm will end up being sore if try to wait for the original hurt to go away on its own.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Daveinva: We’ll talk about invented diseases after you name some.

  17. H3ion says:

    What if you used this product and turned out looking like one of those Groucho Marx glasses/eyebrow combinations? I also wonder if this can be used to obtain luxurious ear hair?

  18. smiling1809 says:

    This product has horrible side effects. People who use it for actual medical conditions even hate the side effects. If some woman wants to use this b/c her eyelashes aren’t “perfect” maybe she deserves hair growing under her eyes and her blue eyes turning brown.

  19. dognose says:

    I seriously thought the add was an Onion or Fark ad when I saw it. Can’t believe it’s an actual prescription product.

  20. thisistobehelpful says:

    Fake eyelashes are reusable when you’re careful with them and probably cheaper than these eye drops are per month considering you can get like 10 pairs for $4 in lots of places.

    • fusilier says:

      @thisistobehelpful: Or you could, you know, use eyeshadow and mascara to give you the appearance of thicker lashes. Like in the photo. I like how they also added liner to her brow. I hate before and after photos like this.

  21. lchen says:

    my husband’s grandmother is on medication for eye pressure issues and it is growing her eyelashes too. but not really fuller looking lashes, more like some extra wiry longer darker eyelashes. her eyes are also red and watery all the time.

  22. Al Swearengen says:

    I’m tired of pharmaceutical companies making up “diseases” so that they can sell products for it. I never heard of “restless leg syndrome” until there was a drug to prevent it.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @Al Swearengen: That hardly proves it’s made up though, does it? You don’t think you’ve heard of every medical illness, infection, and condition in existence, do you?

      The other problem is that doctors will insist that your problem doesn’t exist until they figure out how to treat it. If you have an new illness you better hope there’s a physical symptom like a growth or your eyes changing color. If all you can describe are symptoms that aren’t visible (like pain) then it’s all in your head.

  23. The Porkchop Express says:

    @HogwartsAlum: People pay big money for the ones with green eyes. Lord knows David Lo-Pan always wants one.

  24. Gracegottcha says:

    I hope that in a year or so we don’t learn that Latisse makes your eyeballs fall out! I think I’ll stick with mascara or false eyelashes for now thank you very much.