Beauty decoded: The truth about Latisse, the much buzzed-about lash growth treatment

Long, thick lashes are of paramount importance to most beauty regimes; the number of mascaras, false lashes, and lash extensions available on the market make that quite clear. When lash-growth treatment Latisse broke onto the scene a few years ago, ads with Brooke Shields and her head-turning lashes endorsed the new prescription-only product, promising that you could have lashes like hers, too. Having recently worn a few rounds of 15mm extensions, I was interested in learning if Latisse could give my own lashes the same volume and length.

I visited Dr. Martie Gidon at Gidon Aesthetics and MediSpa in Toronto, and she explained to me that Latisse was discovered to be an effective cosmetic product by accident—it was originally used as a medication for glaucoma. Patients were walking out of their ophthalmologist’s office batting long lashes, and chemists took note. The active ingredient in Latisse, bimatoprost, is only 5 per cent the medical-grade strength but will prolong the life cycle of your natural lashes from the usual three- to four-month cycle to one of nearly eight months.

Using Latisse is much like applying liquid liner to your lashes each morning. It’s put on with a thin brush every day to start, and then on alternating days for a period of four months. Consistent use and proper application can amp your lashes to their max for about nine months. Dr. Gidon hints that Latisse may even be safer than lash extensions because bimatoprost is gentler than their adhesives. Latisse is also less pricey than lash extensions, but patience if you want to see results. Each bottle costs $124 and lasts for roughly three months. For some, four months is an awfully long time to wait for maximum results, though users typically begin to see a difference within one month of use.

Two weeks into my Latisse program, I can see the base of my lashes becoming more robust. Remembering to apply daily is a challenge, but the last time I didn’t follow Brook Shield’s direction, I ended up with over-plucked eyebrows—I’ll keep up the effort.

Latisse is available by prescription only. Gidon Aesthetics and MediSpa is located at 1849 Yonge Street, Suite 307 (416-483-4541).

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