The Lowdown on Latisse

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Latisse – a magical medicine that makes your eyelashes grow longer and thicker. Sound too good to be true? I thought so too. But after experimenting with it myself over the past 9 months, I have been convinced! So many of my friends have asked me about this medicine (and about whether I had lash extensions on!) that I think a blogpost is long overdue.

Since a picture speaks a thousand words, here are “Before” and “After” photos. Note that the first two photos were taken with no makeup on, and the third is with just mascara on.

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With mascara:

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I’m personally quite happy with Latisse because I (and the people around me!) can see a noticeable difference. My lashes were short and thin to begin with, and now they are much longer, though lash density is still lacking. However, lash thickness is easily correctable with the right mascara. I am using Makeup Forever Smoky Lash Extra Black Mascara in the above photo. You can probably notice that I have a side effect of redness on the eyelid where Latisse is applied. It doesn’t bother me much since most of the time I wear eyeliner anyways, and when I don’t, it just looks like eyeshadow. Also, the redness is enhanced by the lighting in the photos, and it is less obvious in real life.

So what is Latisse? Latisse is the only FDA approved medicine for treating eyelashes. It is  called Bimatoprost, a prostaglandin analogue, originally developed as a glaucoma medication for people with high eye pressure. Those patients noticed that a side effect of their meds was long and thick eyelash growth, to the point where some had to trim their lashes (now that’s the type of side effect I would ilke to have!). The medication was repackaged into Latisse, a treatment for “hypotrichosis,” or short eyelashes. Your cells are constantly going through a dividing, growth, and death cycle, and Latisse keeps your eyelash cells in the “growth” phase. Once you stop using Latisse, your lashes will go back into their normal cycle. They will fall out eventually at different times and then grow back into your pre-Latisse length.

Latisse works by topical application, which is application to the skin. Every night, you drop the medicine onto applicators and brush it onto the base of your upper eyelid, where you usually draw eyeliner. The medication is applied once per night on a clean face. Full growth occurs at week 16, after which you can apply the drops every other night for maintenance.

Side effects include eyelid redness (which I experienced) and itching or drying of the eyelid (which I experienced on the FIRST day of use only). It can also cause the colored parts of the eye to darken over years.

What has your experience been? Are you looking to try Latisse or have you already tried it? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Disclosure: I was not paid or sponsored in any way by Allergan, the makers of Latisse. I just want to share my personal experience with my readers!

6 Comments on The Lowdown on Latisse

  1. Jenn
    March 3, 2015 at 1:31 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Joyce! Thanks for the awesome review.. Do I need a prescription to get Latisse? Love your blog!

    <3 Jenn (aka Ritz)

    Reply
    • Joyce
      March 3, 2015 at 7:34 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Jenn,

      You don’t need a prescription to get Latisse, but most places do require you to do see a prescriber first, whether that is a dermatologist, other type of MD, or aesthetician. There are some websites out there where you can purchase Latisse independently without seeing a provider first, but I don’t trust those sites as much since they are not FDA regulated, and who knows about the purity of their products.

      Hope that helps!

      Joyce

      Reply
  2. Amry
    March 15, 2015 at 4:48 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Joyce! Thanks for the info. I had amazing results from using Latisse, but after about 2 years of use, I noticed creasing on my upper eyelids near my lash line. Since I am still young, I suspected that it could be due to Latisse use. Later on, I discovered a few research articles describing periorbital fat loss due to bimatoprost. Given your medical background, what do you think?

    Reply
    • Joyce
      March 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Amry, I wasn’t aware of this side effect before but looking in the scientific literature, I did find evidence of periorbital fat loss in glaucoma patients who use bimatoprost drops directly in their eyes daily for anywhere from 2 months to 4 years. These results were partially reversible upon stopping the eye drops. However, I didn’t find anything in the literature about Latisse causing the same effect, though it is the same medication used topically. I think if you are seeing a noticeable difference in your eyelids that is bothering you a lot, you should try stopping the Latisse and seeing if that improves. If it doesn’t, it might be worth making a visit to your local dermatologist. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. Thierry
    April 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm (2 months ago)

    Hi, I’ve been getting lash extensions for over a year now and I’m considering using Latisse but wonder about Revitalash? By searching online, a number of reviews have said RL works as well as Latisse and it costs less but may take longer. I have short thick lashes and rarely wear makeup and I feel that having long lashes makes me look better and I feel more confident. But the expense and upkeep is an issue.
    What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    • Joyce
      April 5, 2017 at 11:01 am (2 months ago)

      Hello, Latisse is the only FDA approved product that contains the prostaglandin analog extensively studied for safety and efficacy in growing lashes (originally used to treat glaucoma patients). After lawsuits, RL and other companies were forced to remove the prostaglandin analog as the active ingredient because Allergan holds the patent on Latisse. If you personally find that RL or other brands work to grow your lashes then you can keep using them (it’s definitely a personal choice), but I want to highlight that there’s NO peer-reviewed scientific data about their safety or efficacy since they are not FDA approved. Personally I would spend more to purchase Latisse because I know the active ingredient in it, and I know that there is a lot of scientific literature about how it works, whether it’s safe, and how well it grows lashes. Put simply, Latisse is more legitimate and I’m willing to spend more money because of that.

      Reply

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