Not enough lashes? GROW THEM! exhorts a billboard with a life size likeness of Brooke Shields at a Chicago shopping mall. Grow longer, fuller, darker lashes says a TV ad for the same product showing Brooke enchanting everyone at a party with new flutter appeal.
But despite the Maybelline close-ups, lash applicator and vanity sell, Allergan's new drug Lattise is not mascara--but a glaucoma drug repurposed as an eyelash grower.
Like Viagra, intended as a blood pressure medication until a certain side effect surfaced, Retin-A which treated acne before wrinkles and Botox, first used for eye spasms, the ingredient in Allergan's Lumigan, bimatoprost, turned out to stimulate eyelash growth. Older glaucoma drugs like latanoprost and travoprost--called prostaglandin analogs because they bind to prostaglandins or lipids--also stimulated lashes but not as much.