A woman known as "Mrs. Brown", in 1933, trying to beautify her appearance before going to a social party in Dayton , Ohio, was encouraged in a beauty shop to try an eyelash dye to enhance her eyes. Lash Lure was the name of the product. At the next morning, she couldn't open her eyes, they were completely infected, with ulcers and scars, and in three months she became permanent blind. In 1934, another woman, aged 52, in Tampa, Florida, was attended by her daughter, a beautician, who applied Lash Lure in her eyelashes and eyebrows, and her eyes immediately started to burn and swell. At the next day she had a high fever of 104ºF. Eight days later the skin around her eyes was covered with ulcers with purulent exudates. The conjunctival sac in her eye was exudating a yellow liquid. Her neck, at the right side, showed a huge inflammation. Three hours later, after being hospitalized, she died. Posterior analysis concluded that it was septicemia (blood system infection) with Staphylococcus Aureus caused by the eyelash dye.

Lash Lure was made with a coloring agent, an aniline dye, what was used for tinting leather and clothes, a highly toxic substance, with a compound, paraphenylenediamine, which could cause irritation, ulceration and death. The product contained 30 times more amount of that compound than what was acceptable and safe for human skin.

After the above mentioned incidents, and other injuries suffered by other victims, eyelash dyes were banned in several states. The cosmetic industry experimented an important crisis with reduced sales and several cases of bankruptcy. Finally, in 1938, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act became law. Regulation of advertising was left in hands of the Federal Trade Commission, and labeling and new standards were controlled by the FDA.



Advertisements of Lash Lure Eye Lash and Brow Dye were saying, in 1933, that their "new and improved mascara will give you a radiating personality, with a before and an after"... This last part was true: the "before" was the regular appearance, and the "after" was a horror film, a cosmetic disaster, with melted ocular globes, the flesh around them with multiple scars, blinded people with infected ulcers, and a woman died in the hospital with septicemia, blood poisoning.

Nobody really thought that an apparently innocent eye cosmetic, advertised in magazines and kindly offered in beauty salons, could cause such a huge social catastrophe.





1701 Sunset Harbor Drive, Suite 206 - Miami Beach, Florida 33139 - Ph: 305 535 6887 - info@sultryeyeslashstudio.com