For the fair of lash and brow, tinting to a darker hue for a set like Hollywood beauty Lily Collins is part of regular beauty maintenance, but back in 2013 the US Food and Drug Administration, The FDA, America's regulator of all things health related, issued a statement to the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology banning all brow and lash tints. The Board didn't bring the law into effect until July 2015, and many in California's booming beauty industry have been caught out and hit with hefty fines.
So why the ban? In a statement issued by the FDA they reported concerns over "eyelash and eyebrow dyes containing coal-tar," and after evaluating "medical evidence related to consumer injury along with scientific literature of coal-tar dyes...the products listed represented an acute, severe hazard to health with the possibility of permanent injury; i.e. impaired sight, including blindness." Scary stuff indeed.
Apparently making tints without coal-tar is tricky, but there are vegetable-based versions available and even these are included in the ban, taking colour change off the beauty menu in California. Surely Californians' eyes aren't the only sets the FDA are concerned about? It will be interesting to see if the ban is rolled out country-wide, and how the cosmetics industry responds; hopefully for the light lashed and browed with an eye-safe alternative.
So far no news on this from our own Australian based health regulator, the TGA, but we'll keep you posted.