Here's the long part...
Phenoxyethanol has been linked to skin irritation and allergies especially when combined with parabens in personal care products. Scientists advise that infants should not be exposed to phenoxyethanol. From their studies on rabbits, rats and other animals scientists were not able to find any mutagenic tendencies from phenoxyethanol nor is it believed to be carcinogenic.
The only study I was able to find was about a 24 year old Asian woman who suffered from skin irritation and rashes after eating a Papaya Salad. I know, this sounds crazy… Four days after the first episode of skin rashes she developed another one from the Body Lotion that she had applied just after taking a shower. It was an unfortunate coincidence that she developed an allergy to phenoxyethanol even though she had never had any allergies before.
Therefore, there isn’t too much evidence showing that phenoxyethanol is really bad for use in cosmetics unless you happen to get an allergic reaction from it. However, phenoxyethanol is commonly found in wastewater samples collected from around the world. Therefore it is likely to be an environmental toxin, particularly for aquatic organisms. Remember the fun fact about how scientists use phenoxyethanol as an anesthetic for fish? Can you imagine if enough phenoxyethanol somehow managed to get into an aquatic ecosystem and put all the fish to sleep? (Obviously that's a far stretch...but still.)