Long and thick eyelashes are an epic sign of beauty and that’s why there is so much demand for the best over-the-counter mascara in the beauty industry today. You may be surprised to know that the hype revolving around mascara has been there for thousands of years ago. What we see today may be the best over the counter mascara but back in those days, people used natural substances like coal to darken their eyelashes. Let’s take a tour of the history of mascara that played a vital role in women’s beauty even back in those days.
Even men used to darken their eyelashes
Today, if a man uses mascara, we may feel a bit weird but back in those days, it was very common for men to darken their eyelashes. During 3500 BC to 2500 BC, men used kohl and ointments to darken their eyelashes in Egypt. The compound also protected their eyes from the burning rays of the sun. Women in Egypt used malachite on their eyelashes since they believed it was an aphrodisiac. If this was the case now, the sales of the best over the counter mascara would be soaring high.
The belief that connected sex and eyelashes
Just like the women in Egypt, Roman ladies also believed that there was a connection between sex and thick eyelashes. Pliny the Elder, a Roman philosopher, wrote that lashes would fall out if one has excessive sex, somewhere around 753 BC to 476 AD. Due to this popular belief, women would try to darken their eyelashes and take good care of them to protect their chastity. So, thick and dark eyelashes were not just a beauty trait but also something that judged a woman’s character.
Pluck them all
Imagine a face without any eyelashes or eyebrows. Wouldn’t that be weird? During the time between 1066 and 1485, women used to remove all their eyelashes and eyebrows because it was believed that the forehead was the most attractive part of a woman’s body! Removing eyelashes and eyebrows would help in emphasizing the forehead. Please don’t do that if you’re living in 2018 though.
The Elizabeth era
We may try to copy the trends introduced by Ariana Grande and Kylie Jenner, but back in the 1533 to 1603 period, everyone tried to copy Queen Elizabeth. Her red colored hair and eyelashes were a huge hit among women. Since dying eyelashes weren’t something that was accepted commonly, women used to secretly dye them with the help of berry juice and soot from the fireplace. Wow, isn’t that some serious fangirling?
The Victorian era
During this era which was around 1837 to 1901, Eugene Rimmel, a perfumer to Queen Victoria made a product that was meant to darken the eyelashes. His product basically consisted of Vaseline and coal but it made a huge impact on the early evolution days of the beauty industry.
The early 1900s
D.W. Griffith, the well-known Hollywood director in 1916 invented fake eyelashes to provide a dramatic effect for the expressions of his heroines. Since his films were mostly silent films, the expressions were exaggerated. Even then, they didn’t become popular until later in the 1930s. What really became popular during this period was a mascara-like product which was developed by a woman Mabel Williams with the help of a drug manufacturer in 1917. The name of the product was “Lash-Brow-Ine” and it had a formula that used petroleum jelly and oils to give sheen along with darkness to the eyelashes and eyebrows. This product became so popular that Mabel Williams started her own company named “Maybelline.” Now, you know Maybelline, right?
Super curly and thick eyelashes
During the period between 1920 and 1930, the eyelash curler was invented which curled women’s eyelashes within just seconds. William McDonell who called it the Kurlash got the patent for the stainless steel product in 1931 which worked a lot like scissors but by bending the lashes instead of cutting them. Around this time, Maybelline mascara was available in drugstores in 10-cent packets.
Revlon is yet another revolutionary name that even today’s women are fond of. Revolutionary because it was the first beauty brand to invent mascara with the spiral wand that we use to date. This was somewhere during the 1940s and look how far the product has reached today. Also, water-proof mascara was made during the same period.
Later on, brush-on mascara that came in different colors like mauve and dark green was invented by Revlon. Maybelline was not far behind in the mascara business since they came up with Maybelline Great lash which was a water-based mascara which was pretty popular at that time. Time has passed and mascara, one of the most iconic beauty products ever has evolved into various forms today. We have different types of water-based mascara for whatever type of eyelash we have and for whatever kind of look we want to attain.