Let’s be honest, we are pretty addicted to mascaras, or anything that could make our eyelashes look more stunning. We talked about the oils to use for eyelashes here, and what food to eat to promote eyelash growth here.
But have you ever wondered what the lash trends were in the past?
Let’s have fun and find out now.
Ancient Egypt (3500 B.C.)
Men, along with women, of Ancient Egypt, styled their lashes using ointments and kohl. These products helped to darken and protect the eyes from the dangerous sun rays.
Ancient Rome (753 B.C. – 476 A.D.)
During the Roman Empire, it was noted that enhancing eyelashes was a feminine aspect. Female servants or slaves known as ornatrices would help their masters to beautify themselves. Roman women had long, curly and thick eyelashes – to highlight the magnificence the East (Egypt and India) brought.
According to the Elders, eyelashes fell out because of too much sex. Therefore, to prove chastity, they had to keep their lashes long.
This changed when Christianity was introduced. Christian women did not use makeup, thinking that God wanted them to look as they were born.
Medieval Times (1066 – 1485)
In the Medieval period (as well as the Renaissance period), eyelashes were not styled. Instead, it was felt the forehead was the beautiful part of the face, leading women to remove their eyebrows and eyelashes.
Elizabeth Era (1533 – 1603)
When Queen Elizabeth came into power, a new era of fashion had begun. Elizabeth’s hair was a reddish-gold color, and women would dye their hair and lashes to get the shade. The problem was that they tended to use toxic materials that led to hair loss. ( they should have used natural oils such as coconut oil instead…)
Since respectable ladies didn’t see enhancing their eyelashes as the appropriate method to improve themselves, they would use fireplace soot or crushed berries to darken the lashes.
Victorian Era – (1837 – 1901)
Eugene Rimmel created the first non-toxic mascara for Queen Elizabeth, and it quickly became popular.
Initial Faux Lashes and Mascara Appearances – (1900 – 1920)
An 1899 newspaper clipping shows that women were using needles to implant eyelashes. However, in 1911, Canadian Anna Taylor came up with the first patented synthetic lashes.
Hollywood director David W. Griffith wanted his actresses to have fluttering eyelashes. So, in 1916, he had the wigmaker glue lashes using human hair to his actress’ eyelids with a spirit gun. It was not a success, ( really??) and it wasn’t until the 1930s that artificial lashes became “a thing.”
In 1917, getting inspiration from sister Mabel Williams who used ointments on her lashes to darken them, Tom Lyle worked in conjunction with a drug seller to improve a formula that would be called Lash-Brow-Ine. This formula consisted of oils and petroleum jelly that gave lashes their sheen look.
You know this company as Maybelline (a change that occurred in 1920).
1920s and 1930s (1920 – 1940)
The first eyelash curler was called Rodal and eventually renamed to Kurlash. They were extremely popular and relatively cheap. They were heated up using blow dryers. Newer curlers were designed with batteries, so a blow dryer was no longer necessary, and the curl lasted longer.
Vogue published numerous ads about artificial lashes, which led to an increase in their popularity. However, people were still hesitant about their use.
1940s and 1950s
About 1940, women were using makeup every day, and they would create cat eyes along the upper lashline. About the same time, Max Faktor, a Polish immigrant, came up with the waterproof mascara, which became a hit with the public (and are still popular to this day).
In 1958, a mascara in a tube using a spiral wand was created – something still in use today. The company that developed this tool is Revlon.
1960s and 1970s
Revlon invented and released the first-ever colored mascara in 1961.
Millions of women began using the colored mascara after Twiggy, a famous model, applying it to their lower eyelashes.
Artificial lashes were all the rage, made with human hair or some synthetic material. Women who visited beauty salons often asked for them. They didn’t care how fake the lashes looked. They were just following the trend of the time.
1980s and 1990s
The No Color Mascara was introduced to the market in 1988 by Max Factor. It would ensure the eyelashes had a glossy, thick look but no color to them. In the 1980s, fake eyelashes lost their popularity, even though some people were still using them (Cher, for instance).
During the early 1990s, colored mascara grew once again in popularity, and it wasn’t uncommon for teenage girls and women to paint rainbow stripes in their hair. The popularity of fake eyelashes grew once more during this time.
2000s To Now
During the early 2000s, South Korean and Japanese manufacturers came up with lash extensions. And, they became a popular cosmetic thanks to Kim Kardashian. The extensions give the wearer a more natural look, as they are applied one-by-one and are permanent. However, refills are necessary every two weeks to ensure their lashes look good upon waking up each morning.
It may not be surprising that nearly all celebrities are using an eyelash extension.
According to a 2002 international survey, 60 percent of women used mascara, making up 50 percent in global cosmetic sales. In 2009, the global mascara market was worth $4.1 billion.