When did this trend start, you ask? When did women start wanting to have longer and fuller eyelashes? It seems like since the beginning of time.

Lush Lashes Go far back in time

Back in ancient Egypt, 3500 B.C. – 2500 B.C., women and men both used ointments to darken their lashes and make them look fuller. Kohl and malaquite were the preferred elements at the time, considering they didn’t have much to choose from. Egyptians, however, were very creative when it came to makeup and they really liked a good full face routine.

In ancient Rome, long lashes were a sign of chastity, because the philosopher Pliny the Elder wrote that lashes fell out from having sex, therefore, women wanted to have long full eyelashes to prove their innocence. However, as a matter of fashion, Romans looked after having longer and fuller eyelashes regardless.

Young women portrait

In the Middle Ages, fashion seemed to go the opposite of what we’d normally call beautiful. Religious leaders established that laughing was deforming your face, and in society the forehead was considered the most beautiful feature in one’s face, therefore women used to trim their eyelashes to almost none, including their eyebrows.

The Red Queen Setting up Trends

When Queen Elizabeth I took the throne, women wanted to copy her red hair locks, including her eyebrows and lashes. The substances they used to dye them red proved to be sometimes toxic and lead to hair loss. Not exactly the intended result.

Queen Victoria’s perfumer, Eugène Rimmel, created the first lash mascara, made of coal dust and vaseline jelly. As you may know from the name, Rimmel (which is how Spanish speaking people say mascara), established a must-have beauty item for every woman to come.

The 1900’s

Mascara was a bit steep in price for most women, so they tried to make their own. In 1916, American film director David W. Griffith created the first set of fake eyelashes, but those didn’t became popular for everyday use until the 30’s.

In 1930 the first eyelash curler was invented, helping women create the longer looking eyelashes without having to add falsies or much product. Thank you for that!

Fast forward to the 40’s and we see the waterproof mascara introduced in the market, and in 1958 Revlon came out with the first package in a tube with a spiral tip wand, much like what we use today.

Revlon was also responsible for breaking the mold with their blue and green mascaras, but it wasn’t until the 80’s that the clear color mascaras, those to add volume but no color, were created.

Then and Now

We haven’t reverted to no lashes or small lashes, it seems the big full eyelashes are still an aphrodisiac and a sign of beauty. They open up our eyes, the window to the soul, and that seems to be the preference. Nowadays, we can get pretty much every color under the sun, different formulas, long lasting, waterproof, different types of wand, you name it! And, we can also opt to do get eyelash extensions that last longer and don’t require any extra product! So many choices!

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