The History Of Mascara

There are few things I care about as much as I care about my eyelashes when it comes to beauty. They should be long, they should be slightly curled and they should look full. Preferably, also last through the day and not get too sticky. Of course, this all comes back to mascara and the never ending quest on finding a perfect one! Folks? This is the history of mascara.

The Origin of Mascara

The history of the magical makeup tool goes way back, all the way to ancient Egypt (of course). Back then they used kohl, a material that mainly consisted of galena. The fields of application were many, and kohl served both as eyeliner, eyebrow pencil and of course, mascara. The Egypts also believed that kohl had magical powers and protected the people from evil by wearing it. (Pretty sure that we today would call it a fierce stare and that keeps the people away, lol!)

History of Mascara

During the Medieval era, it was untrendy to use makeup one could easily spot. In fact, during Elisabeth I, it was trendy to be as pale as possible with barely no eyebrows or lashes. During the Victorian era, the eyelashes should be slightly enhanced. This was achieved by mixing several ingredients, some more toxic than others. Or how about applying ash on your lashes?. Clearly, mascara was at this time still a DIY-product. Thankfully,  perfumer Eugène Rimmel invented the first non-toxic mascara in the 19th century released it on the market.

Modern Mascara

A few decades later, the makeup company Maybelline was invented by Tom Lyne Williams in 1915, as a result of him creating a usable mascara to his sister. Both Rimmel and Maybelline introduced early versions of the mascara as we know it today, though messier and clumsier. Since the proper introduction however, the mascara has been a lasting factor in the beauty history. From heavy lashes of the 1920s, to bold Twiggy eyes of the 1960s. Today, it sort of feels like mascara and lashes are heavier than ever. With the explosion of Youtube makeup tutorials and false lashes, mascara remains important for our contemporary makeup look. It definitely has a safe spot in our makeup bags today!

And pssst, remember that next time you apply that black goo on your lashes, you might also in fact be protecting yourself from evil, or at least according to the old egypts!

31 thoughts on “The History Of Mascara

  1. I love your history posts, and I love the idea of kohl having magical properties. How fun! It’s always interesting to learn about the harmful ingredients of previous beauty products, though I tend to wonder if in the future we’ll know about harmful things we use every day now. Probably shouldn’t think about that too much lol!

    Amber | y a c h t s m a a n

  2. I can’t live without mascara, even if the rest of my face is relatively bare. This was so interesting to read about its history!!

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