Where did fake eyelashes come from?

Fake eyelashes have become a staple in the beauty routines of many, offering a quick and effective way to achieve bold, luscious lashes. But have you ever wondered about the origins of this beauty trend? Let’s take a fascinating journey through history to discover the surprising evolution of fake eyelashes, from ancient Egypt to the glamour of Hollywood.

Ancient Egypt: The Birth of Eye Makeup

Dating back to 3400-30 B.C., ancient Egyptians played a pivotal role in the history of mascara. Using kohl made from crocodile dung, water, and honey, they adorned their lashes to conceal their eyes, believed to be the windows of the soul, from evil spirits. Both men and women embraced this eye-defining trend, and it served a practical purpose of protecting their eyes from the harsh desert sun.

Medieval Period: Symmetry Obsession

During the Middle Ages (1066-1485), facial symmetry was a beauty ideal. Women, in their quest for balance, plucked their eyebrows and eyelashes to create a higher forehead, believing it enhanced their appearance.

Elizabeth I’s Era: A Riot of Red

In the time of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), red hair became a fashion statement. To emulate the queen’s striking beauty, women went to great lengths, even dying their eyelashes and pubic hair red. The dedication to this trend was unparalleled.

Victorian Time: DIY Cosmetics

Victorian women (1837-1901) were known for their formality and spent hours perfecting their look. Experimenting with homemade cosmetic recipes, they created mascaras using ashes and vaseline, showcasing a DIY spirit in beauty.

Early 20th Century: Commercial Mascara Emerges

The invention of commercial mascara traces back to 1917 when Eugene Rimmel introduced the first packaged cosmetic mascara, made from petroleum and black coal dust. In 1902, Karl Nessler patented artificial eyelashes, marking the advent of false eyelashes.

1920-1930: Hollywood Influence

The early days of makeup drew inspiration from silent films. Actresses like Bebe Daniels sported long, thick lashes to emphasize their expressive eyes. In 1931, William Mcdonell’s invention, Kurlash, made applying falsies more accessible, setting the stage for the false eyelash industry.

1940-1950: Hollywood Glamour

The 1950s saw Hollywood glamorizing long, full lashes. Actresses like Rita Hayworth embraced fake eyelashes to enhance their eye-catching allure. Waterproof mascara emerged in the 40s, and the 50s introduced the first synthetic plastic lashes.

1960-1970: Bigger, Bolder Lashes

The swinging 60s brought a surge in false eyelash popularity. Icons like Twiggy popularized large, exaggerated lashes. Women embraced creativity with colored lashes and mascaras, piling on multiple layers for a bold look.

1980-1990: Birth of Eyelash Extensions

Semi-permanent lash extensions emerged in the mid-1980s in South Korea and Japan, offering a longer-lasting alternative to strip lashes. This marked the beginning of a new era in lash enhancement.

From the mystique of ancient Egypt to the glamour of Hollywood, fake eyelashes have undergone a remarkable journey through history. What started as a cultural and practical trend has evolved into a global beauty phenomenon, influencing how we define and enhance our eyes. Today, fake eyelashes and extensions continue to captivate beauty enthusiasts, proving that this timeless trend has a place in every era.