We do admit we are a bit obsessed with eyelashes, as these are the easiest thing that we can style or change to make our eyes look even bigger and more sexy…. and as we found out while exploring the history of eyelashes, this obsession is not new….. and started ages ago…..
- 1 Ancient Egypt (3500 B.C.)
- 2 Ancient Rome (750B.C- 500A.D)
- 3 Medieval Times (1050-1500)
- 4 The Elizabethan Era (1530-1600)
- 5 The Victorian Era (1840-1900)
- 6 Turn of the Century / Roaring 20s (1900-1920)
- 7 The Advertising Age (1920 -1960)
- 8 The Modern Age (1960 -1980)
- 9 The Eighties and Nineties (1980-2000)
- 10 The Present Day (2000 – 2020)
Ancient Egypt (3500 B.C.)
In Ancient Egypt, men frequently styled their eyelashes the same way as women. They frequently used ointments and kohl, an early form of mascara, to keep their eyes safe from the sun by darkening the lashes.
Ancient Rome (750B.C- 500A.D)
During the reign of the Roman Empire, eyelashes were thought of as a largely feminine feature.
Women were often assisted by slaves who would help them go through their daily beauty regimens. Influenced by the women of the East, many Roman women thought lashes should be long, thick, and curly. Long eyelashes were also thought to be a sign of sexual purity, as frequent sex was thought to make eyelashes “fall out.”
To get their look, Romans used kohl or burnt cork to make their lashes appear darker. This was only up until Christianity arrived, however, when a more natural look became a better way to “please God.”
Medieval Times (1050-1500)
From the dark ages through the Renaissance, nobody styled their lashes at all so as not to take away from their foreheads, which was considered the most beautiful part of a woman’s face.
In many cases, wealthy women removed their eyelashes and eyebrows entirely. ( Can you imagine that? Would you do it? No way I guess….)
The Elizabethan Era (1530-1600)
Queen Elizabeth created a revolutionary fashion movement when she arrived on the throne. Known for her reddish-gold hair color, many ladies of the age would dye their hair the same color.
The materials they used to do so, however, were very toxic, and eventually led to hair loss. To darken what lashes they had left, women would use dark berries or soot from their fireplaces. They probably should have read our article about using coconut oil for eyelashes here….
The Victorian Era (1840-1900)
Throughout the Victorian Era, cosmetics started to become popular. Many women were still using homemade methods to heighten their look until Queen Victoria’s personal perfumer, Eugène Rimmel, ended up developing the world’s first non-toxic mascara.
Turn of the Century / Roaring 20s (1900-1920)
The first cases of women having false eyelashes implanted dates back to 1899. By 1911, artificial lashes had been developed and began to be used in films to get that “fluttery” look.
Just before the Roaring 20s started, a man developed an ointment to enhance eyelashes and founded a company that would become Maybelline. ( Who does not know this company???)
The Advertising Age (1920 -1960)
Things moved fast during the modern era, despite the occurrence of two World Wars. ( When things get dark, you can always count on a good mascara haha)
The first eyelash curler was developed, and fake lashes become increasingly more popular (and better quality).
By 1940, women were really starting to take their makeup routines seriously, and they began to experiment with new styles and more “far out” looks.
In 1958, Revlon released the first tube mascara with a spiral wand, which is still widely used today.
The Modern Age (1960 -1980)
In 1961, things took a big turn when Revlon released the first colored mascara. Soon after, women began to pay a lot more attention to their eye makeup, especially their lower lashes.
Artificial lashes also began to really catch on. In most cases, the faker they looked, the more “in style” they were. This look continued up through the disco era, when bright colors and glitter on the upper and lower lids led to an even more extreme look.
The Eighties and Nineties (1980-2000)
Fake eyelashes largely went out of style in the 1980s, and colored mascara became a big hit during the “any color goes” years of the 1990s.
The smokey, gothy look also made its first appearance in these years, allowing women to add a lot of intensity to their eyes with just a little color.
The Present Day (2000 – 2020)
While a lot may have changed in the past 20 years, things have been remarkably consistent as far as eye makeup and eyelash care. Synthetic eyelashes have become much better, and there are even semi-permanent options for those who don’t want to deal with daily changes.
According to a global survey, some 60% of women currently use mascara, creating a market valued at roughly $ 4.1 billion.