Stitch In Time.. Mascara Through The Ages
by Amy Newson
From the Ancient Egyptians applying kohl to the Victorians mixing ashes with elderberry juice, this beauty must-have has certainly come a long way.
Mascara is the item that is found in every make-up bag; and it seems it has been a must-have make-up tool for thousands of years. Known to be used as far back as ancient Egyptian times, when kohl was used to darken eyelashes, eyes and eyebrows and the Victorian era when ashes and elderberry juice where mixed to make a natural colourant, it wasn’t until the 20th century that beauty brands started to create mascara for the consumer market.
The first mascara on the market was made out of coal dust and petroleum, and by 1917 ‘cake mascara’ was also available: this came with a small brush to be used for application.
The first mascara in a tube hit the market in 1958 and it came with the spiral brush we still use today, revolutionising the way this make-up was applied and used. In 1960 the first coloured formula of brush on mascara was introduced in mauve and dark green colours, marking the beginning of mascara’s many shades and finishes.
Today, lashes can be styled however you want them to look. From mink lash extensions to faux-fur false lashes and mascaras promising all sorts of finishes (curling, volumising, tapering – you name it), we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection on offer. It’s now easy to apply your desired look and get extra length, curl and definition with no clumpy lashes. In all shades imaginable, today’s mascaras can be waterproof, non-smudging, non-flaking and even condition and nourish your lashes with formulas containing argan and camellia oils.