The Origins of False Eyelashes
The desire to have luscious lashes has transformed dramatically since their humble beginning in 3500 B.C. While the desire to have long eyelashes was more symbolic back then, they are an indication of beauty today. The first false eyelash extensions were nothing like those popular among today’s celebrities and fashion-forward people.
The Ancient Beginnings
It’s believed that the history of eyelash extensions originated in ancient Egypt. Women would use a combination of kohl and crocodile dung to darken their lashes and eyebrows. They also used a mixture of honey and crushed minerals to make their lashes longer and thicker.
According to the beauty magazine Marie Claire, the Ancient Egyptians began using brushes and ointments to attain fluttery, voluminous lashes in 3500 B.C. Men and women alike used different materials, like malachite, to darken their lashes. The reason for their use then was that they protected the eyes from the beating sun.
Some years later, around 753 B.C., the Romans desired luminous lashes, as short lashes were seen as a sign of aging. They used materials like burnt cork and coal to achieve a glamorous look. The Romans also believed long eyelashes were symbols of morality and virginity.
The Middle Ages
Eyelash extensions went in and out of fashion as time went on. In the middle ages, people wanted no part of the false eyelash fad that would soon dominate mainstream culture. Having too much hair was viewed as too erotic. In fact, women would pluck out their lashes and eyebrows to show off more of their foreheads. The methods they used were dangerous because eyelashes serve the vital function of keeping dust and debris out of the eyes. Fortunately, this hair-pulling trend went out of style quickly.
The 19th Century
Queen Victoria’s perfumer Eugene Rimmel created the first mascara in the mid-1800s. His eyelash concoction contained Vaseline jelly and coal dust. The creation caught on quickly, becoming a fashion staple in the 1800s and evolving the history of eyelash extensions.
In 1882, a report showed that Parisian women sewed hairs on their eyelids for enhancement. Later, women began transplanting their hair onto their eyelids. The transplantation method didn’t seem to catch on. However, by the 20th century, makeup artists began experimenting even more.
Artificial Eyelashes Are Patented
In 1911, a Canadian inventor named Anna Taylor was the first to patent artificial eyelashes. Her invention included glue-on lashes, or strip lashes, that were thought to be made from human hair.
Later in the 1900’s actresses began using false eyelashes for drama and to make their eyes stand out. A local wig maker’s technique included weaving human hair through gauze and gluing them to the actress’s eyelids.
The Influence of the Media
In the 1920s and 30s, advertisements began with women wearing huge eyelashes. Many male reporters scoffed at this trend. They publicly criticized it and proclaimed that fake eyelash wearers were “temptresses.” However, movie stars continued to wear them with fervor, and the trend began. Stars like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and Rita Hayworth flaunted their voluminous lashes. By the 1950s, fake eyelashes had become a staple in Western culture.
Eye Makeup manufacturers evolved with growing demand. They swapped hair for the more readily available plastic in the 1950s. After this, the materials became even more advanced. In the 1960s, bold, dramatic eyes, intensified with fierce eyelashes, became the new makeup trend. Women sought to look like supermodel Twiggy known at the time for big doll-like eyes.
Modern Eyelash Extensions
During the 1990s and 2000s, semi-permanent lash extensions were born. It was at this time that women started seeking more natural lashes. The application methods also became much more precise.
These methods, popular in Korea many years before, were only introduced to the US in 2004. The new eyelash extensions were applied in small clusters with glue onto existing lashes—this technique allowed for the newly embedded eyelashes to last for weeks until the natural eyelashes fell out.
Many celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan, declared their devotion to using lash extensions. More recently, Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry showed off their love of eyelash extensions. These celebrities have perpetuated the trend in mainstream culture, paving the way for elegant, eccentric looks.
The Eyelash Extensions We Know Them Today
The semi-permanent false eyelash extensions that are widely used today are made from various materials. Synthetic fibers, silk, and animal hairs are some of the substances used in creating eyelash extensions. These materials are much easier to apply and generally more lightweight than their ancestors.
The eyelash extension craze is alive and kicking. Celebrities and influencers continue to share their luscious lash looks with the world on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Semi-permanent eyelashes have allowed people to wake up without worrying about gluing lashes to their lids. Even better, the history of eyelash extensions has evolved from gluing human hair or some other strange material to the eyelids and is no longer necessary to get that luminous lash look.
In conclusion, the history of eyelash extensions dates back to ancient times, with women using various natural substances to enhance their lashes. The development of synthetic false lashes and semi-permanent eyelash extensions revolutionized the beauty industry, making it possible for women to achieve long, full lashes without the need for daily makeup application.
Today, eyelash extensions are a popular beauty treatment, with many different styles and materials available to suit individual preferences. With advancements in technology and a growing emphasis on natural-looking extensions, it’s clear that eyelash extensions will continue to be a sought-after beauty treatment for many years to come and the history of eyelash extensions will continue to evolve.