Monday, 7 May 2012

The history of mascara

Hello beauties!

Hope you had amazing weekends. I spent Saturday with Liani and Sunday with Jan watching Dr. Who and doing some sewing. Yes, I sew. Or at least I try my best.

I thought doing a quick history of makeup products would be cool. I laughed when I found out what some of them were made of in the early days! Mascara is one of the things almost everybody I know can't live without, so I figured I'd start there. It's also one of the oldest makeup things, dating back to ancient Egypt!

In around 4000 BC the ancient Egyptians used something called Kohl to rim their eyes and darken their lashes. They actually did this to ward off evil spirits! Anyway, they mixed all kinds of things into the Kohl to prevent it from running and smearing, like charcoal, honey and crocodile droppings. Egyptians and their crocodiles...

Anyway, the Babylonians, Greeks and Romans continued to use the Kohl. The Romans actually believed that lashes fell out if someone was too sexual, so long, black lashes proved a woman's innocence and chastity. They used date pits, soot, burnt rose petals and stibium in their mascaras. The use of 'mascara' continued until after the fall of the Roman empire, after which it was discarded by the Europeans. Kohl and such mixtures was still used in the Middle East though, mainly for religious purposes.

Until the Victorian era, makeup was frowned upon, but then it suddenly and radically fell into fashion and women who went bare faced before, went mad with cosmetics and beauty routines. It was also in this time that longer, blacker and thicker lashes became the object of women's desire, and they made their own mascaras in their homes. This was made of ash or lampblack and elderberry juice which was heated and applied warm.

It was at the beginning of the 19th Century, around 60 years after the Victorian era, that Eugene Rimmel, yes, THAT Rimmel, developed a basic mascara. It was made with petroleum jelly, which had just been discovered, mixed with coal. Around the same time as Rimmel's mascara, but in America, T.L. Williams created a same sort of mascara for his sister, Maybel. See the connection? Maybelline became his empire!

Anyway, the mascara was pretty bad in the beginning. Women went blind and some died from the mascara. This happened around 1933, and was when safety measures had to be taken to save women's lives, and animal testing started.

It was after the First World War that consumers became hungry for new products, and makeup powerhouses Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein both launched new makeup ranges, which included mascara. This gave the product new credibility and people started using it with confidence. Of course, the popularity of mascara grew even more with the inventing of the photograph and motion picture, when actresses like Greta Garbo and Bette Davis appeared with beautifully made up faces. Mascara was associated with sex appeal from this time. Ironic, considering the Roman's line of thought!

It was in 1957 that Rubinstein developed a cream mascara, which replaced the cake mascara that had been available until that time. It was packaged in a tube, and the mascara had to be squeezed out. A grooved applicator wand was invented soon afterwards, which made the application of mascara a lot easier, and it also picked up the same amount of product every time. All of this increased the popularity of mascara, and the wand and tube developed even more.

These days, mascara is basically manufactured with the same ingredients no matter which company sells it. They do have new technology now and then, but the basic ingredients have been the same for a very long time.

Carbon black pigment is used for black mascaras, and certain oxides are used for browns. Some mascaras also have ultramarine blue pigment added. Linseed oil, castor oil, lanolin, eucalyptus oil, sesame oil and turpentine are found in most mascaras as well as beeswax, paraffin and carnauba wax. Waterproof mascaras usually have a base that rebuff water, like dodecane. Nylon or rayon fibres are added to lengthening and curling mascaras methyl cellulose and ceresin are added to act as stiffeners.

Mascara is used to make the eyes appear larger, brighter and more youthful and long, thick lashes are still used to create sex appeal. Beautiful eyes are something every woman strives for, and mascara helps us achieve that. But honestly, you don't need mascara to be beautiful! Just be confident, and believe in yourself, and your beauty will shine through!

References : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mascara
http://michaelwong.hubpages.com/hub/Fascinating-History-of-Mascara

Stay beautiful, and be kind to animals,

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