When did mascara become popular in America?

04 Apr.,2024


Pop quiz: When was mascara invented? 

You might be surprised to learn that mascara as we know it—a product in a tube with a wand brush applicator—has only existed since 1958. We’ve come a long way in those 65 years, with dozens of formulas to choose from now. 

That doesn’t mean mascara is some newfangled invention, though. Whether you want to lengthen, curl, volumize, add color, or all of the above, it all started with history’s favorite makeup maven.

A Brief History of Mascara

Ask any beauty guru about their “stranded on a desert island” makeup must-haves, and there’s a good chance most will say mascara. Few other products can help you feel pulled together so quickly. 

And while no one knows for sure who invented mascara, there’s a good chance Cleopatra would agree that it’s a beauty essential. Already an icon for her heavy kohl eyeliner, an early form of mascara was also part of the Queen of the Nile’s signature look. Even men used crushed kohl to darken their lashes to block the desert sun, so it’s possible that the first mascara was more about practicality than vanity. 

By the Roman Empire, long, curled lashes were in fashion, and women applied kohl using burned cork to enhance their eyes. But it wasn’t until the 1800s that the first commercial mascara hit the scene. Cosmetics legend Eugene Rimmel, a perfumer to Queen Victoria, developed a mixture of coal dust and petroleum jelly, which was sold in pancake form with an applicator that looked like a tiny modern toothbrush.

Mascara really took off in the 1920s when a woman named Mabel Williams improved on Rimmel’s formula to add more sheen. By the 1980s, we had water-based formulas, clear mascara, mascara in nearly every color, and wands in every shape, size, and style for lush, gorgeous lashes.

How to Apply Mascara Without Smudges

Whatever type of mascara you use, the correct application technique gives you the best results. These simple steps will have you batting your lashes without clumps, streaks, or smears:

  • Curl your lashes:

    Lifting and lengthening them makes it easier for mascara to adhere. 

  • Apply mascara:

    Start at the base of your upper lashes, wiggling the wand back and forth to coat them, then pull the wand up to cover the rest of the lashes. Try rolling the applicator out to help set the curl. To coat your lower lashes, use just the tip of the wand and run it back and forth. 

  • Separate your lashes:

    Hold the wand down at a diagonal, and brush the tips of the lashes to remove clumps. 

More Mascara Tips? Yes Please!

Double Duty

In a pinch, mascara can work as eyeliner. Use a small eyeliner brush to apply a thin line of product to your lash line. This is the perfect opportunity to tightline, or focus on the area right at the base of your lashes for maximum definition with minimal product.

Try a Lash Primer

Applying a coat of lash primer thickens your lashes and helps colored mascara pop. Even if you’re committed to classic black, priming will boost your mascara’s volumizing potential and staying power.

You can also try using a product you probably already have: translucent powder. Dust a little on your lashes in between coats of mascara for serious volume and grip. 

Layer for Long-Lasting Lashes

Want that voluminous falsies effect without the sticky “spider eyes'' look? Curl your lashes and apply a thin coat of mascara. Let it dry fully before applying another layer. Trust us; it’s worth the time: Layers of wet product only lead to clumping, but being patient results in dramatic lashes. 

Think Outside the Tube: The New Way to Wear Mascara 

You know we couldn’t talk about mascara without talking about the latest TikTok trend: anti-mascara.

This trend is all about using mascara in fresh, creative ways. Have fun with it! Some beauty creators are using their mascara wands like markers, dotting on designs using the end of the brush, while others use the brush itself to create one-of-a-kind looks on their lids. The bristles create uniquely textured abstract shapes. If you love graphic eyeliner, give this wild technique a try.

No matter how you decide to wear your mascara, stay true to your personal style! Whether you want full, fluffy lashes or a colorful fringe that makes your eye color pop, applying mascara is an opportunity to bring some creativity into your glam. Show off your style on Instagram, and check us out on TikTok for a peek at the next great trend.

A little history ! If mascara is one of the most common makeup gestures, its current form, in a bottle with a brush pricked with fiber, is relatively recent. For

The origin of the word 'mascara'

The word "mascara" would come from the Latin "mask", which means "mask". What are we trying to mask? In fact, we are rather trying to show, amplify, make visible. The term mascara is used to refer to a cosmetic product intended to darken and lengthen the eyelashes, thus creating the illusion of a fuller fringe of eyelashes, a real 'mask' on the eyes. The word has become popular in many languages, and it is the same word that is used everywhere in European languages, from French to English, from Italian to Spanish, to designate the beauty gesture what we call today "mascara".

The invention of mascara

It is the idea of a Frenchman living in England. The mascara formula as we know it today was invented in the 19th century by Eugene Rimmel, a French entrepreneur based in London. He gave his name to the brand of the same name, and the word "rimmel" even entered common parlance, as a generic term, although it was a registered trademark since taken over by the cosmetics group Coty. The first mascara marketed by Rimmel was a black paste made from petroleum jelly and tallow, sold in a small jar accompanied by a fan brush. This formula was meant to darken and lengthen lashes, creating the illusion of a bigger, more dramatic look.

What is ricil?

Among the terms that have aged a little to designate mascara, the name "Ricil" is sometimes also used. The term "ricil" is a francization of the English word "eyelash", which means "eyelashes" in French. This name "ricil" was popularized in France in the 1950s, when the first eyelash makeup products began to be marketed. Cosmetic brands then began to use the term "ricil" to refer to their eyelash makeup products, and the term quickly became commonplace in popular parlance in France.

Today, the term "ricil" is often used in France to refer to eyelash makeup products, including mascara, false eyelashes and eyelash extensions. However, it should be noted that this term is exclusively used in French and in other languages eyelash products are often simply referred to as "mascara".

before mascara

The history of mascara is often traced back to ancient Egypt, where women used kohl to line their eyes. Over time, different cultures have used various ingredients to achieve a similar effect, such as soot, charcoal, ash, animal fat, and even animal blood. 

These products were often applied with a brush or a stick. However, it should be noted that these first products were not specifically designed for the eyelashes, they were rather applied to the contour of the eye, to emphasize the eyebrows or the eyes in a more general way.

Mascara in the 20th century

The pros use the term 'flaconnette', but in everyday language, we often speak of a mascara in a tube. It is the most common form of mascara available on the market. It is a liquid mascara which is contained in a small plastic bottle, usually equipped with an applicator brush.

Although Eugène Rimmel's invention is older, mascara as such did not become popular in Europe until the 1910s, when film actresses began to use it to accentuate their eyes. 'screen.

The German brand Max Factor is one of the first European brands to market a mascara. In 1914, Max Factor launched a product called "Mascaro", which was sold in a small container accompanied by an applicator brush. Mascaro's formula was a black paste made from petroleum jelly and beeswax, which was supposed to darken and lengthen lashes.

The first commercial mascaras were introduced in the 1910s and 1920s. Mascara was popular as early as the turn of the 20th century, but before that, women often used homemade mixtures of tallow and ash or charcoal to darken. the eyelashes.

One of the most famous mascaras was created by the Maybelline brand in 1917. Maybelline's original formula was a powder made from charcoal and castor oil, sold in a small container along with a fan brush. Maybelline quickly developed a loyal fan base and became one of the most popular mascara brands in the United States.

Bottle mascaras have replaced pot and stick mascaras, which were more common in earlier times. Tube mascaras are more convenient and hygienic than older forms of mascara, as they allow more precise application and avoid contamination of the product by dirty fingers or brushes.

It wasn't until the 1950s that mascara in a bottle became the norm. We can mention in 1958, the CoverGirl brand, which launched the first nylon brush mascara, which allowed a more precise and uniform application. Since then, mascaras have continued to evolve and diversify, offering a wide variety of formulas, colors and applicator brushes to meet the needs and preferences of each consumer. 

Tube mascaras are also available in a variety of formulas, ranging from water-based to water-resistant and long-wearing formulas. Some brands also offer tube mascara formulas enriched with lash-nourishing ingredients, such as oils, proteins, or vitamins, to help strengthen and hydrate lashes. 

Mascara formulas 

Over the decades, mascara formulas have evolved. Water is the basic ingredient, associated with waxes which help to form the texture, with colored pigments, and film-forming or sheathing agents which allow good adhesion on the eyelashes. 

The 21st century is seeing the appearance of natural and high-performance formulas, which guarantee a result close to conventional formulas while detaching themselves from the most questionable ingredients, for health and for the environment. Long live the gRRReen makeup! 

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When did mascara become popular in America?

The origins of mascara

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