A mascara is a decorative cosmetics product that makes eyelashes thicker, longer and darker. The basic components of its creamy formula are pigments, oils and waxes, while the others vary, depending on the desired result (volume, length, color, shine, "fluttering" eyelashes).
The mascara is one of the oldest cosmetic formulas and its appearance is associated with ancient Egyptian civilization 4000 BC. Women and men alike used to mix minerals, coals, soot, crocodile excrements, honey and water, and applied them around the eyes, also on their eyelashes and eyebrows, to attract attention and to protect their souls from evil spirits.
Later, this trend was carried out to the life of the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs. The ancient Romans believed that the long, dark eyelashes are a sign of chastity and that promiscuous sexual intercourses lead to their loss. Women dyed their eyelashes with charred rose petals, ash, soot and animal pigments, to defend their honor.
The mascara came in Europe only during the Renaissance (16th century) and reached its zenith in the Victorian age (19th century). Ladies invested a lot of time and patience in their beautification and experimented with different ingredients until they get the desired consistency. The recipes included all sorts of compounds, but among the favorites were powdered walnut shells.
The first mass-market mascaras appeared in the form of a pressed powder texture in a box and were applied with a damp brush. Usually, they consisted of 50% soap and 50% black pigment. Another option was the lotion-like creamy formula in a tube.
The discovery of Vaseline in 1872 allowed the invention of the first wildly distributed mascara in 1917. Its denser and greasier formula, combining Vaseline with crushed coal, was a result of the work of the chemist Eugene Rimmel (whose family name is a synonymous with the product in many European languages today). His mascara was also in a pressed form and was applied with a special brush. Around the same time, the American T. L. Williams created a similar texture for his sister Mabel. Thanks to that, he developed a profitable business and founded one of the largest cosmetic companies.
In 1938, the first waterproof mascaras were released for sale, but their formula and unbearable smell, however, provoked serious complaints from consumers.
In 1960, the T. L. Williams’ company patented the first automatic mascara, or in other words, the modern appearance of the product with a brush that retracts directly into the container, ready for use. The safe, gentle to the eyes and waterproof formula quickly promoted the product worldwide.
Today, mascara has become an integral part of the beauty routine of women. Thanks to its numerous variations, women are able to give their lashes always a different "Wow" effect - used alone for delicate highlighting of the eyes or as a final touch to the makeup.