When did false eyelashes become popular?

In the 1960s, false eyelashes became the centerpiece of makeup. During this time, eye makeup that gave women big wrist-like eyes was very common. They achieved this look by applying false eyelashes to both the upper and lower lashes. Models like Twiggy helped to popularize this trend and is often associated with it.

In 1911, a Canadian inventor named Anna Taylor patented artificial eyelashes. These artificial eyelashes are made of fine human hair, woven into a metal band and worn with a headband. When you think about false eyelashes, what kind of look comes to mind? Is it the modern aesthetic of the bad guys that sexy celebrities love as much as influential people? Is the explosive 90s look inspired by Pamela Anderson recently renewed? Maybe it goes back even further: icons from the 50s with agitated lashes like Sophia Loren, or even flappers in the (original) Roaring '20s. As with most beauty inventions, the story of false eyelashes, including the reason false eyelashes were invented, is a legitimately crazy story with experimentation, pseudoscience and methods of application strange enough to give even goosebumps most ardent lovers of beauty.

The road to our modern counterfeits may have been chaotic, but learning about it will make you even more grateful for the rows and rows of easy-to-use eyelashes that line the shelves of every pharmacy in the United States. Get ready: it's time to delve into the history of false eyelashes. While eyelashes perform some biological function by acting as an early warning system, if debris, dust or other foreign agents get too close to the important eyeball, their cultural meaning is purely aesthetic. While they're not inherently feminine (everyone knows people of all genders with long, wide eyelashes), they're considered a feminine trait, although it's not quite clear why.

Some experts theorize that it has to do with the relationship between youth and what society considers standards of female beauty, while others speculate that long, dark eyelashes enhance the whites of the eyes to become a kind of indicator of health. However, the most accepted idea today is that long eyelashes simply make the eyes appear larger, and in most cultures, large eyes are among the most important factors of “female beauty” in general. So it makes sense that the recorded use of false eyelashes dates back to the Roman Empire. Eyelash enhancements, such as rudimentary mascara and even curling tools, also have a long history in ancient and Ptolemaic Egypt, but it was a Roman philosopher (the first influencers, actually) who perpetuated the idea that eyelashes fall out with age and sexual promiscuity; all of a sudden, it became very Important: Romans should have the longest and most lush eyelashes possible thanks to botanical ingredients, kohl and even minerals.

Eyelash trends came and went over the years (in medieval times, it was fashionable to tear them all out along with the eyebrows to show the forehead, which was considered the sexiest part of the body long before BBL), especially with reports of the application of real eyelash extensions that appeared at late 19th century Paris 20th century, although its version requires needles to implant synthetic hair directly into the skin. Although that horrible stitching was being done in 1899, it wasn't long before a different interpretation of false eyelashes appeared, and they look much more like modern false eyelashes. The first patent for false eyelashes was issued in 1911 to a Canadian woman, but five years later, it was an American film director named D, W. Griffith, who was looking for a more dramatic and exotic look for his protagonist.

Although the false eyelashes made by the production's wig manufacturer were effective, since they were made of human hair and chewing gum, they were irritating and rough. I can't imagine why. Perhaps the most important change occurred when production materials were changed to plastic in the 1950s. Synthetic fibers, no different from today's most popular styles, were easy to replicate and mass-produce, which in turn made fake use more regular and widespread.

Nowadays, you can choose false eyelashes made of plastics and other synthetic materials, as well as real animal hair such as mink. They're considered essential to large-scale glamour for everyone from celebrities to teenagers on graduation night. False eyelashes have become increasingly popular in recent years, but the trend has a strange and painful history. And then natural trends appeared in the 1970s, and even more so in the 1990s, and false eyelashes fell just like they so often did in tea cups, ceasing to be prominent.

Whether you've ever liked the idea of false eyelashes or if you've never considered trying it, it's still fun to discover the history of false eyelashes. That's probably why, at the end of the 19th century, when long eyelashes became fashionable again, some absolutely crazy treatments were offered. Nowadays, people who wear false eyelashes are not trying to put on a great show, but rather to enhance their own beauty. There's no real explanation for this other than the fact that fads come and go, but the 1970s and 80s weren't important decades for false eyelashes.

In the 1920s, false eyelashes weren't a popular trend, but they would soon become part of Hollywood glamour. In addition, modern false eyelashes are made of different materials and are lighter than ever. David Wark Griffith was an American filmmaker working on Intolerance when he realized that Owen's eyes could be accentuated by fuller, thicker eyelashes. As movies became more popular, false eyelashes also became a popular item that many women wanted to wear.

Another viral image shows a screenshot of a Google search for “long eyelashes” (1882), which generates results that promoted the false claim. Eyelash extensions offer a different layer of beauty that highlights the eyes and completes an outfit. They started the world's first large-scale production of false eyelashes in the 1960s in Cwmbran, a town in Wales. In Ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder thought they were a symbol not only of youth but also of a chaste character, stating that eyelashes fell out due to excessive sex, so it was especially important for women to keep their eyelashes long to demonstrate their chastity.

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Penelope Tropp
Penelope Tropp

Award-winning twitter junkie. Hipster-friendly travel trailblazer. Typical social media specialist. Passionate web expert. Bacon advocate.