The evolution of Mascara – Mádara


Iconic by nature! Inside the evolution of mascara

With just a wink of an eye, a powerful connection can be made – a concept as old as time itself. Eye makeup has historically been one of the most prevalent forms of self-expression, often linked to well-being. Today, mascara has become an essential classic in everyone’s makeup bag.

Health and Fashion Trends

In Ancient Egypt, both women and men adorned their eyes and eyelashes with makeup. Notably, the Eye of Horus symbolized protection, safety, and well-being, while the Eye of Ra represented the feminine aspect of the sun god Ra. These symbols were also reflected in Egyptian makeup. Though it may seem mystical, the practice of eye contouring served a practical purpose: maintaining eye health. For instance, it helped prevent issues such as conjunctivitis. As a result, people from all walks of life, including rulers and servants, wore eye makeup for this reason.

In Ancient Rome, long lashes symbolized youthfulness. However, during the Middle Ages, eyelashes and eyebrows were often concealed or even plucked to accentuate facial symmetry, particularly the forehead, which was considered the epitome of beauty at the time. Expressive eyes were deemed too sensual. This fashion trend was rather unhealthy since lashes and brows primarily protect our eyes from sweat and dust; their decorative function is secondary. During Queen Elizabeth’s reign, her golden red hair set a fashion trend, and as a result, eyelashes also needed to be red. Women secretly colored their lashes using crushed berries and carmine dust, as dyeing eyelashes wasn’t widespread.

Experimentation leads to success!

Approaching the modern era of makeup, a significant milestone occurred in the 19th century when Eugène Rimmel, Queen Victoria’s perfumer, created the first mascara using a mixture of vaseline jelly and coal dust, regarded as the original natural mascara.

The product was an immediate success! False lashes made from human hair emerged in the early 20th century. Classic film actresses often accentuated their eyelashes, which became an essential part of their expressive, flirtatious facial expressions that we still emulate today.

Original publicity photo of Merle Oberon

Original publicity photo of Merle Oberon

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, makeup evolved and an artificial colorant commonly found in mascaras of that era posed a significant threat to consumer health. This colorant, paraphenylenediamine, caused eye swelling and infections, which in some cases led to fatal consequences. In response, the United States Congress introduced regulations for cosmetic products in 1938.

Varied shapes, lengths, and materials

The methods of applying mascara have evolved over time. In the early days, the brush would first be dampened and then dipped into mascara. The mascara we know today, with its brush and tube, didn’t appear until the 1960s. The 1970s introduced waterproof mascara, further expanding the variety of options available.

Mascara brushes in various shapes cater to everyone’s unique eyelash shape and personal beauty preferences. Brushes with flexible bristles enable better mascara application, while a silicone brush with a classic shape is easy to maintain, keeps clean, and effectively separates lashes, especially for those in a hurry.

Embrace the natural!

The popular TV series “Euphoria” encourages viewers to express their personalities daily with its dramatic plotlines and vibrant characters. Fans of social media may have noticed the resurgence of Twiggy’s iconic eye makeup look from the 1960s.

In today’s world, where we often spend long hours staring at screens, natural makeup is essential. It’s gentle on the eyes and preserves our natural appearance, making it inclusive for people of all backgrounds and looks.

In the 1990s, supermodel IMAN was the ambassador for natural makeup, and today, this concept reaches a wider audience through TikTok trends and models’ “off-duty” styles that are both classic and comfortable.

Classic will always be in style

The rise of mindfulness, “zero waste,” and minimalist lifestyles prompts us to seek the ultimate mascara to become a classic staple in our makeup bags. This spring, MÁDARA introduces the Come Closer Infinite Lash Mascara. Not only does it coat your lashes in a rich black color, but it also nourishes them. The Come Closer mascara is free of synthetic colorants and features recyclable packaging, making it a true classic.

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