3400 BC – The first eyelash mascara was created by the Egyptians using “kohl”, which is mostly comprised of the grindings of a naturally found soft, lead ore known as “galena” (lead sulfide). The initial use of kohl was likely based on more practical motivations than the cosmetic possibilities – darkening the lower eyelids served to diminish the glare of the desert sun! Does that remind you of some of our NFL players? Famous silent film star “vamp” Theda Bara was known for her trademark striking eyes, which she created and highlighted by using kohl as eyeliner. Kohl is still widely used today throughout India and the Middle East as an eyelid shadow, eyebrow shadow, eyeliner and mascara for both religious and cosmetic purposes.
1860 – The first commercially available mascara was created by famous French perfumer and entrepreneur Eugene Rimmel. The word “rimmel” is actually the word for mascara in several European languages (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Turkish, Romanian, and Persian).
1916 – Iconic movie director D.W. Griffith co-invents (with his on-set make-up artist) false eyelashes for actress Seena Owen for her role in Griffith’s masterpiece, “Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout The Ages”.
1917 – New York chemist T.L. Williams creates a better mascara for his sister, Maybel, who had been using a homemade mixture of Vaseline and coal dust to darken and thicken her eyelashes. Williams soon turns this into a thriving mail order cosmetics business which ultimately becomes a company called “Maybelline”.
1933 – A product called “Lash Lure” is promoted as a permanent eyelash dye – but it happened to contain dangerous, toxic ingredients which caused blindness in 16 women before a famous court case and government action resulted in its removal. This tragedy (as well as some others) exposed the need for the regulation of cosmetics and their ingredients, which Congress mandated as a responsibility of the FDA in 1938.
1957 – The first commercially available wand mascara was introduced by the cosmetic powerhouse of Helena Rubenstein. She was well-known for her quips and quotes, and reportedly once said, “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.”
1960’s – The first commercially available false eyelashes (initially known as “strip lashes”)are produced by make-up artists David and Eric Aylott with their brand “Eylure”. Through the years that follow, the use of Eylure false eyelashes by Hollywood stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Joan Collins help propel sales. Then came Twiggy, Dusty Springfield and more current stars such as Nicole Kidman and Victoria Beckham. Eylure remains the number one false eyelash brand to this day.
1990’s – Eyelash “extensions” are developed in Korea.
2001 – Jennifer Lopez appears at the Oscars with Red Fox fur false eyelashes.
2006 – Madonna is frequently seen with her Mink fur false eyelashes, studded with diamonds, on her “Confessions On a Dance Floor” tour.
2007 – Estee Lauder and Lancome introduce a battery-powered, vibrating mascara applicator.
2009 – Allergan launches Latisse® – the first and currently only FDA approved prescription treatment for thinning eyelashes. Noticeably longer, thicker, fuller, and darker eyelashes are seen in over 80% of all users within 8 weeks of starting daily treatment! In the two years since it has become available, more than 2.5 million bottles of Latisse® have been sold!
Dr. Lyle Back is originally from New York City, receiving his medical and surgical training at Rutgers Medical School, Cooper Hospital – University Medical Center, and Ohio State. He is Board Certified in General Surgery (ABS) and Plastic Surgery (ABPS). He specializes in the full range of the most modern and state of the art facial cosmetic surgery procedures and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement techniques available today.