Make it Dramatic!

Famous Lashes in History – Antimony, Crushed Berries, and Wax

Eyes are the windows to the soul. It may be trite, but it’s true.  When we first meet a new guy, one of the first things we note is the color of his eyes. If you don’t notice, you know your best friend will be annoyed with you the next day. And think about how many songs have been written about famous lashes in history.  There’s Brown Eyed Girl, Betty Davis Eyes, Hungry Eyes, Private Eyes – the list is endless.

We can’t Help It – We’re Obsessed with Long Eyelashes!
We love looking into one another’s eyes and this has been true since the beginning of time.  We bat our eyelashes to flirt. In romance novels, heroines always look up at their dark and handsome men from beneath lowered lashes. Lashes have become a way to emphasize beauty. Even cartoon characters, from bunnies to bombshells, are drawn with dramatic lashes.

Why are we so obsessed with dark and lustrous lashes?

Even the Ancient World Wanted Longer Lashes
For the Egyptians, decorating their eyes was more than cosmetic.  Eyes were gateways and were therefore susceptible to evil. Outlining them in kohl (which was made from antimony, a metal that can be toxic to humans) offered protection from the evil eye.

Now we associate those dark lines and lashes with beauty. Even though we’re not quite sure what the real Cleopatra looked like, nearly everyone reading this has an image of her wearing extreme eye makeup with probably the most famous lashes in history.

Eyelash Enhancement for Medieval and Victorian Women
Fast forward to the Middle Ages. Even though they weren’t supposed to, you can bet that women were finding ways to enhance their eyes without appearing too obvious.

Crushed berries were popular, and so was soot from fireplaces. Nineteenth century actresses discovered that black wax helped define eyelashes – a look that lasted for days and must have been very similar to Betty Boop. More conservative women used the subtler medieval method of soot, but added petroleum jelly to make homemade mascara.

Eyelashes in 2010
Eyes really are the windows to the soul; it’s natural to want to dress up those windows with dramatic lashes. We want the beauty of our eyes to reflect the beauty that lives in our hearts.

We’re so focused on lash growth that some of the methods we use now are just as weird and scary as what our foremothers did. First antimony and now Chlorphenesin? I don’t think so ladies!


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