Yep, we all have those – and even bad hair weeks, woe are we … but a bad hair year? Decade? Eeeek!
Hair has had its ups and downs over the years – no pun intended – but fashion-wise has never suffered actual neglect, just the occasional, best forgotten, crime against style (think 1980s perm, if you will, though probably best not). But eyelashes? Those beautiful, eye enhancing, Bambilicious sweepers were neglected, forgotten – ignored by fashion and seriously out of vogue not just for decades but for centuries.
Cleopatra and Tutankhamun clearly had the right idea, and the Ancient Egyptian’s use of kohl and other substances to enhance the eyes managed to inspire the reigning beauties in a few empires here and there – the Babylonian, Greek and Roman to name but a few – but following the fall of the Roman Empire kohl fell into disuse on the European continent, and after that there was virtually nothing, nada, until the 19th century.
It was Victorian women who at long last focused the collective female gaze upon mastering (mistressing?) the illusion of long, dark eyelashes, and they cooked up a storm using homemade concoctions of ash or lampblack with elderberry juice, applied to the eyelashes whilst still warm.
So far so good, until (let’s hear it for the boys!) Eugène Rimmel went one better with the very first packaged, non-toxic mascara, using the newly-invented petroleum jelly, which instantly became so popular that the word rimmel is still the word for mascara in several languages, including French and Italian.
In 1913, across the Atlantic, a young chemist by the name of Thomas created a remarkably similar product – and a deliciously romantic story. In an effort to help his sister Maybel bewitch the man she loved – who was alack in love with another, the resourceful Thomas (clearly a brilliant brother) mixed carbon dust with Vaseline and instructed his sister to apply themixture to her eyelashes – with dramatic results: Maybel got her man and Thomas founded the global cosmetic giant Maybelline.
So ladies, never doubt the power and allure of long, lush and lovely lashes.
Acquire yours now – a lot less messily, and even longer, lovelier and lusher – at Lara Lashes London www.laralashes.com – and prepare to do some serious bewitching ….
Look out, London!