So where did it all begin….?!

Yes we know eyelash extensions can take an hour or two to apply…

… AND you are forced to spend the whole time relaxing/dreaming/sleeping idly in a comfortable, warm salon (yawn!) – and all because you want long, alluring, lush, lovely lashes!  But spare a thought as you lie there for the women of the past and the less than perfect lotions and potions they were obliged to resort to in the name of beautiful lashes.

images (8)The desire to beautify one-self is and always has been a cultural universal, and winding the clock back 6,000 years or so, the beautiful coloured illustrations surviving on ancient Egyptian walls, tombs and pottery show us how important eye make-up was at that time – not just for women but for men too.  Writings from 4,000 BC describe how kohl was used to darken the eyelashes, outline the eyes and enhance the eyebrows –and not just to make the wearer more beautiful but also to reduce the glare of the desert sun, repel flies and ward off evil spirits to protect the soul. Surely the original multi-tasking cosmetic!

images (9)Egyptian eyes were traditionally outlined with pigment to create an almond or feline shape – a classic look still popular in 2015 – but the lengths they had to go to in order to achieve it were something else entirely.  Making the pigment was labour-intensive and time-consuming and involved a lot of hard work and effort pounding together ingredients like galena (lead sulphide – certainly not a healthy option!), green malachite, charcoal, soot, and crocodile droppings (really?! eeeww!) on a palette (massive yawn!) and then mixing the resulting mush with honey, animal fat or water to make a powder which would stick to the skin, brow or lashes. Oh please …

The results were pretty good but, let’s face it, eyelash extensions are easier and a lot more fun – and the results are spectacular!!!


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