The Parisians used to create false lashes by “sewing” hair into the eyelid without anesthetics—ouch! And strip lashes dashed through Europe in the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century that eyelash extensions really “stole the scene.”
In 1916, director D.W. Griffith envisioned lashes so long they “brush the cheeks” and eyes so bright they “shine larger than life.” So, he outfitted his leading lady, Seena Owen with the first documented set of eyelash extensions, captured on the silver screen in Griffith’s film, Intolerance. Griffith contracted a local wig maker, who wove strands of human hair through fine gauze, and then attached the eyelash strips to Owen’s eyes. Lashes have journeyed quite the distance since their 1916 debut, and enjoyed many incarnations along the way.
1930s FringeThe 1930s was a time when makeup was bold and daring, a way for a woman to express her unique personality and pizazz. During this era, eyelash extensions enjoyed a surge of popularity. Salons applied strip lashes or individual lashes to the clients’ natural lashes, but eyelash extensions weren’t multi-purpose back then. Shades were limited and difficult to match, and extensions only lengthened eyelashes. As we drifted into the 1940s—with more women entering the workforce—and the 1950s—when domesticity reached its peak—beauty trends tended toward the more natural, and eyelashes fell out of favour and into the exclusive reach of movie stars and celebrities.
1960s Falsie CrazeFalse eyelashes became all the rage in the 1960s. New materials and manufacturing methods made eyelash extensions affordable for all. You had the expensive falsies—made from mink, sable, seal and human hair! And the cheaper varieties—made from synthetic materials like plastic. Some were two-toned, some were tweed and all were often doubled up into two strip sets. It seems there was no such thing as too big or gaudy in the sixties! Peace Out!
The Twiggy look personifies lash extensions of the sixties. Waif-like model Twiggy wore two strips of lashes on both her top and bottom lids to create her glam signature look. This is a look that never goes out of style, as it seems each season there’s a celeb or a fashion figure walking down that catwalk sporting the Twiggy look.
2014 and BeyondLash extensions have become even more popular and affordable, venturing away from “trend” and into necessity. Synthetic silk and mink are the most popular and wearing lashes to enhance your peepers has become very popular and a, thankfully, a common and beautiful sight.
Historians can trace our use of beauty products and cosmetics back to 4,000 BC, and the ancient Egyptians who used kohl to accentuate their eyes. Today, the worldwide beauty industry, which covers everything from hair and skin care to make-up, is an estimated $425 billion industry. The history of the beauty industry is as diverse and colourful as the lipsticks and nail polishes on display all over the internet and at your local make-up counter.
Early beauty and cosmetic regimes relied mostly upon natural ingredients, including berries, bugs, and charcoal to create a variety of colours, and many products were used for more than one purpose. Early beauty treatments also utilised the area’s natural resources, locally sourcing natural ingredients for scrubs, pastes, and exfoliates. This pattern of using local, natural ingredients is an ongoing trend throughout the history of the beauty industry.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the beauty industry became an important and viable career path for women, especially African-American women, who created products designed specifically for differently textured hair. Madame CJ Walker and Marjorie Joyner were two African -American entrepreneurs who used their expertise to create a new standard of beauty for their communities.
During the “roaring 20’s” the beauty industry took off in leaps and bounds. In New York, Elizabeth Arden opened her signature salon and began offering “make overs” to her clients. On the west coast, Max Factor created the first foundation for film stars, and Greta Garbo ushered in the era of sophisticated eyebrows and the need for eyebrow pencils and mascara was born.
During the war, the beauty industry took a practical turn, with focus and emphasis on creating sunscreen for soldiers. The basics of sun protection can now be found in a number of different beauty products and is a cornerstone for most facial cosmetics.
In the 1960’s women went “mad” for mod, mirroring the wide-eyed, matte look of supermodel Twiggy, while the 1970’s brought a more natural look to women’s beauty choices. Everything was bigger in the 1980’s, and more complicated hairstyles and treatments brought stylists to the forefront of the beauty industry. The 1980’s and early 1990’s were also the era of the “Super Model”, with women everywhere trying to recreate the iconic looks of Linda, Cindy, and Naomi.
The 1990’s saw a return to a more natural look, with pop culture influences like Grunge and hip-hop dictating beauty trends. Towards the end of the decade, deep, dark lips, nails, and eyes became popular, and in Vogue.
Today, the beauty industry has returned to its roots, with science based products doing double and triple duty. Women not only want to look beautiful they want their makeup and hair care products to benefit them as well. Beauty balms, correction creams, intensive serums, and anti-ageing formulas are designed to showcase a woman’s beauty, correct any flaws or imperfections, and help her shine both inside and out.
Prior vocation was Social Work for 10 years. I am passionate about empowering people & advocating for positive change. Beauty & Massage Therapy also enables me to do this in another way. Win Win