Ancient Egyptian Beauty – Mascara

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Ancient Egyptian Beauty – Mascara

While many of you may use mascara on a daily basis, you likely don’t realize the origins of your favorite beauty product. OROGOLD takes a look at the beginnings of mascara, and how it turned into the product that we all know and love today.

Woman dressed like Cleopatra

Ancient Egypt
In Ancient Egypt, the eyes were considered to be the windows to the soul, and long, black eyelashes were said to be able to ward off evil spirits and keep people better protected. For this reason, Ancient Egyptians took great pains to ensure that their eyes were rimmed with kohl and their eyelashes were as long, thick and dark as possible. While kohl was used around their eyes, they had to come up with something more suitable for their eyelashes, so concocted a mascara formula, containing certain ingredients that OROGOLD would not want to try today! In addition to kohl, their mascara contained crocodile dung – something that probably ended up doing their eyes much more harm than good!

Victorian Era
In the Western world, the concept of mascara wasn’t at all popular until the Victorian era, when ladies began to spend the majority of their day grooming themselves in front of a mirror. However, the mascara in a tube that we buy today didn’t exist back then, so the Victorian ladies had to create their own. Rather than containing crocodile dung, their mascara was created from ash and berry juice, and the hot mixture was applied to lashes. While it may have been a better formula than the one that the Ancient Egyptians used, their mascara was prone to dripping, and could get extremely messy.

1900’s
In the early 1900’s, Eugene Rimmel, whose makeup empire is still flourishing, created the world’s first official mascara, using petroleum jelly. The mascara consisted of a block, almost like a bar of soap, on which a brush was rubbed and then rubbed onto the lashes. Although this product may not be considered at all convenient today, it was the first product of its kind back then, and was something that was very sought after. Soon after Rimmel’s invention, Helena Rubenstein, an American beauty icon, created a cream mascara that fit into a tube, giving birth to the multitude of tube mascaras that followed. In 1939, Rubenstein went on to create the world’s first waterproof mascara – something that many of us simply cannot do without today!

It is always interesting to look back at the origins of some of our favorite beauty products, as their history is much more fascinating than you could ever imagine! The journey that mascara has taken is quite incredible, and has slowly happened over so many years – from its humble beginnings of being created using crocodile dung to, around 5000 years later, being turned into a cream based formula that we all recognize today. The next time you are applying your mascara, think back to the Ancient Egyptians, as well as to Eugene Rimmel and Helena Rubenstein, and send a silent thank you their way!

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Beautiful woman examining herself in the mirror.Woman with a Cleopatra look.