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Saturday, 9 April 2016


Mascara is a cosmetic used to darken, color, thicken, lengthen, or define eyelashes.

The word 'mascara' originally comes from the Arabic 'maskharat', meaning 'buffoon' or 'anything ridiculous'.
Mascara being applied. By Manuel Marín - originally posted to Flickr as Rimel,

Ancient Egyptian records from around 4000 BC refer to a substance called kohl that was used to darken eyelashes, eyes, and eyebrows. Kohl was used to mask the eyes, believed to ward off evil spirits and protect the soul, by both men and women.

A Roman woman's recipe for mascara might contain bear fat, ant eggs and squashed flies.

French-born British perfumer and businessman Eugene Rimmel (1820-1887) developed the first commercial non-toxic mascara using the newly invented petroleum jelly. It became so popular that "rimmel" is to this day the word for "mascara" in several languages including French, Italian, Portuguese, Persian, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish and Arabic.

In 1915, a teenage entrepreneur named T. L. Williams created a mascara for his sister Maybel after she used a mixture of petroleum jelly, burnt cork and coal dust to darken her eyelashes. He adapted it with a chemistry set and sold it locally.

A couple of years later, Williams started a mail-order business for his cosmetic product, calling it Maybelline Cake Mascara, He advertised it as "the first modern eye cosmetic for everyday use." Williams' mail-order business grew to become the company Maybelline named in honor of the sister who'd given him the original idea.

Beautician and business executive Helena Rubenstein (1870-1965) developed waterproof mascara, as well as the concept of colored powder. She borrowed the idea of color-shaded eyes from the French stage.

By Petar Milošević - Own work, Wikipedia Commons

Bacteria buildup in open tubes of mascara can lead to eye infections.

Mascara is the most commonly worn cosmetic, and women will spend an average of $4,000 on it in their lifetimes.

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