Mascara is a cosmetic commonly used to enhance the eyelashes. It may darken, thicken, lengthen, and/or define the eyelashes. Normally in one of three forms—liquid, cake, or cream—the modern mascara product has various formulas; however, most contain the same basic components of pigments, oils, waxes, and preservatives.Aesthetic adornment is a cultural universal and mascara can be documented in ancient Egypt. 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. Often composed of galena; malachite; and charcoal or soot, crocodile stool; honey; and water was added to keep the kohl from running.Through Egypt’s influence, kohl usage persisted in the subsequent Babylonian, Greek and Roman empires. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, kohl fell into disuse on the European continent, where it had been considered solely a cosmetic; conversely, it continued to be widely used in the Middle East for religious purposes.
Makeup was considered unsightly and uncouth in Western culture until the Victorian era. During the Victorian era, social opinion shifted radically towards the promotion of cosmetics, and women were known to spend a majority of their day occupied with beauty regimens. Great efforts were made to create the illusion of long, dark eyelashes. Attempting this, Victorian women made a type of mascara in their own homes. They would heat a mixture of ash or lampblack and elderberry juice on a plate and apply the heated mixture to their eyelashes.
The product that people would recognize as mascara today did not develop until the 19th century. A chemist named Eugene rimmel developed a cosmetic using the newly invented petroleum jelly. The name Rimmel became synonymous with the substance and still translates to “mascara” in the Portuguese, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Romanian, and Persian languages today.
Across the Atlantic Ocean and at roughly the same time, in 1913, a man named T. L. Williams created a remarkably similar substance for his sister Maybel. Later in 1917, T. L. Williams started a mail-order business from the product that grew to become the company Maybelline.
The increased demand for mascara led to the development of the many formulas seen in the current market. Despite the many variations, all formulas contain the same basic elements: pigmentation, oils, and waxes.
The pigmentation for black mascara is similar to the pigmentation used by the Egyptians and Victorian women. Carbon black, instead of soot or ash, is used. Tar and coal derivatives are strictly prohibited by the FDA.Brown mascaras typically colored by use of iron oxides though the specific compounds are unique to each brand. In some mascaras, an additional pigment of ultramarine blue is added.
There are so many different mascaras out there and while we are told the reason behind the various different formulas, what’s the reason behind each of the different wands:
1. Classic mascara wand
Straight mascara wands remain popular simply because they are easy to use. They allow easier access to small lashes and inner eyelid lashes. It is also possible to hold the brush at different angles to fully coat the lashes.The classic straight wand is a foolproof, easy-to-use tool that is available in varying levels of thickness. A thinner wand is ideal for the woman with naturally thick eyelashes. A thicker eyelash does not necessarily require the oomph that a volume-building brush delivers, but the thin wand still gives lashes the star treatment they deserve. Lashes are separated and beautifully defined as well as lengthened and thickened depending on the formula.
2. Tapered comb mascara wand
Comb shaped mascara wands are available both straight and curved depending on what look you wish to achieve. Comb brushes are designed to discourage clumping and encourage the separation of lashes.Try mascara from Max Factor Xperience Volumising mascara.
3.Curved comb mascara wand
The purpose of the curved mascara wand is always to curl the lashes.The wand head mimics the natural curl of the lashes while the purpose of the comb is to prevent clumps from occurring.When the curved mascara wand was introduced, it was to the great exaltation of the beauty world. Lashes suddenly had a whole new look to enjoy and it was all thanks to this shapely brush. Ideal for straight lashes, curved wands add significant curl and can even lend the eye area a more refreshed, awake appearance. The key is to apply mascara with the curved side pressed against the lashes, gently stroking upward in a slight side to side motion to yield a shapelier lash.
4. Micro wand
You would think that the bristle-heavy wands would be best for coverage but that’s not always the case! A micro wand is wonderful for achieving that clean, defined look.This type of wand is great for layering mascara without it clumping. A micro wand also makes for a mess-free application on those lower lashes!Great for your ‘no-makeup’ days, a micro wand will deliver a dark pigment to your lashes but won’t build volume or much length. I also love that a micro wand can get all the way down to the root of your lashes (without poking your eyeball) which is so helpful if you have naturally light eye lashes like blondes and redheads often do. Oh, and it’s a dream on those lower lashes too!
5. Fat brush wand
The fatter the wand, the fatter the lashes!
If you’re after a voluminous doll-eyed look, then this is the style of wand to go for.