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  • Writer's pictureHeather Pepe

FALSE LASHES 1800’s-1960’s

a brief history of lash adornment...

1890’s- the first eyelash extensions were offered in a terrifying procedure where hair from the head is sewn into the eyelid. For those not so willing to go to such extremes for longer lashes there were temporary lashes made from natural hair, generally attached to silk or gauze.

1903- Charles Nessler started selling boxed artificial strip eyelashes called “Nestolashes” made from human hair attached to ‘fish-skin’

1911-Anna Taylor patented the invention of artificial eyelashes.

1916-while filming “Intolerance,” D. W. Griffith felt something wasn’t right for Seenah Owen’s Babylonian costume, her eyes. He wanted them twice as large & supernatural, brushing her cheeks, so he ordered his wigmaker to use spirit gum to glue a pair of lashes made from human hair onto Owen’s eyelids.

1920’s- A style called Beaded Eyelashes becomes popular. The technique consisted of melting a type of cosmetic eyelash coating or wax & applying beaded pieces of it to the ends of the lashes, often with something like an orange wood stick.

1930’s-Grafting Eyelashes (lash extensions) becomes a popular beauty service in which individual hairs are glued on to each lash..."Each lash is grafted with gum on to the existing lash, & except for feeling a little heavy, there is no sense of discomfort"-The Hair Dressers Beauty Trade, 1937... George Westmore has claimed to invent the technique but, in an issue of The Hairdressers & Beauty Trade Magazine from1933 it is mentioned that they might have been invented by a Madame Antonie...

1940’s- WWII was utilizing much of the industrialized world’s resources & factories & False lashes were considered wasteful & superfluous so being discreet was key and individual lashes are often used.

1947- Eylure Eyelashes was founded by David Aylott & his brother Eric Aylott both make-up artists working the in the British film industry. The first lashes manufactured by Eylure were made from human hair. These were flexible and could be curled before or after they were applied.

1950’s-The doe eye was all the rage & long Lashes were an important part of the look. False eyelashes were available but women mostly relied on eyeliner and mascara for thicker lashlines.

1960’s-the look of big eyes & pale lips epitomized by models like Jean Shrimpton & Twiggy increased the demand for false eyelashes. Women would often pile on 2 or 3 pairs of eyelashes to get the thickest looking lashes possible as well as wearing them on their bottom lash line, a new trend of the time.

1962-Eylure introduced Mink fur lashes but they were actually made from seal skin. They were heavier and hotter to wear so were generally restricted to cold climates or used for evening wear.

1964- Andrea Lashes from the Andrea Mass Company is founded. Formally known as Eye-Lusion, they changed names due to challenges by Eylure.

1968- American Sales of false lashes jumps to more than 20,000,000 pairs a year.

Makeup By Pablo Manzoni...

By the 1970's a more Natural Beauty look was becoming in Vogue so the use of eyelashes slowly declined, & by the 1980's false lashes were rarely used at all....

but boy oh boy, false lashes definitely made a strong comeback in the 2000's and on.


"The Most Uncanny Look" published 02/02/2013:

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