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Mascara It's Beauty and History

Updated on January 11, 2020

Egyptian Beauty

Egyptian Beauty
Egyptian Beauty

Egyptian Cosmetics

Egyptians believed that the eyes were the windows of the soul. Their makeup was distinctive, and they resourceful with finding the different pigments, mixing it to make a paste, and then skillfully applying the lipstick. Members of royalty and the upper class wore their makeup to denote their social status.

Here are some of the pigments they used:

Ochre - a clay earth pigment

Malachite - a copper ore producing a green color

Kohl - used to draw a black line for almond shapes

Red Ochre - iron oxide from yellow, brown and faint blue

After washing the pigments to remove sand particles, then sun-dried for use. For their nail coloring, they used the henna shrub to grind the leaves and added animal fat to mix.

The scent was essential, and they used flowers such as sandalwood, lilies, irises, and frankincense.

We all recognize Cleopatra and her luscious red lips. She used a combination of flowers, red ochre, fish scales, and beeswax and then mixed the ingredients in a clay pot and used wet, wooden sticks for applying.

Egyptian Pigments

Egyptian Pigments
Egyptian Pigments

Egyptian Scents

Egyptian Scents
Egyptian Scents

Victorian Age and Cosmetics

The Victorians began a course of formality. The women would spend hours prepping themselves and experimenting with the application and different colors. It was about 1917 when Eugene Rinnel, a chemist, created the first packaged product of mascara. It was a combination of oil, such as lanolin, water, and coal dust.

Rinnelnamed this product Mabeline after his older sister, Maybel. And thus, the company Maybelline was created.


In 1933 a product called Lash Lure hit the market as an eyebrow and eyelash dye. But, it contained paraphenylenediamine, known as PPD. It was a dangerous chemical and only allowed for use in salons.

A woman, known as Mrs. Brown, consented to have her eyebrows and lashes permanently dyed. However, the ingredient in Lash Lure was toxic to the body. At this time, there were no restrictions from the FDA. The next morning after Mrs. Brown had the procedure, and she woke to find oozing ulcers with her eyes swollen shut. Unfortunately, she ended up blind. Some fifteen other women experienced problems with one death reported.

Helen Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden

The two most famous women who have made significant improvements in cosmetics and the beauty industry.

Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden
Elizabeth Arden

Helen Rubenstein

Helen Rubenstein
Helen Rubenstein

Beauty Industry and Profits

Today, the beauty industry is a very lucrative one valued at $532 billion dollars. It is estimated that the average American woman will spend about $15,000 on beauty during her lifetime. Of that amount, $2700 on eye shadow and another $3700 on mascara. One tube of mascara is sold every 1.9 seconds! And the industry is expected to grow by about seven percent each year.

The best 10 Eyeliners

Here are the best eyeliners on the market today:

Insta Ready Gel

L'Oreal Never Fail

Estee Lauder Double Wear

Giorgio Armani

Unban Decoy

Cover Girl





Mascara Today

Mascara Today
Mascara Today

The Psychology of Makeup

Yes, it does appear to make us more attractive. Men perceive women who wear makeup as more prestigious and women see other women as more dominant. Women do seem to be more confident and positive. Makeup can be a blessing but it must never be overdone.

If only mascara alone is used a face seems to become more alive. So bottom line is, use what makes you feel good.

Buyer Beware

There are so many options in cosmetics today. It would be wise to only purchase from reputable manufacturers. Consumers should always, always read the labels. And if you are unsure of an ingredient, try the app - Good Guide or Think Dirty, where you can find information. It is suggested to avoid any part with the words DEA, TEA, and MEA.


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