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The History of Mascara

Mascara is a staple to any female’s makeup collection. And it has been that way for centuries. But, did you know that between the 1900’s through the 1950’s mascara came in an adorable box with a big brush?

Quick History Lesson

The product that we would recognize today as mascara did not actually develop until the nineteenth century. The inventor was a man named, Eugene Rimmel – who developed a cosmetic using the newly invented petroleum jelly. The name “Rimmel” translates to “mascara” in the Portugese, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Romanaian and Persian languages today.

And in 1919, another man named T.L. Williams created a similar product like Rimmel and started a mail-order business from this simple product- which grew to become the company we all call – Maybelline.

The two men who developed mascara used petroleum jelly and coal. It was messy and a better alternative was soon to be developed. Although no significant improvement occured until a female by the name of Helena Rubinstein transformed the innovation in 1957. When this happend, mascara quickly gained popularity and became common usage. Sometimes a female’s touch is needed when it comes to female products.

Below are a few photos of what mascara used to look like between the 1900s – 1950s.

Maybelline cake mascara, 1917.

Park & Tilford from the 1910s

Rimmel, year unkown.

Maybelline from the 1940s.

Jean La Salle from the 1940s

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