19th Century-The History of Eyelashes

EUGENE RIMMEL AND THE INVENTION OF THE MASCARA

At the times of Romanticism and during  the Victorian Era (1837-1901), the use of cosmetics between women  started to be  popular. A time of luxurious adornments and splendorous  glamour was left behind, at the 18th century. At the beginning of the  1840’s, women began to darken their eyelashes and eyebrows and to wear  more cosmetics. They still were using old home made methods, like ashes,  or lamp black mixed with elderberry juice.

A French perfumer moved to  London in 1830 and opened his own store, The  House of Rimmel, with his  son Eugène Rimmel, in 1834, on  Albemarle Street. Eugène Rimmel was  the  most important perfumer of the 19th century, being the personal  perfumer of the Queen Victoria. His perfumes were offered to the market  in bottles of Baccarat crystal. In the Universal Exhibition in the  Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, in London, in 1851, he designed a fountain  of perfumes, decorating the Pavilion of entrance.

Amongst other products  made for the cosmetic  industry, Eugène developed a new mascara for eyelashes, based on a mix  of coal dust and Vaseline petroleum jelly. As the new product was  non-toxic for the eyes, very soon it became popular. The new mascara was  a revolution in cosmetics, and was immediately adopted by many women in  Europe. The company  expanded to other countries and became a  successful business. Eugène Rimmel died in 1887, being 67 years old, and  leaving a powerful industry installed in the cosmetic market. The name  “rimmel” was rapidly identified as a synonym of “mascara”. In 1949 the  brand Rimmel was purchased by a group from London, and in 1996 by Coty  Inc.  Lola Montez, in her book “The Arts of Beauty, or Secrets of a Lady’s Toilet”, from 1858, discouraged the use of “white veil” (Vaseline) and recommended: “It  is within the power of almost every lady to have long and strong  eyelashes by simple chipping, with scissors, the points of the hair,  once, in five or six weeks”.

*Information courtesy of http://eyelashesinhistory.com/end.html

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