Medieval Period-The History of Eyelashes
During the Medieval period, and even in the Renaissance and until the 18th century, eyelashes were not styled. Women, in general, removed eyelashes and eyebrows in order to give more importance to the forehead, which was the most important feature in females’ faces at that time. Women were not supposed to exhibit their hair in public, and by several ecclesiastical edicts, the Catholic Church condemned that practice as an offense to God and the church, and a sin. It obviously included eyebrows and eyelashes. In general, the use of make up in women’s face was left only for prostitutes.
Hair, in women, was regarded as an erotic feature. During the Middle Ages, more prohibitions were issued and less hair was revealed. However, the Elizabethan era (1533-1603) brought another fashion: as the queen Elizabeth had a reddish-gold hair color, many women dyed their hair with the same shade, or wore hairpieces or full wigs in red shade. So, it was popular to dye eyelashes and eyebrows in reddish tones.
To do it, they used some dangerous dyes; one of them was a mixture of rhubarb juice and oil of vitriol; vitriol is pure sulfuric acid. These kind of caustic and corrosive tinctures frequently caused the hair loss or damages in the scalp and hair. Although to enhance eyelashes was not a proper practice for a respectable woman at the Middle Ages and at the Renaissance, they found the ways to darken their eyelashes (or the few they had) secretely, with crushed berries or soot obtained from fireplaces.
*Information courtesy of http://eyelashesinhistory.com/middle_ages.html