Where Does Your Mascara Come From?

Here’s hoping your Spring skin is budding in a healthy blush and your lips get that tinted rouge! If your eyes are feeling a little droopy, try a thin coat of mascara to give your gaze a lift.

Mascara comes in three forms: liquid, cake, or cream. Cultural aesthetic adornment dates as far back as Egyptian cultures in the East, but was left nearly untouched in the West until the Victorian era. The first mascara during that time was made by the women at home as they heated a mixture of ash or lampblack and elderberry juice on a plate and applied the heated mixture to their lashes.

The invention of motion pictures added sex appeal to appearance, and cosmetic products began being regulated in 1938 by the FDA. A grooved rod was the original mascara applicator, and perhaps the closest resembling evidence we have to our modern wands.

Contrary to popular rumor, bat guano is NOT used in mascara production. Proper use of mascara includes disposal of tube and brush after four to six months and tubes should not be shared in case of the infamous “pink eye” or other eye infection.

I’ve done some research into the most popular brands of mascara for the next time you’re feeling bold (or just running out, like I am). Here are my top finds, each valued for different qualities.

1. Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Mascara (5oz, $9.99 on Amazon) – Featuring Beeswax, Cucumber, and Olive Leaf extract this Mascara is advertised as100% Free of Harsh Chemicals, 100% Free of Synthetic Preservatives, 100% Free of Parabens, 100% Free of Synthetic Colors. Reviews consider it slower-drying than mainstream products but with an added pliability after drying.

2. E.L.F. Wet Glass and Lash and Brow Clear Mascara ($1 on YW8 Makeup, free S&H) – This is the product if you’re just starting to wear mascara, or don’t need the color. It works as a mascara “primer” or a simple base for filling in lashes without clumping. It’s also handy for keeping down wayward eyebrow strands.

3. Maybelline New York Lash Discovery Mini-Brush Washable Mascara ($8.06, Target) – This is a “wear-all-day” kind of mascara designed to make each individual lash full. It’s rumored to be wonderful for reaching smaller Asian-heritaged lashes.

4. Avon SuperFULL Mascara ($8.25 on ebay, free S&H) –
Who hasn’t had an experience with the ‘Avon-lady’ even if it’s only been through the film, Edward Scissorhands. This mascara is great for those oily-skinned gals like myself who want to avoid a black puddle mess under the eyes at the end of the day. It sticks to your lashes, but comes off easy with makeup remover.

5. Max Factor 2000 Calorie Straight Brush Mascara ($14.95 on ebay, free S&H) – “Even better than Sephora,” claims a happy customer of this classy mascara. It’s thick, waterproof, and long-lasting.

6. Rimmel London Lash Accelerator Mascara ($7.97 at Walmart) – Thicker, defined, and a nice feather is how customers described this product. “Buy with confidence” another suggested.