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The origins of mascara

A little history ! If mascara is one of the most common makeup gestures, its current form, in a bottle with a brush pricked with fiber, is relatively recent. For

The origin of the word 'mascara'

The word "mascara" would come from the Latin "mask", which means "mask". What are we trying to mask? In fact, we are rather trying to show, amplify, make visible. The term mascara is used to refer to a cosmetic product intended to darken and lengthen the eyelashes, thus creating the illusion of a fuller fringe of eyelashes, a real 'mask' on the eyes. The word has become popular in many languages, and it is the same word that is used everywhere in European languages, from French to English, from Italian to Spanish, to designate the beauty gesture what we call today "mascara".

The invention of mascara

It is the idea of a Frenchman living in England. The mascara formula as we know it today was invented in the 19th century by Eugene Rimmel, a French entrepreneur based in London. He gave his name to the brand of the same name, and the word "rimmel" even entered common parlance, as a generic term, although it was a registered trademark since taken over by the cosmetics group Coty. The first mascara marketed by Rimmel was a black paste made from petroleum jelly and tallow, sold in a small jar accompanied by a fan brush. This formula was meant to darken and lengthen lashes, creating the illusion of a bigger, more dramatic look.

What is ricil?

Among the terms that have aged a little to designate mascara, the name "Ricil" is sometimes also used. The term "ricil" is a francization of the English word "eyelash", which means "eyelashes" in French. This name "ricil" was popularized in France in the 1950s, when the first eyelash makeup products began to be marketed. Cosmetic brands then began to use the term "ricil" to refer to their eyelash makeup products, and the term quickly became commonplace in popular parlance in France.

Today, the term "ricil" is often used in France to refer to eyelash makeup products, including mascara, false eyelashes and eyelash extensions. However, it should be noted that this term is exclusively used in French and in other languages eyelash products are often simply referred to as "mascara".

before mascara

The history of mascara is often traced back to ancient Egypt, where women used kohl to line their eyes. Over time, different cultures have used various ingredients to achieve a similar effect, such as soot, charcoal, ash, animal fat, and even animal blood. 

Nefertiti khol

These products were often applied with a brush or a stick. However, it should be noted that these first products were not specifically designed for the eyelashes, they were rather applied to the contour of the eye, to emphasize the eyebrows or the eyes in a more general way.

Mascara in the 20th century

The pros use the term 'flaconnette', but in everyday language, we often speak of a mascara in a tube. It is the most common form of mascara available on the market. It is a liquid mascara which is contained in a small plastic bottle, usually equipped with an applicator brush.

Although Eugène Rimmel's invention is older, mascara as such did not become popular in Europe until the 1910s, when film actresses began to use it to accentuate their eyes. 'screen.

The German brand Max Factor is one of the first European brands to market a mascara. In 1914, Max Factor launched a product called "Mascaro", which was sold in a small container accompanied by an applicator brush. Mascaro's formula was a black paste made from petroleum jelly and beeswax, which was supposed to darken and lengthen lashes.

The first commercial mascaras were introduced in the 1910s and 1920s. Mascara was popular as early as the turn of the 20th century, but before that, women often used homemade mixtures of tallow and ash or charcoal to darken. the eyelashes.

One of the most famous mascaras was created by the Maybelline brand in 1917. Maybelline's original formula was a powder made from charcoal and castor oil, sold in a small container along with a fan brush. Maybelline quickly developed a loyal fan base and became one of the most popular mascara brands in the United States.

Bottle mascaras have replaced pot and stick mascaras, which were more common in earlier times. Tube mascaras are more convenient and hygienic than older forms of mascara, as they allow more precise application and avoid contamination of the product by dirty fingers or brushes.

It wasn't until the 1950s that mascara in a bottle became the norm. We can mention in 1958, the CoverGirl brand, which launched the first nylon brush mascara, which allowed a more precise and uniform application. Since then, mascaras have continued to evolve and diversify, offering a wide variety of formulas, colors and applicator brushes to meet the needs and preferences of each consumer. 

Tube mascaras are also available in a variety of formulas, ranging from water-based to water-resistant and long-wearing formulas. Some brands also offer tube mascara formulas enriched with lash-nourishing ingredients, such as oils, proteins, or vitamins, to help strengthen and hydrate lashes. 

Mascara formulas 

Over the decades, mascara formulas have evolved. Water is the basic ingredient, associated with waxes which help to form the texture, with colored pigments, and film-forming or sheathing agents which allow good adhesion on the eyelashes. 

The 21st century is seeing the appearance of natural and high-performance formulas, which guarantee a result close to conventional formulas while detaching themselves from the most questionable ingredients, for health and for the environment. Long live the gRRReen makeup! 

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