Eyelash extensions have exploded in popularity over the past few years, and with good reason: they make you look effortlessly glamorous and cut way down on your morning makeup time. But where did eyelash extensions come from and when did they start becoming so popular?
If you are curious about the history of eyelash extensions, here are the deets:
1800’s: Ouch! In the late 1800’s women began to show an interest in enhancing their beauty by creating the look of fuller, longer eyelashes. There are records of women in Paris having false lashes made of human hair sewn onto their eyelids. The old cliché that “Beauty is pain” must have started here! There weren’t a lot of takers for this incredibly painful beauty procedure, so false eyelashes didn’t become popular quite yet.
1916: False Eyelashes on Set In 1916, film director DW Griffith helped make false eyelashes popular when he requested them for leading lady Seena Owen. He wanted her eyelashes to stand out on the big screen, requesting false lashes “that brushed her cheeks, to make her eyes shine larger than life.” Her lashes were hand-woven into gauze by a wig maker and then applied to her eyelids with adhesive. They looked amazing on film but weren’t practical for daily life.
1920s-1960s: Popular for Special Occasions For the next few decades, false eyelashes, usually applied as strips, became somewhat popular. They were especially popular for movie actresses and for regular women who wanted to look extra glam on special occasions. False eyelashes reached the height of popularity during the 1960’s with Twiggy’s dramatic look.
Early 2000s: Individual Lashes Become Popular in Asia False eyelashes made huge strides in the early 2000’s, when beauticians in Asia began applying individual lashes to clients’ real lashes. This created a much more natural look that was more comfortable to wear and better for the eyes. These days, synthetic semi-permanent lash extensions last for weeks and only require minimal upkeep while giving ladies that glamorous lash look they’ve been aiming for since the 1800’s.