Window Dressing for the Soul
Fashion CEC Cosmetology
Mike Parker

If your eyes are the windows to your soul, your eyelashes must be the draperies that make the windows more beautiful. While beauty is in the (ahem) eye of the beholder (wink, wink), generations of fashionistas have touted the aesthetics of long, lush lashes, and for nearly a century mascara has been the primary product women have turned to to create the sought after “wide-eyed doe” look. And they are willing to pay big bucks for it.

T.L. Williams is credited with inventing mascara in 1913. Williams borrowed the idea from his sister, Maybel, who mixed coal dust with petroleum jelly and applied it to her lashes to create a more dramatic effect. Williams adapted the formula in a laboratory and marketed the resulting product as “Lash-Brow-Ine.” Although the new product was a local hit, Williams realized he needed a catchier name if he wanted to take it national. He decided to combine the product’s primary ingredient, Vaseline, with his sister’s name, Maybel, and “Maybelline” was born.

Since its introduction into the cosmetics world, mascara has grown into a $1 billion per year industry, and that’s without including ancillary products like false eyelashes, eyelash enhancing drugs such as Latisse, or permanent eyelash curling treatments. According to a report in InStyle Magazine, the average American woman will spend more than $15,000 on makeup during her lifetime, and $3,770 will go toward mascara. A survey by Premium Beauty News revealed mascara as the one absolutely indispensable beauty product by 54 percent of the women surveyed, with foundation coming in at a distant second, with only 18 percent.

A tube of premium brand mascara can set you back $40 or more, but there are plenty of quality mascaras available at your local drug store for less than $10, with some highly-rated brands coming in at under $5.
 

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