The History Of Falsies: Who Thought Of Gluing Fake Eyelashes Onto Their Real Ones Anyway?

We aren’t exactly strangers to the idea of a little pain in exchange for beauty, are we? It’s no wonder then that some genius (or geniuses) along the way thought it’d be a great idea to glue a string of fake eyelashes onto their real ones to look…well, eye-catching.
But have you ever stopped to think about the history of fake lashes, or falsies, as they’re more affectionately known as?

Fake eyelashes have their beginnings in ancient Rome. When Pliny the Elder decided that eyelashes fell out from excessive sex, it suddenly became especially important for women to keep their eyelashes long to prove their chastity. As so began the obsession with long, voluminous lashes.

rome

Long lashes were also seen as a sign of youth. In the 1800s, women started having implanted into their eyelids via needles. the fainter of heart attempted to glue human hair to their eyelids instead of threading it, but the hair often fell off.

80s

In 1911, a Canadian woman named Anna Taylor implanted with little hairs into a crescent shaped fabric to create the world’s first patented artificial lashes. But it wasn’t until 1916 that falsies gained recognition thanks to Hollywood director. D. W. Griffith.
When filming “Intolerance” with actress Seena Owen, he wanted her eyelashes to practically “brush her cheeks.” He had the film’s wigmaker glue lashes made of human hair onto Owen’s eyelids using spirit gum. Of course, the technology wasn’t great, but it was the start.

seena

In the 1920s, only fashionistas sported fake lashes. Vogue gave them their stamp of approval in the 1930’s with ads featuring artful fake lashes laden with gold and platinum beads.

Falsies were really revolutionized in the 1950s with the introduction of durable plastic lashes in place of those made of human hair and/or fabric. Hollywood starlets of the time like Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth soon started wearing fake eyelashes in photo shoots to make their eyes look larger.

marilyn


In the 60’s, falsies became a prominent part of model Twiggy’s signature look before disappearing in the 70’s and 80’s.

twiggy

They were revived with gusto in the 1990s with women like Pamela Anderson and model Cindy Crawford making them glamorous again. They have since eased into mainstream makeup and are now sold everywhere.

90s

Today, fake eyelashes come in easy to apply kits that help us go from drab to fab in under a minute, adding mystery to our peepers almost instantly. Then they’re religiously coated in mascara and curled to camouflage, hoping they’ll look natural. But deep inside we know, they’re not part of us, they never will be.

Who cares? They look amazing!

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Amanda Francesca Mendonça

After spending pretty much all of my teen years waiting for a Hogwarts letter that never came, I gave up and settled for being a wizard with words instead. A hopeless romantic, when I’m not penning down short stories, I’m busy imagining my own happily ever after.

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