Take a walk down the beauty aisle of any drugstore, and you’ll see dozens of eyelash products, all promising length and volume. Mascaras, serums, fake lashes, overnight treatments…the list goes on and on. Researchers from Procter & Gamble say that 40 percent of mascara users are “volume seekers” – the average woman applies six strokes of mascara per eye every day to achieve fuller, more voluminous lashes. It’s no surprise then that eyelash extensions, which offer luscious length and volume without heavy makeup application, are popular with everyone from Kim Kardashian to your local yoga teacher.
Eyelash extensions can help you appear polished, even without makeup, and can add drama to your look at night. There are several options to fit any taste or price range, and a variety of looks you can achieve with extensions. Of course, like with any long-term beauty treatment, there are risks involved. Here’s everything you need to know before taking the leap to longer lashes.
The History of Eyelash Extensions
Some beauty trends come and go, but it seems a desire for long, commanding lashes has been around for ages — women have been coveting dramatic lashes for thousands of years. Before The House of Rimmel created modern mascara in the 19th century, Cleopatra was making homemade mascara with a blend of waxes and pigments.
Fake eyelashes first made their debut in 1916, when D.W. Griffith was making the film Intolerance, and wanted leading lady Seena Owen to have longer lashes to make her eyes appear bigger. He wanted lashes so long they brushed her cheeks, so a neighborhood wig maker wove human hair with gauze to create false eyelashes, and an industry was born. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s artificial lashes became popular, though they often looked fake and were reserved for movie stars and special occasions. It wasn’t until fashion model Twiggy made big, doe-eyed false lashes popular in the 1960s that the trend became part of a woman’s regular beauty routine.
Still, eyelash extensions as we know them today didn’t come on the scene in the US until 2004. The practice came from Japan and Korea, where women have been lengthening their lashes with extensions for at least 40 years. By 2005, a-list celebrities and many more were batting longer lashes, thanks to eyelash extensions. Some even took it a step further by bedazzling their newly extended lashes. Over the past few years, the trend has become more accessible for those outside the celebrity realm, and more and more women around the country are trying eyelash extensions for themselves.