Celebrating the History of Mascara

Celebrating the History of Mascara

Published by Notoriously Morbid on 8th Nov 2023

Celebrating the History of Mascara: From Coal Dust to Cosmetic Innovation


As makeup enthusiasts, we often take for granted the little marvels that grace our cosmetic bags. Mascara, a fundamental component of most makeup routines, has a fascinating history. October 8th marks a significant day in the world of cosmetics, as it commemorates the anniversary of the invention of mascara. Let's take a step back in time to appreciate the evolution of this beauty staple and how it has transformed the way we enhance our eyes.

The Birth of Mascara

In 1907, T.L. Williams, an American chemist, filed a patent that would forever change the world of makeup. His groundbreaking formula consisted of a blend of petroleum jelly, coal dust, and lampblack. The result? Mascara, a product that would revolutionize the way women enhanced their eyelashes. Before this ingenious invention, women used various methods to darken their lashes, such as applying soot or burnt cork with rudimentary tools. Not only were these techniques messy, but they also posed the risk of eye irritation. Williams' mascara, on the other hand, was a game-changer. It was easy to apply, didn't smudge or flake, and provided a more natural-looking enhancement to the eyelashes.

Milestones in Mascara's Evolution

The introduction of mascara in 1907 was just the beginning. Over the years, this iconic cosmetic product has seen numerous innovations and transformations. Let's explore some key milestones in its journey:

  • 1913: Maybelline introduced the first commercial mascara known as "Lash-In-A-Tube."
  • 1938: Waterproof mascara made its debut, courtesy of Helena Rubinstein.
  • 1950s: Colored mascaras became a popular trend, allowing for more creative expression.
  • 1960s: Mascara tubes equipped with wands revolutionized application, making it more convenient.
  • 1970s: Mascaras with lengthening and volumizing formulas emerged, catering to different eyelash preferences.
  • 1980s: Waterproof mascaras gained more prominence, especially for those seeking all-day wear.
  • 1990s: Mascaras with built-in conditioners provided not only cosmetic enhancement but also lash care.
  • 2000s: Lengthening and volumizing formulas became more sophisticated, providing stunning results.
  • 2010s: A preference for natural-looking mascaras gained popularity, offering a subtler approach to lash enhancement.
  • 2020s: The mascara world continues to innovate, with the development of innovative applicators and advanced formulas.

The Modern Mascara Landscape

Today, mascara has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The beauty industry offers a plethora of choices to meet every need. Whether you're seeking length, volume, waterproof protection, or a natural look, there's a mascara tailored to your preferences. In this era of innovation, mascara is not just a cosmetic but a beauty tool designed to enhance and protect your lashes. With cutting-edge applicators, nourishing ingredients, and long-lasting formulas, mascara remains an essential element of every makeup routine.


As we celebrate the anniversary of mascara's invention, let's take a moment to appreciate the transformative journey of this remarkable cosmetic product. From coal dust to cosmetic innovation, mascara has left an indelible mark on the world of beauty. It has empowered women to accentuate their natural beauty, express their individuality, and exude confidence through their eyes. As we continue to explore the possibilities of mascara, we can look forward to even more innovative and transformative creations that will further enhance the way we enhance our beauty.