Amazing Vintage Mascara Photos

The old saying goes “Eyes are the windows to the soul,” and maybe that’s why eye makeup has been around for so long: to beautify and enhance our peepers. The Egyptians first started using eye make-up back in 4000BC, in the form of kohl. While it’s changed a lot since then, the quest to make our eyes stand out hasn’t.

Check out this Maybelline vintage mascara ad for their cream formula. Selling point: non-smarting.

Today people do everything from getting permanent makeup tattoos to using painless topical eyelash enhancers that actually grow out the eyelashes (see below). But one makeup item that has stayed in long-term favor is the ubiquitous mascara.

This make-up staple that most women swear by was in an entirely different form back in the 1930s, when it first started gaining popularity. We found some fun vintage mascara pictures showing what it looked like when women adorned their lashes using a wet brush and hard-pressed powder formula, made of soap chips and black dye. Needless to say, it was messy and not really run-proof.

Later in the 1950s the packaging and formula was changed when Helena Rubinstein created a lotion-based cream formula that came in a squeezable tube and brush, onto which the lotion was applied. Still pretty messy, it was still a definite step towards the kind of mascara and brush we use today, which came soon after as a grooved rod that was inserted into the tube to pick up the formula.

We’ve come quite a way and now have all sorts of mascara applicators– from battery powered wands, to ball shaped brushes that grab every last lash. But we thought it would be fun to check out these pictures of what mascara looked like in its earlier days.

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