New ranks and trends for the eye-defining product in 2015
Mascara is a cosmetic used for eye make-up, especially created for lengthening, coloring, darkening, curling and thickening the eyelashes (or sometimes on the eyebrows too) and it is applied with a brush. But how did the product we all know today as drugstore mascara evolve from the ancient empires to the contemporary cosmetic industry? What mascara is recommendable at the current time?
As western cultures demonstrate an idolization of youth, maintaining an appearance as such becomes a societal priority for many women. Ideal facial characteristics for women are reflected though typical aspects of children. Among that are the large eyes, and here is where mascara comes in play, mimicking neoteny (namely large eyes). Mascara can pull away the eyelashes from the rim of the eye and create a doe-like illusion of larger eyes. As wide eyes are culturally equated with youth and subconsciously connected to innocence, it is no wonder that mascara is bound to lie in every woman’s necessaire, starting with a young age.
As far as ancient Egypt goes, mascara can be dated in records from around 4000 BC under the name of kohl, used to darken eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows. It was composed of galena, malachite, charcoal, soot, honey, crocodile stool and water. Kohl was used throughout the Babylonian, Greek and Roman empires. It was as late as the Victorian era when cosmetics started to be promoted and women became preoccupied with beauty regimens. Victorian women attempted making mascara in their own homes, with great efforts to define the illusion of long and dark eyelashes. The ingredients at that time were a mixture of ash with elderberry juice.
What we now know to be mascara did not develop until the nineteenth century, when a chemist developed the cosmetic by using petroleum jelly. His name was Eugene Rimmel and one could recognize the famous brand named after him. That is why his surname became synonymous with mascara in various languages. A few years later, a remarkably similar substance was created and a mail-order business followed. That is the early history of the Maybelline company. Mascara was basically created by men! After the First World War, Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein launched their own cosmetics brand, both including mascara. Their rivalry gained mascara the respectability and favor which positioned it as a widely used product in American society.
Later on, famous actresses promoted mascara by using it in their films. The first woman who changed the course of mascara’s history was Helena Rubinstein in 1957, because she created a formula through which mascara evolved from a hard cake to a lotion-based cream and she was also the first who packaged it as we know it today: in a tube with a brush.
What Is It Made Of?
Mascara soon gained popularity, which led to an increased demand and continued to the development of various formulas continued into today’s market. The basic formula is created with pigmentation, oils and waxes. The pigmentation is not ash as it was in ancient Egypt, but carbon black. Any derivatives of tar and coal are strictly forbidden by the Food and Drug Association in America. In the case of brown mascaras, iron oxides is typically used. The oils used in the process vary a lot through the brands from different mineral oils, castor oil, lanolin, eucalyptus oil, linseed oil, sesame oil and turpentine oil. Regular waxes used as ingredients for mascara are paraffin wax, beeswax and carnauba wax. Some mascaras contain dodecane (a substance that rebuffs water), nylon fiber or rayon microfibers (in the case of lengthening mascara) or ceresin or gum.
What Kinds of Mascara Can Be Found on the Market Today?
Categories split when it comes to drugstore mascara, starting from the color and intended effect (lash lifting, lash curling, volume or length and so on). Ingredients can vary if the purpose of the mascara is different. Mascara can be waterproof or water-soluble, they can be designed to lengthen, stiffen or thicken the lashes.
Safety among Ingredients
Before choosing the right mascara or any type of skin product, actually, consideration for its ingredients but also for age and usage is advisable. Besides choosing a hypoallergenic mascara (and ideally a dermatologically tested one), regard safety measures and read the label carefully. For an example, mercury is forbidden by the Food and Drug Association, but it is used as an exception in some mascaras as a preservative. Although not yet linked to negative effects to the health, some ingredients found in mascara were tested and have been found to cause cancer in mice or be highly toxic for the human body.
Tips for a Healthy Mascara Use
- Throw away your mascara tube and brush after no longer than three months for an optimal use.
- Dispose of your mascara if it smells different, strange or pungent.
- Mascara can sometimes (though rarely) grow bacteria. That can increase the risk of eye infection or conjunctivitis, but, as we said, in rare cases. If however your mascara provoked this reaction, do not use it anymore and try to consider switching to a different brand.
- Check if you are allergic to some chemical compounds in mascara like aluminum, methylparaben or benzyl alcohol. These can cause rashes or swollen eyelids. If you are using a new brand of mascara for the first time, test it on a small area of your eyelashes prior to regular use.
Finding the Best Mascara for You
Are you looking for volume, length, thickness or curling? Usually, women would ideally answer “all above”!
Let’s take a look at the current trends and mascaras considered to be top selling or best products.
10 Positively Reviewed Mascaras
- L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Waterproof Mascara, said to “have it all”, since the combo between the primer and the mascara’s color seem to have a lengthening and volumizing effect.
- Maybelline New York Volum’ Express the Colossal Cat Eyes Mascara. Cheaper than other competing products, this mascara doesn’t apparently clump the lashes but manages to provide a long and filling effect.
- Avon Wash-Off Waterproof Mascara. Also an affordable product, especially among waterproof options, defines and coats the lashes with good coloring. It is easy to remove, but does not smear.
- Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Excess. Called the sexiest mascara by Harper’s Bazaar, it pairs smoky eyes with patent-leather shiny lashes in ultra-black coloring.
- Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara has extra-long bristles which separate the lashes for an ideal light and fanned-out daily wear.
- A.C. False Lashes Mascara is recommended for a false lash-like effect needed for a more special occasion. The formula provides a full, dramatic effect.
- Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara. With a 47 percent organic ingredients and an eco-friendly package, this mascara is recommended for sensitive users preoccupied with the substances in the cosmetic. It provides gigantic and gorgeous lashes with fewer health-associated risks.
- Diorshow Mascara, on the list of several Hollywood makeup artists as a favorite. It has a XXL brush which builds volume, but also a formula boosting the diameter of individual lashes.
- Benefit They’re Real! Mascara, currently the number-one selling prestige mascara. It lifts, defines and curls with a false lashes effect.
- Nars Larger Than Life Volumizing Mascara. Enhanced with vitamin E and macadamia nut oil, this mascara shapes, separates and lends a glossy look.
Choosing from one of these ten recommendations doesn’t mean that a particular drugstore mascara can be good for every eye. Watch out for these few ingredients considered to pose a risk to your health:
1. Aluminum Powder
A neurotoxin used as a colorant which can interfere with various metabolic and cellular processes in the nervous system, as well as in other tissues as well. A long term exposure can impair the excretion of mercury and therefore have a toxic effect.
Preservatives used to prevent bacteria from growing in cosmetics. Parabens are linked to disrupt estrogen in the body and have been found connected to breast tumors.
3. Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A Acetate)
This ingredient can cause biochemical changes, interfering with cellular signaling to the extent that it can even cause mutations in the genes. Some states prohibit the use of Retinyl Acetate, but others simply restrict it.
Drugstore mascara can be an easy pick for most of women, but those looking for a safer option can choose natural mascara, which doesn’t expose your skin to particular harmful chemicals. Some beauty specialists advise that natural mascara has the same benefits while reducing health risks too. Pure Anada is a recommendation of natural mascara, which is affordable, paraben-free, gluten and mercury free. No matter what choice women make for using mascara, proper makeup removal products need to join the daily beauty routine, together with specific moisturizer and conditioning lotions. Waterproof mascara usually requires a special eye makeup remover which contains a higher quantity of oil, in order to delicately dissolve the ingredients.
In any case, any unusual reaction to mascara needs to be signalized to a health specialist and the use of the product should be restricted until further notice.