The History of Eyelash Trends

Enhancing your eyelashes is an absolute must for those makeup savvy fashionistas out there, but did you know this trend dates back much further than you have thought? 

Flawless Lashes by Loreta have created an interactive site, appropriately named The Eyelash Archives. In this sponsored post we will look at what they found and check out their concise overview of how eye makeup has evolved over many centuries, you may discover those falsies you thought were inspired by Kim K are actually more Ancient Pompeii! 

Ancient Rome 753 B.C - 476 A.D

Even in Ancient Rome, long thick eyelashes were associated with femininity. Plinius the Elder stated that excessive sex would cause eyelashes to fall out. As a result, women would use kohl to darken and thicken lashes to ‘prove’ their chastity.

Medieval Era 1066 – 1485

At this point in history, cosmetic fashion completely turned around. Instead of accentuating lashes, women of this period would pluck them out. The forehead was considered the most alluring element of a woman. To give the appearance of a larger forehead, women would pluck their hairline and removed lashes and eyebrows.

Elizabethan Era 1533 – 1603

Queen Elizabeth I certainly shaped an entire new craze with her distinctive red hair. Women of high society were desperate to copy the monarch’s natural locks and would dye their hair and eyelashes the same shade. This was often done in secret as the use of dye was considered common and unacceptable to respectable ladies.

Victorian Era 1837 - 1901

It is common to relate Victorians to grizzly methods and eyelashes are certainly no exception. In Paris, the gruesome practice of sewing real human hair through the epidermis of the eyelids using needles was all the rage. In true Victorian fashion, cocaine was used as a numbing agent. Thankfully, the first non-toxic mascara was also invested within this era by Eugène Rimmel and this put an end to this horrific procedure. It was also the birth of the famous Rimmel brand we know today.

Hollywood Era 1902- 1916

In 1902, the first patent for false eyelashes in the UK was confirmed. In 1916, director D.W. Griffiths infamously requested Seena Owen to wear lashes so long they ‘brushed her cheeks’ in Intolerance. The glue used caused her eyes to swell so much that she could not see; Griffiths was not overly worried as all her scenes had been shot by this point. Women flocked to cosmetic stores to copy this silver-screen look, as we still do today.

Art Deco Inventions 1920s

By the ’20s, false eyelashes had rocketed into mainstream fashion. The invention of the eyelash curler generated new hype as they were easily available and inexpensive. Curly lashes were easily achievable, and the design of the eyelash curler has hardly changed in almost 100 years.

Retro Reds 1950s

Makeup became bigger, bolder and brighter within the decade of the 50’s. Eyes became the focal point and sweeping eyeliner took over. Teamed with ruby red lips, this look is still incredibly popular today.

Swinging Shades 1960s

The ’60s saw the popularity of using new colours rise. Not only were bright eyeshadows in, but vibrant mascaras also began filling the shelves of drug stores. Twiggy set the most iconic trend of giving a lot of attention to the lower lash, giving herself that memorable look that many swiftly copied.

Madonna Mad 1980s

There are many fashion faux pars from the ’80s and ’90s that need to be forgotten about. Madonna reintroduced flashy colours after their decline in the ’70s for a more natural look. Some of these fashions were innovative and iconic, some are best left in that decade. 

Back To Retro 1990s

The ’90s saw the first spike in the ‘vintage’ appearance and the ’50s were reborn and have seemingly not left.

Today's Extension Invention 

The modern-day has seen false eyelashes on the rise and with so many readily available, the majority of women adorn these, even if just once.  Extensions have meant that this wide-eyed look so many of us long for can be easily achieved on a daily basis with minimal effort. Lash serums are also on the rise, helping to make your lashes fuller and thicker in just over 4 weeks.

There is a plethora of mascara available on the market and a report in 2002 stated it made up for 50% of cosmetic sales! It looks like we are not going to be turning our attention away from our lashes anytime soon!

Futuristic Falsies

Online searches for LED lashes increased by 5800% between 2016 and 2018. With this in mind, who knows what could be next on the cards for our eyes? With most purchases coming with built-in Bluetooth, why not lashes? Perhaps we could answer phone calls with a literal ‘blink of an eye’.

We can only wait and see!



  1. It is really interesting to see how different trends have been about eyelashes, we really do change how we wear things across the years.

  2. Thank you for the lovely share on the eyelash trend setters and how it has eye-lashes have evolved over time. I enjoyed the photos and totally love the modern day style.

  3. I can't believe there was an era where people would pluck them out, that's quite brutal. I don't tend to wear false lashes as I can't put them on properly but I love the look of very natural ones x

  4. Wow who knew that out lash obsession went back all the way to eras past. Super interesting and I love my false lashes for sure xx

  5. I have individual lash extensions myself. Im obsessed with how they look! Its great to see the trends from years gone by xxx

  6. I never realised how much history there was about eyelashes. I love wearing false ones.

  7. I have no idea about the fascinating history of eyelash trends. False lashed really can magnify the eyes, I wish ym eyes didn't water like crazy when I try to wear them.

  8. I had no idea that there was such a long history when it comes to our fascination with eyelashes