Why were fake eyelashes created? | The Sun

Fake lashes are an everyday beauty accessory for many women today but many wonder how, and why, the were invented.

Last year a viral meme claimed they were invented by a prostitute to "protect her eyes", but fact-checking site Snopes debunked this.

Why do we wear fake lashes?

While the eyelashes do perform some important functions, mainly keeping your eyes clear of dirt and debris, extending them is purely an aesthetic choice.

Some experts suggest that longer lashes have been desirable since ancient times due to a link between ageing and eyelashes shortening.

Roman author Pliny the Elder only reinforced this desire when he suggested that shortened eyelashes suggested that a woman was sexually overactive.

He claimed that "Eyelashes fell out from excessive sex, and so it was especially important for women to keep their eyelashes long to prove their chastity", according to Business Insider.

Other have suggested that it's because fake lashes make the eyes appear larger, long accepted as a significant measure of female beauty.

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Who invented them and when?

Reports of the first artificial lash extensions surfaced in late 19th Century Paris.

However, they were a little more basic and a lot more grim than modern equivalents.

One account from 1899 speaks of women having faux hair threaded into the skin with a needle.

Needless to say this trend failed to catch on.

The first patent for modern lash extensions was issued in 1911 to AnnaTaylor, a woman from Canada.

Five years later Hollywood director D.W. Griffith had his production's wigmaker create a similar concept out of real hair and spirit gum.

Strip-style extensions were developed further until a major turning point in the 50s.

Lashes Today

The eyelash extensions bought today really began life in the 1950s, when the switch was made from human hair to plastic and other synthetics.

Celebrity makeup artist Marcia Williams told Bustle: "The primary purpose of falsies is to embellish the eyes with a sexier, fuller look. It's a makeup artist's shortcut to elevate the eyes within seconds.

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"The latest trend is full mink lashes which give a more dramatic look. However, the magnetic lashes have been my all-time favorite trend of them all."

Today falsies are an essential part of glam for most women, and indeed many men, as well as A-List celebs.

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