Stuff I've Googled, what I Googled a few minutes ago, what I'm Googling now, why I'm Googling, and other fascinating information.

Friday, December 4, 2009

What is mascara made of?

: what is mascara

Why: I wear it so as not to look like a ghostie, but what the hell is it? It's gooey and it stinks.

Answer: It's mostly made of waxes and stuff. The word comes from Italian maschera, "mask." A history:
  • 4th Century - The Kama Sutra includes a recipe for mascara.
  • 1830s - A French perfume magnate is the first to commercially market the product; his name, Rimmel, is still synonymous with mascara in several languages.
  • 1913 - A chemist combines coal dust and Vaseline to create "cake mascara" for his sister Maybel. It is applied with a moistened brush. His company Maybelline (Mabel + Vaseline) eventually becomes enormous.
(cake mascara)
  • 1957 - Cosmetics industrialist Helena Rubinstein invents the now ubiquitous tube-and-wand system.
Now there are water-resistant and non-water-resistant varieties, each with a buttload of ingredients, like carnauba wax, rice bran wax, candelila wax, mineral origin wax, and beeswax. "There are clear mascaras and primers that thicken the lashes without adding color, as well as colored mascaras in outrageous shades such as lime green, gold, and pink. Waterproof mascaras prevent smudging, help the lashes retain their curl, and reduce the tendency for lashes to clump together. Volumizing and lengthening mascaras include nylon or rayon fibers that act as temporary extensions for the eyelashes. Some mascara products contain conditioners like pro-vitamin B5, more commonly seen in hair conditioners."
Source: WiseGeek, Wikipedia

The More You Know: A Public Service Announcement:
Because mascara is used on such a delicate part of the body, it is important not to keep a tube around too long, as using old mascara can introduce bacteria into the eyes and cause serious health problems. Most commercial mascaras include an antibacterial agent that lasts about six weeks, and anything over four months old should definitely be replaced. If your eyes feel irritated or if you notice any change in the texture or smell of your mascara, do not continue to use it.


cgreyd said...


The Maybel+line thing BLEW my mind. I'm a very big fan of mascara (My personal choice is DiorShow in Noir for every day, and those special pick-me-up days I use Azure (BRIGHT blue) too.) so I found your post pretty insightful. So I might just be a huge dork for saying all this, but I felt the need. haha.

BTDubs, I think we might be doppelgangers. My name is Carly too, and my friends make fun of me for my overuse of google. My friend sent me your blog with the subject line as "!!!!" and I'm pretty excited to know about it!

Carly said...

Yay, happy to have a fan / doppelganger! You don't post on your own b-log much... maybe it's time to start!

Anonymous said...

Thnx for the help

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