A Bit About Falsies
“Put these on” she told me, handing me a small pocket mirror. Deciding just to go along with it, I smeared the glue above my lashes and attempted to apply the line of synthetic hairs to my eyelid. After a good twenty minutes and a lot of help from Molly I had a set of full, lush, false eyelashes set on my face, right as it was my turn to get my photo taken. I’m sure they would have looked lovely too, if the flash hadn’t made me scowl and nearly close my eyes.
False eyelashes have a very glamorous history, starting in Hollywood’s silent film era. The American film director D.W. Griffith first dreamed up the idea of false lashes in 1916. He wanted actress Seena Owens in his film “Intolerance” to have eyelashes so long they would sweep across her cheeks. A wigmaker created these false lashes by weaving human hair through fine gauze, and then pasting them to Owen’s eyelids. The film was not a hit, but Griffith’s creations became a Hollywood standard in silent films.
As false eyelashes started becoming more popular they were made of fringe. They didn’t look natural, only lasted a few hours, and were applied by a procedure in a salon so only those with enough money could afford them. Because of these factors, false eyelashes didn’t catch on in popularity. It wasn't until the 1950s that they really started to boom. Hollywood starlets started regularly using false eyelashes made of synthetic materials. After the 50’s, though, false eyelashes declined in popularity.
In the new millennium the material used for false eyelashes became more advanced, and as a result, 'falsies' have become easier to apply. They look much more natural, and celebrities have started wearing them more frequently. Some are even made of animal products. According to Brian Dakks of CBS, Oprah is said to have a pair made of mink, and Jennifer Lopez has a pair made of fox hair for special events. Models in photo shoots and on the runway use false eyelashes as well. Some celebrities use natural looking false lashes to enhance their own, while some pop divas such as Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, and Selena Gomez wear giant lashes in various bright colors for music videos and performances.
As false eyelash material became more advanced, they also became more accessible, affordable, and popular. Now they are not only worn by celebrities such as Madonna, Liza Minnelli, and Nicki Minaj, but can be worn as a fashion statement by anyone for any occasion: women on a night out, drag queens in a performance, or even teenage girls for a high school photo shoot.