Sunday, July 5, 2009

Why is Mascara so Complicated?

I went to WalMart today to buy mascara. Yep, this was a big deal to me. I have not worn any for years because of my funky eyelids. I hope I don't lose my Girlie Club card with that admission. LOL - seriously, I am so excited to put some on tomorrow morning. And, of course, when I take my final "after" picture of my eyes I will be wearing it for you all to see. I know this is not exciting for most girls other than the 12 year olds putting on makeup for the first time, but it is the simple things in life that thrill me at times! This simple thing represents the end of being self- concious about my old lady eyes and the beginning of life with the "new" eyse. It is a simple thing, but yet so important to me!

Now to the hard part of all this. Choosing which mascara to buy. When did this get so complicated? It took be 20 minutes to figure out which to buy. Do I buy Mabelline, Cover Girl, Rimmell, Loreal, or other brands? What color do I buy? The Mabelline comes in three different colors of black! What the heck? It used to be black, brown black, or brown. Each brand had so many different kinds! And each claims to be the best! What about waterproof or not waterproof? I was so confused, I cannot tell you what color or if it is waterproof or not! I finally grabbed one that had a free eyeliner with it. Leave it to me, I make my decision based on a freebie! ha,ha!

Here is some interesting facts about mascara that I lifted from Wikipedia:

A mascara tube and a wand applicator. Mascara is a cosmetic used to darken, lighten or colour lashes, also it can be used to thicken, lengthen and define eyelashes. Mascara comes in three forms: liquid, cake, and cream. It also comes in many formulas, tints, and colours. The general purpose of mascara is to define, thicken, lengthen, and emphasise lashes. Mascara is available with tube and wand applicators. Ingredients in mascara include water, wax thickeners, film-formers, and preservatives. Mascara brushes can be straight or curved, to curl eye lashes, with fine or thick bristles. Some mascara wands contain rayon or nylon fibers to lengthen eyelashes.


The first mascara product was invented by Eugene Rimmel in the 19th century. The word "rimmel" still means "mascara" in several languages, including Portuguese (rĂ­mel), Turkish (rimel), Romanian (rimel), Dutch (rimel), Persian (rimel) etc.

The woman's eye has had mascara applied to the lashes for a fuller effectThe word mascara derives from the Italian maschera, which means "mask"[1]from Middle Latin masca or Arabic Maskhara or from Old Occitan masco [2]. Modern mascara was created in 1913 by a chemist named T. L. Williams for his sister, Mabel. This early mascara was made from coal dust mixed with Vaseline petroleum jelly. The product was a success with Mabel, and Williams began to sell his new product through the mail. His company Maybelline, whose name is a combination of his sister's name and Vaseline, eventually became a leading cosmetics company.

Mascara is used to darken and thicken lashes, and was composed of colorants and carnauba wax. Users wet a brush and rubbed it over the cake, then applied it to the eyes. Mascara is used by women to enhance eyes as well as draw attention to them.

The modern tube and wand applicator was more appealing to the market than the old "cake" mascara. Max Factor was the first to create a mascara with a wand applicator in the product tube, which started the modern mascara products available today.

Modern mascaras can be divided in two groups: water resistant mascaras (often labeled waterproof) and non-water resistant mascaras.

Water resistant mascaras have a composition based on a volatile solvent (isododecane - an isomer of dodecane), animal-derived waxes (beeswax), vegetal based waxes (carnauba wax, rice bran wax, candelila wax), mineral origin wax (ozokerite, paraffin), pigments (iron oxide, ultramarine) and filmifying polymers. These mascaras do not contain water-sensitive moieties, offering an excellent resistance to tears, sweat or rain. As a result, these mascaras can only be removed with a specific make-up remover, able to dilute the dried mascara film.

Egg whites are often used in colored mascara.

Non water-resistant mascaras are based on water, soft surfactants (like triethanolamine stearate), animal-derived waxes (beeswax), vegetal based waxes (carnauba wax, rice bran wax, candelilla wax), mineral origin waxes (ozokerite, paraffin), pigments (iron oxide, ultramarine), thickening polymers (gum arabic, hydrophobically modified cellulose) and on preservatives. These mascaras can run under the effect of tears, but are easily removed with some soap and water.

Polymers in a water dispersed form (latexes) can bring some level of water resistance to the group of normally non-water resistant mascaras.

Waterproof mascaras are similar to oil-based or solvent-based paints. Non water-resistant mascaras behave like water based paints. For intermediate water sensitivity, mascaras and latex-based paints (acrylates) contain polymer dispersions.

Now you know the rest of the story..............


Tooj said...

Okay...that was soooo much information about mascara! LOL I loved the story about Maybelline. How interesting. And you know what? I completely agree that there are too many choices. I can't wait to see the picture!

Chef E said...

Okay that is why I do not wear it anymore...too many to choose from, and I was involved with a company that bought out Maybelline along with my other hair care product lines...I have allergies, and cannot have anything near my eyes anymore, like eyeshadow or this...gets in my eyes and cause cloudiness. How are your eyes doing? No before and after pics for us?

I miss talking with you!

Bee and Rose said...

That was very informative! I go through the same torturous process when buying mascara! Drives me crazy!

Can't wait to see your photos!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I just wait to see what mom buys doesn't like and then passes down to me ... LOL