History of the False Lash

Have you ever wondered how the strip lashes of today originated? They sure didn’t have a simple and painless start. After reading about its history – you’ll be grateful for the lash enhancements of today!
Where it all began
The ancient Egyptians had a particular interest in beautifying themselves and believed the eyes were the windows to the soul – thus they should be protected by applying Kohl to rim their eyes and darken and lengthen their lashes. From there, the ancient Romans believed the lashes became shorter with age. A further thought propelled by author Pliny the Elder made long lashes further desirable when he linked long lashes and a woman’s chastity,
“Eyelashes fell out from excessive sex,
and so it was especially important
for women to keep their
eyelashes long to prove
their chastity.”
In the 1800s is when lashes were starting to become artificially enhanced and lengthened. Human hair would be glued on the eyelid but would not last long and caused irritation to the wearers. In 1899 lash ‘implants’ emerged, and cosmetic specialists offered this service in their salons. Human hair would be taken off the head of the client. The eyelid would be ‘prepped’ by being cleansed and having liquid cocaine spread over the area to numb any pain from the procedure. The hair would be threaded into the skin of the eyelid with a needle. The excess fiber would be cut and trimmed, and the newly stitched lashes would be curled with silver tongs. Is this where we got the statement that:
“Beauty is pain?”
German hair specialist Karl Nessler began selling strip lashes in his salon in London. But it wasn’t until 1911 that inventor and salon owner Anna Taylor patented the strip lashes in the US, leaving the world of lash ‘implants’ behind us. The patented lashes consisted of a strip of fabric in a crescent moon shape which had hairs sewn in which would be glued to the eyelids.
Although women were always on the lookout to enhance their lashes, it wasn’t until filmmaker D.W. Griffith asked the makeup artists on the set of his film, ‘Intolerance’ to give the actress a supernatural look with long lashes that would dust her cheeks. He had the makeup artists apply absurdly heavy lashes using spirit gum and glue to the actress, Seena Owen’s eyelids. Although the actress suffered from severe allergic reaction with her eyes nearly being swollen shut, women everywhere wanted to accentuate their eyes with bold lashes. Twenty million pairs of false lashes were sold in the year of 1930!
1940 First Eyelash company is born
Eylure is the first lash company that was born following the hype of falsies becoming mainstream through the movies. It was created by the Aylott brothers who worked in the film industry, in 1947. Soon after cosmetic companies such as Revlon and Max Factor began launching their own brand of commercial strip lashes to the public. In the 1950s false lashes became an essential staple for glamorous Hollywood celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth who preached the lash enhancements as essential beauty must haves. In the 1960’s false lashes became even bolder with stars such as Twiggy promoting even bigger and bolder lashes. The 60s was a time of makeup and beauty innovations that were bolder and more adventurous than the glamour of the 50s.
Things became quiet for false lashes in the 70s and 80s due to the trend on natural looks emerging. The focus was more on blush and lipstick rather than bold ‘look at me’ lashes. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that strip lashes made a comeback with stars such as Anna Nicole Smith, Cindy Crawford, and Pamela Anderson were wearing them and incorporating the retro glamorous look of the 1950s. From the 2000s onwards lashes continued to improve and become even more expensive. Madonna wore a $10,000 pair of Mink and diamond studded pair of false lashes created by Shu Umera in 2004. And yes – they sold out!
These days you can get a range of different styles and types of eyelash enhancements. Nelo Cosmetics sells a range of strip lashes that are comfortable and can last over 30+ uses with proper care. High quality lashes are an investment. Paired with our lash adhesive, the application is also now a breeze. Our Sticky Eyeliner doubles as a lash glue and an eyeliner. It acts as a guide to help you apply your false lashes as a bonus. It is available in clear and in black and works with ANY strip lash/brand on the market. You no longer must worry about using traditional lash glue, or latex, or ingredients that can be harmful to your health in the name of beauty. We are getting ready to launch some amazing new lash styles so stay tuned!


  • Laura Cuevas

    I enjoyed reading this history of how false lashes came into my life. Thank you for sharing. Your lashes are so pretty and your adhesive eyeliner is the best and a wonderful invention! Thank you.

  • Kathy Buhl

    I have vision problems & these lashes would b better than mascara.

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