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© Maybelline

Thomas Williams founded Maybelline (Mabel + vaseline!) in 1915 after he created the first ever mascara. As the story goes, Thomas' sister Mabel was smitten with a young man and in order to make an impression, she experimented with Vaseline on her eyelashes. Thomas, a chemist, came up with the bright idea of adding coal dust to darken her lashes and intensify the effect. It worked - Mabel married Chet, and Maybelline was born!  

In 1917, cake mascara was born. The first modern cosmetic product intended for daily use, it contained a smoky black formula, coconut oil soap for structure and tragacanth natural gum to make it stick to lashes. It was sold by mail-order at first and then in shops from the 1920s onwards.

In 1960, the first mass-market waterproof automatic mascara came out. Ultra Lash revolutionized the world of make-up, bringing mascara to the masses...

In 1971, Great Lash made its first appearance. With its instantly recognizable candy pink and acid green tube, it soon became a cult favourite among all top models and is still the best-selling beauty product in the US. With an emulsion formula containing more than 40% water, enriched with beeswax and a high black pigment content, its intense colour effect and new brush shape (tapered at the ends and bigger at the centre for easy application along the whole of the lash) made it an instant bestseller. Maybelline haven't changed their Great Lash formula since it first came out and it's a firecely-guarded secret. One is sold every 1.9 seconds in the US.


Sarah Horrocks
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