From Academic Kids

Mascara is also the old name for the city of Muaskar in Algeria.
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Mascara tube and wand applicator

Mascara is a cosmetic used to darken, thicken and define eyelashes. It's available in three different formulations: cake, liquid, and cream. It also comes in many different shades and tints. It can help eyelashes to look thicker and longer. Mascara and eyebrow pencil should be colour co-ordinated so that they do not appear to clash.

Mascara is available with tube and wand applicators. Mascara includes 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 fibres to lengthen the hair fibres.


The word mascara derives from the Arabic maskhara meaning buffoon.

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. He named his company Maybelline: a combination of his sister's name and "Vaseline." Maybelline eventually became a leading cosmetics company.

Mascara was available only in cake form, and was composed of colorants and carnauba wax. Users wet a brush and rubbed it over the cake, then applied it to the eyes. The modern tube and wand applicator did not appear until 1957, when it was introduced by Helena Rubinstein.

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This woman's eye has had mascara applied

Using mascara

Mascara may be used on all lashes, from inner to outer corners. The mascara wand is dipped into a clean tube of mascara, applied close to the base of the lashes and worked out to the tips. Apply mascara to top lashes for a heavy-lidded look, or to bottom lashes as well for a wider-eyed look. Use waterproof mascara if your eyes tend to water because of allergies, etc. Non-waterproof is ideal for easy removal and also tends to clump less. Curling lashes before using mascara is a good idea to prevent breakage, and has the effect of "opening" the eyes more. Also, to prolong the life of your mascara, do not pump the wand in and out of the tube. This pushes air into the tube and shortens the life of the mascara. Simply insert the wand once, twist, and pull out when applying more.

The Food and Drug Administration reports that the most common cosmetic injury is a scratch to the eye when applying mascara. This can become infected, which may lead to corneal ulcers, the loss of eyelashes or even blindness.


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