Before the era of false eyelashes, performers in the entertainment industry sought a more affordable option to enhance their lashes: beading. By painstakingly applying beads of makeup to their lashes, actors, dancers, and chorus girls achieved the appearance of fuller, darker, and longer lashes. This unique beauty practice continued in the film industry until the introduction of the “close-up” shot in the iconic Sunset Boulevard. While the exact origins of beaded eyelashes remain uncertain, it is believed to have emerged in the 1920s with the advent of grease paint. Let’s delve into the captivating world of beaded eyelashes and explore how to recreate the glamorous 1920s style in the comfort of your own home.
Eyelash Beading Technique
Undeniably, the beaded eyelashes of the 1920s involved a laborious process. However, it is important to consider that the cosmetic products we have today were not yet invented during that time. Initially, performers used ordinary grease paint from theatrical makeup suppliers to create the desired look. Eventually, specialized beading makeup with names like ‘Alpine Cosmetic,’ ‘Heating Cosmetic,’ ‘Beadex,’ ‘Eyelash Beading,’ and ‘Noir Cosmetique’ became available from various suppliers.
The technique itself required precision and patience. Using a pin or an orange stick, the performer would mold the grease paint into tiny beads and carefully attach them to their lashes one by one. They would use melted-down grease paint as an adhesive or mascara. Skilled individuals mastered the sweep and blob technique, which involved applying a small amount of black or brown eyelash beading makeup and heating it until it became hot, runny, and ready to work its magic.
With a steady hand, they would then dip the flat end of an orange stick into the pan, taking just enough melted makeup to sweep down each eyelash. These delicate beads or blobs were meticulously applied one by one, resulting in a dramatic and captivating effect. It is worth noting that this process, often carried out under gaslight, required considerable time and skill.
Eyelash Beading in Pop Culture
As false lashes gained popularity in the 1920s and 1930s, the allure of eyelash beading gradually diminished. However, it continued to captivate Hollywood stars such as Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, and Bette Davis until the late 1940s. The trend resurfaced in the 1960s and 1970s when icons like Diana Ross and Cher popularized the wide-eyed look, reigniting the fascination with beaded lashes. Even in the present day, this striking style occasionally makes appearances on celebrities, such as Lucy Boynton, who stunned the world with pearl beaded eyelashes at the Met Gala in 2022.
How to Recreate the Beaded Eyelash Look at Home
Recreating the beaded eyelash look from the 1920s is not for the faint-hearted. It requires skill and precision, making it best left to professional makeup artists. However, with the rise in popularity of makeup-focused shows like ‘Glow Up’ and ‘Glow Up Ireland,’ many amateur makeup enthusiasts are eager to try out this vintage style. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you create a captivating 1920s beaded eyelash look at home:
- Obtain a pair of false eyelashes with wide and long clusters, such as Doll Beauty Lashes – Eva. The graduated lash strands offer an ideal base for bead placement.
- Apply a coat of mascara to the lashes while they are still in their packaging to facilitate better application.
- Use tweezers to pick up a bead and apply a small blob of black lash adhesive to one side. Allow the glue to become tacky, then place the bead onto the longest strands of the lashes, spacing them apart according to your preference.
- Coat each lash and bead with mascara using a thin makeup brush.
- Allow the lashes to dry completely. When dry, attach them to your lash line using black eyelash glue. Keep in mind that the beads may make the lashes feel slightly heavier than usual.
- Finally, spray your face with makeup fixing spray, ensuring you close your eyes during the process.
It is important to note that these lashes are intended for a single use, so each time you want to achieve this statement look, you will need to start the process anew. If you’d like a visual guide, check out the TikTok tutorial linked below. Please exercise caution, as the model in the video employs candle wax for the beads, which is not recommended. Nonetheless, the short video provides informative insights into the process.
Extreme False Lash Styles to Rival Beaded Eyelashes from the 1920s
If you believe you’ve seen it all when it comes to extreme false lash styles, prepare to be amazed once again. Enter the sequinned lash look, another captivating style that you can recreate at home. The technique is similar to that of eyelash beading, but instead of beads, you’ll use sequins and glitter.
To achieve this look, you will need:
- One pair of false eyelashes with wide and long clusters
- Clear eyelash glue
- Glitter and sequins
- A thin makeup brush
- Makeup fixing spray
As with the 1920s beaded false eyelash look, you’ll add glitter and sequins to the lashes before applying them to your eyelids. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Select a pair of Boldface Lashes – Blank Slate. These lashes are already unique, and once you enhance them with glitter and sequins, they will truly stand out.
- Apply transparent eyelash adhesive to a small brush and coat the tips of your lashes.
- Using tweezers, pick up a sequin or piece of glitter. Apply lash adhesive to one side of the sequin or glitter, allowing it to become sticky. Place it onto the longest strands of the lashes, spacing them apart as desired.
- Coat each lash tip by dipping it into your glitter container and shaking off any loose sequins or glitter. The remaining particles should stay in place throughout the night (though no guarantees can be made).
- As usual, apply your modified Boldface Lashes – Blank Slate to your lash line.
- Spray your entire face with makeup fixing spray, being careful to keep your eyes closed.
These lashes offer an exciting option for those who are adventurous with their false lash choices. However, it’s important to note that these lashes are intended for one-time use only.
Beaded eyelashes and extreme false lash styles share many similarities. Both involve attaching beads, sequins, or glitter to false lashes before applying them to your eyes. The 1920s beaded look requires specialized beads, glue, and a significant amount of time to perfect. As a result, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you’re interested in exploring other extreme lash styles that are readily available and reusable, consider the following options:
Eylure Love Is Love Pride Lashes 117:
Rainbow strip lashes that add a vibrant burst of color and style. Embrace the winning combination of color and flair.
Boldface Lashes – Eye Nova:
These cruelty-free lashes offer a luscious blend of blue and purple strands, providing a glamorous and dramatic look.
Kiss Matte Black Faux Mink Collection – Matte Velvet:
For those who prefer a more subtle and natural aesthetic, these lashes deliver an understated elegance with their matte velvet effect. Alternatively, we also offer styles that provide a delicate and beautiful finish, perfect for an enviable look without excessive fanfare.
At FalseEyelashes, we cater to everyone’s preferences, regardless of how adventurous or refined your style may be.
Remember, while beaded eyelashes may require more effort, they offer a unique and captivating vintage feel. Whether you choose to recreate this timeless look or experiment with other extreme lash styles, allow your creativity to shine through and embrace the transformative power of false lashes.