The future of beauty is here — and you’re invited. Check out the rest of our 2018 Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Awards winners for a full look at the products, brands, and people that are breaking the rules and redefining beauty standards, one lipstick at a time.
Sometime between the years 3500 and 2500 B.C.E., Egyptian women — and men, too — used a combination of oil and a black powder called kohl to coat their eyelashes in rich, dark pigment to protect their eyes from the sun's damaging rays. Today, we just call that putting on mascara.
Roughly 5,500 years later, we don't have to cocktail our own lash makeup at home (nor should we — there are so many ways a DIY experiment that close to your eyes could go wrong). Now, we have sunglasses to shield our eyes, and no shortage of mascaras that do a whole lot more than block out sunlight. A Sephora search will reveal over 200 tubes that promise to lengthen, volumize, curl, and even tint your lashes blue, purple, or red like it's 1985. (A.D., to be clear.)
Even despite the product's remarkable evolution, we'll probably never stop looking for the next best thing; the one mascara that turns short, struggling lashes into a better version of themselves without a single flake or smudge. Luckily, we found a few that we think would make our ancient ancestors proud... and probably a little jealous of what a mix of wax and pigment can accomplish these days. Our top — and most recent — picks for mascaras that actually work, ahead.
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