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You have to wonder who first came up with the idea of tinting eyelashes. Certainly, it's very effective, not to mention affordable and easily accessible.

Whilst eyelashes have a very functional purpose, keeping debris out of our eyes, they have long been accentuated as part of our beauty regime. In most cultures, long eyelashes are considered the most attractive and we go to great lengths to make them appear that way.

Long before the first true false eyelashes appeared in the 1960s women used anything they could get their hands on to enhance their eyes. As far back as the Bronze Age, they used kohl, before mascara and then eyelash curlers were invented.

Longer Thicker Lashes

It might surprise you to know that these days you can get eyelash growth-promoting drugs and even eyelash transplants.

Eyelash tinting is extremely popular as it makes natural lashes appear longer and thicker. It's quick and easy to apply and lasts for several weeks. Best of all, you wake up good-to-go every morning, with no running mascara to worry about at the beach.

As with many modern beauty methods, home eyelash tinting kits are available. Seriously, why would you bother? It doesn't cost much more to go to a beauty salon and have them done professionally. No mess, no stinging and amazing results every time.

Vegetable Based Dye

Eyelash tinting generally uses a temporary tint to dye the lashes. The most common colours are black and blue-black and the dye is usually vegetable-based to avoid irritation.

An eyelash tinting treatment takes 10 to 15 minutes and you shouldn't experience any pain or lasting discomfort. Special protective shields are used to prevent the dye getting into your eyes or staining your skin.

Once the tint is applied you'll be left to rest quietly with your eyes closed for five minutes or so, before the dye is gently washed off.

Great for the Beach

Eyelash tinting is a great option for so many clients. It's brilliant for those with naturally blond lashes, or people who can't tolerate makeup. It's an absolute must for those who play a sport or swim regularly.

Despite its simplicity - or perhaps because of that - it's so important to choose a good quality salon. There is a definite skill to correctly and safely applying the dye, and removing it, without causing discomfort.

As with so many beauty trends, eyelash treatments have changed so much through the ages. In Ancient Egypt, both men and women reached for the mascara to make their eyes look more attractive. By the time we got to Ancient Rome, it was full on. Eyelashes had to be not only long, dark and thick but also curled.

What a contrast compared to the Middle Ages. Believe it or not women generally removed their eyebrows and their eyelashes to accentuate their foreheads. Thank goodness that's out of fashion!

Eyelash Tints and Mascaras

You might also be relieved that you weren't alive during the Elizabethan era. It was considered fashionable to have (naturally) reddish-blond lashes - to match the Queen's hair. However, that generally involved the use of some rather toxic substances that could make the hair fall out. Interestingly, it was also considered rather uncouth to actually dye your lashes, so women often did it in secret using berries and soot.

Over time we discovered all manner of concoctions and tools to make our eyelashes more beautiful. This really came into its own in the 1960s and 1970s when the aim was to look as dramatic as possible. This is when the first really effective falsies were launched - as opposed to the fake lashes introduced by US film director David W Griffith in 1916.

We are so lucky to live now, with a seemingly endless choice of eyelash tints and mascaras, and many fabulous beauty salons and spas. Find them right here on Bookwell.