1920s/30s Black Cake Mascara / Eyebrow Colourer (Vegan)
Mascara like they did in the golden era!
A wonderful - and adorable! - historically accurate Black Cake Mascara!
Order in which to apply: Apply makeup first. Then apply your powdered eyeliner and then apply your original cake mascara last.
NOTE: Please read this all the way through before you purchase. This is an ORIGINAL Recipe from the early 1930s and therefore has soap as an ingredient which may burn if you rub your eyes or touch them a lot!!! NO TOUCHY! We will talk more about this in a moment!!
Cake mascara is making a comeback, but what was the very first cake mascara really like, and was it different than the type in today's market? Yes. Today many different formulas exist with hard to pronounce ingredients that were not available in the 1920s. These new formulas are our modern idea of what cake mascara is, but it's far removed in some ways from how the original cake mascara formulations functioned what ingredients they originally started out using.
As with most products, we can see their evolution as "newer" and "better" ingredients were found and tried. This is typical and how all products evolve over time. A great example of evolution in formulations and ingredients would be in the history of "Bloom of Roses". It was first created in 1780 and throughout the centuries, the recipe changed and evolved up until 1958 when it was finally considered too "old school" for the new "better living through chemicals" ideology. This idea of chemicals also had an effect on cake mascara too. The formulas from the very late 1920s and 1930s are vastly different from those in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. This means LBCC Historical Apothecary has a lot of ground to cover in the cake mascara realm, but firstly, we wanted to start out with the earliest form. If nothing else to better understand the evolution and formulations of it and give you a chance to try the first general cake mascara formula. So let's learn a bit about the history of cake mascara.
In 1913, Thomas Williams was said to have watched his sister Mabel mixing vaseline ( a relatively new product from 1872) that people used in almost everything at the time) and coal dust together, to make a cream type of mascara. Remember the term "mascara" wasn't used back then. Most of the time they just called it, " darkening or beautifying the eyelashes." In retrospect, the idea of darkening the eyelashes wasn't really discussed or written about at this time unless it is mentioned in the theatrical sections of formularies. They first marketed a product very similar to what she was making in 1915 as "lash-brow-ine". They called the company Maybelline. Their ad for this first eyelash product stated, " If your eyebrows and eyelashes are short, thin, and uneven you can aid nature in a marvelous way in nourishing and promoting their natural growth by simply applying a little nightly." Maybelline's cake mascara would have to wait 17 more years to hit the shelves in 1932. The original recipe that we used came from 1932!!! Cool Huh!
I haven't really found recipes for "cake" mascara in the 1920 formularies. The earliest one we could find was 1932 (same as when Maybelline came out with theirs). The reason for this is because most women in the 1920's that wanted darker lashes were using a liquid product. Although we do see a few ads starting to pop up by 1928 advertising cake mascara and spouting catchphrases like, "You too can have eyes that charm!". But it took a bit for the cake mascara to catch on, and when it did, there was no going back. As more companies formulated their own recipes, each was looking for the newest ingredients and would work and the best catch-phrases to sell their product. This snazzy example is from a 1934 advertisement for Winx Cake Mascara. "You'll never realize the power of beautiful eyes until you try Winx the professional formula of mascara in either cake or liquid form... it makes skimpy lashes look luxurious, sparkling, alive!"
These early forms of cake mascara ( and the one in this listing) were not without their growing pains. The formulas, although pretty natural were oftentimes always, made with soaps. We all know what happens when we get soap in our eyes. It stings. Now as annoying as this feeling is, it does serve a purpose then and now. Back then, the etiquette for ladies held fast to not touching their face or rubbing their eyes. It's not ladylike. Even in our collections, we have numerous books documenting the many reasons a woman would keep her hands away from her face. Today in the midst of COVID, we are once again told not to touch our faces or rub our eyes, so we have somethings in common with the early users of this product.
Q: Will it sting if you get it in your eyes?
A: YES, However, for those that tested it when they compared it to other cake mascaras, it said it was different ( which is it is) it took them a little bit to get used to how to wet it and let it sit while they worked at your toilettes. Once they got the hang of it, they all loved it. Most of them said, they only got it in their eye once and never again. Plus many of them reported back that they never realized how much they touch their face in a day and this mascara helped them to take note and stop. Plus almost all of our testers threw away their old mascara's.
Q: Is it bad for my eyes to get soap in them?
A: "Most substances you get in your eyes that make your eyes burn will not cause serious eye problems. The only treatment needed for items such as soaps, shampoos, and perfumes that get in the eyes is to immediately flush the eyes with water." (C.S. Motts Children's Hospital)
Q: Did women have this issue historically?
A: Yes this was one of the reasons that other alternative ingredients were looked into, becuase women complained that they loved the concept of the cake bar, but didn't like the possibility of getting it in their eyes. Remember, soap doesn't actually harm the eye, even if it stings and tears up. Women continued to use this formula for many years afterward. It wasn't until the early 1940's that we see other ingredients being used. Not all of these later original formulas are able to be reproduced. So basically from the 1920s through the 1930s, many women who chose to use cake mascara's had this issue. But I have to say after you start wearing it and not touching your eyes, you never notice it and it stays on all day. It seems scary, but it's not really, it just takes a little getting used to and learning how to properly apply it and not rub your eyes. You will love it!
Q: Will bacteria build up? How long will this last?
A: No. This was the only part of the recipe we had to change. We used a modern water-soluble preservative that is very effective at preventing the growth of bacteria, mold, fungus, yeasts, and more. This is a paraben-free preservative!! You will run out of mascara before you need to toss it out. We give this formula for up to 2 years.
Q: What are the white specks? Why is my cake cracked? Why is this happening?
A: If you see white specks don't worry, it's just corn starch. Sometimes your cake may crack, but don't worry It will be glued back together with water. If it pulls apart a little that is ok too. What are seeing is gum arabic stretching. The reason this is happening is becuase, historically they had molds that would put pressure on the cakes and push the air out of them. This would help prevent cracks and pulling apart. We don't have a cake mascara mold, but you can bet if I can find one we will get it! Also, we show this in the last photo.
Q: Is this Vegan and Earth Friendly?
A: YES. No Waste if you recycle and earth-friendly. Also, we would never test on animals and this recipe is Vegan!
Q: What are the directions? Can I use this for my brows and eyeliner?
Moisten the brush with water, or place a few drops of water on your cake or brush. Rub to spread the water over the cake and let sit while you do the rest of your makeup. This gives the water time to soak in. Rub cake until proper consistency is obtained add more water if necessary. Less is more. Apply to lashes pushing your brush up on the lash to curl them and allow them to dry. Apply more than one coat if necessary. Need to color your eyebrows? Not a problem! Follow the same instructions. I would NOT use this as eyeliner for obvious reasons.
Q: What soap did we use?
A: We used a historical soap of course! Kirks Original Coco Castile Bar Soap Fragrance-Free = Sodium Cocoate, Water, Glycerin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Gluconate. "Kirk’s is the only coconut castile soap brand continuously made since 1839. We only use 100% natural ingredients for health-conscious families who want everyday, high-quality cleansing products – free from chemicals" This is the same soap that was around in the 1930s.
Ingredients: Activated Charcoal, Gum Arabic, Corn Starch, Coco Castile Bar Soap, Alcohol, Germal Vig Plus, Vitamin A, Paraben Free
1932 Cake Mascara
Recyclable Small Slide Tin
Outside Box: 3.5" X 1.5"
Tin Of Cake Mascara: 2" X 1"
Includes a spoolie