Bid farewell to Twiggy-inspired lashes: Mascara’s falling out of fashion

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
Millennials are turning their backs on mascara but why? [Photo: Pexels]

We all remember walking out of our local Boots – our arms slathered in lipstick swatches – with a bag load of mismatched makeup that we had no idea how to use.

And we don’t about you, but one of the very first items we invested in was an eccentric blue-tinged mascara – totally appropriate for school, right?

So we couldn’t help but feel nostalgic after learning that shoppers are beginning to turn their backs on our beloved wispy wands.

According to Euromonitor International, mascara sales are expected to slow down from four percent in the last three years to a mere two percent by 2021. At the same time, eyelash services are on the rise with consumers desperate to invest in everything from ‘lash lifts’ to long-lasting extensions.  

But why are we ditching the bathroom staple all of a sudden?

The bottom line: they’re too expensive to produce for an increasingly disinterested market place.

The Business of Fashion notes that when Rihanna launched her debut makeup label Fenty Beauty back in September 2017, she famously gave mascara a miss. A year and several Insta-famous additions down the line, the noughties must-have is still absent from the singer’s mega chain.


Rival makeup powerhouses championed by celebrity faces are also skipping mascara with Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty line and sister Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics also missing the once-vital ingredient.

Though with the 20-year-old’s recent title as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire – thanks to her $900 (£678.5 million) empire which rakes in an eye-watering £475 million worth of makeup sales – Jenner certainly doesn’t miss it.


And although beauty mecca Glossier recently launched its first mascara, it was three-and-a-half years in the making as it took a grand total of 248 formulations and 18 months of testing before getting the green light.

So it comes as no surprise to learn that there’s an increasing interest in more permanent alternatives.

“The comfort level with consumers to go and get these different kinds of treatments and services has definitely reached an all-time high,” senior beauty analyst at Mintel, Sarah Jindal, told BoF.

“People are willing to invest a little bit more in going and getting a lash lift or lash extensions, because they know it then makes their routine in the morning that much easier.”

And with drop-in beauty bars from Shavata to Blink Brow Bar setting up shop across the UK, it’s never been easier to chase Insta-worthy lashes with the swipe of a card.

BRB, off to stock up on Twiggy-worthy wands.


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