National Lash Day
annually on February 19th (since 2016)
House of Lashes in August 2015
Created by House of Lashes, National Lash Day is "a day to notice and appreciate both true and false eyelashes for the beauty they add to every look." Eyelashes have been a focus of beauty since around 4000 BCE when kohl began being used to darken them in Ancient Egypt. Modern non-toxic mascara was developed by Eugene Rimmel in France in 1913, but mascara didn't take hold in America until a few years later, with the debut of Maybelline. Their formula was made of a mix of Vaseline and coal and developed by founder Thomas Williams.
Eyelashes are important to beauty and makeup, but they also help to prevent infections by keeping dirt and debris from going into the eye, and they keep sweat and water away as well. They even give a sensory warning, similar to that of whiskers on cats, which alerts the eye that debris is approaching. Tiny mites called Demodex that live in eyelashes help clean follicles and also help protect from infections.
Ninety-seven percent of the makeup of eyelashes is the protein keratin, and the rest is water. They average about 10mm in length, with those in the center being longer than those on the sides. The upper eyelid is thicker with eyelashes than the bottom: the top has 200 to 300, while the bottom has about 100. Each day a few eyelashes fall out, and their full growth cycle is about three months, shorter than that for hair on the head—one of the reasons eyelashes are shorter in length.
There are three phases of growth. The anagen phase is the active growth phase. It lasts two to three weeks, during which an eyelash reaches its full length. Next is the catagen phase, a transitional phase that lasts two to three weeks, when the hair stops growing and the follicle closes off. Last comes the telogen phase, which is a resting period. Eyelashes may stay on the face as long as 100 days. About nine out of ten lashes on someone's face are in this phase. On National Lash Day, we appreciate the beauty of true and false eyelashes no matter their phase of growth or length.
How to Observe
Many cosmetics companies offer deals on this holiday. Checking for deals from the creators of the holiday, House of Lashes, may be a good place to start. House of Lashes also suggests that participants take photos of their lashes with or without makeup and post them on social media with the hashtag #nationallashday. You could use the day to focus on the healthiness of your eyelashes. Read about some home remedies for longer and healthier eyelashes, and eat foods for strong lashes like nuts, salmon, and eggs. The day could also be spent picking up fake eyelashes, eyelash extensions, or an eyelash growth serum. Above all, focus on making your eyelashes as beautiful as possible today!