In 1916, director D.W. Griffith released the film "Intolerance." The movie was the most expensive film of its time, with Griffith using one-third of his $2 million budget on segments depicting Babylon in 539 B.C. [source: Dirks]. In filming those scenes, Griffith inadvertently gave birth to a fashion trend. He wanted actress Seena Owen, who was playing a Babylonian princess, to have a dramatic, wide-eyed look, so he hired a wigmaker to create eyelashes from human hair [source: Betts]. In addition to making a film that most critics consider to be the best of the silent movie era, D.W. Griffith also invented false eyelashes [sources: Dirks, Betts].
The theatrical, glamorous look that Griffith created is still in vogue today. There are times when a few simple strokes of mascara just won't cut it -- for example, when Jennifer Lopez attended the 2001 Academy Awards, one of the most elegant nights in Hollywood, she wore false eyelashes made of red fox fur [source: Roach]. Soon after, Madonna wore eyelashes made of mink and dusted with diamonds [source: Righton]. And when Oprah Winfrey got wind of Madonna's fashion statement, her makeup artist ordered 200 pairs [source: Roach].
The maker of these modern false eyelashes that have so enthralled the biggest entertainers of our time is Shu Uemura. Named for its founder, the Shu Uemura company is known for its trendy eyelash art and its 24-carat gold eyelash curlers. But the sensational look that fake eyelashes can create needn't be limited to Hollywood stars with full-time makeup artists. If you want to feel like a star, you need only head to an eyelash bar -- where eyelashes, not cocktails, are on the menu.