Enjoy my writing and art? Want to see more? Support my work on Patreon!
Okay, you all know how much I love natural products, especially the ones that I can make at home. Well, today I finally found the time to try making one that I’ve been wanting for ages: Natural mascara. I don’t wear much makeup, but I love what a light layer of mascara does for my eyes, so I was all for making my own. Unfortunately, I have nothing good to report about the experience.
I’d link to the recipe that I used, but A) they’ve removed the information, supposedly due to concerns that it might not be safe, and B) Why send you to a link for something that doesn’t work? I can tell you however that the recipe called for a capsule of activated charcoal, some coconut oil, aloe vera gel and bentonite clay. I don’t have bentonite, but I have used kaolin in every other product I make with complete success, so I used that. As for the aloe, that stuff spoils like nobody’s business, so I left it out. I doubt that had any bearing in my results.
So, first I made the stuff up, which was a mess. Charcoal powder poofed all over as I tried to ever-so-gently stir, and left gray marks on the counter that I’m not sure will come off. I figured, okay, it’s messy, and next time put a paper towel under it. Undaunted, I carried it and my freshly cleaned spare mascara brush to the bathroom and applied a coat. To begin with, it’s thinner than normal mascara, so there were tiny spatters around my eye. No big I thought, I powdered my face with arrowroot first, so I can just brush it off. (I’ll be doing an article on arrowroot soon.) Success! Or so it seemed. Blinking caused the mascara to put little black marks on my upper and lower lids. I wasn’t happy, but went off to do other things and let it dry.
So half an hour later the stuff is still not dry. Touching my lashes with my finger produces icky black lines on said finger. It apparently doesn’t dry. I tried setting it with some arrowroot powder, but alas, that got black gunk on my kabuki brush and gray spots on my skin. I am not happy at this point. Okay, we’re washing it off. HA! You think? NOPE! What I got was black smeared all around my eyes. It was like grease paint. I scrubbed my skin red trying to get it off. This stuff laughs at soap. It’s water-resistant and stains. I finally got it off, my skin pink and sore, and me a very unhappy camper.
Washing the brush and container proved even more of a nightmare. The stuff basically turns into something akin to boot black. It’s this clumpy, greasy, smearing mass of pitch black hell. And I was using water hot enough to almost burn, so it’s not like the oil was reacting to cold. It was awful. I barely got the crap out of my steel sink, but my counter, dish towel, scrubber, utility toothbrush and the plastic container I made the mascara in did not fare so well. All of them are some level of stained, as are parts of my fingers and nails.
Overall, I’d call this an epic fail. In retrospect, I should have known better. I use coconut oil and clay to make my toothpaste, and it takes days to dry out. Charcoal may absorb, but it doesn’t dry things up. Had I added aloe gel, it would likely have been worse. I’ve rubbed that on my skin and it doesn’t exactly dry quickly. (which is great for bites and burns, bad for lashes) I saw another recipe that added beeswax, but I don’t see that working much better. If you use little enough for the product to stay brushable, it’s not going to help much, if you add more, it would likely solidify in the container.
I wanted so much for this to work, and I wish there was something I could make that would work. However, I have my doubts that this is really doable. If you know of a recipe that you have personally tried on multiple occasions in varying conditions with success, do let me know. Until then, I suppose I’ll be sticking to the commercial stuff.