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DIY all-natural eye-emphasizing mascara

DIY all-natural eye emphasizing mascara

Mascara is the one cosmetic I wear on a daily basis, and the one item in my regular beauty routine that, up until now, I have still been purchasing ready-made (as opposed to making it in my kitchen). You see, I’ve tried to make my own mascara in the past (oh, have I tried), but all of the recipes called for coconut oil. While this may work outdoors in the wintertime (burr), since coconut oil has a melting point of 76°F, it was constantly smudging all over my face! I love the ingenuity of these DIYs but they were just not working out for me.

So I gave up. Until the other week when I had parked myself in the park during my lunch break for just a little bit too long, and got a slight sunburn on my shoulders. That night, I put on the DIY all-natural Blackhead Busting Blackout Mask and rubbed some aloe on my shoulders as I let the mask sink in. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and then it hit me, just like the apple to Newton’s head (OK OK, maybe not quite so historically significant, but you get the gist): I could potentially combine all of these ingredients for a great DIY mascara – aloe gel for the base, activated charcoal for the pigment, and bentonite clay to keep the mascara from smudging.

So I did. And it worked!

Ingredients*:

  • 2 teaspoons of pure aloe vera gel. (Click here to purchase pure aloe vera gel.)
  • 10 capsules of activated charcoal opened and emptied. To open the capsules, simply twist the two halves and gently pull them apart. (Click here to purchase activated charcoal.)
  • A smidgen (less than 1/4 of a teaspoon) of bentonite clay or cosmetic clay. This helps the mascara dry after applied to the lashes, which, as previously mentioned, is my issue with other DIY mascaras. (Click here to purchase bentonite clay.)
  • Empty mascara tube. (Click here to purchase an empty mascara tube).

*Makes 1 tube of mascara

DIY all natural mascaraDirections:

Mix all of the ingredients together until smooth and consistent.

To fill the tube, use an oral syringe (these can be purchased at the drugstore for a few dollars and will make the process significantly more simple). Fill the syringe, then transfer the mixture into the mascara tube by pushing the plunger. Wipe off any excess mixture.

That’s it! Easy-peasy as always.

Unlike the coconut oil DIY mascaras, this mascara dries on the lashes and so does not smudge. I was concerned that it may flake throughout the day, but it stays put!

In the picture above, I curled my lashes before applying the mascara (I’ve had this eyelash curler for years and it still works wonderfully), and applied about three coats, allowing each coat to dry for about a minute before adding another. Definitely have an eyelash comb or clean, old mascara wand on hand to brush out any clumps (there will be clumps, but they are easily brushed through).

Be sure to keep the lid on tight as the mixture will dry out if left open. As with store-bought mascara, discard the mascara after three months of use.

DIY all-natural mascara

Standard FTC disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only support and endorse products that I use personally and feel would benefit readers. Thank you for supporting Body Unburdened and the work I do to help readers live non-toxic, healthy lives!


Share Your Thoughts





  1. Stephanie Wallace

    Is there any way to make this waterproof? We live in Fl and everything runs here even without tears!

    July 31, 2013 • 1:35 pm •
  2. Bryanna

    Looks awesome! I have been wanting to make my own too, can you use this as liquid eyeliner too?

    July 31, 2013 • 1:50 pm •
  3. Shelli

    How do you get the old store bought mascara out of the tube? or can you buy clean empty tubes to use?

    July 31, 2013 • 2:20 pm •
  4. Shelli

    DOH!!! Just went back and read article again and found the answer to my own question! 😛

    July 31, 2013 • 2:22 pm •
  5. August 4, 2013 • 9:25 am •
  6. kathleen

    How do you take off the mascara?

    August 4, 2013 • 11:44 pm •
  7. Nadia

    Great question! It comes off very easily when I wash my face.

    August 5, 2013 • 9:24 pm •
  8. I have bulk activated charcoal. Do you know what the measurement is of the powder in 10 capsules? Thanks!

    August 6, 2013 • 4:57 pm •
  9. Also, like Bryanna, I’m curious if this would work as an eyeliner (before I buy the empty eyeliner bottle). Thank you! =]

    August 6, 2013 • 5:00 pm •
  10. Margo Ling

    Is it workout proof? I sweat like crazy.

    August 10, 2013 • 12:11 am •
  11. Nadia

    Hmm unfortunately I don’t think it is. I always wash my face before working out but it washes of easily and is definitely not waterproof.

    August 10, 2013 • 1:30 am •
  12. Hannah

    Hi, just wondered if beez wax would work instead of the clay?

    Thanks :)

    August 10, 2013 • 6:10 am •
  13. Nadia

    Hi, Hannah. Probably – and to be honest, I tried. But it was too much to heat the wax and try to mix in the aloe – I couldn’t get it to the right consistency and I think one time it may have burned! I see how adding wax would be easier for coconut oil based mascaras. If you give it a go and it works out, please let me know!

    August 10, 2013 • 8:10 am •
  14. kathleen

    Can i use live aloe vera? I have a plant outside.

    August 14, 2013 • 11:54 pm •
  15. […] DIY Mascara – Body Unburdened […]

    August 23, 2013 • 2:51 pm •
  16. […] your beauty products: All Natural Mascara by Body Unburdened Lip Balm by The Coconut Mama Homemade Bronzer by Thank Your […]

    August 24, 2013 • 12:57 pm •
  17. Tina

    Will this leave permanent stains on clothes?

    September 9, 2013 • 7:53 pm •
  18. I have bulk activated charcoal. Do you know what the measurement is of the powder in 10 capsules? Thanks!

    Also, like Bryanna, I’m curious if this would work as an eyeliner (before I buy the empty eyeliner bottle). Thank you! =]

    September 10, 2013 • 9:28 am •
  19. Jenna

    I’m wondering why this did not work for me. I had all the ingredients on hand except the empty mascara tube. I do have a mascara wand so I tried to apply it directly from the shot glass that I mixed all the ingredients in. The black mixture does not get on my lashes. Mostly just splatters around my eye. It seems too liquidey. Oh well, on to the next experiment. Thanks for the recipe, though. Glad it works for you.

    October 21, 2013 • 3:50 pm •
  20. Jenna, I don’t know why it didn’t work for you. I just used charcoal, aloe vera gel, and betonite clay. I didn’t measure out 10 capsules because mine is in bulk, so I’m not sure how much I put in. The consistency was gooey perfect and it stuck to my eyelashes. Maybe try putting more charcoal in?
    BTW, this is a great DIY. I don’t wear mascara just because who-knows-what’s-in-it. But now I have my own! Thanks!

    October 23, 2013 • 4:02 pm •
  21. How did you come up with the idea to add bentonite clay? I can’t wait to try this and will report back with my results. Thank you!

    October 27, 2013 • 6:53 pm •
  22. Anyone know if each of these ingredients are safe to use on the eyes? I’d really like to try this but I haven’t had much luck coming up with a conclusive answer based on the research I did.

    October 27, 2013 • 10:08 pm •
  23. I’m reading that a conversion for bulk activated charcoal is 14 capsules = 1 tbsp

    November 8, 2013 • 6:18 pm •
  24. Well, I tried it as written and got a clump. I tried to loosen it with a bit of fractionated coconut oil and a tad more aloe vera, but no go. It felt exactly like jello in my fingers, to give you an idea of the consistency. For the heck of it I smeared it on my brush and used it…almost no change at all. What DID work, however, was squeezing out a drop of aloe, running my brush through it, then rolling it in the charcoal. Nice and long.

    November 8, 2013 • 6:59 pm •
  25. Lindsey P.

    I had a really hard time with the recipe above. It was so clumpy after first trying to mix it. I added a bunch of aloe but it wouldn’t stick to my eyelashes. I am a blonde so I could really tell.

    I tried the suggestion by Andreamerida and that did not work for me. I also tried adding more charcoal but it didn’t work either. Before giving up, I added more clay and slowly it began to stick to my eyelashes more and more. I do not have exact measurements since it was a process of adding more of this then more of that.

    December 24, 2013 • 1:21 pm •
  26. HSmith

    I just tried to make this. It turned out to be dry and chalky. Can you post a video of you making this?

    I used exactly what the recipe called for and it was dry. So I read what Andreamerida said and added a little more aloe vera and coconut oil, it made it a little more moist but would not stick on my eyelashes.

    Any suggestions?

    February 12, 2014 • 11:51 am •
  27. I made this mascara and it looks just like mascara when applied. However, after about an hour or so it no longer looks like I’m wearing mascara and it seems to have rubbed off around my eyes. What could I do to solve this?

    February 20, 2014 • 1:33 pm •
  28. Rebecca

    If we don’t have access to bentonite clay, which other clay would you recommend using?

    March 21, 2014 • 5:24 pm •
  29. kate

    It works great as an eyeliner and to make it waterproof add beeswax

    May 15, 2014 • 7:00 pm •
  30. mockley

    My attempt was way too liquidy, and the recipe above made far more than would fit in the mascara tube I bought using the link above, so I wasted a lot of it. I’m guessing more clay and charcoal would improve the mixture, but my eyes were also rather itchy the days I wore it, so I’m not sure if it irritated my eyes, or what.

    May 30, 2014 • 2:34 pm •
  31. Donna

    Activated charcoal makes my eyes feel cold and irritated, like fumes from the fire they used to produce the product maybe? I just use black oxide and no sensitivity at all. Honestly, I think it’s safer than the charcoal, and both fall under a ‘dirt’ umbrella anyways. Vegi edible glycerin with the clay and tint works too, and is thicker.

    June 11, 2014 • 4:50 am •
  32. Lynne Boettcher

    Love this mascara! It works great for me! It was messy filling the tube but it was fairly easy to clean up! Thank you for posting this!

    June 16, 2014 • 4:20 pm •
  33. Melissa

    Hi Nadia, I tried your recipe but it seems like the measurements are inaccurate. Somehow I got an extremely blobby consistency- it did NOT stick to my lashes. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get the recipe to work, I added more aloe Vera etc NOTHING. I think 10 capsules of activated charcoal is waaaay too much, but I don’t think that was the exact problem. It’s just that the ingredients did not bind properly due to inaccurate measurements. Kudos to those who could make it happen- I couldn’t. Nadia if you have any suggestions please let me know. Everything I made went down the drain, I feel terrible for the materials I wasted. :-\

    July 4, 2014 • 5:02 am •
  34. Works amazing! My sisters and I are totally pumped about this 😀

    -Charlotte
    boyerfamilysingers.blogspot.com

    July 23, 2014 • 7:13 pm •
  35. Rebecca P

    I have noticed different consistencies with aloe vera depending on the brand, and wonder if that is why some are thinner than others. I used lily of the desert brand, 5 capsules of charcoal, 1/8 tsp bentonite clay and a 1/4 tsp vitamin E(the 70000IU kind). The vitamin E is pretty thick and probably helped with the consistence. I put on one coat and then a second and they didn’t clump or run. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!!

    September 19, 2014 • 9:06 pm •
  36. Nadia

    Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing that. Yes, I bet the brand does alter the consistency a bit which makes it hard.

    September 21, 2014 • 7:51 pm •
  37. Tried to make this with fresh aloe harvested from my plant. It was really a pain to get into the bottle since I didn’t have a syringe (which wouldn’t have worked anyway because of the consistency, I blame the fresh aloe). Hard to apply but looks OK. I plan to experiment with the recipe and get it to work with the fresh aloe. Thanks so much for the recipe! I really like your blog!

    October 2, 2014 • 4:30 am •
  38. Nadia

    Great to hear and thank you so much!! I hope you can get it perfect :)

    October 2, 2014 • 10:35 am •
  39. Hi there. This is GREAT! I am the smudge queen when it comes to mascara – do you think this still might work? Thanks!

    November 19, 2014 • 1:02 pm •
  40. tmcg86

    Hi! I have just made this and I find it flakes off my lashes very easily. It doesn’t smudge – it’s not a liquid issue. Do you think it’s that there isn’t enough aloe or should I add more bentonite clay to firm things up?!
    Cheers!

    December 23, 2014 • 7:20 pm •
  41. alison

    Thanks Nadia! I just made this mascara and am so pleased to have a nontoxic alternative that looks natural and great! From the posts I read above I get the feeling the type of aloe vera might make a difference-I used ‘Lily of the Desert aloe vera gel-inner filet dietary supplement’ from my natural food store and the consistency was perfect when following your recipe. I made sure to shake the bottle really well first because otherwise mostly liquid pours out and wouldn’t give the right consistency. Thanks again for sharing this wonderful diy mascara recipe!

    February 8, 2015 • 3:07 pm •
  42. kennedy.mclean@hotmail.com

    I cant use aloe -allergic to everything….nothing nut based or coconut oil and vitamin E wouldn’t be an option since most of it is derived from soy another allergy-I was just wondering if you had any other suggestions for what I could replace the aloe with?

    February 16, 2015 • 3:54 pm •
  43. Nadia

    Well I haven’t tried anything else so I’m not sure if it would work but perhaps vegetable glycerine…?

    February 18, 2015 • 10:22 am •
  44. Liana

    For everyone getting clumps, try to just make sure you add the bentonite clay AFTER mixing the aloe and charcoal a bit, it really helps. I also added a capsule of vitamin E as a preservative and some Rosehip essential oil for…my love of Rosehip oil. ;p The addition of a little oil seemed to kind of smooth everyone out a little better without compromising the staying power. Another pro-tip: DEFINITELY get a syringe. I tried lots of silly experiments to almost no avail, a syringe definitely necessity to get your mascara in the tube, like, at all. However, the tiny bit I was able to get into my tube is great, I’m in love! This is an awesome recipe, thank you for saving my irritated eyes (and wallet)!

    March 14, 2015 • 8:58 pm •
  45. Nadia

    Thanks for sharing your advice and experience with us! So glad you’re enjoying the DIY!!

    March 16, 2015 • 6:49 pm •
  46. Dolores Reynals

    When you add the clay, do you add the powder directly or mix it with water to make clay first? Thanks x

    April 19, 2015 • 10:09 am •
  47. Nadia

    Yes, just the powder.

    April 19, 2015 • 9:38 pm •
  48. Barb

    I’m giving this one a try I made one mascara and its to oily I get oil all over my eye area so wish me good luck

    May 6, 2015 • 7:52 am •
  49. Nadia

    Yes, good luck!

    May 6, 2015 • 11:22 am •
  50. Rita

    Made it for the 2nd time yesterday. Used Fruit of the Earth gel from amazon. Used 4t aloe, 6 charcoal caps & a scant 1/4 t bentonite, & a few drops of Vitamin E. Used a little 5 oz Anchor Hocking glass which made mixing easier. Also used a 1ml syringe (from the vet). It is tiny, but fits all the way down into the tube enabling filling at the bottom first, which is a problem for me. Using a narrow glass also makes it easier to fill the syringe. It might could have been a bit thinner, but works great.
    And ladies, check out the eyelash serum recipes…..they really DO work. Be patient, takes a few months.
    I also use the castor oil to remove eye makeup.

    May 8, 2015 • 10:30 am •
  51. wowww.. great diy love it and will try it :)

    May 12, 2015 • 4:42 am •
  52. I made your mascara I like it real well I use the only thing with it is sometimes I get coon eyes from using ,do u have any sugeastion on this .thank u for sharing this with me .

    May 12, 2015 • 10:39 am •
  53. CIANNA

    LOVE IT THANKS:)

    June 20, 2015 • 5:59 pm •
  54. Nadia

    So glad to hear it :)

    June 22, 2015 • 2:54 pm •