Natural Homemade Mascara

Photo by Michele of Frugal Granola

Post written by contributing writer, Michele Augur.

After using activated charcoal as a natural pimple remedy (moisten your face, and dab a little as a “mask” onto the spot; leave on for 15-20 min, then wash off), I realized that it could also work as a natural, inexpensive mascara option!

I have purchased the Aloe Vera Gel from Mountain Rose Herbs, and use the activated charcoal from NaturoKits. I have also found activated charcoal at natural herb stores in bulk.
.Photo by Michele of Frugal Granola

Natural Homemade Mascara

  • 1/8 tsp. Activated Charcoal (about 1/2 capsule)
  • 1/8 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel

Mix together aloe and charcoal. (I use a small baby spoon, since I’m not using them for baby food!) Then, dip in a clean mascara brush wand, pressing it against the inside of the bowl to coat it evenly onto the wand, smoothing out any clumps. Apply to eyelashes as usual. Wait a few seconds before blinking, to let the mascara dry, so that it doesn’t get on your cheeks.

I was able to remove the majority of mascara with a warm washcloth, just like typical mascara. (I haven’t usually purchased “waterproof” mascara, anyway.) The mascara has stayed on well, even when I got teary-eyed during a worship service, but I haven’t tried wearing outside in a downpour yet!

I haven’t tried storing this mixture, as it tends to dry out fairly quickly, and I don’t use makeup everyday. (However, experiment, and see what works for you! It might be feasible to store a little bit in a small airtight jar or makeup “pot.”) I was not able to successfully stuff it into an old mascara container, since this mixture is very thick and does not pour.

About Michele

Michele and her husband Calvin live a simple & sustainable life in rural Washington with their two- going on three- (busy!) little ones at Hampton Creek Inn. She takes joy in the daily ministry of delving into creativity, traditional homemaking & hospitality, homeschooling in everyday moments, and smooching her husband in the woods. Michele loves encouraging women and equipping them for frugal, natural living through her blog, Frugal Granola.

87 Responses to Natural Homemade Mascara

  1. Julianne December 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I’ve been trying a few of the different mascara recipes, and I like this one without all of the coconut oil. (I love coconut oil, just not so much as is added in the recipes found here.) I’ve also noticed it gets thick fairly quickly, so I’ve been adding a few drops of colloidal silver to my mascara bottle. I like it. For a little bit of smoothness, adding just a drop or two of a liquid oil like sweet almond oil or fractionated coconut oil works well, also. I bought mascara bottles on Amazon, and use a syringe without the needle to fill the bottle. If you ask nicely, some pharmacies will give you a small syringe for free.

  2. Cat October 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm #


    I just read your mascara blog. Just thought that I may share a little thought. You mentioned the mascara dries. While the aloe makes it stick, it also contains water that makes it moist. The dryness is the absence of moisture lost. By adding a drop of water and mixing you would have reactivated the charcoal and aloe. Just thought this might help. Thanks for the great idea!

  3. Tahnee August 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    I would highly recommend not putting it into an old mascara bottle as like all mascara it can grow bacteria. You can buy empty tubes here! Also vitamin E oil can aid in keeping your mascara fresh and give it a longer shelf life!!

  4. Jackie March 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    I have read that activated charcoal can cure pink eye and many other eye problems. I’m going to try this recipe. We use charcoal for many things. Thanks for sharing !

  5. 5cheryl5 February 14, 2013 at 4:13 am #

    I went and spoke with a pharmacist (that I trust) yesterday and he agreed with not using activated charcoal on your face. I just wanted to be sure I had the correct information.
    I am so happy that I found your site! It’s great to find a woman of faith that is living a lifestyle that I hope one day, simply and frugally, to live!

  6. Alexandra Lee February 13, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    here’s more info.

  7. 5cheryl5 February 13, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    I totally agree about the dangers of using activated charcoal. It’s used to absorb toxins! That’s the very first thing they give someone that has overdosed on Tylenol, Advil, etc.. Please don’t use this anywhere NEAR your face! A much better (and cheaper) recipe is to mix black (very darkly pigmented) eyeshadow and aloe vera gel. And if you add a small amount of Vitamin E Oil, this mascara will keep for 6 weeks. (Vitamin E Oil is a natural preservative.) Try it! And the Castor Oil idea…inspired! I’ve applied Castor Oil to my lashes for 2 weeks and actually had to trim them because they were hitting my eyeglasses!
    Good Luck!

  8. Morgan January 28, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    DO NOT DO THIS! Activated charcoal is not safe for use near eyes. Here is the Material Safety Data Sheet:

    • Fina September 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      That article research has included ALL FORMS of charcoal, like just regular charcoal the miners dig for (it mentions black lung). Of course that is dangerous, and should not be used externally, inhaled, or internally. Those dangers are not about the activated charcoal you find in health food stores. You DO ingest this one, it IS safe to do so, and it can cure pink eye (or so I have heard). Worse case scenario in the eye is a severe allergic reaction, so rinse out well, and don’t panic. Melt some shea butter, and put it in that if you are worried. It will stay in that carrier when you apply, and be less likely to go into your eye.

  9. Chelsa January 23, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    Activated charcoal is an antiseptic and a “black hole” that absorbs toxins. Kitkat the author of the article you posted sounds good intentioned but misinformed about activated charcoal. I will be trying this! Maybe possibly with food grade castor oil as it can help lashes grow longer!

  10. theresa January 20, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    If you are concerned about infection, pure food grade coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitical, antimicrobial, antiviral.

    • Anita January 20, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

      Would one use the coconut oil in place of the Aloe Vera gel or use it in addition to?
      I like your line of thinking as I use CO for many things.

  11. KitKat January 19, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    This mascara is NOT safe, unfortunately, and I would not recommend trying it. You could get some really nasty infections.

    A chemist on ‘The Beauty Brains’ explains why (in relation to this mascara):

    I’m honestly not having a go as I’m guessing you weren’t aware of the dangers of making this sort of mascara, but just to let you know, it’s not safe.

    • Fina September 12, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

      Use natural preservative-free aloe vera gel or juice found in health food stores. Like I said the chemist from that site is a moron. I have a degree in science too. Activated charcoal actually draws out toxins, and poisons, and some claim it can cure pink eye. Just sayin….