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How to Make Your Own Natural, Nontoxic Vegan Mascara at Home

Updated on January 21, 2020
classicalgeek profile image

I've been allergic to almost everything for decades, and had to learn how to make many things myself. Fortunately my father is a chemist!

Woman in a Green Dressing Gown, Applying Her Mascara
Woman in a Green Dressing Gown, Applying Her Mascara | Source

Why You Should Consider Making Your Own Mascara

Your eyes are the most sensitive area of your body, and yet millions of women put toxic chemicals and known carcinogens next to their eyes every single day of their adult lives. Rather than exposing yourself to the possibility of introducing unlabeled toxins to the most sensitive places you have on your body, choose to be safe and use only natural ingredients there! (In other words, choose nontoxic makeup!)

Mascara, as the historical record shows, was known and used as far back as ancient Egypt, and may have been at the forefront of the advent of the fashion and cosmetic industry. Today's commercially available cosmetics are full of substances which are not on the labels, and some of the commonly used ingredientsare known toxins and carcinogens. (If you want to see this for yourself, the App Store has a free app called Think Dirty, which will show you the chemicals in your product simply by scanning the barcode.) However, you can make your own at home in just minutes from an adaptation of a historical recipe, using only natural, nontoxic ingredients that are safe enough to eat, and save a lot of money in the process, too! With a few simple steps, in less time than it takes you to drive to the store, you can be on the way to eliminating toxins in your makeup case and putting extra money in your pocket!

If you are a vegan, you should be aware that many commercial cosmetics contain unlabeled animal byproducts. If you make your own cosmetics at home, you can be sure that the products you use are 100% vegan.

3.8 stars from 10 ratings of Vegan, Nontoxic Mascara

Preparation Time

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: About 2 months' worth of use

What You Will Need to Make Your Own Mascara

In the Victorian era (the nineteenth century), women routinely made up this cosmetic at home as a mixture of fireplace soot and grease. We are going to adapt this method to make mascara at home with the same basic, but edible materials.

You will need the following items to make your own mascara:

Swanson Certified 100% Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 16 Ounce (1 lb) (454 g) Solid Oil
Swanson Certified 100% Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil 16 Ounce (1 lb) (454 g) Solid Oil
I love using organic coconut oil for its wonderful moisturizing effects on hair and skin. Using organic coconut oil in your homemade makeup will keep your eyelashes in great condition!


  • empty mascara tube and applicator brush
  • small stiff brush, such as used for shaping eyebrows
  • oil, such as olive, coconut, avocado, etc. I prefer organic coconut oil
  • nontoxic soap, such as Dr. Bronner's
  • 2 food-grade activated charcoal capsules, can be bought in health food store
  • small glass bowl, for mixing
  • isopropyl alcohol, for sterilizing

Now that you have all these things handy, you are ready to begin!


  1. Wash your hands very thoroughly and dry them off. Do not touch your face while mixing.
  2. Clean out your old mascara tube and lash applicator brush with any mild, nontoxic soap (I use Dr. Bronner's soap). Rinse very thoroughly to make sure all traces of the old makeup are gone, and allow the applicator and tube to dry thoroughly. Use a cotton swab and wipe out the tube with alcohol to kill any germs, and dip the lash applicator brush in a little alcohol, too.
  3. Break open 2 charcoal capsules into your glass or ceramic dish.
  4. Pour out a few drops of oil into your glass or ceramic dish. Mix with the brush until there are no clumps remaining and mixture is a smooth, thick paste.
  5. Test out your mascara by applying a little to your lashes with the mixing brush, just "painting" it on. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little oil. If the mixture is too loose, you can either refrigerate the dish for a quarter hour and see if you prefer it, or you can add a little charcoal until you get your desired consistency.
  6. Once you have reached the desired consistency, make up a sufficient amount of it in the same proportions to last you a few weeks (remember you will use slightly more of this than you would the commercial varieties), scoop the mixture up on the brush, and begin to fill the old tube, packing the mixture down as you go. Do not fill the tube more than 2/3 full, or putting your lash applicator brush in the tube will cause the mascara to overflow.
  7. Put the applicator into the tube and close tightly.

If you want a different colour than black, try adding a few drops of blue food colouring for navy, or a few drops of yellow food colouring for brown mascara. Or you can try dyeing your lashes with these natural hair dyes. If you want a really different color, try these natural dyes for Easter Eggs!

Tips for Making Your Own Mascara

  • In the heat or cold, your mascara will change consistency. If your mascara becomes too hot in the summer, simply store it in the refrigerator or a cool place overnight. If it becomes too cold, simply rub the tube briskly between your hands to warm it up. I advise storing your homemade natural mascara in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Mascara is a natural breeding ground for bacteria, so storing your mascara in the refrigerator will slow down the growth of bacteria. Still, you should empty out your mascara tube and replace the mascara every two months.
  • Homemade mascara does not have all the stabilizers, waxes, etc. Therefore I recommend that you use an eyelash comb after applying it to separate your lashes and distribute the colour evenly. Cleanup is accomplished with nontoxic soap and water. This mascara is not waterproof—that would involve bringing in the toxic chemicals again—so you'll have to reapply it if you sweat or cry.
  • You can also try mixing in a very tiny amount of melted, unprocessed wax to make a thicker consistency and add stability, however, this will no longer be vegan unless you find a suitable vegetable-sourced wax, such as bayberry wax or carnauba wax.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 classicalgeek


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