DIY Natural Edwardian Mascara Recipe

DIY Natural Mascara Recipe That Works Lampblack Iron Oxide Gum Arabic

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to make your own mascara or liquid eyeliner. It’s an Edwardian recipe for eyelash stain. The recipe is similar to traditional India ink or homemade lampblack calligraphy ink. India ink is made with lampblack, gum arabic and distilled water. The same ingredients which are used for this Edwardian mascara. ‘To Darken the Eyelashes use a little diluted India ink.’ (Three Meals A Day, 1902)

DIY Mascara that works!


  • 1 part distilled water
  • 1 part gum arabic
  • lampblack or black iron oxide

Don’t use activated charcoal tablets or black cosmetic pigments such as bone black (bone char) or carbon black because it’s too gritty. I tried it and even after grinding it in a mortar it was too gritty. Iron oxide or homemade lampblack is much finer. For this mascara I used my DIY almond soot:

-> how to make your own lampblack with burnt almonds

DIY Edwardian Mascara Or Liquid Eyeliner Tutorial

Stir gum arabic into distilled water and heat in a water bath while rubbing and stirring to dissolve the gum arabic. Let the mucilage stand overnight at room temperature (till the gum arabic is dissolved completely).

Homemade Mascara Eyeliner Kohl Kajal Recipe

Mix some lampblack or black iron oxide with the gum arabic solution till you get a thick paste.

Homemade Natural Mascara Recipe

Use the homemade mascara just like store-bought mascara.

DIY Cake Mascara

Just after some minutes the homemade mascara dries (therefore the mascara works because it dries quickly on the lashes) – so this recipe can also be used to make your own cake mascara: Pour the mixture into a container and let it dry. To use cake mascara: Wet the brush with water and rub it on the mascara. The first mascara which was sold in the Edwardian era was cake mascara.

DIY Liquid Eyeliner Recipe

This mascara can also be used as liquid eyeliner – it looks glossy even after it has dried. But because it dries so quickly and thoroughly it’s not very comfortable on the lids. However, adding some drops of glycerin might prevent the eyeliner from drying completely.

DIY india ink recipe tutorial

This mascara recipe is similar to India ink which was used since ancient times for writing and drawing.

DIY Natural Edwardian Mascara Recipe

Here I’m wearing my Victorian alkanet cream blush, rose petal setting powder and Victorian violet face powder together with the natural Edwardian mascara.

Here you’ll find more recipes for homemade natural mascara, kohl and eyebrow dye.

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