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)
- 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:
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).
Mix some lampblack or black iron oxide with the gum arabic solution till you get a thick paste.
Use the homemade mascara just like store-bought 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.
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.
This mascara recipe is similar to India ink which was used since ancient times for writing and drawing.
Here you’ll find more recipes for homemade natural mascara, kohl and eyebrow dye.