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:

Related: How To Make Your Own Lampblack With Burnt Almonds

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.

By the way, 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.

30 thoughts on “DIY Natural Edwardian Mascara Recipe

  1. I’m completely fascinated by your blog Lina. LOL, I may have said that one more than one occasion but it’s true. I need to give this a try

  2. I would not in a million years have thought to try making my own mascara – what an interesting idea. The results look great. Do you have sensitive skin at all? Do you know how it would be for people who do or would it be a case of try it somewhere out of the way and see?

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I have sensitive skin. I don’t think the ingredients cause a rash or irritation. But to be on the safe side I think it’s best to try it out like you said.

  3. That’s such a great idea! I have been on the lookout for a mascara tutorial, but so far I’ve only found recipes that contain charcoal or oil (which will prevent the mascara from drying and will leave black particles under your eyes), so this one sounds very promising! Bookmarked 🙂


  4. What a great idea! I hardly wear mascara anymore because it makes my eyes itch so much, but I’d like to try this. Where do you get gum arabic?

  5. This mascara really works. I was wondering if you think it will break the eyelashes with continued use, since it dries so stiff with no waxes or anything. What do you think? Thanks.

  6. Thanks for the tip about activated charcoal being too gritty. I might have been tempted to use that. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing on the #WasteLessWednesday Blog Hop!

  7. WOW…can’t believe this is something that we can actually make ourselves! It’s fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing. Saw your makeup diy party at Thurs. favorite things linky. pinned:)

  8. I have been wanting to find a cake mascara I can wear (lots of allergies,) so I gave this a go and I love it! Stays put and builds up nicely. It is a little crunchy, but that only bothers me if I am naughty and sleep in my makeup, lol. Gonna share with my friends for sure!

  9. Wow smth new, didn’t try it. Is it comfortable close to the eyelids? Used to experiment with homemade serums and mascaras but only when my favorite nourishing Cherish mascara is over. )) It is very nourishing and hypoalergenic too. Thanks great page

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