Kohl And Mascara Recipes – Victorian And Edwardian Beauty Routine And Recipes

Kohl And Mascara Recipes - Victorian And Edwardian Beauty Routine And Recipes

In this part of my Victorian And Edwardian Beauty Routine And Recipes series, eyes are the topic.


‘The Beauty of the eye, whether dark or light, but especially in light orbs, depends upon dark brows and heavy dark lashes; these will beautify the palest eye.’ (Three Meals A Day, 1902) To get long eyelashes, brush the lashes every morning with a mixture of glycerin and rosewater, or water mixed with eau de cologne. Eyelashes should be long and silky, ‘just curling at the tips’. (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2) Dr. Anna Kingsfords recommends to cut the child’s points of the eyelashes once a month, when the child is asleep, for long and luxuriant lashes. However, the curl of the eyelashes may be lost.

DIY Edwardian Mascara Recipe India Ink
DIY Natural Mascara
Eyelash Dye (Three Meals A Day, 1902)

‘To Darken the Eyelashes use a little diluted India ink. These operations on the lashes had best be conducted by a second person.’

-> tried

Chinese Eyelash Stain (Around-The-World Cook Book, 1913)
  • 1 dram gum arabic
  • 1/2 dram India ink
  • 4 oz rosewater

‘Powder the ink and gum, and triturate small quantities of the powder until there is obtained a uniform black liquid in a powder, and then add the rose-water. Be careful not to get this stain in the eyes.’

Eyebrow and Eyelash Dye (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)

‘Hold a saucer over a candle until there is a residue of black sufficient to be taken up with the finger or a camel-hair brush. Apply very sparingly to eyebrows or lashes.’

Edwardian Black Grease Paint Recipe
Edwardian Black Grease Paint & DIY Beaded Peacock Hair Barrette

Black Grease Paint

Black grease paint was used to accentuate the eyes. Use the following black grease paints either as kohl or eyebrow dye: ‘It is not wise to use a black paint for daylight wear, as it is always so obvious. Black paints are used for eyes and eyebrows in order to darken the brows and increase the apparent size of the eye. Placed along the upper eyelid and drawn to the comer of the eye and a tiny way past, a line of black paint gives the eye a desirable almond shape. The basis of black paint is lampblack, and of black dyes, Indian ink. […] [For] the eyelashes there is a soft grease-black to be applied with a brush.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2) This Edwardian woman obviously wears eyeliner. The woman in this 1910s advertisement may also be wearing kajal.

Liquid Eyeliner Or Mascara (Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes, 1916)

‘Beat the finest lampblack into a stiff paste with glycerine and apply with a sponge; if necessary, add a little water to the mixture when using.’

-> tried

DIY Almond Kohl Recipe
DIY Almond Kohl
Black Or Colored Grease Paint (Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes, 1916)
  • 1 part soot
  • 1 part almond oil
  • 3 parts cocoa butter or coconut oil
  • perfume

‘The soot should be derived from burning camphor and repeatedly washed with alcohol. It should be triturated to a smooth mixture with the oil; then add to the melted cacao butter; add the perfume, and form into sticks.

Brown or other colors may be obtained by adding appropriate pigments, such as finely levigated burned umber, sienna, ocher, jeweler’s rouge, etc., to the foregoing base instead of lampblack.’

-> tried

Black Grease Paint (Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes, 1916)
  • 1 part lampblack
  • 6 parts cocoa butter (or 3 parts cocoa butter and 3 parts olive oil)
  • some drops neroli oil for scent

‘Melt the cacao butter and oil, add the lampblack, and stir constantly as the mixture cools, adding the perfume toward the end.’

Black Grease Paint With Coconut Oil (Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes And Processes, 1916)
  • 1 part lampblack
  • 1 part almond oil
  • 1 part coconut oil
  • perfume
Black Pomatum Stick (The Druggist’s General Receipt Book, 1886)

To color hair, eyebrows and whiskers.

‘Prepared lard melted with a third of its weight of wax in winter, or half in summer, is coloured with levigated ivory black, and strained through tammy, or any material which will permit the fine particles of ivory black to pass through. Stir it constantly, and when it begins to thicken pour it into paper moulds.’

Edwardian Kohl Pencil Homemade Eyeliner Pencil Natural
Homemade Rose Petal Blush, Alkanet-Tinted Lip Balm And Cream Blush & Liquid Turkish Rouge


‘The ideal eyebrows should be well-marked, slightly arched, and end in a point’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2). Eyebrows are necessary for the facial expression. ‘Anger is manifested by the contraction of the brows, sorrow by their depression, and cheerfulness by their relaxation. […] All of us are acquainted with […] the note of foolish interrogation imparted by the exaggerated regularity of too highly arched eyebrows.’ If necessary pluck your eyebrows, or use pliers. To thicken the eyebrows, use some softened cocoa butter, and rub it ‘over your brows every night with your finger, following exactly the arch of the brow itself.’ (The Ideal Cook Book, 1902) Don’t dye the eyebrows and eyelashes as it might be injurious. However, the following recipe may be used for the brows.

French Eyebrow Dye (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2)
  • 4 – 5 corks
  • 1 – 2 drops of glycerin
  • 1 drop rosewater

Burn the corks. Mix the fine ashes with glycerin and rosewater. Store in an ointment-pot. Apply very little of the paste to darken the eyebrows.

Eyebrow Dye (Three Meals A Day, 1902)

‘Take the dark pomatum pencil to be bought at all large perfumers, and pencil carefully until the desired tint is obtained. More accessible still is the needle point smoked in the lamp or the burned match.’

Vintage jewelry, Edwardian black grease paint
DIY Wirework Beaded Hair Clip
Eyebrow Grower (Chicago Tribune, 1909)

‘Vaseline is rather overestimated as an eyebrow grower. […] An excellent hair grower that may be used on the eyebrows is made by combining four ounces of alcohol with two ounces of castor oil and adding a few drops of oil of bergamot. Apply this to the eyebrows every night with a tiny brush.’

Eyelash And Eyebrow Cream (Manual Of Household Work And Management, 1913)

To ‘strengthen the growth of brows and lashes’.

  • 1/2 oz lanolin
  • 1/2 oz white vaseline
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lavender oil

Melt the fats, then stir in the lavender oil.

4 thoughts on “Kohl And Mascara Recipes – Victorian And Edwardian Beauty Routine And Recipes

  1. This (Eyebrow and lash cream) is getting really close to the ingredients in Aquaphor, which I saw in a video on how to look great w/o a lot of makeup. You have a great amount of recipes for these. Great resource! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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