DIY Mascara

After finding such success for myself with creating my own DIY foundation I thought that I might as well give the DIY, homemade route a go with regards to other areas of my beauty routine. My next stop: Mascara!

Since last year, I had started to notice that my allergies had begun to get really bad, especially at the turn of each season. I even wound up getting pink eye from having an allergic reaction to something in my environment (did you know that there are actually 3 different kinds of pink eye? I didn't and it was intriguing to find this out!).  Yikes!

I also started to notice that every time I used my store bought mascara, my eyes felt really irritated. Even after purchasing a new bottle, the irritation didn't subside and it just made more sense to forgo wearing any kind of mascara because it wasn't worth having itchy eyes over.

I won't lie, though. I do love putting on a swipe of mascara every now and again and with our upcoming wedding, I thought it would be nice to have some on hand to use, even if just for the purpose of photos. So I set out to see about creating my own! I remembered seeing a recipe for mascara in particular in my copy of Zero Waste Home (non- affiliate link).

I made a few changes to this recipe based on what I had on hand, and I also reference another blog for creating kohl (since my Zero Waste Home book is currently with a friend!). It was really cool making this mascara and I think it turned out really really well! Plus, my eyes don't seem to be irritated by it which is the biggest bonus :) !

Let's Get Started!

The first thing we need to do is gather up our ingredients for this DIY. Luckily, there are only three ingredients that we need, plus a few supplies for making the kohl which is what colors the mascara.


  • 1 tsp organic beeswax
  • 1.5 tsp organic Shea butter (I used this in lieu of coconut butter because it's what I had on hand)
  • 2-3 organic whole raw almonds (if you have an allergy to almonds, I suggest using activated charcoal instead of creating kohl from almonds)
  • Metal skewer or long metal pin
  • Mortar and Pestle
  • Fire proof bowl / metal tray
  • Lighter
  • Heat proof jar
  • Small pot
  • Water
  • Small container to hold mascara

To start, we are going to create the kohl, which was my favorite part of this whole process! Kohl is actually an ancient eye cosmetic. Traditionally, kohl is made by grinding up stibnite, which is a sulfide mineral and actually a poison. However, kohl is defined by its color  or use rather than by it's composition. To learn more about kohl, feel free to check out this rather informative post I found in my research.

For this recipe, we will be creating a harmless version of kohl using almond ash!

Working with one almond at a time, carefully pierce into the center of the almond with your metal skewer or pin. I was able to work on two almonds for this project only because I had a skewer with two points on the ends.

Place your almond over your fire proof bowl/ metal plate and carefully light your almond on fire. I managed to keep my almond over my mortar without any issues.

Allow your almond to burn thoroughly until the flame extinguishes itself. Do not blow on your almond to extinguish the flame. If you do, the ash will blow all over the place (totally not speaking from personal experience or anything).

Repeat until all of your almonds are completely burnt. If you burned your almonds in another space, now is the time to transfer them (along with any additional ash residue which you can scrape off with a spoon) into your mortar.

Grind your almonds until they are a super fine powder. This was probably my favorite part as the almonds really were so soft!

Place your beeswax and shea butter into your heat proof jar and place that jar into a small pot filled with water on top of your stove. Heat your beeswax and butter until they have completely melted together.

Once your butter and beeswax have melted, carefully take your jar out of the water and off the heat. Mix in 1/4 tsp of your ground almond ash into the jar until it is well blended and a nice, dark black color.

Once everything is blended, pour your new mixture into it's final container. I used a lush soap travel container for my mascara and it was the perfect size!

Allow your mascara to cool and harden.

Et voila! Once your mascara has set, you can use it at any time! I saved a small mascara brush (and thoroughly cleaned it) from an old bottle of mascara to use with my new DIY mascara.

It actually didn't take many passes for my eyelashes to really POP! What's great is my eyes also didn't feel heavy like they sometimes do with normal mascaras. Plus, I am curious if I could use this as an eyeliner as well. Hmmmm.......

Anywho, I hope you enjoyed this quick DIY and that you are loving your lashes! And if you have any suggestions for DIY makeup recipes, I'd love to hear them. It's so fun creating your own products and knowing exactly what they are made of!



Brittani (Pattern Maker)

Hi Elena!

Ohhh, that is a really good question! I wonder if you could do something similar, but instead of using burnt almonds to achieve the black coloring, what if you tried cocoa powder pushed through a sieve to make it really fine? I just saw a similar DIY post that used cocoa powder to achieve a brown mascara here :

I hope this helps!


Hello – me again. I was just wondering if you have any suggestions for making brown mascara instead of black…

Brittani (Pattern Maker)

Oh my goodness, same for me too, Elena! My mascara always manages to go bad before I have a chance to use it all! At least with this recipe, it is inexpensive to make so if it does go bad, you haven’t spent $20 on an entire tube! I also started using it as an eyebrow filler (is that what it’s called?) and I really like it as it keeps my unruly eyebrows in place :)

Also, thank you for pointing out the broken link! I have fixed it!

Brittani (Pattern Maker)

Oh that’s awesome to hear that you want to try your hand at it Caley! I found it super simple and haven’t had any irritation, minus the time I cried with the mascara on (happy tears, I promise!). Though I always have sensitivity when I cry with mascara on, so I am not sure if there is a way around that… I’d love to hear how this recipe works out for you!


Lovely! My eyes get irritated when I use normal mascara, so I end up only using it for special occasions. This means the tube sits there for ages, and when I do use it it gives me even more irritation, since it’s probably grown some awful stuff in the meantime. And so it goes on. I’ll try this!
Just a note to say the link to the kohl blog doesn’t work.
Thank you!

Leave a comment