Thursday, May 30, 2013

All-Natural Mascara

Let's be honest
Most people who are looking to simplify and detox their lives, aren't usually the type to wear a lot of make-up. For this reason, it is extremely hard to find a good, tried-and-true recipe for mascara. Take my word for it, and let me save you a lot of money and frustration and tell you that you will not find a better recipe than these two I'm about to share with you. Having said that, these formulas just can't compare to store bought mascaras. All the things we love about mascara (smudge proof, long shelf life, thickening and lengthening, good coverage, etc.) are all made possible by chemicals. Look at the ingredients in even organic "all-natural" mascara and you will find things you cannot pronounce. These formulas of mine are truly organic, affordable and don't require any expensive equipment to make. That's the upside. The downside is that they really aren't suitable for daily wear. They are perfect for a night out on the town or for special occasions (although for weddings and church I would stick to waterproof so you don't cry your mascara off.)

A battle I'm willing to lose
This is in no way a defeat, but after all the research I've done I have come to the conclusion that I'm okay with store bought mascara. In all reality, you're probably not getting many chemicals into your bloodstream through your eyelashes. It's really not that big of a deal. But, if it's a big enough deal to you, or you just want to save money and make your own, I'll give you two different formulas that are as good as it gets without the chemicals and preservatives.

How I came up with the formulas
I tried countless mascara recipes and spent dozens of hours in the kitchen during my search. I started with a recipe I found on Pinterest that called for cocunut oil and beeswax. It was so greasy and smeared so bad that I wasn't happy with it. After trying literally EVERY recipe on the internet and after more research and experimentation, I finally came up with two recipes that are worth sharing.

Depending on your experience and what you're ready to try, one is simple, fast and a cheap combination. It's pretty foolproof and the ingredients are easy to find. It's not as hardy and long-lasting, but awesome for it's ease of making. The second recipe is hard to make, a little more expensive (not much) but pretty smudge proof. If you are looking for a waterproof version, you will have to buy it. As I've said, unless you are a professional make-up formulator (and use chemicals and fillers in the process) you'll be hard pressed to find a better homemade recipe than this one.

A word of caution with the second recipe. Do not attempt if you aren't experienced in making cosmetics or baking in general. It is a hard recipe to get just right. I messed up a batch myself when I first attempted it. I tried to make the instructions foolproof, but there is still room for error. Cosmetic making is really an art. It takes patience and dedication. It is totally worth the effort and patience though!

A word about the beneficial ingredients
Castor Oil has been known to thicken lashes and help them grow. The Aloe Vera soothes and nourishes the lashes. And the witch hazel helps to seal and dry the lashes so the mascara stays in place. The Olive oil in the second formula nourishes the lashes to thicken them.

Lash Growing Mascara 

1 capsules of Activated Charcoal
1/2 tsp Aloe Vera gel (organic, no additives)
1/4 tsp Witch Hazel
2-4 drops of 100% Castor Oil

Make sure you buy pure, organic ingredients with no preservatives or additives or your mascara will be no better than store bought. Put all ingredients together. Mix well until all clumps are gone. 

I usually put a few coats on, let it dry and then put a few more coats on. I calculated that each batch only costs around .50 cents to make! You can't beat that! Also, keep in mind this has no preservatives, so it will need to be replaced often. This formula should make enough for only 1-2 applications so that you remember to replace this often. I would make a new batch weekly and be sure to use a sanitized container to store it in.

All-day Nourishing Mascara

1/4 tsp. Olive Oil
1/8 c. Aloe Vera Gel
1 tsp. Arrowroot
1/2 tsp. Beeswax
5 caps Activated Charcoal (or black mica)
1/2 tsp. Rosewater (or distilled water)
1/4 tsp. Apple Fiber with Apple Pectin
1/4 tsp. Caster Oil
1/2 tsp. Vegetable Glycerin
pinch of fine sea salt
few drops of Vitamin E (for preservation)
5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Oil (for preservation)
Witch hazel as needed

In a double broiler melt Beeswax, Aloe Vera Gel, Olive oil, Charcoal, Apple fiber, Salt, Castor oil and Glycerin. Stir continually until all clumps are gone and beeswax is incorporated. In a small bowl mix Rosewater and Arrowroot until fully dissolved. Click here for my rosewater recipe. Slowly add arrowroot mixture to the heated mixture, stirring continually. Add vitamin E and grapefruit seed extract. Scoop into a glass bowl wide enough to fit an immersion blender. Blend until a smooth consistency is reached. Let cool. It will look pretty gelatinous at this point. Don't worry, it will look much more normal after it sets. Pour into container.

Let the formula sit for at least 2-4 days before trying it out. I know it will be hard, but the final step includes allowing the formula to set. If you skip this part, you will have a gooey mess on your hands and the mascara will be ruined. After the 2-4 days check consistency. If it is too solid to load unto the brush applicator, add witch hazel to thin. For extra lash growing power, add a few drops of caster oil (not too much or the mascara will smear.) Last of all, add a drop or two of glycerin. This part is really an art. It might take a few trial and errors to get the consistency you prefer. Just keep in mind, the more oil you use, the higher the chance of smudging.

The Salt, Vitamin E and Grapefruit Seed Oil do act as natural preservatives, but I would still make a new batch frequently. This stuff does not have a long shelf life! 

Try it, and let me know how it works for you!

Looking for more awesome diy cosmetic recipes? Check out my Small & Simple challenge which includes things like deodorant, face moisturizer, soap and sunscreen.

*As with all cosmetics, use with care. Do not get this in your eyes. Avoid if you have any allergies to the ingredients. Make at your own risk. I am not a physician, just a stay-at-home mom trying to save money and make all-natural products. What works for me may not necessarily work for you.

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