With the start of my garden and my piqued interest in all natural homemade products, I have taken on the task of making myself mascara. To me, mascara is the holy grail of makeup. It is the most important part of my makeup routine and I’m sure it is the same for many others. Working as a cosmetician at my local pharmacy, I’ve had the chance to analyze all sorts of different mascaras and with each one, the ingredients remain the same. The basic ingredients of the mascaras on the market today are waxes, oils, pigments, and of course, preservatives.
Ceresin, gum tragacanth, and methylcellulose are also regular ingredients added to act as stiffeners. Other times, guanine, an extract from fish scales, is added as a color additive along with carbon black or iron oxides. These ingredients don’t seem so bad to the naked eye, however, cosmetics are loosely regulated by the FDA. A substance is considered a cosmetic if it is used in conjunction with the body in a manner that does not alter the structure of the body or its functions. This leaves a great deal of freedom for the beauty industry in the formulation of cosmetics.
Although many chemicals are strictly banned such as biothional, chloroform, halogenated salicylanilides, hexachlorophene, methylene chloride, vinyl chloride and mercury compounds, there are still harmful additives in our cosmetics. As an exception, mercury compounds can be used as a preservative in eye make-up and is occasionally found in mascara. A few other ingredients contained in mascara have also been found to cause cancer in mice, and others are known to be highly toxic to the human body. The quantities, however, are so minute that their presence hasn’t been linked to negatively affect health.
Cosmetics can also be extremely expensive, and with the shelf life of only 3 months once opened, can be wasteful. I use a lot of mascara and, therefore, spend a minimum of 60$ every 2 months on new mascara. That’s 360$ a year, quite a lot of money if you think about it for a product that can potentially be harmful to your health. So if you feel the same way that I do and would like to save money. Here is a simple mascara recipe that has worked pretty well for me. I’m sure there will be more tweaking of the recipe as I wear it more often but here is the basic formula.
- Real Aloe Jelly 10$
- Coconut Oil 20$
- Grated Soy Wax 15$
- Cocoa Powder (for brown) or Activated Charcoal (for black) 7$
- Put ½ tbsp of grated soy wax or soy wax pellets into a sauce pan with 3 tbsp of aloe vera gel and 3 tblsp of coconut oil. Stir until the wax is completely melted.
- Add ¼ – ½ tsp of activated charcoal or cocoa powder into your mixture.
- Pour mixture into a small piping bag (or a plastic bag). Cut a small hole at the end and pour into your mascara tube.
*Note: Proper use of mascara includes disposal of tube and brush after four to six months. Mascara should also be disposed of if found to smell different, strange, or especially pungent. It is unlikely and unusual, but all mascara does have the capability to grow bacteria. Keep the lid on tightly and don’t pump your brush or your mascara will dry out.
All these ingredients cost me 52$, less than the cost of the Chanel Mascara I buy for 60$. Instead of buying a brand new mascara tube, I washed and disinfected my old one that had a plastic brush. The ingredients will also last me not only for one tube of mascara, but for a year’s worth! I just saved 302$ a year by making my own mascara. I can now use this money for something else such as another home-made product that will save me yet again more money. This is what we call the Natural Money Saving Cycle here at Going 2 Natural.