Saturday, July 6, 2013

Mascara and Mandalas

Well, I did it.  I made my own mascara.

It's a disturbingly simple process.  As is almost all cosmetic manufacturing.  Which is part of the problem for me: I do one thing, see how easy it is, and then I think, "Why not do ALL of it myself?"

I truly do resent giving money to cosmetics companies.  If you're wondering "Why, dear God, why?", I can only tell you that it has always bothered me to have to spend so much money on something that never made me look like Lauren Hutton or Cindy Crawford or Christie Turlington or whoever is supposedly pretty nowadays.  (In case you can't tell, I gave up paying attention sometime around 1992.)

It also pissed me off that cosmetic companies were TOLD to stop putting toxic crap in cosmetics, so they reconfigured their definitions of "toxic" and "crap" and figured out another way to put it in.  Even the supposedly "organic" companies do it.

I don't like that.  I feel the way my mom no doubt did when she used to say to me, "I told you and told you NOT to do that, but you just went ahead and did it anyway, now didn't you?"

So I made mascara.  It involves aloe vera gel (4 tsp), coconut oil (2 tsp), and a tsp of grated beeswax.  Melt it all together, and then add two capsules of activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal is not the stuff you grill with, although it's obviously the same basic thing (i.e. carbon).  Activated charcoal is also called "activated carbon."  Some people take it as a pill.  Why, I do not know.  That doesn't seem wise to me.

I think they think it "cleanses" their system.  It can turn your stools black and lead to intestinal blockage, if you overdo it.  So I say, don't do it at all.

Life is hard enough without blocking up your own intestines with charcoal.

It's true that activated carbon is used in cases of poisoning, to help absorb the poison.  I don't intend to poison myself (or anyone else) (just saying), so I'll skip swallowing a charcoal pill.

Anyway, back to the mascara.  Once the ingredients are all melted and mixed, the fun starts.

Because now, you have to get it into a blessed mascara tube.  I'm calling it "blessed" because I'm trying to be very zen about this part of the process.

If you've never tried to load mascara into a mascara tube by hand, well, my friend, you are really missing out on something.

If you've ever watched Buddhist monks create a sand mandala and thought, "Look at those guys.  Rush, rush, rush," then I promise you, you will LOVE filling your own mascara tube.

It will go far more slowly than making your own sand mandala, trust me.

Because unlike the monks, you probably don't have a cool tube like the ones they use, and that will make a world of difference.

What I'm saying is, you need some kind of syringe.  Really, you do.  I didn't have one this time around, but as God is my witness, if I do this again, I will have one.

One site I checked out suggested filling a plastic bag with the mascara mixture, cutting a small hole in the corner, and then forcing it down into the mascara tube--kind of the same principle as making your own frosting bag to ice a cake, basically.

It didn't really work.  Whatever you choose to do, put down paper towels and be patient.

And get a syringe.

But the mascara itself seems to work.  I doubt it's waterproof, although the beeswax is supposed to help make it a bit more so than it would be if all you use is coconut oil and aloe vera gel.

Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees farenheit, so if you use coconut oil in your cosmetics, when summer hits, you will have a liquid, not the solid you thought you had last winter.

I'm testing the homemade mascara for the next week because 1) I don't plan to see anyone that I'm dying to bat my eyelashes at, and 2) it's hotter than hell, so this will be the test period for this stuff.  If it's not sweat-proof, I will know by sundown.

If you like the Tammy Faye Baker or Paula Deen or any other big-eyelashed look (you know, the ones with the fake eyelashes)  (I mean, really.  HELLO, ladies. We know they're fake), then this stuff isn't for you.  It's subtle.

But believe it or not, I like subtle.



  1. Wow. That's really cool! I don't particularly like wearing makeup--between the fact that it makes me itch and I don't like the toxic stuff that's in it anyways--but this is something definitely worth trying! Coconut oil has come up quite frequently of late for all sorts of things, from gastronomic purposes to skin care. Amazing that it has yet another use. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. You're welcome, EJM! I buy coconut oil in a huge jar, and it's still cheaper than cosmetics. You can use it as a makeup remover, skin moisturizer, etc. etc. It melts at 75 degrees, though, so you have to mix it with beeswax to make it work as a lotion or makeup base. (Otherwise, you'll have raccoon eyes and clown lips.)

      I make my own lotion now. I also make my own deodorant. (It works, even in last week's heat!) And my own lip balm.

      I stopped buying shampoo and conditioner. My hair has never been more manageable. 1 tbsp of Baking soda in 1 cup of water is my shampoo, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in 1 cut of water is my conditioner.


Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy."