How to DIY Mascara: Brilliant or Bogus?
There are only two things in this world that I refuse to remove from my morning routine. The first is brewing a fresh cup of coffee via my Keurig and the second is my precious five minutes of mascara application, essential to making my eyelashes enter the room before I do. Okay, maybe not literally. But, a recent study by 5pm Health & Beauty did actually reveal that the most used makeup in the USA is mascara, with over 74 percent of women of all ages and ethnicities applying it. When various women were questioned on why they love mascara so much, they responded that longer eyelashes, in their minds, means a sexier woman. Living in a country where s-ex controls the media, this mascara obsession would make sense. Not to mention, mascara dates all the way back to 4,000 BC, when ancient Egyptians used charcoal around their eyes/eyelashes to ward off evil spirits.
The problem with the eyelash hype today is that not every woman is blessed with a full, thick set of lashes, so the cosmetic industry has been on fire with advertisements assuring women that their brand in different from the next. After a series of articles scaring women into believing the ingredients in mascara were far from “green” and furthermore were dangerous for your eyes, some genius decided to create a recipe for Do It Yourself Mascara. Seems like a good idea right?
NOPE. Wrong, so, so, so WRONG.
The site where I found the recipe, Beautylish, suggests mixing aloe vera gel with powdered charcoal, claiming that this blend has less chemicals and no preservatives and is therefore less toxic.
There are two major reasons that this recipe can absolutely NOT be trusted. The first is that Aloe Vera Gel is not even preservative free. Unless you make Aloe Vera Gel from scratch it WILL have preservatives, usually a combination of sodium benzoate, sodium sulphate, potassium sorbate, and ascorbic acid. I took a look at the ingredients in a bottle of mascara and it had none of these. Beauty Brains explains that Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, and Phenoxyethanol are the only preservatives safe for use around the eye because they will not grow dangerous bacteria.
The second reason DIY mascara needs to erase itself from the planet is that activated charcoal is absolutely NOT safe for use around your eyes. The FDA has standards that makeup brands follow that make mascara safe to enter the eye area. No one else in the country is buying charcoal to rub on their eyes, so I think it is safe to say, the FDA hasn’t regulated the ingredients to be safe for eyes. In fact, I’m positive they haven’t.
Please, do not try to be all hipster cool and make your own mascara. I know, it would be so great to begin your own line of “homemade mascara” and sell it to friends. Really, I do. But you know what isn’t cool? When you do sell your hipster mascara and everyone either goes blind or loses eyelashes because of it. Be smart, trust the industry.
To prove you can get HEALTHY, lengthy, voluminous lashes from the industry, I took a picture of my roommate Haley’s eyelashes. She uses Lash Blast Volume by Covergirl and her lashes are TO DIE FOR, I must say.