Make Your Own Natural Eyeshadow or Liner Out of Charcoal

I read No More Dirty Looks after putting it off for years—knowing full well that once I read that book, I would toss all my “natural” products because they were probably loaded with chemicals. I’ve been making my own body oils, lotions, lip glosses and blush for a while now, but I did have some suspect hair products that I loved, lip glosses and shadows that were in a variety of stunning, unnatural colors that I wouldn’t, couldn’t, believe were loaded with carcinogens and my deodorant, well, it claimed to be natural. But I knew that it was time for me to be more informed, so I picked up No More Dirty Looks, read it cover to cover in one day with my jaw on the floor—and as anticipated—tossed a good bit of my toiletries and makeup into the trash can.

Even though almost all my products claimed naturalness, it wasn’t really so. See, beauty products aren’t regulated by the FDA which means that anything goes, including known carcinogens and ingredients that react with others (including your skin) to create formaldehyde and other evils. Even if your product claims to be natural, and all ingredients are a-ok, if it lists “fragrance,” beware. “Fragrance” is protected by trade secret laws and the ingredients (usually dangerous) aren’t disclosed to the companies buying them for their “natural” products. Le sigh. Another reminder that keeping it simple is the smartest, and safest, way to go.

I highly recommend this book to YU. Not only does it reveal the truth about your beauty products, but replacements are listed along with what to watch out for on your labels. Also check out the EWG’s Skin Deep database where you can search and find out if your current products are safe or loaded with chemicals.

Since the big purge, my hairdresser is in awe at the healthy condition of my hair, my skin is less dry and fine lines are less noticeable. I’ve been hearing more “miss” than “ma’am” from strangers and I cannot believe what a difference a matter of weeks has made overall.

One of my favorite changes? Homemade eye shadow made with activated charcoal. It’s so easy and looks great, so give it a try.

What you’ll need:
Activated Charcoal capsules
A small glass jar with a tight lid
Eyeshadow brush, preferably with one thin end for liner and one rounded for smokey effects

Let’s get started.
Open up a charcoal capsule and pour into the small glass jar. Open up another one, and another, and another until you fill your jar about halfway. Store extra charcoal caps for when you run out or when you are feeling an upset, gassy stomach (that’s what they are really for).

Thanks to the jostling around in my purse the cap side is always nice and powdered for me…

When I apply, I just open the jar, flip the cap upside down and dab up some charcoal from the lid. Try mixing with a bit of water to paint on as a liner, but know that I get a nice liner effect without water by using a thin brush.

I’ve applied the eyeshadow to my left eye in the pics below: simple liner-style (bottom, left) and the smokey-style (bottom, right). It lasts a long time, all day really, and washes off easily with soap and water, or a cotton ball dipped in coconut oil (great makeup remover!).

You can also try powdered spirulina for a green shadow. Mix it with charcoal for different effects—have fun and show us what you come up with.


Read the comments or add yours.

Comment Rules

  1. Holy hell – I am literally horrified. I’ve thought about this more and more during my pregnancy. Is this REALLY natural, what’s in that fragrance/toothpaste/body wash/blush, etc? I am ordering the book as we speak… what do you do for lip gloss, mascara and blush? What about body wash and lotion? I’ve been using Egyptian Magic and vitamin E oil for my belly, and sad to say, I use Aveeno body wash and lotion (I almost don’t want to know what’s in it). The deodorant is the TOUGHEST component. The natural stuff doesn’t work, and there are so many ingredients, it makes my mind rattle.

    Fill me in, guru! And THANK YOU for posting this. So much needed..

    You really are a constant inspiration, and you are going to write a book if it’s the LAST thing you do. I’m serious. We should talk.

    • Azra

      beetroot juice for lip and cheek stain and aloe vera pulp as moisturizer 😀

    • Susan

      I couldn’t agree more about the horror of these ingredients. As far as deodorant, I make my own, using a twist on the baking soda & coconut oil recipe. (If you’re not sensitive, you can just mix those two ingredients until you get a consistency you like.)
      I use half arrowroot powder/half baking soda mixed with coconut oil (which I infuse with calendula & chamomile, because my skin is sensitive) and mix in lavender and tea tree oil.
      You can search online – there are lots of recipes for homemade deodorant. You just have to find one that works for you. Good luck!

  2. Charrmagn

    This is a good idea…I want to try this too…

  3. Thrixxie

    This is definitely very practical…I love the idea you have…

  4. Cindy

    It’s sort of like indigenous makeup 😛

  5. Lutchie

    This looks like an interesting one…I have to try this…

  6. Jen

    This is AWESOME! Thank you for sharing. It never occurred to me & I’ve been searching for truly natural makeup ideas. I’ve stopped using it altogether & mostly gotten used to it. Once in a while I want to do it up though & I used to wear black eye makeup all the time… loved the smokey look! This is soooo perfect.

  7. Carrie

    I’ve found mixing the charcoal with olive or coconut oil (any other oil would work) helps it last longer, and you don’t get loose powder under your eyes. Just mix enough oil and charcoal to get a paste and use a brush to apply. It doesn’t work as well as a shadow, but its perfect for a liner. Plus, olive oil and coconut oil are good for your lashes.

    • Heather Crosby

      Great tips for a liquid liner, Carrie!

  8. Lori

    I have read that using olive or coconut oil in place of water when wetting your liner brush. I have a bottle of cosmetic grade hemp seed oil and I was wondering if I could use that as effectively as the other suggested oils.

    • Heather Crosby

      Hi Lori,
      I would stick with the rec of using coconut oil or olive since they are more stable in light and warmer temperatures than hemp seed oil (which should stay in a dark bottle in the fridge or a cool pantry until consumed/used). The omega fats in hemp seed oil are fragile and can turn toxic if heated, exposed to light. Hope that helps 🙂

  9. Irene

    Thank you so much for this brilliant idea Heather. I paid $40 for a tiny pot of really natural eyeliner which will soon be finished. Can’t wait to try your suggestions. As an aged pensioner it will be a fantastic saving too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *