mascara alternatives

The 10 Best Mascara Alternatives: Natural DIY

Find the best mascara alternatives for long, full lashes and create your own DIY natural mascara.

Just woke up and realized your trusty mascara has finally run dry? Or do you just hate applying mascara, how it burns if it gets in your eyes or leaves raccoon smudges on a hot, summer day? Getting perfect, fluttering eyelashes can seem like a chore but fortunately, there alternatives to mascara that can get the job done.

Whether you’re looking to skip the clumps, give your lashes a break, or explore new enhancements, we’ve got you covered with a mascara-free journey to stunning eyes. From lash lifts to falsies and serums, let’s dive into the exciting realm of alternatives that’ll leave you fluttering with confidence.

The Best Mascara Alternatives For Long Lashes

1. Castor Oil

mascara alternatives

If you’re a fan of natural remedies, castor oil (as well as others like vitamin E oil) might just become your lash’s new best friend. This age-old beauty secret is known for promoting hair growth and strength. Apply a tiny drop of castor oil to your lashes each night before bed, and over time, you’ll notice them becoming longer and more voluminous. It’s a simple, cost-effective solution that’s all-natural and full of lash-loving benefits.

2. Activated Charcoal

mascara alternatives

Activated charcoal can be used as a natural mascara alternative due to its intense black color and ability to create a dark, defining effect on lashes. When combined with a suitable base, such as aloe vera gel or coconut oil, activated charcoal forms a paste that can be applied to lashes using a clean mascara wand or brush. The particles adhere to the lashes, providing a darkening effect and a semblance of volume. Activated charcoal can be found at most supermarkets in powder or capsule form. Just be sure not to get it in your eyes.

3. Coconut Oil

mascara alternatives

Coconut oil can serve as a simple and natural mascara alternative, offering both moisture and a subtle sheen to lashes. When used sparingly and applied with a clean mascara wand or brush, it can help define and separate lashes while providing a lightweight, glossy finish. Those with oily eyelids or lashes might experience smudging so it’s best to use it for casual or no-makeup days.

4. Aloe Vera Gel

mascara alternatives

Aloe vera gel can be utilized as a lightweight and natural alternative to mascara, offering a clear and defining effect to lashes. Its gentle formulation is suitable for sensitive eyes and it has a bit stickier texture than other mascara alternatives like castor oil for more thickness and hold. You can add activated charcoal powder or even coffee grinds for a darker tint.

5. Beeswax / Carnauba Wax

mascara alternatives

Beeswax or carnauba wax, when combined with nourishing oils like coconut or jojoba, can also work as a mascara alternative. This natural mixture provides a thicker texture that helps coat and define lashes, giving you a noticeable yet natural-looking enhancement. Simply melt down the wax, mix it with a nourishing carrier oil, and apply to lashes with a wand.

6. Tinted Lash Primer

mascara alternatives

For a product that’s more of a lightweight mascara, tinted lash primers are your go-to choice. Typically used to prepare your lashes for mascara and usually coming in a white or clear color, some choose to forego the mascara all together and are satisfied with the effects from just using a tinted eyelash primer. Lash primers can help separate lashes and give them a sheen so they appear longer and more defined.

7. Lash Lifts

mascara alternatives

Lash lifts are like a push-up bra for your lashes and are a more semi-permanent option to look effortlessly chic without mascara. This procedure involves curling your lashes right from the root, giving them a lifted appearance that lasts for weeks. With a trained technician delicately working their magic, you’ll flaunt natural-looking lashes that require zero maintenance.

8. Tubing Mascara

mascara alternatives

Tubing mascaras are similar to regular mascara but are made of polymers instead of wax and oils. Just as the name says, the formula wraps each lash in a tube that helps define and amplify them into longer, fuller looking lashes. Tubing mascaras are longer lasting and smudge-proof compared to regular mascaras. They are also easier to remove and only require warm water.

9. False Lashes

mascara alternatives

For those special occasions when you want to turn heads, false lashes are a game-changer. Whether you opt for subtle length or dramatic volume, these flirty accessories add instant glamour without the hassle of mascara. From strip lashes to individual ones, the possibilities are endless. And don’t worry – applying false lashes is an art you can master with a bit of practice. Soon, you’ll be batting your lush lashes like a pro.

10. Eyelash Extensions

mascara alternatives

Eyelash extensions are a luxurious option that lets you skip mascara while maintaining a glamorous, made-up look. With a variety of lengths, curls, and materials available, you can customize your extensions to match your desired aesthetic. They can be a bit on the pricey side with a full set averaging around $100-$300, but many find the cost so worth not having to wear mascara at all for 1-2 months.

Related: Brow Tint and Brow Lamination For Insta-Perfect Brows

DIY Natural Mascara

mascara alternatives

Creating your own DIY natural mascara can be a fun and eco-friendly alternative to store-bought mascaras. Even if you’re not a crafty person, it’s just a matter of heating and mixing ingredients. Here’s a simple recipe for a natural mascara substitute you can try:

DIY Natural Mascara Recipe


  • 1 teaspoon activated charcoal (for black mascara) or 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder (for brown mascara)
  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon beeswax or carnauba wax (for thickness)
  • 1 mascara wand
  • Small heat-safe container or jar


  1. Prepare Your Container: Make sure your container or jar is clean and dry.
  2. Melt Ingredients: In a small heat-safe container or jar, combine the coconut oil and beeswax. You can melt them together using a double boiler or microwave in short bursts, stirring until they are fully melted.
  3. Add Aloe Vera Gel: Once the coconut oil and wax are melted, remove from heat and add the aloe vera gel. Mix well to combine.
  4. Add Color: Gradually add the activated charcoal (for black mascara) or cocoa powder (for brown mascara) to the mixture. Mix thoroughly until you achieve your desired color and consistency. You can adjust the amount of colorant based on how intense you want the color to be.
  5. Cool and Set: Allow the mixture to cool and thicken slightly before transferring it to your mascara container. You can use a disposable mascara wand to apply the mixture to your lashes.
  6. Application: Dip the mascara wand into the mixture, coating it evenly, and apply to your lashes as you would with regular mascara.
  7. Storage: Store your DIY mascara in a cool, dry place. Keep in mind that since this mascara is homemade and doesn’t contain preservatives, it may have a shorter shelf life compared to commercial mascaras. Make small batches and use within a reasonable time.

You can customize the recipe based on your own preferences like changing the carrier oil to another one of your favorites. If you haven’t used these products before, be sure to perform a patch test before applying any new product to your skin or lashes to ensure you don’t have any negative reactions.

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