Homemade Natural Eyeliner (& Eyeshadow)

Homemade Natural Eyeliner

I’m loving this makeup series! For one, I get to share with y’all natural and frugal makeup recipes. Secondly, I am so encouraged by everyone and your excitement about the recipes! So thank you!

This week I want to share with you how to make super simple eyeliner which you can also use at a smokey black eyeshadow!! It’s just two ingredients!  I tested a few different versions of this.. I tried adding in a little coconut oil and aloe vera gel, just coconut oil, or just aloe. The version I’m going to share with you  worked the best and stayed on the longest without getting sweaty and moving.

Homemade Super Simple Natural Eyeliner (& Eyeshadow)


Directions: In a small container place 4 capsule of activated charcoal. Add a 2 drops of water and stir, continue to add water a drop or two at a time and stir until the charcoal starts to clump. Slowly add the mixture to an empty and clean eyeshadow tin and press down with your fingers until smooth. This next step is totally optional, but to make it smoother on top I took a large spoon and rubbed it against the top pressing down. I really only did this to take a nicer picture :).

Easier version: You could also just leave the charcoal loose and dip your damp  brush in it. If you’re using it as eyeshadow make sure to tap off the extra charcoal well.

To use: Take a small brush like this one, dampen brush with water, wipe across pressed charcoal or dip into the loose charcoal, and use as you would normal eyeliner pencil! Of course try not to get it in your eyes!  From experience, I would apply the eyeliner before you put contacts in your eyes.

For color variation: try cocoa powder for brown (I haven’t thoroughly tested this). For gray just use less activated charcoal.

Super easy and it works!

Just in case you missed it…

DIY Natural Foundation Powder

Homemade Natural Blush

Homemade Natural Bronzer

Homemade Natural Mascara

I party here…

This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Naretta says

    Great idea! I will definitely try this. One consideration though, perhaps boiling the water first and letting it cool… to destroy any bacteria that may be present, since this is used around the eye area.

  2. Steve Corley says

    Question here.Not that I use eye lines,hehehe…but a question on safety.How safe is charcoal? Are there any cancer risks? Years ago,they (science community) warned against using a grill for cooking out doors as it posed a cancer risk with the charcoal as fuel. So,when I saw this,I wanted to inquire about its safety,and were there any tests done;by whom;and what results? Thanks.

  3. Paula says

    Could you post a different link to show us the brush you used??? I followed the link and it wouldn’t show and i would love to try this. How long does it last on your eyelids?? Just wondering :) Betcha it does beautiful smoky look… Thanks for posting!!!

  4. Chanel Hilliard says

    Steve: Charcoal briquettes frequently contain fillers, chemicals and other additives that would make them unsuitable (and potentially lethal) to use in a water filter.

    Activated charcoal is regular (pure) charcoal that has been specially treated to have gazillions of tiny pores, which increases the surface area enormously, which makes it much better at adsorbing undesirable substances than regular charcoal.

    Activated charcoal is what they give to overdose patients.

  5. Lisa says

    Also, I’ve heard of using coconut oil instead if water. Haven’t tried it though. I would think water would possibly introduce bacteria. Although, maybe the dip your brush in water/coconut oil and then in the charcoal would be the safest.

    • indira says

      adding oil would be great, this is similar to what the indian make, my greatgrandparents are from india and they taught my grandparents how to make kajol, with ghee and deyas, very easy. so that is why i said coconut oil would be good to use.

  6. Karla says

    activated charcoal is used to filter aquariums and drinking water (in some cases)

    i have a bottle of distilled water on hand for things like this.. i would never use tap water.. i won’t drink it unless it is filtered..

  7. GloriaKate says

    This would not work for someone who tends to have oily lids. There’s no ingredient to protect from migration or creasing. This would be a mess for me! Do you have regular to dry skin?? Maybe that’s why it works for you.

    • Crystal says

      I moisturize with coconut oil and put dry powder (natural) on my face before applying. That helps with creasing and smudging.

  8. says

    I have always used Clinique eyeliner with a brush. The small thin brush makes it easier to apply. I can’t wait to try this. If line is to thick, try thinner brush.

    • Patti says

      I too have always used Clinique eyeliner with a brush (for approx. 15 years). Love it – controls so much better than any other I’ve used. I’ve always used plain tap water and have never had a problem or infection. I’m going to try this – sounds great and so much more economical!!!

  9. BlueDolphin84 says

    If some are worried about eye safety, what about using a few drops of silver water (I use “Sovereign Silver” brand)? Or if you’re wanting to put oil in it, try coconut– that’s antibacterial. …I’m wondering if adding some finely ground black walnut hull powder would work for those wanting a more brown shade? (Try Mountain Rose Herbs.)

  10. Jaclyn says

    What about the powdered charcoal? Would that be easier than breaking open capsules? Or is it a different composition than the capsules? Thanks for the idea, I can’t wait to give it a try!

  11. says

    My sensitive eyes are rarely in top condition. With very light, short eyelashes and a lot of eyelid real estate, I am drawn to eye makeup to enable those around me not to go screeching into the night, cursed with nightmares forever. My eyes used to be able to handle anything, but as I age, 57 now, they, as I (LOL), have become picky as to what touches them.

    So, tonight I was on an internet search trying to find the perfect eyeliner for sensitive eyes. Some suggested such as Bobbi Brown, Almay, Clinique, and Physician’s Formula I have already tried with no luck, although I could wear Almay self-sharpening silver-cased pencil the longest, i.e., day after day with removal at night.

    Then I found this sight, and others like it, promoting activated charcoal as eyeliner. The recipes varied somewhat. So I ran to Walgreen’s and bought a bottle of 260mg capsules of activated charcoal. I had a couple of pots of Bobbi Brown gel liner that I emptied and cleaned, one for black and one for brown (using cocoa powder – another recipe I found). First I tried the 1/2 t aloe vera juice and 1/4 t of coconut oil to 1 capsule of activated charcoal (or 1/2 t cocoa for the brown). Had to nuke the oil for about 6 seconds to allow the dry ingredient to mix in. Excited, went to the bathroom to apply the liquid concoction. Tried the cocoa and couldn’t get it to stick to my dry, clean eyes. Cleaned and dried eye. Then applied the charcoal. It went on, but found it was thin and greasy. Thought I’d wear it for awhile to see what happened. My eyes slowly began to get irritated. So, I washed the first batch off my eyelids and emptied and cleaned the eyeliner concoction pots for the second experiment. After learning I didn’t want oil in the concoction to allow it to melt into my eyes nor aloe vera juice to introduce another foreign substance into my eyes, I used probably 1/2 t of distilled water to 2 capsules of activated charcoal (I didn’t try the cocoa yet). It mixed in easily. Excited once again, I ran into the bathroom, and, using a clean eyebrow brush, I lightly dipped into the pot then onto the back of my hand to dispel the excess, then applied, using the one dip, to both eyes. It brushed on smoothly. I made a placement mistake, and this dries fairly quickly, so I rinsed the brush under clear water, blotted it on a tissue, and then brushed the mistake away. I also found that the liner can be toned down, once dry, using a very slightly damp/almost dry brush, brushing over the top of the liner. I have not figured out how to smudge it, if it is even possible.

    It has been 2 hours and my eyes feel as though there is nothing on them. YAY! They felt great immediately after application, unlike when using the coconut oil/aloe vera recipe.
    I hope this helps others with the sensitive eye thing going on! PLUS! The cost savings is going to be great! YAY! You can thank me by checking out The Itsy Bitsy Spider On The Farm at littlebooksalive.com. Great little book for 2-4 year old tykes! Took time out from illustrating book #2, The Itsy Bitsy Spider And The Fat Fly, to write this. Had to share my findings on the eyeliner recipes! Merry Christmas!

  12. Roberta says

    This actually has possible health benefits for the eye. I was looking up home remedies for pink eye on the website http://www.earthclinic.com , and one of the remedies was boiling activated charcoal in water then straining through a coffee filter to make eye drops (the resulting water is clear.) But they also talked about how ladies from India use charcoal eyeliner to prevent eye infections, etc. Activated charcoal soaks up toxins.

  13. Noelle says

    I made the blush a few days ago, and added a little turmeric to warm it up. Works great. Going to make this when I get home later this week. Way cool!

  14. Ande says

    This is fabulous!! I had made a similar eyeliner first with coconut oil (too oily) and then with shea butter (good, but still wet-looking) This recipe is so great because it goes on wet and then dries and just stays put. And you feel like you have nothing on! In terms of sanitation, I too was worried about it going bad so I added a few drops of colloidal silver and increased the amount of charcoal capsules. Thank you so much!

    • Anonymous says

      Spirulina would work well for green I bet. Might wana read up on irritation to the eyes. Its a type of dried algae I believe but full of minerals. I use it to color lye soap

  15. Cynthia says

    I need a moisturizer/face cream that is very hydrating for my face. I have tried several of the creams and lotions but they aren’t working very well. Any suggestions?

  16. Tess says

    Can you please PLEASE say what brand charcoal you use? I used mascara and liner all my young and adult life and developed severe allergies in recent years to every eye makeup I try. It’s a nightmare! Because I have light lashes and love the results.

    I have a friend that suggested DIY eyeliners and mascaras, and I thought these DIY’s were the solution as I started to read about the minimal ingredients. I adore activated charcoal and use it for mouth care and for a gastro issues.

    But I do not seem to be having the success other people do with eyeliner. I cannot get the smooth end result everyone else seems to get. Not with the coal black line (I am seeing in photos) that resemble a black gel liner…or with the texture of the turn-out of the product in the end.

    My charcoal “powder” seems gritty to the touch (not at all a true powder) and I am using a good health food store brand. I even ground it up further…I still it seems gritty. I am afraid to use a gritty eyeliner and further aggravate my sensitive eye skin. It even seems that it is gritty within the water base, with the particles separating from the water and not truly blending as say a true eyeshadow powder does into a hand blended liner.

    Maybe it is the charcoal I am using? I am afraid to experiment and keep spending money on other brands if they are all gritty. Is your brand of activated charcoal actually a powder or can you still feel texture in the powder?

    I look forward to your input on this matter, Thanks in advance.


  17. Yoli says

    Hi there, I just made this and when I tried to apply it, it was not smooth at all, I also found that it ended up in the corners of my eyes. Any ideas? One more question. If I curl my eye lashes, do I put this on before or after?

    Thanks so much,



  1. […] Homemade Eyeliner & Eyeshadow – This DIY eyeliner and eyeshadow uses just one ingredient (activated charcoal) and water to create the easiest and cheapest eyeliner ever made – but it still works great. Get the full tutorial at ABlossomingLife.com here. […]

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