In spite of all the warnings we repeatedly hear about eye health, women continue to put commercial eyeliners in daily contact with their eyes. A proper make-up regimen is rarely complete without a sweep of liner darkening the waterline to make eyes look whiter, brighter and more dramatic, and like Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen who made eye make-up de rigueur from the early days of fashion history, some women will simply refuse to even go grocery shopping without their eyeliner on.
There are ways to minimize the damage caused by artificial eyeliners – such as changing them regularly and re-sharpening the pencil before each application – but doctors still warn that residue build-up from these beauty products can seriously affect the eyes, leading to infection, irritation, blurred eyesight and even long-term vision impairment. Scientists claim that women who apply eyeliner on the inner eyelid are 15 to 30 per cent more at risk of contaminating the eye than those who choose not to.
So, is there a way to get away from commercial brands loaded with harmful lead, waxes and artificial pigments, and make your own eyeliner at home? The good news is: there is!
For thousands of years, ancient civilizations have DIY-ed their eye make-up with natural, organic ingredients – the aforementioned Queen Cleopatra being their poster girl – and even today, in countries like Egypt, India and in the Middle East, homemade eyeliners are extremely popular as they soothe, cleanse and protect the eyes against infections and the sharp glare of the sun.
From a cosmetics point of view, homemade-eyeliner users swear by the quality of `blackness’ that results from organic ingredients. “I have tried all sorts of expensive brands available in beauty and drug stores, but none of them can give me the 100 percent jet black color I get from my homemade eyeliner,” says Debleena Sarkar, an India-born fashionista with Instagram-inspiring darkly-kohled eyes. “The recipe I use is traditional in our family, and even new-born babies have their eyes lined with the product to protect their eyes from contaminants. I’ve seen pictures of myself as a baby, in which my grandmother drew a triangle at the outer corner of my eyes, to make them look like a fish…”
Want to try some yourself? Here’s a DIY eyeliner recipe that you can make at home, using traditional ingredients, that is considered, healthy, safe and even good for your eye:
Homemade Burnt Almond Eyeliner
• Almonds – 7
• A pair of Tweezers
• Pure Coconut Oil or Ghee (clarified butter) – ½ teaspoon
• Aloe Vera Gel – ½ teaspoon
• Hold each piece of almond into a fire with the tweezers. Let the almonds burn completely. Afterwards, smash the almonds and grind them into powder. Add the coconut oil or ghee (clarified butter). And the aloe vera gel. Mix well until the paste is completely smooth. Store in a small jar. Good for at least 6 months. Apply with an eyeliner brush.
* You can buy Ghee (clarified butter) online or at any Indian grocery store. Google for an Indian grocery near you.
* Homemade eyeliners are also called kohl, kajal or surma.
* Some more homemade eyeliner recipes that you can try.