Having our eyes look great is nothing new. Cleopatra is testimony to that. But what exactly are we putting near to our precious eyes and where does it come from? Here, I go through what I found some of which shocked me!

Having our eyes look great is nothing new. Cleopatra is testimony to that. But what exactly are we putting near to our precious eyes and where does it come from? Here, I go through what I found some of which shocked me!

This post may contain affiliate links, which helps keep this content free. More information on the Menu


( updated Feb 2021)

This covers a huge amount of products. Its amazing what we use to enhance our eyes.

If you think what Cleopatra used to enhance her eyes with, she used a ground stone called lapis lazuli for her blue eye makeup and of course plenty of Khol ( made with powdered lead sulfide) . They believe this makeup actually protected her eyes from infections. ( the culture & the sun.

From Eye foundations Base Makeup, Eyebrow enhancement, Eye shadows, Eyeliners, Mascaras and False Eyelashes.

Photo by 𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐮𝐬 𝐇𝐃 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞- 𝐮𝐩 & 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐦𝐞 on

What is in eye shadows, mascara and eye-liners?


This is a very interesting article on FOX NEWS which was written in 2016 but seems to be still relevant in the chemicals allowed in eye make-up .

BUSINESS INSIDER had an article in 2019 ” Cancer-Causing Toxins Were Just Found in Foundation and Sparkly Makeup -Here are 11 Chemicals That Could Lurk In Your Lipstick, Lotion and Eyeshadow”

 Asbestos- Trace amounts were found in makeup marketed for children

( EWG).

Coal tar dyes( The Toxic Free Foundation) – sometimes in eyeshadows and hair color for tinting.

 Formaldehyde( EWG)-Can be in Nail polish and hardeners.

Triclosan( EWG)- found in toothpaste, body washes and other products can cause problems with our thyroid hormone

Lead(EWG)- can be found in eyeliners and lipsticks.

PEG (polyethylene glycol– EWG)  petroleum-based – used for absorption

Sulfates( HEALTHLINE)-surfactant

There are other concerns on the article. Not all chemicals are bad, some are in products at a low level, my concern is that when you accumulate the amount of daily products together, which is easily done on a normal daily routine , that has got to increase the number of chemicals mixed together.


The chemicals are very similar to normal foundations.

For examples, Lead, phthalates,  petroleum-based compounds, BHT and BHA. and fragrance.


This website has a very clear list of what is found, not only in Eye makeup, but also in body products, Sun creams and shaving products.

Each list allows you to click on a chemical, to learn more about its use, and any dangers involved in using it. It is worth checking out your favourite brand.


Has a load of different recipes for making your own eye shadows, with different advice for Matt or Shimmery eye shadow.

They also explain what each ingredient does, to help the eye shadow last longer.

I have seen quite a few recipes for eye makeup on the internet, from simple clay with the added ingredients, even cocoa powder.

One YouTube video was using fruit juices, not sure how that works.


Photo by 𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐮𝐬 𝐇𝐃 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞- 𝐮𝐩 & 𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐮𝐦𝐞 on

What ingredients can you use to start your own eyeshadows?

One of the base ingredients are Mica Powders( EWG), these come in varies colors, with or without a shimmer for cosmetic grade products ( TKB Trading– a multitude of different colors, matt and shimmer- They offer some recipes for making your own binders some with coconut oil and dimethicone-EWG , they have 3 different methods).

These can be either used as a single color or can be blended to make your own special color. If you are doing this, then it is worth measuring out the amount of color used so that you can reproduce the color for next time. This needs to be stored in a container. If you would prefer to have a more compacted eyeshadow then you can add a powder binder. One suggestion was to press the mixture down using a piece of kitchen towel, maybe using greased proof paper so that it doesn’t stick.

WIKIHOW also has ideas for transforming your powders into a cream eyeshadow by using beeswax, Vit E, Shea butter, vegetable glycerin, Mica and jojoba oil. Mixture on link.

FROM NATURE WITH LOVE have another recipe, most seem to be on a similar path, Some Mica ( Can be pearlized to create a shimmer look) Some kind of oil for example Jojoba Oil, Arrowroot Powder and this one calls for Magnesium Stearate(EWG) The oil helps to bind and give better coverage on your eyelid.

Making sure that everything is sterilized before use. Everything is Cosmetic grade products.

I came across a lady called Katie Vance she writes on her website DIY NATURAL She has many recipes for eyeshadows using Brazilian clay which she say absorbs any oils.

Katie has an amazing amount of color mixture recipes if you need more inspiration. Katie also gives some binder ideas such as arrow root ( this is something I have tried before with foundation recipes) also titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and magnesium stearate(EWG)

I have come across using natural food products to your mixtures, cocoa powder, turmeric, nutmeg ,Beetroot Powder with a base of arrowroot and refined Shea Butter. This video shows just how simple it is to blend the colors.


LAVERA – Made in Germany

EYE SHADOWS  – there are a number of different ones available – the company says on their link that-

  • lavera stands for 100% certified natural cosmetics – with high-quality organic plant ingredients from our own production.
  • Vegan, Organic, NATRUE – 100% silicone free, paraffin free, mineral oil free – lavera cosmetics developed, manufactured and produced in Germany

The link does give the ingredients list. Certain chemicals that I was unsure of are below. I think that they offer a refill system on some of their eyeshadows.

Benzyl Alcohol

 Benzyl Salicylate* , 


This company are based in France , and are reasonably priced, So far I have tried one of their coloured eyeliner pencils which works well, not too hard to apply. One of local Organic shops sell their products.

I have started to look into some of their products.

There is perfume in some of the foundations ( which can mean a mixture of chemicals)

They also can use CARMINE for the reds in lipstick, which not great if you are vegetarian .

Photo by Valeria Boltneva on

Best advice is to take a closer look at each product that you are interested in.

They make a PALETTE of 6 EYE SHADOWS info from link , the list of ingredients is also listed.

I have since tried some of their eyeliners which feel nice and soft when applied.



This Brand of Organic makeup, is one I first came across in our local Bio shop in France. The company is  based in Germany.

I thought I would have a try of some of their Organic foundation and some eye colours.

Firstly their prices are not expensive when you look at what you pay for other eye shadow palettes out there.


The Eyes shadows come in a palette of four colours. The ones that I have tried are a brown palette and another has smoky grey/blues .

They are really easy to blend and the colour pigments do show up on your skin really well. The softer of the palettes are definitely the Brown ones. The blue/grey are a much more dramatic colour mix.They have this pink palette too which looks good for day . They would be great for evening wear.


I also tried one of their eye liners, a really lovely violet.

They are soft to use and don’t have that really annoying thing, of feeling like you are about to get a splinter in your eye! They have other colors, and certainly I will try out some of those as well. I also tried the bright blue, but although the color is great, it is very soft and tends to smudge and loose its lines.

Mascara- I have tried this one too, the Black color.

It works well, as well as other brands in the market place, I haven’t ended up with Panda eyes as yet! It seems to cover the lashes and give some volume too. I have to admit I need a bit of help on the lashes front.

The other product that I have tried as well is their liquid foundation.

It goes on well, but I have to say the coverage it gives is not as good as other brands I have tried. It is easy to wear and doesn’t streak, but it could do with more Oomph . It didn’t have as good of coverage as others I have used. I was hoping that it would also have some color corrector in it, like a green or purple additive. By the time you add a sun protector, face cream and a foundation, It can feel as though your skin is weighed down.

I know that they do sell a separate cover makeup, perhaps you are suppose to add that first. Most of the foundations that I have bought the last couple of years seem to include that in the normal foundation.


Photo by Sharefaith on

If you are in the States, I have seen some really good reviews ,for a couple of companies that I hadn’t heard of in France.

The ethics on these two are great .

The cost of their products is on par with some of the more expensive cosmetics companies, but without the chemicals.

One is BEAUTY COUNTER and the other is FITGLOW 

The two links on their names link to the about us pages , so that you can look into the their ethics.

There is a link to the products of BEAUTY COUNTER here on

If you are interested in FITGLOW   I would suggest you go directly to their site on the link above.

THE NATURAL BEAUTY BLOG  has got a list of the best 10 natural and organic eye shadows of 2019 


When was the last time you actually cleaned your eyeshadow brushes? Or even thought about it? Its too easy to brush on some eyeshadow in the morning and not give the brush any thought at all. I was reading just how many bacteria can be lurking in your brushes. Not a great thought!

LIFE HACKER – say that “about 79-90% of all used products mascaras, lip gloss, eyeliners etc. were contaminated with bacteria” including fungus and E Coli .

To protect yourself they should be cleaned every week. Don’t forget other makeup applicators such as makeup sponges ( though I wash those every time I use them)

Professionals clean them after each use.

I used to do makeup parties. Everything was either new or washed each time. Even pencils were sharpened before each use. It just made sense. Nobody should be sharing these items with you. This is one reason that the suggestion of a proper preservative in homemade products is so important. Dirty brushes can make any skin problems you have worse, as you could be spreading the bacteria over other areas of your skin.


This actually couldn’t be easier. A small amount of soap and water, using your fingers and the palm of your hand to work in the soap, then rinse thoroughly and make sure they can air dry, don’t put them away damp. It doesn’t seem to take too long to dry .


Photo by Pixabay on

As I was starting to look into what mascara contains, I came across EYELASH ENHANCERS.

At first it looked quite good, hey! who doesn’t want long thick lashes?

Women have spent a fortune on trying to get that look.

My mum used to use false eyelashes when we were young.

I can still remember her peeling off the glue!

They are still very popular now.

Back to the EYELASH ENHANCERS which seem like a serum.

After chasing down one brand, that looked OK on a sales website.

I came across another site, which had some warnings about some serious side effects, giving five different product evaluations.

CONSUMER HEALTH DIGEST is the link to look into these products more deeply if you are considering using  them.


Photo by Engin Akyurt on

Perhaps not everyone wants them quite as pronounced as these, but False eyelashes are big business.

I always remember the look that Twiggy had, very pronounced and spiky .

What are they made from? and what do you use to stick them on? How long do they last?

These are questions that I didn’t know the answers to.

I thought they were all made of the same synthetic material. I wasn’t even sure on the cost of them. As I mentioned before my only real experience was my mum using them and spending ages picking off the glue so she could reuse them.

Since then I have discovered that yes there are some made from a synthetic material, others from Animal hair- MINK OR HORSE HAIR and some which are made from  human hair. Mink Is usually the most expensive to purchase , due the the more natural look.

Each have their own issues. The synthetic are not as natural looking and can often last only one wear. From what I understand the Mink ones are the most expensive but can have an animal cruelty issue. This article by ALLEYELASHES.COM explains the living conditions of these poor animals , which can ultimately be killed just to make some eyelashes.  PETA.ORG.CO.UK have more information on this also other animal products that you probably didn’t realise were being used.

The Horse hair comes from their tails so at least they are not killed for them. But still , Yuk.

I have found a company called Social eyes That have looked into the mink industry and decided to make their own Vegan cruelty- free Minx 2 eye lashes. Great idea, from the look on their site they look pretty good too.

Review this .com have a good article on how to remove the eyelash glue, without removing your skin too! also what is actually in that glue, which I have to say, I wasn’t sold on the idea, when I saw ingredients such as Cyanide and Acrylate .

Good advice to remove all this chemical before sleeping as it can result in eye infections if it gets into your eyes. 

Chemical free company for Eyelash glues. is one company that I have found which are made from natural products, cruelty free , they have a list of their ingredients on the list and include such products as cater oil, Chamomile extract and Shea Nut butter.

They also offer eyelashes and eyeliners. They are based in Canada , but ship world wide.

Kasina is another company I have found on Amazon that is made in Korea which is offering a Lash Adhesive .( Info from link below.) This seems to be in a dark colour which has some good reviews.

  • (2 in 1) Eyelash Adhesive & Double Eyelid Glue in DARK(Black)
  • 0% Formaldehyde. Non Toxic. Non Odor. No irritation
  • Cruelty Free, Animal Friendly, Eco Friendly
  • Skin safe products .com have a review on this product where you can look into it more deeply .


Photo by Breakingpic on

Well the amount of chemicals, they manage to fit into that little bottle of mascara is unbelievable!

Everything from Parabens, Synthetic dyes, Aluminum Powder, Coal Tar Dyes, Formaldehyde and the list continues!

There is a link here to a more comprehensive list by CLEAN BOX BEAUTY 

I  really  seem to be struggling on this one.

Some of these brands say they are Vegan and Paraben free, then you look deeper, it is very difficult to find totally clean products so far.

( and some of them really make it hard to find the list of ingredients)

I think this is going to be an ongoing search.

I don’t know about you but MASCARA is one of the things I use every day.

I have found an Organic Mascara by ODYLIQUE which thankfully give the list of ingredients-( on their link)

They also produce many more organic products for the hair too.

Some info from the link to the background of this company.

Odylique’s founder and product formulator Margaret began making skin care from natural ingredients over 30 years ago. ‘Conventional’ cosmetics didn’t suit her allergy-prone skin and she was desperate to find a remedy for her family’s skin problems.

DIZAO have a 95% mascara available  they very kindly replied back to an email confirming it has a chemical free fragrance.

Ingredients on the link.

It does also contain SHELLAC which comes from a bug , explanation on the link to WIKIPEDIA 

W3LL Mascara– is also a clean product.


This video by ELA GALE gives a homemade recipe for Mascara


This seems a simple enough recipe too.


Photo by Jean M. Samedi on

When I used to do Make-up parties, one thing that often made such a difference to the finished result was having beautiful eyebrows. As they say the ‘eyes are the window to the soul ‘and ‘eyebrows are the frame to our face’.

Something that I came across recently was that some of the fashion labels are doing Bleached Eyebrows ( to give an other world look) I have to admit I wasn’t sure about it. I spend time everyday, filling in the gaps on mine! I came across a Byrdie article where the author of the piece actually tried it out herself( very brave) though she didn’t go as bleached as other photos that I have seen. Hers ended up looking great, more a sun kissed look. They do offer suggestions and side effects.

There are some famous stars such as Lady Gaga who uses this method.

Some of the products are a bleach base, which isn’t great for your skin, and of course can burn your skin if left on too long.

There is a short piece on WikiHow who suggest using hydrogen peroxide.

Their second option is much gentler chamomile tea mixed with lemon juice. Recipe on link above.


I have covered Threading on this link for hair removal I had an Indian friend who was very skilled in removing hair this way. After she had finished the ladies had amazingly shaped eyebrows, beautiful.

Whether you just want to shape them, remove hairs , bleach or fill in the gaps with makeup or dye them we seem obsessed with our eyebrows. I can’t see that changing soon, as our eyes are now one of the features we rely on wearing a mask.


This video from Better Beauty School Makeup , giving us some tips on how to apply makeup for a polished brow.

BEAUTYCOUNTER have some great results on EWG for their eyebrow makeup. They also have a lot of EWG verified products, which is a great guide for the quality of their products.

They have a Never List of 1,800 harmful chemicals that they will never add to their products. There are a few other brands too on the link above for EWG.

Dermacol Eye Micro Pencil is also looking good on EWG.

ORGANIC BLACK CASTOR OIL , cold pressed and sold by ETRONG for Eyebrows , Eyelashes and Skin, Hair Growth and Face. 100% OIL. ( all info from link)

This comes with applicators for eyebrows and eyelashes.

  • GROW LUSH LONG EYELASHES AND BOLD EYEBROWS – The eyelash and eyebrow kits allow simple application to eye lashes and brow lines to promote eyelash and eyebrow growth. 


This was really digging deep, for an eyebrow pencil without a ton of the nasty stuff, so far I have found these by


100% silicone free, paraffin free, mineral oil free – Lavera cosmetics developed, manufactured and produced in Germany.

This info is from the link, where you can also see a list of the ingredients.

EYEBROW STYING GEL BY LAVERA – this also made to the same standard as the above, again list of ingredients on link.

There is a DIY method for tinting your eyebrows on HEALTH EXTREMIST ,

Lori uses coffee, and mentions the results can last one to two weeks.

It is a really clear article to understand on the link. Lori has many other ideas too.

This article by SELF.COM gives clear reasons why using a chemical dye is not such a great idea.


Photo by Elain Yao on

Are also offering a Henna colorant for eyebrows in varies colors.

I didn’t know you could use Henna, this was a new product to me.

It comes in a pen format and is semi permanent.

I haven’t dug into all the ingredients as yet on this company.

They say all are natural and they do list the ingredients.

They are also offering a lip colour, which is longer lasting and can be removed with make-up remover. Many colours available not  just black!

Not tried, but the link to their website has more information.


Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on

Our daughter has really gotten into this.

Its almost a throw back to the time of the glamorous  film stars, such Bardot and Audrey Hepburn.


Photo by Amir SeilSepour on

This is a link to FOX NEWS WEBSITE who give the 10 toxic chemicals to avoid in eye makeup– Carbon black ( linked to Cancer- On link) Compounds of ethanolamines(  DEA, TEA and MEA.)Benzalkonium chloride (BAK), yellow carnauba wax , Formaldehyde and preservatives ,Parabens ,aluminum powder, retinyl acetate or retinyl palmitate, Nickel and chrome, titanium dioxide.

EWG there is a list of eyeliners with the safety score here for you to have look.

OMIANA This company are rated really great on EWG- They offer a full range of makeup and skincare. This is a link to their eyeliner.

From their Link (

Skincare In Harmony with You

Naturally-sourced and wildcrafted ingredients that are 100% free from GMO, toxins, fillers, artificial fragrances, synthetic chemicals, or animal testing.”)

They have skincare based on the type of skin you have.

ELA GALE on the video above, does give ideas for making your own.


This is a French company making Organic Makeup  called AVRIL BEAUTE  

Ingredients : on link

It was good to see a list of ingredients, there are so many companies not showing what is in their products.


This has a lot more ingredients – including sodium hydroxide

I think it is better that you look deeper into the ingredients as they are too long to post here.

You can find them on this link. Most are readable ingredients.


I love the look of this Australian owned company , the list of chemicals not allowed in their make up is huge!

I have put a link on the name for you to see the wide range of natural products in their cosmetics.

This link here is the Inika range in Amazon too.


(info from Link) which also gives a full description of the ingredients, Hooray!

  • Made out of plant oils and extracts from organic cultivation
  • Meets strict criteria for controlled natural cosmetics
  • Free from paraffin oils or any other raw materials from petroleum chemistry
  • Free from synthetic colours, fragrances and preservatives
  • Ophthalmologist tested