We all are obsessed with a good mascara that lifts and gives your lashes more volume. Mascara opens up the eyes, making them look more appealing. Have you ever wondered how mascara is made and what goes into the product you put on your eyes?

Mascara dates back to 4000 B.C. to Egyptians, Greeks, and Babylonians. Most of the products were in the form of solid cakes made of lead sulfite, charcoal, and malachite.

Over the years, we have come a long way and now have hypoallergenic, lengthening mascaras. You can choose from a nourishing water-based or a long-lasting waterproof mascara. Keep reading to learn how mascara is made.

What Goes Inside the Mascara Tube?

The raw material of mascara may depend on the brand and the formula. Some brands make oil or wax-based mascara, and some make lightweight water-based mascaras.

Here are some ingredients that are often used to make mascara:

  • Water

Water is the main ingredient in almost all mascaras. It works as a blending agent and also helps in drying the product once applied to the lashes. Mascara that have water as the main ingredient are lightweight and come off easily. These mascaras are usually not waterproof but are long-lasting due to other ingredients.

Moreover, water also gives a natural look to the lashes and prevents your lashes from clumping even after multiple coats.

  • Oils

Oils are essential to combine other ingredients such as waxes and make the mascara formula nourishing to your eyelashes. Oils work to ensure uniform coverage and add a sheen to your mascara that works well in making the lashes appear healthy.

  • Waxes

Waxes are used as thickening ingredients. They add a volume to the lashes and help give them curl. Waxes are the heroes in making your mascara last all day without running down your cheeks or leaving marks on the top of your eyelids.

Waxes also combine well with pigments and coat the lashes to provide a rich color. Some of the most popular waxes used in mascaras are rice bran wax, carnauba wax, and beeswax.

  • Pigments

Pigments are the most essential component of mascara when you consider how mascara is made. Without the pigment, mascaras wouldn’t have that rich dark color we all want. The most used pigment for mascaras is iron oxide which adds a black color to your lashes.

Another ingredient that is used to add opacity to the formula is Guanine, which is often confused with Guano implying bat droppings. That is why understanding the ingredients is necessary instead of believing the rumors.

  • Polymer Fibers

Polymer fibers are optional for mascaras. They give a lengthening effect to your lashes. Brands may use silk, nylon, or rayon fibers that attach to your lashes and lengthen the tips. The black pigment over these fibers gives them a more natural look.

How are these ingredients combined together?


All the mascara ingredients are combined using two methods. One is an anhydrous method that does not use water in manufacturing. The other is an emulsion method that combines water and thickeners together to form mascara.

In the anhydrous method, the ingredients are weighed, mixed, and heated to form a homogenous paste. The emulsification is done without the use of water.

For the emulsion method, the ingredients, water, and thickener are combined and mixed at a high speed to form a uniform paste. This semi-solid paste is ready to be filled into containers after proper cooling.

What About the Mascara Packaging?

The last step of mascara manufacturing is the packaging. There are plastic as well as bristle types of wand brushes for the application. These may come packed in a tube or bottle packaging. You can pick from different shapes of wands that deliver specific results.

One thing that helps in preventing the brush from clumping with mascara is a small piece of wiper in the tube that scrapes off the excess product. This shows how much thought process goes into making such a tiny product. Now that you know how mascara is made, go out and find which one works best for you!