How To Use Natural Charcoal Eye Makeup

Last weekend I found myself perusing the vendor tables at local urban farm GreensGrow. Of course I was drawn to those selling natural homemade beauty products… but there was one product in particular that stopped me dead in my tracks: 100% natural willow tree charcoal eyeliner and eyeshadow (which you can buy here). 

Charcoal eye makeup

It was a fine powder — like many kinds of eye makeup I’ve tried before – but this one was totally natural. At the miniscule price of just $4, I snatched it up right away. But this powder can be quite tricky to the newest of users, so today I’m sharing some tips on how to use it!

The first step? Get yourself the proper makeup brushes. It’s best to use one with natural bristles and a relatively small tip. Natural bristles are softer and distribute the powder more evenly than synthetic ones — and there are many companies that acquire their bristles in animal-friendly ways. According to our makeup artist, Bobbi Brown makes some of the best brushes on the market — and if you treat them right, they’ll last decades.

Small makeup brushesSince this charcoal makeup comes in the form of a very fine powder, it can be extremely messy — especially your first time using it. Because of this, It’s best to start with a totally bare face. This way, if any product happens to find its way in a spot it doesn’t belong, you can clean it off without messing up the rest of your makeup. Be sure not to begin with anything on your eyelids — not even moisturizer, as too much of this can cause eyes to look puffy.

To apply the product, first dip your brush in the charcoal and brush a few strokes onto the back of your hand. This gets rid of any initial excess product so that it won’t fall onto your face while you’re applying. If you want a clearly defined line, you can dip the tip of your brush in a little water before dipping it into the charcoal. Today we wanted to go for more of a soft, smokey look, so we left the brush dry.

Charcoal eye makeup

Going along the lash line, follow the shape of the eye and just give the slightest pull when you reach to the tip. This will create a beautifully natural shape. The color will start off grayish, and will get darker as you build with each additional stroke.

Charcoal eye makeup

Charcoal eye makeup

When it comes to blending, there’s nothing like using your fingers. Gently pat your eyelids with the tips of your fingers to blend as desired. When you’re finished, you can apply the tiniest bit of neutral-colored powder to the top portion of your eyelid. This will prevent the charcoal from ending up anywhere it shouldn’t be.

Charcoal eye makeup

According to the woman who sold it to me, this makeup should stay put all day! When it comes time for removal, a little jojoba oil on a cotton ball should leave you good to go. :)

Charcoal eye makeup

Follow FP Brigette on Twitter.


  1. For $4, I am willing to try it. I prefer MAC brushes so the 266 will probably allow some play with lines without it getting everywhere. I am sure that this not any different than any other cosmetic product – practice makes perfect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.