Women had to scrape soot off of lamps to make mascara before Thomas L. Williams introduced “Maybelline” to the buying public in 1913. Nowadays there are products you might already have in your makeup kit that you can use as mascara if you run out of it. If you don’t have these items, you probably won’t mind investing in them to adding them to your kit; whether you need them to make mascara or not, you can make it a point to include them in your makeup regimen.

Things You'll Need

Swirl a fluffy eyeshadow brush in translucent powder. Tap off excess, close or half close your eye and dust the powder on your top eyelashes.

Dip a fan lash brush in a creamy black waterproof gel eyeliner. Use the brush to comb through your curled top eyelashes with the gel eyeliner (see Resources for a video). Gel liners come in a pot and are either creamy or somewhat tacky. The translucent powder you applied should plump your lashes up as thickening mascara does — the combination of translucent powder and gel eyeliner on your lashes results in mascara.

If your eyelashes are very light, use a black liquid eyeliner to paint the roots of your top eyelashes. Even if you have dark lashes, but find the roots whitened or lightened by eyeshadow fallout, you can use black liquid eyeliner to coat over the discoloration.

Skip the product application altogether on your lower lashes or wipe the brush lightly with a piece of tissue to remove excess product after dipping it again in the pot of gel eyeliner. Touch the brush all over the base of your bottom lashes, not combing through them unless you are going for a dramatic look.

Touch curled lashes lightly with a finger barely smeared with petroleum jelly. This is best on a day you are going for a natural look and you don’t have any other eye makeup on. The petroleum jelly will act like a subtle form of mascara, and it discreetly enhances your eyes.


  • When shopping for a gel eyeliner, choose a formula that is creamy, because a tacky one is not as effortless to apply if you want to use it when you run out of mascara.