I totally dig black eyeliner. I believe I have worn eyeliner every.single.day since I was born! Black lined Indian female eyes are gorgeous - a wonderful enhancement to the typically large eyes they're born with. Back when I was a kid, my mother would line my eyes with the ubiquitous Eyetex kajal. The kajal came in a a little round tin and she'd stick her pointer in the gooey black stuff and flick her kajal lined finger on my lower lid expertly. Of course the thing would smudge like crazy and most times I'd end up looking like I had black eyes, a raccoon etc. Yet, I preferred smudgy black eyes to unlined eyes.
Then as I grew older, there was a great new invention - that of the kajal pencil. You didn't have to use a finger or stick anymore!!! It still smudged though. Until came the liquid Lakme black eyeliner. But it stung and I was not happy with the extremely fine lines the brush made. I had gotten a bit used to the smudgy/smokey look. So I went back to the pencil. And then I went to the US and found a variety of eyeliners in different shapes, sizes, formulations and colors. However, none of them were black enough for my taste. Recently I went to India and found a new generation of twist-up eyeliners - like this one. I really loved it - it was BLACK, did not smudge, I had no irritation, and it looked absolutely gorgeous. BUT, there was this huge problem - I couldn't find the full list of uingredients anywhere. And while I used it in India out of desperation (yeah, I do love my eyeliner), I couldn't continue to use it without knowing what the heck was in it. So then I decided to try my had at making my own.
I started with activated charcoal as the pigment - used beeswax, coconut and castor oils. Many many issues with this one. It was not black enough no matter how much activated charcoal I used, it smudged and the application (with a thin brush) was terrible. I kept working on a formula and switched the pigment to black iron oxide. I was able to get a stiffer formulation with a mixture of carnauba and beeswax, used castor oil and caprylic triglycerides. And I took this and poured it into a empty Lakme eyeliner pencil and voila.
Definitely much better! Very happy with the pigmentation. It smears a bit - I am more than a bit hesitant about adding any polymers that will make it smudge proof. However, the pencil is too thick. I now need to look for an appropriate pencil to fill. And master the art of filling a thinner pencil - this can be way more difficult than actually making the eyeliner!!!