This Retro Cake Mascara Was Made for Your Inner Pin-Up Girl

If history tends to repeat itself, then we figure cake mascara is poised to come back in a major way. Though just about every silver screen siren (here’s lookin’ at you, Marilyn) considered the product a staple in their routine decades ago, Bésame Cosmetics is reminding us just how great it is with their 1920 Black Cake Mascara ($25; With just one pan, you’re pretty much getting three products—a mascara, liner, and brow filler, which happens to come packaged in the cutest retro-inspired tin. All you need to work with it is your brush of choice, paired with a few drops of water. Unlike mascaras in a tube, cake formulas are less likely to clump, are super-hygienic since you wash your applicator with each use, and one pan will last you forever. Bésame put together a handy, mesmerizing video on exactly how to use the product on your lashes, and we’re officially convinced it’s a product the pin-up girl within all of us needs, stat. Check out the video in full below, then read on for additional instructions for use as liner and on your brows.

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If a winged liner effect is more your thing, grab your favorite eyeliner brush and hold a steady hand. Using the same general process you did to activate the formula as a mascara, apply a few drops of water to the pan and mix until creamy. Dip your brush into the inky emulsion and trace your upper lash line, winging it out at the very end. In the event that the first layer isn’t as opaque as you want, wait a minute or two for it to set before applying more over the top.

As for the brows, you’ll need a fine, angled brush for this one. In lieu of a cartoonish, Sharpie-esque block, use the brush to paint on short, quick strikes that mimic the look of your natural hairs.

Bésame Cosmetics 1920 Black Cake Mascara
available at Besame Cosmetics


You won’t need any eye makeup remover to fix any uneven lines for either technique—a damp cotton swab will do the trick, and when it’s time to take off the day, cake mascara easily rinses off with soap and warm water.

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