I don’t wear a lot of makeup and lately, I’ve been going more and more natural. When I do wear makeup, I want it to be as organic as possible. The only issue with that, of course, is that organic makeup can be super expensive and still full of yucky ingredients. It’s better than the drug-store makeup but when I learned that many brands sneak in various preservatives and no-no additives to products that are supposed to be cleaner than your average makeup.
That got me thinking: why am a paying a small fortune for “organic” makeup if it isn’t as pure as I thought? I’ve also become more aware of the waste involved in buying tiny one-ounce products and then having to throw away the used compact or jar once I’ve used up the foundation. I am trying to buy, use, and waste less this year, after all.
Sure, I could go makeup free, but sometimes I need a little coverage. It’s akin to putting on armor for a workday or adding a touch of glamour when I want to go out and feel pretty. Then it hit me: I’ve gone full-on hippy homemaker in the past and made my own mascara and bronzer, so why not make my own foundation? It would be cheaper, less wasteful, and I would always be sure I got the right tint.
Let me tell you right now that this journey has been a process. I started with recipes I found online that said you could make your own foundation using only arrowroot powder and kitchen spices. Sold! How much more natural could a woman get? Alas, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. I tried various recipes, various amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg and arrowroot powder, and it still always came out looking like I had dusted spices on my face. At least I smelled like freshly baked goods!
That’s when I turned to mineral makeup. Technically, you can’t call anything like minerals that are pulled from the earth organic, because we can’t control the elements. It’s kind of like the same way you can’t call fish organic, only line-caught, because, as they swim around in the ocean, they can come into contact with all sorts of matter. Still, it’s as natural as you can get—like the bronzer I made.
Some people worry about using titanium dioxide in this mix, but I figure if it’s in the store-bought mineral products I buy and wear, I should be fine. It’s the unpronounceable things on the list of ingredients that worry me. From what I found on my research, the only danger in titanium dioxide is in using the nanoparticles version where the particles are so small you can absorb more than is good for you, similar to how you should always use non-nano zinc oxide for your homemade sunscreen.
Okay, enough of the technical talk! Let’s get to the recipe. I love it! It took me all of ten minutes to make and looks and feels wonderful. There’s an initial investment in buying bulk supplies (I spent roughly $60 on ingredients). But once you have them, you’ll never have to get more for a VERY long time (and FYI, the ingredients never go bad). I adapted my recipe from Natural Organic Products & Recipes and The Humble Homemaker.
I cut my portions in half because I like working in small batches until I know how something will work out. Even with my half-batch, I used a few dollars worth of the ingredients and ended up with several ounces of makeup—at least ten times the amount of the small jars and compacts that you shell out $25-$40 for. What?! I know. Totally worth the investment. At this rate, my half batch will cover me for a few years and then I have plenty of raw ingredients for when I need more. Dare I say that my $60 investment will last a lifetime? Maybe not that long, but it sure beats shelling out half that every six months for an ounce of makeup in a container I ultimately have to throw away.
The last thing I’ll say about this is that, of course, not all skin tones are the same. My recipe is for olive skin tones, but this fabulous website has the list of ingredients and measurements you’ll need for other skin tones. Play with it to see what works for you. I ended up leaving out the clay in their instructions as well as a few other ingredients from The Humble Homemaker because they didn’t feel necessary to me. Do make sure to purchase a coffee grinder that you use ONLY for makeup and similar DIY products and be careful not to breathe in the ingredients while you mix them (I like to tie a damp cloth around my nose and mouth to be safe).
5 tsp titanium dioxide
1/2 tbsp serecite mica
2 tsp zinc oxide
1/2 tsp magnesium stearate
3/4 tsp brown iron oxide
1/8 tsp deep red oxide
5 tsp yellow iron oxide
Mix ingredients in bowl reserved only for makeup and similar DIY projects. Stir until combined. Then, in small batches, blend in coffee grinder (again, making sure that this is one you use only for these types of projects). As you finish each batch, pour into reusable container like a mason jar. Shake jar to combine each batch you’ve run through the coffee grinder. Store in a cool, dry place.
To use, place a small amount in an old cosmetic container and, using your blusher, dust your face with desired amount. If you don’t have a small container that you can reuse, simply keep in the foundation in the larger jar and be sure to shake the blusher before applying to remove any excess powder.
Note: If foundation looks too dark, add more titanium dioxide in small amounts.
Makes roughly 8 oz
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