Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Because It's Fun, Adventures in Mixing Makeup

Contributed by Anna of Not Knowing Where

Did you know that you can create your own makeup from items that you probably have in your kitchen right now? Recently, Wellness Mama wrote a post about just that. I spent the following weekend scattering a multitudinous amount of colored powders across my kitchen and bathroom, in an attempt to concoct my own blends. I tried most of her suggestions. I made several happy discoveries, and experienced a few disappointing revelations. It was a little trickier than Wellness Mama's simple post made it appear.

"Why in the world," you may ask, "are you mixing your own makeup?"

Three reasons. One - My skin has developed allergies to just about every product that is found at a drug store. Two - I've always disliked the fragrances of cosmetics. Three - Mixing makeup just seemed like a lot of fun. What can I say, I do strange things on Friday nights after the toddler is in bed.

Inspired by an expert, here are my stumblings in creating makeup in my kitchen...
Foundation Powder, Eye Shadow, and Blush
 Here is the initial color pallette of my endeavor:
  • White: corn starch
  • Brown: cocoa powder
  • Orange: cinnamon
  • Red: dried hybiscus
  • Black: activated charcoal
In addition to lightening up the makeup, the corn starch is integral to absorbing the colors and spreading them on your skin. My skin also happens to thrive on the corn starch. Go figure. Whereas makeup I've bought has always made me break out, this stuff actually keeps breakouts at bay. Crazy!

For the foundation powder, I mixed cocoa powder and cinnamon into the corn starch until I was happy with the color. The corn starch and cocoa powder both tend to clump. A tea infuser worked as a sieve to break apart the clumps and help it mix. 
I used the skin on my arm as a guide as I alternately mixed cinnamon and cocoa powder into the corn starch for the best shade. 
For the eye shadow, I started by emptying one capsule of activated charcoal into a small bowl. To the black, I added cocoa powder and cinnamon alternately until I found a brown I was happy with. 
The activated charcoal plays a similar role as the corn starch. It is a smooth base that helps the makeup stick to the skin.

The blush works a little bit differently than the foundation and eye shadow. The red from the hibiscus requires a small amount of moisture to get absorbed into the corn starch. I ground the hibiscus into as fine a powder as I could get. A coffee grinder is perfect for this. I sifted the hibiscus through the tea infuser into a small bowl. It was about 1 tablespoon. Then I added an equal amount of corn starch to the red powder. Next, I added a very small amount of water. No more than 1/4 teaspoon. I mixed well with a spoon, then I started using my fingers to work the hibiscus and corn starch together. 
The result was a bright pink powder. Continuing to use my fingers, I added cocoa powder, more corn starch, more hibiscus... until I was pleased with the shade.

The most expensive part was the activated charcoal. It cost $9 at a health food store. However considering I have enough to make a lifetime of eye shadow, I figure it was $9 well spent. Hibiscus was $2 for an ounce at my local health food store. An ounce of dried flower petals is more volume than you would think. It may make ten batches of blush.

Making makeup in your kitchen is super cheap, and a lot of fun for the artistically minded. Have fun!


  1. My chin is on the floor!!!!! I am SO excited about this. For me it's the price of make's ridiculous. THIS is amazing. I had no idea you could use such things...CANNOT wait to try this. Thank you so so much for sharing!!!!!!!

  2. I wonder if I could use carob instead of cocoa powder. Hubby is allergic to cocoa and I would hate to avoid him simply because I am wearing make up.

  3. I've never felt the consistency of carob powder before. If it's really dry, then you may need to add just a little bit of water, like I had to do with the hibiscus.

    Being allergic to cocoa is sad :(


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