Natural Liquid Foundation Recipe

How to make natural liquid foundation

I’ve shared my homemade powdered makeup recipes before but I’ve been playing with a liquid foundation or creme recipe for months (ok, years).

Until now, it has just frustrated me and all of the trial recipes turned into tinted body butters or cremes because they didn’t offer enough coverage or offered too much. Some looked grainy, others streaky, others just fake.

Natural Liquid Foundation…

After dozens of tries, I finally found a recipe for a liquid foundation that offers coverage and looks amazing on skin but doesn’t look like it would be better suited for a clown.

It combines many of my favorite natural skin ingredients like shea butter and argan oil with natural minerals and clays. Once I discovered how to make a good base for this recipe, it was easy to create natural creme blush and concealer as well.

The Base Moisturizer

There are actually two options for the base of this recipe: the simple way or the DIY way. 

  1. For a simpler version, use a natural pre-made moisturizer for the base and add colors and pigments as needed.
  2. The DIY way takes a little more time and five ingredients but allows more customization since you’re making the base lotion yourself.

If you prefer the pre-made option, I recommend using one of these two natural lotions, which both are rated as safe by the Environmental Working Group (and they make your skin feel incredible!):

If you want to use the homemade version, you’ll need these ingredients for the base:

And these ingredients to add to the base for color and coverage:

Cost Comparison

Per ounce, this foundation is much less expensive than leading brands, and drastically cheaper than organic brands. I wasn’t able to nail down the exact price per ounce since so little of each ingredient was used.

If you already have all or most of the ingredients on hand from other projects, the DIY base version is going to be less expensive. If you don’t, using a natural lotion with similar ingredients is going to be less expensive.

All of the ingredients have other uses and even just a few ounces of each will make months and months of makeup. (I recommend making in small batches if using the homemade version since it won’t have a long shelf life and should be used within a few weeks).

Customizing to Your Skin Tone

If you’re using a pre-made mineral makeup in your skin tone, just add to the pre-made or homemade lotion until you get the desired color and coverage.

For the homemade version, I recommend making the base lotion (details below) and testing on your skin to make sure you like the coverage and texture. Once you create your custom base, start adding the color powders (clays, mica, cocoa, zinc, etc) little by little to get the color and coverage you want.

Some tips I discovered along the way:

  • If you’re using zinc oxide (which is used in many mineral makeups and my natural sunscreen), you’ll want to add it  first for the coverage aspect. I added about 5 times as much non-nano zinc oxide as other color ingredients
  • Then, add clays and sprinkle them on very lightly to prevent clumping. I found that a tiny bit of french green clay and fullers earth clay helped even out my skin tone
  • Then, add color slowly (you can’t undo this part!). I started by sprinkling tiny amounts of cocoa powder, bronze mica powder and gold mica powder  and mixing until I got a color that worked for my skin.
  • I tested this on the inside of my arm for color and consistency before putting on my face.
  • If you want, you can add a couple drops of a skin-safe essential oil like lavender or frankincense or rose for scent and added benefit.
  • The zinc and clays offer coverage and smoothing, the mica and cocoa add color and bronzing. Add both slowly until the desired color and coverage are reached. Let cool and re-test on the inner arm or neck to confirm it is the right color.
  • If you want a thicker creme foundation, add slightly more emulsifying wax or shea butter.
  • If you prefer a smoother/thinner coverage, add slightly less or up the aloe and witch hazel.

Natural Foundation Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons of argan oil or jajoba oil
  • 1 teaspoon of shea butter
  • 1/2 tsp emulsifying wax
  • 1 tablespoon aloe gel
  • 1 teaspoon witch hazel
  • OR 3 tablespoons of natural pre-made lotion(in place of first 5 ingredients)
  • 1-4 teaspoons non-nano zinc oxide
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1//2-1 tsp mica powder of choice
  • 1/2 tsp clay of choice (if using)
  • OR 2-3 teaspoons of All-natural mineral powder in color of choice

What to Do:

If making the simple version… just mix the organic lotion and mineral powder to get the desired color and consistency.
For the complete DIY:
Melt the shea butter, argan oil and emulsifying wax in a double boiler until completely melted.
Add the aloe and witch hazel and whisk until completely incorporated and smooth.
Turn heat off.
Slowly, start adding colors. Start with zinc and clays until desired coverage is reached. It will still be too pale at this point.
Add mica powders and cocoa powder a tiny pinch at a time until desired color is reached.
Dip the tip of a spoon into the mixture and let cool for a few seconds. Test the color and coverage on your forehead to make sure you’ve achieved the right tone for your skin.
Spoon the mixture into the desired container and let cool.

How to Store Homemade Foundation

This can be easily stored in a glass jar or old makeup container. My favorite way to store is in a silicon squeezable tube for easy application. This helps prevent contamination since you aren’t reaching into the makeup container and keeps it fresh longer.

I prefer to squeeze a small amount onto a makeup sponge and apply. A little goes a long way!

Best Pre-Made Option?

If you don’t want to make the base lotion yourself, at least consider using an organic lotion and natural mineral powder for a simple two-ingredient foundation.

The best fully pre-made liquid foundation I’ve found is Jane Iredale but the DIY option provides similar results and is much less expensive over time.

Ever made your own make-up? What did you use?

This natural liquid foundation airbrushing creme is amazing for skin and makes it look amazing with shea butter, aloe, witch hazel, argan oil and minerals.

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Reader Comments

  1. Lovely recipe! I’ll definitely have to give this a try.

  2. Do you have to have the zinc oxide in it? I’m really excited to try this!

      • Hi this maybe a silly question but is Titanium Dioxide really that bad I’m asking because the mineral powder ‘s I’ve looked at to add have this in it.
        I’ve read a lot of bad things about it but it’s hard for me to make up my mind on this one lol.
        Is there any info u have on it and what do u think of Titanium Dioxide good or bad?

      • Thank you so much for all the recipes, they’re quite simple and cost effective. I’ve got a question about aloevera gel, can I use it directly from the leaf and just blend it myself?
        Kind regards!!! <3

      • Jane Iredale mineral powder contains titanium , so is it safe

  3. Hi! I’m quite interested in trying this recipe. I am, however, curious about the mica powder since most colored micas contain other synthetic ingredients. What are your thoughts? Thanks.

  4. Just a few questions- 1. can I leave out the oil (ive tried jojoba, apricot, almond, and coconut with bad reactions from serious cystic acne to rashes and even brrathing difficulty) grapeseed prevailed as an eye makeup remover, but unfortunately it too causes super break outs when put on my face.
    2. Can I substitute anything for shea butter? Im starting to think shea butter may be doing the same, but I bet it could be my makeup im using with oil in it, so id love to try this recipe in a small amt to find out if it is indeed shea butter breaking me out! And can I find all of these ingredients at a local health store?

    3. How much clays did you add?

    • Have you tried natural powdered makeup? It might be more gentle on the skin. I’ve experimented a little with just adding these color/powdered ingredients to a mixture of aloe and witch hazel for oily prone skin and it has worked well…

      • How much aloe/witch hazel, and aloe gel or juice? I tried a powder, but it made me super itchy.. I tried it with cocoa and arrowroot powder, if you have a link for the powdered kind, ill check it out!

      • Hi, I have been reading a lot of your posts and love them all. But I haven’t seen aloe being mentioned more than a few times. Can you please tell me what kind you are using and where you get it.

  5. Very interesting! I’ve been waiting for this recipe for a while 🙂 Can you share some before and after pics of yourself with/without the foundation? I’m curious to see how it looks on and the coverage it provides. And then also, how does it hold up through the day? Does it last for most of the day?

  6. How long will this recipe last? Should it be stored in the fridge?

    • I’ve used it for up to 2 months with no off color or smell. I make small batches though so I always have a somewhat fresh batch.

      • Q: so I made a small batch St see ans then made a bigger batch. I forgot to add the witch hazel so I put it in at the end and it totally wet curdaly? What happened I was so bombed it looked so amazing. Your thoughts

        • Well honestly, it sounds to me like you answered you own question: with this batch, you added the witch hazel late in the process. It integrates better if you add it earlier. I did a lot of trial and error with this recipe, and that was my discovery as well.

          • Thank you. It is amazing.

      • Hey
        I wanted to make an eye shadow. I want to ask if it’s ok to mix food coluring & coconut oil. The main purpose is that is it safe to apply food colouring on your eyelid

        • I don’t really use food coloring, so I’m not sure, but I would be concerned about it staining skin. Maybe try coconut oil and colored mica powder?

  7. Do you have pictures of what it looks like on your skin? i hate to waste all the ingredients if I don’t know what it does to your skin

  8. Seriously? I can just mix my EM powder in with some lotion and wa-la? If this works you are my hero lol! Thanks girl!

  9. Are you wearing this makeup in your new picture?

      • Is there another recipe yr using. I did the recipe & it curdled?? More wax??

  10. A picture of you wearing the makeup would be helpful.

  11. Do you have any suggestions on unscented lotion? I can’t stand any fragrance on my face. Unfortunately both of the shea products you suggested smell too strong. Thanks!

    • Mango butter doesn’t have smell.

  12. Does the bentonite clay not dry and flake in this? I am so excited to make this as under eye concealer. This and mascara are all that is left for me to switch over to make on my own so to be synthetic chemical free.
    Thank you for the detail in this recipe. 🙂

    • I haven’t had trouble with that since I store in an airtight container and it is such a small amount…

  13. Hi Katie. I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe. I’ve been looking for a natural foundation recipe that works….I made this today and it came out perfect! You are such an inspiration…I read your blog daily and truly admire you for all that you do.

  14. What would you say the “start up” cost is, for all the ingredients listed. And how long would a batch last. I’m all about natural, but I rarely make or buy any because of the cost.

    And where do you store all the random natural ingredients in your home?!

    • I have a special shelf in my pantry for all the DIY ingredients, but there aren’t as many as you’d think since there is so much overlap between recipes. To buy bulk of everything would be $20-$80 depending on what you picked but it would be enough to make dozens of batches or years of makeup.

  15. Cannot wait to try this!! I have everything on hand to make, but only have beeswax instead of emulsifying wax…will beeswax work ya think?? Thanks, love your site:)

    • So glad you are excited about it! I would recommend against that substitution… The emulsifying wax is actually really essential to making everything mix, and beeswax cannot fulfill the same role.

      • Ok, thanks so much!

      • I was wondering about using carnauba wax for the emulsifying wax? Is it the same thing?? Thanks in advance 🙂 Love all of the great ideas and inspiration I get from you as well!!

  16. Can beeswax be used in place of the emulsifying wax?

  17. OMG I have been avoiding buying base foundation forever. I’ve tried arrowroot alone as a powder but at the end of the day it feels grainy, doesn’t have the coverage I want, and causes my mascara to flake off. Need to try this!!!!! I feel like out of all DIY makeup this is the most important since it covers so much of the face. Will give this a try. 🙂

  18. i think my original comment is stuck in cyber land.

    What is the approximate cost of all the ingredients, up front? How long does a batch last, and where do you store your bulk ingredients?

    • I store all in my pantry. A batch lasts me months, and the cost up front was $20-$80 depending on which options you chose, but either option will make dozens of batches.

  19. What is the finish like when it dries on your skin? I am currently using a Bare Minerals liquid foundation, but it’s so dry. Not very flattering once on.

  20. Really looking forward to making this, I’ve been looking for a DIY liquid foundation recipe for ages and haven’t had much luck! I live in the UK and often have difficulty sourcing some of the ingredients needed for these DIYs, the problem this time is the vegetable based emulsifying wax. The only affordable ‘supposedly’ natural emulsifier I can find is Cetearyl Alcohol / Ceteareth 20. I’ve looked into this though and ceteareth 20 is classified as toxic on the skindeep database- do you think I need worry or is there another appropriate emulsifying ingredient you recommend?

    Thanks! Oh and fantastic site btw, I’ve learnt so much! 🙂

  21. Hi
    Great idea !
    Would you mind if I shared this on my newsletters please mentioning you as the author ?
    Thankyou and I love what you’re doing ????????;-)))
    For Some reason it won’t allow me to do 5 stars? !!!

    • Hi Jolene, I don’t allow full reprinting but you are welcome to link to it 🙂

  22. Thanks for this post! do you think coconut oil as the lotion will work? should it be mixed with something like shea butter or beeswax to help thicken it?

  23. Pls make sure you let us know when you post a pic of no make up and make up. Your skin looks beautiful with no blemishes to cover, therefor I’m afraid it will not allow enough coverage for me. Awaiting pic to be for sure before I make! Thanks for sharing new to your blog…and am really enjoying and living it!!!

  24. Katie this recipe is amazing! I tried it and I am thrilled with the results. I am wearing it now and it feels fabulous! I added 4 tsps of the zinc oxide for a more opaque coverage. I also used your DIY face powder on top. It looks great!

    Shea Moisture Olive & Marula Head-to-Toe Lotion – 12 oz

    4 tsp zinc oxide powder (non nano and uncoated)
    1-1/2 tsp organic green kaolin clay
    1 + tsp Laura Mercier Mineral Powder Foundation
    1 tsp raw cocoa powder
    1/4 tsp yellow oxide
    1/4 tsp brown oxide
    1/4-1/2 tsp Bare Minerals Warmth

    It mixed beautifully but got a little dryer than I wanted. I simply added more about a tsp more of lotion and stirred briefly.

    What a beautiful healthy foundation.

    The lotion I bought from Amazon by following the link you gave. It is a beautiful lotion.

    Thank you again Katie! You are brilliant and I try a lot of your recipes and DIY’s

    Carol S.

  25. I love this! If you use a premade lotion and add in the zinc, cocoa, clay etc., what would the shelf life be? Thanks!

    • The shelf life of the lotion basically since the powdered ingredients typically have an extremely long shelf life

      • I have made this twice and both times it has grown mold. The second time I made it, I used Aloe that doesn’t require refrigeration, thinking it might be the cause.

  26. Oh yes! I recently made your DIY mineral foundation/bronzer, so I’m really excited to try this! I don’t think I have the color quite right for my mineral foundation, but I figure it takes practice.

  27. Wow, you look like 20 and you have 5 kids. Go mama!

  28. Does this work well at covering acne?

  29. Thank you so much for all your hard work researching all these things to help all of us out!
    Anyway, I have Perioral Dermitiis right now, and so I have ditched many of my former beauty products to stay away from SLS and have been playing with making my own natural ones. So this was perfect timing to find this. I made this recipe with the first pre made lotion you suggested and then order the rest of the ingredients to finish it. So far I am very pleased with it, but I have one question. Do all the Mica powders have the glimmer (sparkles) in them? I don’t really care to have sparkles on my face, it’s not a big deal, but just wondering. Also, I had to add quite a bit more of the colors than suggested, I though maybe that’s because I used a pre made lotion and maybe it’s more white and diluted the color? THoughts?

    • All mica does have a little bit of sparkle, but it typically fades once it has been on the skin. You can omit and use cocoa alone if you prefer though. The amount you have to add does really vary and that can be normal to add more depending on your skin tone and the color of the lotion you start with. So glad you liked it! 🙂

  30. I would love to try this however I am allergic to cocoa. So is there another way to get that color?
    I love checking out all your ideas.

  31. Hello Wellness Mama
    Maybe it’s just me but I don’t see the amount of clay that you using in the base recipe? Could you please give the amount?


  32. I’m not quite ready to take the plunge in purchasing all of these ingredients, but I am primed to try the mineral powder + shea butter and jojoba.

    I’ve been trying to find out all I can about the Jane Iredale loose powder. I’ve established it does NOT have a shimmer, which I’m happy about. But I’m confused the company describes it as “a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 20 UVB/UVA”? Is that property entirely naturally occurring?

    Does anyone else find it fishy the price ranges from $24.99 to $40.90 on Amazon?

  33. I have been looking for a natural diy foundation option, but oils and lotions clog my pores and cause me to break out badly, even the all natural and non comedigenic ones. I had disastrous results with the oil cleansing method. Do you have any suggestions for a base that does not contain lotion or oil?

    • Try plain aloe gel (not juice) or aloe and witch hazel and add the colors to that.

      • Is there something I could use in place of aloe, or can i just omit it? I am severely allergic to aloe so finding any natural cosmetics, lotions, sunscreens, soaps, or just anything put on the skin seems nearly impossible.

        • The other ingredients may need some adjusting to get the right consistency, but you can omit the aloe.

  34. I have searched the Internet for a diy concealer with no luck. Do you think this recipe would work if I add more emulsifying wax or zinc oxide? I mainly use it to conceal under eye circles and the occasional blemish. Thanks!

  35. Instead of the vegetable based emulsifying wax can I use beeswax since I have it on hand? Thankyou!

    • Unfortunately, beeswax doesn’t work as well for getting the liquid and oil ingredients to incorporate. You can, but it requires a lot of mixing and can still separate.

  36. Instead of witch hazel can I use rose water or apple cider vinegar? I use those for toner and don’t like witch hazel because of the alcohol.

  37. Hi Katie,
    I love your blog! Thank you so much for all your insight! I was just wondering, I thought zinc oxide and mica were bad for you and eventually cause health hazards. Am I wrong?

    • It is very important to use non-nano(particle) versions of them, especially the zinc. Nano particles are what leach into your blood and cause problems.

  38. Hi Katie. I have an aloe Vera plant at my home. I was just wondering if you though I could use the aloe directly from my plant rather than the aloe that is in your link?

    • I’m not sure how long the recipe would last with fresh aloe. You could try but it might spoil quickly.

      • Thank you for answering this, it was one of my questions. We just made some and all went well till we added a bit more clay, then it separated. Can we fix it?

  39. Hi wellness mama!

    I tried this recipe using one of the recommended lotions. Then I added Bentonite Clay and cocoa powder. From reading it seemed that the mica and nano oxide was optional. (could be wrong though)

    The foundation has no coverage. It just seeps into my skin. 🙁
    Should I add emulsifying wax to make it not so porous? It’s just going straight into my skin, not on top. Was trying to go the simpler route but makeups one of the few things I use the bad stuff.

    I’d really like to make this work. Please help!!! Thank you!

    • The non-nano zinc oxide provides the most coverage. You should still be able to add it to get more coverage.

      • Hello! Trying homemade face products out for the first time. So the zinc oxide serves two purposes, sun protection and helps provides better coverage or just sun “coverage”?

        I also have a piggy back question, as I said homemade foundation is new for me. I am also interested in the tinted moisturizer recipe and was thinking I could start there. My first question: do you apply any other moisturizer when wearing your tinted moisturizer or just that? Next do you wash, remove or add to your tinted-moisturized-face (?) before bed? And lastly, I tend to have very dry skin, especially in the winter, which lotion base would you recommend the natural shae moisturizer or would your homemade version be more moisturizing?

        Really look forward to trying this out and your feedback would be much appreciated!

        • I do not apply additional moisturizer when using the tinted one but I don’t have very dry skin. The zinc oxide does provide some sun protection and make-up coverage as well. The lotion I linked to should still be moisturizing enough if you start with that recipe.

          • Great thanks! Do you wash off the tinted moisturizer like you would makeup or leave it on (overnight).

          • I leave it on and it has never irritated my skin but you could definitely wash it off.

  40. Can I use beeswax instead of emulsifying wax?

  41. I really liked this recipe. It was the first time I’d made homemade liquid (turned out more like a cream) foundation. The only problem is that it molded just after a few weeks. I put it in a container that had been boiled so I don’t think it was that. I’m just wondering if it was the fact that I put it in a container with a lid, where my fingers touched it and spread germs as opposed to a squeeze container where that doesn’t happen. Or if it’s the aloe or something else in the recipe that would make it do this. I used it off and on for four days, then it set in the container for a couple weeks. Also, I didn’t realize my aloe needed to be refrigerated and had used it to make moisturizer about a month prior so it sat out all that time before I used it in the foundation. The next time I got it out to use it, it had lovely mold “spike mounds” in about four places.

    • I should clarify that last sentence, it was in reference to the foundation, not the aloe. Also, I didn’t keep the foundation in the fridge. Is refrigeration a must for this foundation?

      • Mine did the same thing. Did you ever find out a fix or what caused it?

      • I made the recipe from scratch – not using a lotion base, and after about 3 weeks in a GoTube it turned black. Gross. I think it needs to be refrigerated but I’m scared to try it again.

  42. Hello,

    I have tried making this twice and each time I get a grayish color rather than anything close to a skin tone. I omitted the mica powder and used cinnamon in addition to the cocoa powder instead. Have you had this happen at all, and do you have any suggestions on how to avoid the gray color? Thanks!

    • I”d add more cocoa for color as it has a redish/brown hue that should not appear grey…. you probably need more in ratio to any clays that you used

      • I’m having the same problem…it’s gray! I made two batches. I felt like I added a lot of cocoa, but you think maybe more will do the trick? And do you use regular organic cocoa? I need to get this right! I’m almost out of expensive store-bought foundation. Haha.

  43. Can i sub cocoa powder with carob powder

  44. I have all the ingredients except the wax. Can I leave it out?

    • I tried it without the wax it doesn’t work.

  45. The wax is what allows the oils and Shea butter to mix with the aloe gel and witch hazel without separating.

  46. I went to your link to order the zinc oxcide and it says its not available and they didn’t know if it ever will be!! Do you recommend another kind?

    • It’s in stock as of today. If Amazon doesn’t have it, you can order that exact Zinc directly from the Shea Company on their website.

  47. Hi, can I omit mica and cocoa powder? Instead, substitute the cocoa with cinnamon, and substitute mica with french green clay and french red clay. What do you think about that?

  48. Hi! I’d like to know how long it keeps fresh since you make it. Thanks for your answer.

  49. I’ve been looking forward to making this recipe for a while, but had to keep putting it off simply because I needed to buy the ingredients I didn’t have…
    I had total faith in you (I use a ton of your recipes for homemade products, they are amazing!), and I was not surprised that it came out amazing! I did notice that the cream ended up with a weird oily bit pooling below all the makeup. Despite that, it still went on with great coverage, but I did have to rub it in quite a bit. To me, it’s all worth it, because it’s natural/homemade, and still has great coverage and looks natural.

    Do you have any tips to avoid the “oil pooling” in the future?

  50. I have yellow-ish skin. So, what should i use for the all natural foundation? Also, do I have to use the wax?

  51. Hello. I just went through and priced everything for this recipe according to the links you provided. I have a few questions. 1) someone posted about mica having other chemicals in it. Can you touch on this? 2) I went to my local compound pharmacy to try to get my hands on a few of these ingredients, he thinks this recipe will not work due to the fact that there is not water in it. He asked me how much water was in the aloe and I could not tell him. 3) it’s $100 to order all these products, with everything in bulk and new, how many pots (according to your measurements in the above recipe) of foundation will this make? I’m scared to spend $100 and it not work only to go back to Mac and spend another $40 on another foundation. Please help!

  52. Love your site!!!! Started with your homemade sunscreen and have been having a blast with all your other recipes since, thank you!!!
    I was wondering what your thoughts were on adding more french green clay for olive skin tones, any suggestions? I have never been able to find any foundation that was actually my skin color, very much looking forward to mixing my own but was hoping to get a few more suggestions for color options. Also, in the interest of using materials I have on hand, how does the powder with aloe base compare in coverage and wear and also shelf life? Will probably make the full recipe above at some point but have to stop buying DYI beauty materials for awhile (having a bit too much fun with all this). What is your suggestion for a version without witch hazel and wax?
    Thank you again for your website, been sharing it with friends and family:)

    • Hm… I know that olive skin can be very difficult to match. You could certainly try it, though!

  53. Hi Katie! Thank you so much for your website!
    One question regarding this recipe if using pre-made organic lotion base…
    My mixture spreads on creamy at first, but then leaves little specs of what seems to be the cocao powder or cinnamon (added based upon one of your comments to readers regarding bronzing) no matter how much it is whisked. Is there anything I can do to save this batch?

  54. I just made this (using the first lotion listed as the base). I’m so happy with it! I love the coverage and the way it feels on my face! I’ll probably have to keep tweaking the color, but I’m overall pretty darn happy with it!!! Thank you so much for posting this, and for giving such detailed explanations. I’ll definitely be making this again.

  55. Also, I’d love to know what SPF the zinc provides, approximately. Is there any way to know/estimate that?

  56. What can I substitute the witch hazel with? I want to keep my foundation alcohol free. Thanks (:

    • I think this recipe is a great start, but also was surprised by some of the toxic ingredients. For non-alcohol-distilled witch hazel try Thayers!

  57. I was just wondering if there is any other gel I can use as a substitute for aloe, I’m very sensitive to (probably allergic to) aloe and was hoping there’s an alternative as I would like to make this recipe without breaking out in a rash. Thanks!!

    • I’m with Monica – is there anything I can sub for the aloe gel? Thanks!

  58. Hi Katie!

    First off, I just found your site about a week ago, and I LOVE your recipes! I’m on a mission to detoxify my life now too, and I feel enabled with all of your help and incredible, simple, and less expensive alternatives to store bought products! So, thank you for all you selflessly do for others in posting these recipes.

    So, I love this recipe, but I read someone else’s comment about adding 1 tsp clay for more coverage, so I tried that (along with the 4 tsp zinc), but now it dries quickly and leaves little bits of grit from the clay, especially if I try to move it around on my face or sponge over an area (I apply it with a sponge too). I tried adding some pumps of lotion here and there thinking it would solve the problem. Once I thought it was better, I finally applied it to my face, but I find I still have the same problem. Should I just keep adding lotion (using the pre-made Shea lotion)?

    Thank you again for everything!

    • I haven’t tried adding that much zinc and clay but I would think that adding more lotion would help dilute it and return to a more usable texture. Maybe mix a part of the mix you have with lotion to get a good ratio before trying the whole batch

      • Yeah, that’s a good idea. I don’t have the grit problem anymore, but I found if I put too much liquid foundation on one section (if I’m trying to cover something or add a touch more coverage for blemishes), it dries darker and looks a bit patchy. Do you think it’s the clay? I’m thinking it’s probably too much.

        In the future, I think I’ll just stick with 1/2 tsp clay & add 4 tsp zinc oxide. I also just made your concealer recipe so I have been trying to cover any blemishes with that first so I don’t overdo the liquid foundation, so that does help. And I also found your powder foundation also helps to set and fix anything I missed, so I’ll probably make the liquid foundation lighter/regular next time.

        Thank you again!

      • Also, for greater coverage, what measurements of clay & zinc would you recommend? Maybe just sticking with 1/2 tsp clay & 4 tsp or more of zinc oxide? Or would you not go any higher than 4 tsp for zinc?

        Thank you, Katie!

  59. Hi Katie,

    Is there a way to make it more beige? The cocoa powder makes it dark and reddish and I don’t know how to balance it out do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks! 🙂

  60. I am really anxious to try this. Your website is my go-to site for everything!

    Would diatomaceous earth work for the clay?

  61. I noticed that you buy your micas from amazon. I was wondering if this was because your supplier is the best source to get safe mica or just a preference. I found a seller at that is less expensive. Any thoughts as to safety and choosing who to buy it from?

    Thanks so much for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it. Also, I am looking to make a product without hormone disruptors as I’m trying to address some health problems. I don’t think that vegetable based e-wax is and option for me? What would happen in I just used beeswax instead? Or what do you think about using lecithin as an emulsifier?

    Thanks again

    Oh, one more things, sorry. I specifically was more comfortable with that site because they specified which colors were “lip safe” if I choose to go with the amazon micas, are there any indications of whether or not any of the powders are not lip safe.

  62. Have you heard of the brand of makeup named Zuzu? If so, how safe are their products?

  63. Hi there,
    I was wondering if it would be possible to turn this recipe into a BB Cream or if you’ve already tried making bb cream and could share a recipe?
    Thanks in advance.

  64. Hello!
    I’ve been hunting on the net for a while now, and it seems like a long shot, but I thought I’d ask; what’s the most coverage one could get with this? I loved Max Factor’s Pan-Cake and have been hoping I might be able to make a substitute for it, and maybe for a little less, too. But I’m not sure if something that behaved like it did is even possible at home. Thoughts?

    I hope this is pertinent to the article.


  65. I just made your DIY mineral powder foundation and love it! However, my winter skin would probably love this recipe instead. My question is about the witch hazel. Do I have to use it? If so, could I sub rose water or glycerin, or something more hydrating? Thanks for these wonderful recipes!

  66. I love your recipe, I want to try it. I am asian people and I have very dry skin. Do you think this recipe is too oil? Is any water inside? Thank you very much.

  67. Hi Katie!
    Love your website! so much great information on it and so much to learn!
    I have a question and hope you or others can help.
    I have a hard time avoiding my products with Shea butter to become grainy in texture. It doesn’t happen right away but I notice that after a few weeks the product (lip balm, foundation, body butter) becomes grainy….any tips to prevent this??
    Thank you so much!

    • What type of shea butter do you use? With really raw ones sometimes it helps to melt and filter through a cloth to remove any debris, but sometimes it can just be normal during the hardening process.

      • I don’t think there is debris in the shea butter since initially it is fine. It becomes grainy after a few weeks.
        I read somewhere that you need to melt shea butter slowly and keep it at 175 degrees for 25 minutes. Then cool rapidly, in the fridge. The confusing thing is that I also read that you just melt it and cool slowly, on the counter.
        So, what is the right way of working with shea butter? (Mango butter also has the tendency of becoming grainy…) Thank you for your help and all your wonderful recipes!!
        (I would love to sit down with you with a cup of coffee and chat about all your DIY ideas!)

  68. So I really like your recipe, but I have to say that mica is a horrible cosmetic ingredient. While it might do the pigment justice, it’s seriously hazardous to health. I’ve made my own liquid foundation with only the shea butter you’ve suggested and natural colored fine-ground herbs and spices from my pantry and it worked fabulously. I’d really recommend finding alternative ingredients. I’d also like to add that the arrowroot is a much healthier and safer option, as the term non-nano hasn’t yet been officially regulated, and can be misleading. Wouldn’t normally comment, but because you advertise as a wellness blog, I think its important to know the facts.

  69. Hi Katie, The aloe gel says it uses a seaweed thickener, is it carrageenan? They don’t specify.

  70. Hi! I’ve been looking for a DIY liquid foundation recipe for ages and haven’t had much luck! I live in the UK and often have difficulty sourcing some of the ingredients needed for these DIYs, the problem this time is the vegetable based emulsifying wax. The only affordable ‘supposedly’ natural emulsifier I can find is Cetearyl Alcohol / Ceteareth 20. I’ve looked into this though and ceteareth 20 is classified as toxic on the skindeep database- do you think I need worry or is there another appropriate emulsifying ingredient you recommend?

    Thanks! Oh and fantastic site btw, I’ve learnt so much! 🙂

  71. Hi,
    For liquid foundation, I just use a couple pinches of the powder foundation recipe you have (I only use arrowroot, cinnamon, and cocoa powder), and add a few drops of Jojoba oil, mix and add more oil if needed for desired consistency, then I spread it on! I then use the powder over the top, and I’m done! I started this a year ago, after finding your recipe for the powder foundation, and it has worked well for me. I live in a hot desert similar to Phoenix, Az, and have not had any problems with it.

  72. If I am making it with the premade lotion but mixing all my own stuff in then do I need to heat the lotion? Or do I just add the ingredients to the cold lotion?

    PS: My husband and I use so many of your recipes off of your blog and we love them!!!

  73. I hate to be THAT person, but I’m surprised nobody mentioned anything about preserving. I used to be strongly against preservatives, but after some research I realized you can do more harm by not preserving something that has any type of liquid and oil mixed together! There could be millions of bacteria in there long before it smells off or look bad. I’m sorry, but this can’t last more than 3 days in fridge without preserving.

  74. I have come by this page several times and even ordered all the products…. a couple weeks later I finally made the foundation (even the DIY lotion, which was SUPER easy)…. why did I wait so long???? S.O. easy! It feels like whipped butter.

    side note- I have olive colored skin (I ordered all the mica powders suggested just since I wasn’t sure how I would need to mix them) and I mostly used the gold. I used the dark red to darken it up a smidgen but mostly the gold.

    Can’t wait to use it!

  75. I love this recipe and I love the way it looks on my face so thank you thank you!!! BUT!!! It came out a little to oily for me and clumps up my homemade powder too! How can I fix this?

  76. Thank you so much! This is so awesome. I really appreciate the time and energy that you put into these posts, they are very helpful to alot of people! 🙂

  77. I want to try this recipe, until I read that you have oily skin. I have very dry skin and need to be careful about foundations that become matte or powdery as they end up making my face look like a dry mosaic. Will this foundation work for someone with dry skin, or would I need to tweak the ingredients a little, like lowering the clay content, etc? Help!

    • I would play with the ingredients like you suggested. Perhaps try the original recipe, and add more of the moisturizing ingredients until you reach the desired coverage.

      • Excellent! Thank you! Last silly question: Argan oil is prohibitively expensive. Since I’m not familiar enough with the texture of this particular oil, what would you recommend as a suitable substitute? Thanks again!

          • Thank you! Just ordered my ingredients! Can’t wait to make my very first foundation! Next up, your Mascara! Thanks again!

  78. First of all, THANK YOU for all the DIY posts! Wow, it’s been so fun trying all your recipes! Just had a question about making the foundation. I made it recently and I couldn’t get it to turn out smooth. After I added the powders it didn’t mix up well. Do you have some tips for me? Not sure what happened :/ I’m going to give it a try again today, see if maybe I can figure out what I did wrong.
    Thanks again!

    • The powders should be added slowly, mixing as you go, to avoid clumping. Also, if it needs to be thinner, you can up the witch hazel or the aloe 🙂

  79. I followed exactly except for the mica and it turned out really grey also – and I used a lot of cocoa and some true cinnamon hoping it would get better. A bit disappointed as I now used all those ingredients. Is there a way to fix it now?

  80. I would not use Mica powder as it is toxic. Is there anything else we could use in place of Mica?

      • This is true. Now, does anyone have a source (or does one exist?) that is responibly mined so that no one has to suffer in order for me to wear makeup?

    • Does this need to be refrigerated? Does the Aloe gel you used in here require refrigeration? Is the gel at Mountain Rose herbs about the same. You use them for alot of yr recipes.

  81. Hi, this looks lovely but I do have a question. What emulsifying wax do you use? I thought that those were mostly chemicals and lab made.

  82. Is there an substitute for shea butter? I’ve used it before and I broke out in a painful rash

    • Any other butter like cocoa butter, mango butter, etc will work.

  83. hi this sounds amazing. would it be ok to use iron oxides for the colour instead of mica powder?

  84. What sources do you use for your mica powder, zinc oxide and emulsifying wax? I found the wax on Elements Bath & Body which I trust but there are a wide array of other companies that sell these ingredients and I want to be sure I am getting a quality product.

    • I link to all the sources I purchase from in the article…

  85. WOW i’ve made my own sunscreen cuz have tons of Zinc oxide I got from whatever reason before..can’t remember?!! (can someone tell me if it can get stringy like cobweb?? IS that just static?? Cuz i kind of left it open cuz the zip lock didn’t work…hope its not spider webs or dust? It was in a closed cupboard though?!).

    I have my own aloe plant and made the aloe gel, org cocoa powder , and shea… got some sample mica but didn’t get the gold/bronze…looked under foundation instead! I should have gotten those..will get next!!! BUT I LOVED IT!!! SOOOooo much better than what I’ve bought and the BEST I’ve ever found was at Paula’s cosmetic Cop! theirs is the best but this is even better! Most micas/powders dry my face and show up wrinkles a lot more and don’t stay very long…This makes my skin sooo soft and looks sooo much better w/out that dry skin look that shows up every little dry skin!! amazing! will try to add the argon oil next!!! Thanks!!!

  86. Hi, This may be a stupid question…. But… Should I use an electric mixer or a wire whisk or a plastic utensils with this recipe? I am concerned about using the electric mixer or the whisk.


  87. Why it’s a risk:
    The problem with Vegetable Emulsifying Wax is that it’s not just one chemical, but a cocktail of many. And these chemicals aren’t required to be disclosed to the crafter or the end consumer. But I was able to track down the actual ingredients its made up of. It is typically a blend of:

    Cetearyl Alcohol
    Polysorbate 60
    PEG-150 Stearate

  88. Could I use your homemade lotion for the base? If not, would you recommend not using the homemade lotion recipe on the face, period?

    • Hi Joy,
      I saw that Katie had mentioned in the comments for the homemade lotion recipe that it was okay for the face but I used it for the tinted moisturiser recipe and I found it to be too oily.
      I love using it to moisturise my face at night and as a body moisturiser though.
      I guess the emulsion in this recipe makes it more creamy and less oily…I am excited to try it soon!
      Hope this was useful.
      Thanks for all these great recipes Katie!

  89. Can I sub the emulsifying wax with bees wax?

    • It won’t emulsify the same way, but you can use it.

  90. Hi, also wondering if I could just use your homemade lotion as the base??
    And thankyou for posting all this wonderful info 🙂

  91. Before and after pics?

    • I scrolled way back in your instagram and I found the pics :). Also I made this and it works! (I used iron oxides as color as well as cocoa powder). Definitely my new go to recipe for foundation!

  92. Hi there! Im really excited to use the recipe, as most store bought foundations irritate my skin and make me break out. In the version you use that works best, did you use only the French Green Clay and Fuellers Earth Clay, or were there any others you added such as Bentonite or Kaolin? I would like to follow your recipe as closely as possible.

    • I added a small amount of all of those and still experiment with the recipe each time I make it. It should work well with all of those or just a couple.

  93. What a brilliant idea! I have been using organic products for a while now, but always searching for something new :).
    Could you please tell me – how long can it be used for, once prepared? is there a ‘use by date’ there somewhere?


  94. Can you use just coconut oil, shea butter, arrowroot, and cocoa powder? I have all of that. I want to make my gramma some makeup but dont have a bunch of stuff.

  95. Can you use beeswax instead of emulsifying wax?

    • You can, but it really won’t emulsify as well.