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.
- For a simpler version, use a natural pre-made moisturizer for the base and add colors and pigments as needed.
- 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:
- kaolin clay, Earth Clay or Bentonite Clay
- organic cocoa powder
- zinc oxide powder (non nano and uncoated) or white cosmetic clay
- OR natural mineral makeup in your color (in place of ingredients above)
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?
Discussion (203 Comments)
A picture of you wearing the makeup would be helpful.
Are you wearing this makeup in your new picture?
Katie - Wellness Mama
A variation of it…
Is there another recipe yr using. I did the recipe & it curdled?? More wax??
I tried this both ways she stated and neither worked. They were both very curdled and separated. Disappointing.
I did the hard version, though I used the cream version of zinc-oxide, as that’s all the health store I go to has. I added a small amount.
Hi Katie. I’m wanting to make the natural foundation and was wondering if there is a substitute for the mica? Thank you
Mica adds some shimmer but not much color to the skin. You can omit it if you prefer and the foundation would be more matte. I’m not aware of any substitute that does the same thing.
Hi I see your foundation contains Aloe Vera, Aloe Contains water and as soon as you add water to a product you need to preserve it against microbial growth, If you do not add a preservative you could infect alot of people with skin diseases. Witch Hazel also contains water…. Uhm
What color of mica powder do I use? A neutral skin color or like a blue or something else? Also can I use normal beeswax instead of emulsifying wax? And for the zinc can I crush a zinc pull up?
Sorry for all the questions.
I use a neutral color. Emulsifying wax works differently so beeswax won’t substitute well here. And the zinc can be omitted but a zinc pill won’t work. Zinc oxide is a very thick white powder that adds coverage.
what part does the zinc oxide play in this? Is it a preservative?
It’s for coverage and makes the formula more opaque
I was thinking the same thing. Or at least a picture of the product or the process.
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!
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
Katie - Wellness Mama
Good question… I’ll work on getting pics
How long will this recipe last? Should it be stored in the fridge?
Katie - Wellness Mama
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.
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?
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?
Katie - Wellness Mama
It holds up really well. I’m working on pics 🙂 I am wearing it in my picture at the top of this page though: https://wellnessmama.com/about/
Have you ever tried using tumeric powder instead of the mica powder for the foundation?
I am dark skinned and have Yellow tones to my skin.
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?
Katie - Wellness Mama
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.
Katie - Wellness Mama
I use this one and order it in bulk.
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.
Do you have to have the zinc oxide in it? I’m really excited to try this!
Zinc oxide is optional spf
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?
Made the natural foundation and it turned out beautiful…….
Yes, it is bad for you. Here is an excellent article about titanium dioxide. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/01/20/titanium-dioxide-nanoparticles-health-risks.aspx
Titanium dioxide not good for you?
Depends on what kind, whether you’re inhaling vast quantities of nanoparticles, or just laying larger milled particles on the dead surface of your skin.
As a component in mineral makeup, especially if layered over a robust moisturizer (which would block absorption of following layers) it seems of little concern.
(Yes, they’re a business that sells mineral makeup, no that does not make their information evil and untrustworthy.)
Over time, that’s just wishful thinking.
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
Lovely recipe! I’ll definitely have to give this a try.