Natural Liquid Foundation Recipe

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How to make natural liquid foundation
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Natural Liquid Foundation Recipe

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.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


206 responses to “Natural Liquid Foundation Recipe”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    I have oily skin, so I don’t really need/want a moisturizer. Do you have thoughts on how to tweak this for oily skin?

  2. Carol Avatar

    I have tried something like a dozen recipes for DIY foundation but this one is, far and away, the best foundation I’ve ever used… better than any factory or homemade! Thank you so much. It’s perfect! Although I did make one tiny little tweak. I used only Mica powder to colour it. I got tired of lumps of cocoa in my foundation and powder.

  3. Lisa Avatar

    Hi Katie!
    You are amazing! What a wonderful post! I tried your powder blush and LOVED it!! Really looking forward to trying your other makeup recipes. Was wondering if you might have some advice on measurements for creating different skin tones using the cocoa and mica tints? I’m having a hard time getting close to finding a skin tone that matches.
    Thank you, Katie! Keep up the great work!

  4. Kristie Avatar

    Aloha, just an FYI, zinc is not supposed to be used more than 25%, your recipe at the maximum of 4 tsp uses 29.67% so you may wan’t to adjust the recipe, to be within the regulations, as it is specified for good reason.

  5. Charlotte Avatar

    Hello can you tell me a non toxic preservative to use for homemade foundation and concealer?

  6. Chiara Avatar

    Hello, I would like to try your recipes, they sound fantastic! My aim is to stop using bought make up as much as possible, to cut down on my plastic-waste, as most make up containers are non recyclable.(Even when they say they are!)
    Two questions; firstly what is a double boiler you mention in the method? And secondly, do you have a mascara recipe? Many thanks, Chiara.

  7. Alana Avatar

    Thanks for all these recipes.
    These are some of my DIY make up recipe favs, and my teenage daughters appreciate it as I spare them exposure to harmful chemical brands as we experienced.

  8. Paula Avatar


    I didn’t understand what kind of witch hazel you mean : water, oil , extract or dry herb?

    Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Nai Avatar

      I have the same question! I love the recipe, and i would like to try but i dont what kind of witch hazel it is

  9. Krystin Avatar

    I made this foundation and it turned into a really thick paste which made it really hard to apply to my skin. Any suggestions on how to make this a thinner consistency? Also, what do you use to make a more peach colored foundation?

    PS .. I love your website. I can’t wait to make more of your products


  10. Pattie Avatar

    All I want to say is BLESS YOU! THANK YOU! I’m super excited to make my own creamy foundation. I wish I would’ve found this and had these items on deck. Soon I will tho. I’m now following you on Instagram. I just wanted to say thanks if there was ever love at first site(of your work) I’m in love with everything your doing! Thanks again!

  11. LAURA Avatar

    Hello, I love this & dying to test it.
    I’m not sure if witch hazel exists in oil form? I’ve only found hydrosol. And this adds up to my second question: wouldn’t we be needing a preservative if we use witch hazel hydrosol?

    Thank u so much xx

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