Homemade Natural Makeup Recipes

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I get a lot of questions about natural makeup options, and this was definitely one of the tougher things for me to find natural alternatives for. In college, I practically collected makeup, and had endless tubes, compacts, and brushes that never even got half used.

Natural Makeup

While there are some good natural alternatives that you can buy (see list below), the cheapest, easiest and most natural way is to just make your own, and you might have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already!

Natural Skin Care

What you do to your skin before you use makeup is just as important as the makeup you use and there are some great natural options for skin care.

I absolutely love the oil cleansing method, which leaves skin very soft and smooth by using natural oils to balance the skin. I typically use the oil cleansing method at night and wash my face with raw honey if needed in the morning. You can also use a natural sugar scrub (equal parts sugar and natural oil) or natural microdermabrasion (baking soda) to make skin look younger.

With proper skin care, the skin will be naturally healthy and you won’t even need to wear makeup most of the time. Most days, I skip the makeup altogether, but  when I do wear it, these are the recipes I use:

Natural Foundation

Homemade Option: At the recommendation of a friend who had used cocoa powder for natural bronzer, I started experimenting with natural foundation options, and came up with a recipe similar to a mineral make-up.

I start with a base of arrowroot powder and zinc oxide (can also use cornstarch, but arrowroot works better) and then slowly add in cocoa powder and finely ground cinnamon powder until you get a shade close to your skin tone. You can then store in a jar or old powder container and use a brush to apply. It took me a few tries of mixing to get the color correct for my skin tone, but most days, a quick brush of this is all I need. I later discovered that adding gold mica powder gave it an even smoother texture and made skin radiant.


  • 2 tablespoons zinc oxide (Can use arrowroot powder instead if desired, but it will not offer quite as much coverage)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon gold mica dust
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of desired natural clay powder (optional) I used a pinch of White cosmetic clay, Fuller’s Earth Clay and french green clay
  • up to 1 teaspoon finely ground cocoa powder to get desired color
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of translucent mica powder can help for really oily skin


  1. Mix all ingredients to get desired color and coverage.
  2. Zinc oxide will give coverage and matte finish.
  3. Colored mica powders, natural clays and cocoa powder will give color. Start slowly and add as needed, testing on inner-arm as you go to find your shade.
  4. Store in a small glass jar with a lid.

Note: If you prefer, just arrowroot powder (or white cosmetic clay), cocoa powder, and (optional) cinnamon powder can be used. This will create a great and completely natural/edible foundation but it will not stay as long as a powder containing zinc oxide and mica. I personally feel safe using zinc oxide on my skin (non nano and uncoated) but if you don’t, just stick to the arrowroot version.

There is a lot of variation in this recipe… creating homemade makeup is more of an art than a science and your exact color and base combinations will depend on the amount of coverage and color you want. Zinc oxide as a base will create a makeup very similar to store bought mineral makeups and adding mica powder will give skin a natural “glow.”

If you don’t have or aren’t comfortable with those ingredients, a simple mix of arrowroot and a small amount of cocoa powder and cinnamon will work really well but won’t offer as much coverage.

If you prefer a liquid foundation, check out this tutorial.

Pre-made Options: If making makeup isn’t your thing but you still want some natural options, there are a few good choices. No commercial choice is as natural as the homemade options, but they are a tremendous improvement over any conventional options! Jane Iredale is the best brand I’ve found and they offer some great options for mineral powder, liquid foundation, pressed powder and more.

Natural Bronzer/Blush

Simplest Homemade Option: Similar to above, natural bronzer and blush can be easily made with a base of arrowroot and by adding more cocoa powder and cinnamon to get a darker shade. I’ve also tried powdering dried beet root (in the dehydrator) or dried hibiscus flowers to add a pink tone which works well as long as you can very finely powder them. Store in a shaker make-up container or an old compact.

Boutique Homemade Option: For a slightly more customizable and longer lasting homemade option, use zinc oxide powder (non nano and uncoated) as a base and add cocoa powder and a red or pink hued mica powder to get the desired color.

Commercial Options: For natural blush, I love Aubrey Organic Silken Blush or Jane Iredale blushes.

Natural Eye Liner and Shadow

Homemade Options:Always be careful when using any products, even natural ones, near the eyes. I mix up several colors of eye shadow using cocoa powder (brown shades) Spirulina (green shades) and arrowroot (light shades). My favorite is just cocoa powder with a tiny bit of arrowroot mixed in for smoothness.

For eye-liner, I either use a tiny bit of cocoa powder mixed with coconut oil, or a tiny dab or activated charcoal and whipped shea butter. Be careful not to get either one in the eye. I store the eye shadow in an old powdered eye shadow container and apply with my finger or a very slightly damp brush.

To make a smoother eyeliner, I mix equal parts of coconut oil and shea butter (about 1/2 ounce of each) and add about 1/2 tsp of activated charcoal to make a black eyeliner that is thicker. You can also do this with cocoa powder for a brown hue.

Commercial Options: Jane Iredale offers a few options for natural eye-liner.

Natural Mascara

Homemade Option: I don’t wear mascara most days, but when I want a natural option, it is an easy one to make. In a small bowl, I just mix a few drops of Aloe Vera Gel from Mountain Rose Herbs, a couple drops of Vitamin E oil, and a pinch of activated charcoal (not very precise… I know). I mix it up as I use it, though you could also make and store in an old mascara container or in a small jar and just clean the mascara wand between uses. I brush it on with a clean mascara brush, or even a used Bass Toothbrush from OraWellness.

Boutique homemade option: If you want to take the time to make a fancier recipe, my homemade mascara uses black mineral powder for amazing thickness and length.

Commercial Options: The two natural ones I’ve tried and love are Organic Wear and Jane Iredale.

Natural Makeup Remover

Skip the need for buying an extra product (probably full of less than ideal ingredients) and try one of these simple natural makeup removers you probably already have around the house.

Supplements for Skin Care

I’m firmly convinced that what you put into your body is just as important, if not more so, than what you put on it when it comes to skin health. I used to have terrible acne and since changing my diet (removing dairy) and supplements, I don’t break out at all and my past scars have healed. The supplements that seemed to have made the biggest difference in skin health for me are:

  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil– for the Vitamins A, D and K, Omega-3s and Antioxidants, all which are great for the skin.
  • Gelatin – Which is a pre-cursor for collagen and has made my hair, skin and nails noticeably stronger and smoother (great for cellulite too).
  • Magnesium– An anti-inflammatory and lacking in many people’s diets. Topical Magnesium Oil seems to be the most effective for skin health.

Ever made any your own makeup? What is the toughest thing to find natural versions of for you? Let me know below! 

These DIY natural makeup recipes can be made at home to avoid the chemicals in conventional beauty products.


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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. WellnessMama.com 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.


410 responses to “Homemade Natural Makeup Recipes”

  1. Judith Avatar

    Hello, Wellness Mamma. I have a question about the gold mica dust you recommend for your foundation. I checked it out on amazon and found that it contained titanium dioxide. On learning this, I asked the company if the titanium dioxide contained nanoparticles or non-nanoparticles. They didn’t respond. My question for you is whether or not you think this is safe to use on the skin since they didn’t confirm that it was non-nanonized. If you have any helpful additional information concerning this issue, I would feel much more comfortable in my decision whether or not to use this mica powder in my skin care products. Thank you in advance for your help.

  2. Courtney Avatar

    Hi Katie,

    I used your ingredients for diy lipstick, I have a mold that I put it in and have found there are little white bumps that appear as I start to use the product. Not until I have used it a few times. Have you had this issue? Is this because there are no preservatives? Or is there a trick to melting the shea butter?

  3. Ashlee Avatar

    You are wonderful! I’ve been using this makeup recipe along with your foundation makeup recipe for six months now and I LOVE them both! It was a big initial investment to buy all of the ingredients, especially when I was unsure if it would even turn out well, but I’m so glad I tried it. In the long run this makeup is soooo much more affordable than regular makeup and I think it’s just as good and it’s better for my skin. If anyone is unsure about whether to try this, just go for it. Thank you wellness mama. I love what you’re doing. Keep it up!

  4. Kristina Avatar

    Great post! What is the shelf life of eyeshadow made with shea butter and eye liner made with activated charcoal? Thanks!

  5. Rachel Avatar

    I’m having a hard time with the powder sticking to my skin. Without adding some kind of oil, it just falls off of my face, and if I add shea butter like some recipes call for it becomes pasty and also falls off my skin! Suggestions?

  6. Tina Avatar

    Hi, I am trying to make your foundation recipe but I can’t find Fullers Earth Clay on amazon. Is there another clay I could use instead of Fullers Earth Clay?

  7. Crystal Avatar

    Hi! I’m just starting to explore the concept of making my own makeup. I was very intrigued by this article. I have ditched chemicals in everyway which meant pretty much all my makeup was unusable. I was wondering if there are any ways to make brighter colored eyeshadows? It’s pretty much the only part I miss about conventional makeup. I was reading about mica powder and wondered if you have any thoughts? I eat and buy products pretty exclusively on the organic side and I don’t want any yucky stuff in the makeup I make. I don’t know much about it so I’m searching for any info!

  8. Valerie Avatar

    Have you ever used beet root powder to make blush? I’d seen a recipe online somewhere using it to make a homemade blush and wondered how well it would work since I have some.

  9. Kassia Avatar

    Hi Katie, I’m really happy I came across this post because I need to put a little more effort into my skin care and makeup routines. Right now I do almost nothing (babies!)

    I’m looking into the Jane Iredale foundations and blushes. Do you know anything about the red lake colors and the iron oxide colors found in makeup? Which are safe and which are not? I also came across a lipstick company called Axiology. Their ingredients look amazing and the colors are vibrant.

  10. Darelene Avatar

    I know this isn’t the thrust of your website, but I was disappointed to read that you use and recommend mica powder. It’s mined in Indian by children and should be avoided. I’m not willing to look pretty with the labor of children.

  11. Mary Avatar

    I made the original foundation recipe (which contained bentonite clay) a long time ago and really loved it. Can someone share that recipe?

  12. Deb Avatar

    I loved the idea of making my own powder foundation and gathered all the ingredients. It smells yummy when I wash it off and I love how it wears. For myself, I really needed to make some huge adjustments in the amount of cocoa and mica. I needed a lot more cocoa to match my skin color (I am light to medium) and also added some cinnamon and turmeric as well. For myself, 1 tsp of mica is about 4 times too much shimmer. But your recipe gave me a great place to begin the process. Thank so much!!

  13. Jalini Avatar

    I have noticed a lot of these diy powder foundation recipes floating around the internet. I just wanted to say that when I tried this recipe, I noticed that I received VERY light coverage and the powder did not stick to my skin. If you are experiencing the same thing, I suggest taking your powder mixture and blending it in a blender with a few drops of oil (I love using tea tree) until combined. The shade of your powder may be slightly darker, but this fixes the problem of the powder not sticking to your skin, and you can even press it into a compact!

  14. Kim Avatar

    Does anyone have recipes for people with contacts? Tried this recipe and even though I didn’t put it around my eyes, it got in and scratched my eyes each time I used it ?

  15. sandy Avatar

    I learned that most if not all eyeliner and mascara have bat ghuano or poop and crushes black beetle for their ingriedients.
    straight talk from ulta clerk. just thought you would want to know.

  16. Danny Avatar

    Hi all.
    Love this site however, isn’t mica considered a carcinogenic “nano particle”?
    Love to all.

  17. Annie Avatar

    Hello! I’m at a loss regarding makeup due to many food sensitivities, and I was so thankful and excited when I found your recipes (because I trust you!!!) for a liquid foundation, a powder foundation, blush, eye shadows, etc! Recently, I found out I’m also sensitive to nickel, so I have to avoid cocoa (even topically on the skin). I also have to avoid coconut, ginger (also in your recipes), aloe vera, rosemary, cucumber, chamomile, sage, all types of rices, etc.

    If you have any substitutes I could use to replace the ginger and cocoa specifically for the liquid/powder foundations, that would be so appreciated and amazing! As for any general recommendations you might have, I appreciate your insight! My skin is also oily, I have large pores, and it needs of a lot of coverage, too!

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