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.
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:
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
- Mix all ingredients to get desired color and coverage.
- Zinc oxide will give coverage and matte finish.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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!
Discussion (410 Comments)
Hi, im wondering about these microfiber cloths youve been mentioning. So you wash just with the cloth and water? No soap? Twice a day? Then do you wash the cloths in a washing machine or just rinse in the sink?
I rinse them in water whenever I use them and launder in natural soap in the washing machine once a week
Fantastic information! I have often thought of making more own ‘mineral makeup’, but was never sure what would or wouldn’t be an irritant. I have more yellow tones in my skin, and I wonder if a tiny pinch of tumeric would cause skin irritation? Or, maybe a super fine corn or chickpea flour would do the trick? Any thoughts?
The turmeric would probably work! Great idea… Please let me know how it works if you try it…
The tumeric burns me a bit, as does the cinnamon. Funny, I can use benzoyl peroxide like there’s no tomorrow. Feels like water, but the spices in the natural makeup burn. Go figure….. I was thinking carob powder might work too, as I think even the cocoa burned my eyelid a bit when I applied with water.
I tried the turmeric mixed with the arrowroot and cocoa and love how it controls the oil on my face all day.
Tumeric is also a great natural anti bacterial agent. I gargle it with salt and warm water for a sore throat and it seems to cure it.
I’ve seen Youtube videos where folks use turmeric to introduce yellow tones – just need to introduce it in tiny quantities till you get it right as it is a strong yellow. I might be remembering it wrong but I thought I’d seen one where spirulina was used in tiny measures to correct redness
How long do these store for? Is it okay to make in bulk ?
How long do these store for? Is it okay to make in bulk ?
All ingredients are shelf stable so it should be fine
thank you so much for posting this! i just made some of the loose powder and it works (and smells) wonderfully!
Oh, wow! This is amazing! I haven’t tried using makeup with natural ingredients yet and it’s thrilling to try this one. Are there many brands established out there now who makes these?
I make mineral make up, vegan lipstick And loose mineral make up. No Talc, parabans or toxic fillers.
No animal testing!
I clicked your link for the gelatin and noticed that Amazon also offers NOW brand gelatin, 5# for $42. Your Kosher brand does not say it is from grass fed beef, so what’s the difference do you think?
I emailed several companies and the great lakes brand was the only one that said they were grass-fed cows. I saw the Now brand too, but wasn’t able to verify that one. Still would get the health benefits though…
Wellness Mama. I found out that grass fed only cows can still be purchased from farms that fed them animal parts. Very uncool to mislead us like this, and to have such a loop hole! The ONLY gelatin you can use safely (and not worry about Mad Cows, and the likes) is organic gelatin.
I found out that grass fed only cows can still be purchased from farms that fed them animal parts. Very uncool to mislead us like this, and to have such a loop hole! The ONLY gelatin you can use safely (and not worry about Mad Cows, and the likes) is organic gelatin. I was so turned off by the sly behavior and practices, that I am still avoiding gelatin as a whole since 1997.
About gelatin; it can be beef, pork or vegan ( from seaweed). The one you would want is the vegan. NOW foods carries it in 5# bulk. It’s great to make your own gummi candies. Recipes are online.
You can make your own gelatin – boil the bones of your chicken and make stock – throw in veggies and a little apple cider vinegar. If you cook the bones down long enough, the minerals seep out into the stock and when you refrigerate it, it will be jelly-like. Very very good for you. We make stock every week. Keeps for 5-7 days refrigerated. Longer if you boil again. Freezer for months. Cook with it – soups, stews, poach eggs in it, use it as liquid for brown rice or quinoa. Chicken “gelletin” stock is gold!
what about concealer? Thanks!
It is a tough one to make. I’ve just dabbed on a tiny amount of plain arrowroot before and then applied the rest as normal to cover it and that worked pretty well.
I have done tons of reading on this, as I want this too. I get the impression you can only do this with mineral makeup. You use something thick like shea butter, with just a tiny bit of beeswax, and melt. Then you add the makeup powder, and let it sit to set firm. This is the best natural concealer I can see online yet. I haven’t tried it, but the vids look convincing that they would work.
I am THRILLED to find this post!!! I’m all about putting food on my face (I wash my face with honey, use an apple cider vinegar toner, and moisturize with coconut oil.) Can’t wait to make my own makeup!
I was totally wondering how to make a natural eye shadow. I never thought of using cocoa. Great idea. I’ve seen other recipes that use clay but don’t want that near my face because of the high content of silica and aluminum that is in clay. Thanks for sharing.
Certain clays are very good for your skin, just make sure it’s cosmetic grade clay. They actually draw toxins out of the skin/body. Kaolin, bentonite, fullers earth are all great clays for the skin.