Making Your Own Makeup
Natural makeup has grown in popularity over the last decade as we become more aware of how our biggest organ, our skin, can be affected by applying a mixture of synthetic chemicals.
With products derived from nature such as mica and clay, you can create coloured lipsticks, eye shadows, blush and foundation all customised for your complexion. Whether creating makeup for personal use or large batches for a home business, making up makeup is easy, fast and fun!
The great thing about experimenting with makeup is that it requires very small amounts of ingredients which means you certainly get your money’s worth. Most recipes call for one or more of the below, and it’s valuable to know the role of each component if you wish to experiment beyond a simple recipe – which is what making up makeup is all about.
Dry Flo is cornstarch which is modified to not clump. It is very absorbent but has poor adhesion unless blended with other ingredients. It's great when used as a translucent base to lighten and even out formulas.
Titanium dioxide powder is a mineral famous for its SPF properties. It is a flat and inert oxide which provides opacity in lipsticks and powders. With a fine grind, it allows skin to breathe, but if used too heavily, will leave skin pale. Use to help lighten colours, add matt finish and for extra coverage.
Kaolin clay is mined from the earth in many parts of the world. It provides a silky feel to products, but use sparingly as it can be drying.
Zinc oxide is a white powder and mainly used as a thickener in cream bases and for sunscreens. It may help sooth inflammation caused from acne. Zinc oxide sticks to skin effectively and helps to create a smooth creamy texture to products.
Natural colours such as cocoa powder, nutmeg, paprika and alkanet root are trialled in DIY cosmetics but can be difficult to achieve the exact colour. Also, these natural products lack consistency, so it will be difficult to duplicate the same recipe in future. We suggest recipes that use titanium oxide, mica, iron oxides and zinc oxide. It should be noted that just because a colour is considered natural, it is in not necessarily less hazardous than a fabricated man-made colour base.
Sericite and mica’s are naturally colourless minerals mined from the earth and then given its pigment through colourants. If mica is coated with oxides or pigments, it is still considered natural. Add to products for shimmer and colour. Mica’s work well in clear products such as transparent melt and pour soap as the shimmer needs light to refract the colour.
Iron oxides for cosmetics were originally natural and mined but since the 1970’s, have been produced in labs due to the toxicity and purity issues mining created. Iron oxides are created using iron salts which are oxidised using a controlled water process. The lab-created pigments are the same molecular structure and quality only with a purer, safer and more vibrant result. As well as being safe, iron oxides are a very stable and cost effective ingredient of cosmetics. They are used to produce matt colours – but sometimes difficult to mix in evenly.
There are a wide range of plastic or glass containers that can be used for storing your end product. Small sample pots are perfect for pressing eye shadows into – a wooden dowel cut flat works well to press your product evenly.
For a loose product, using a sieve jar allows the product to be shaken to the top before applying with a brush – these are great for bronzers, foundations or blush. Sample pots can be used where lip products can be applied with your finger (such as a lip balm) but we recommend using lip twister or lip tubes for functionality.
Making Your Makeup
Start with a Clean Surface
Make sure you're working in an area that you won’t mind getting stained. Or consider covering the area with a large plastic sheet or clean paper. You will need to clean all of your surfaces, utensils and cosmetic containers with rubbing alcohol (available from most chemists - this works well in a spray bottle) and dry with a paper towel. Use latex gloves to prevent staining of your hands and a dust mask and safety glasses/goggles for your health.
Blending Your Mix
For starting out - a small batch of makeup can be achieved using a zip lock bag. Measure all of your ingredients into the bag then close it leaving a little air. Blend together with your fingers until you have no lumps, then pour into jars. This method won’t make a fine texture as described below, but is sufficient for a first time blender.
For larger blends of makeup, mixing thoroughly is important to ensure no lumps and even colour dispersal. Coffee grinders work well for smaller batches, but if you need a more commercial size then a food processor is useful. (Note you will need a blender with a sealed motor or else the powders will clog your motor.) Should you choose to use an electric grinder or blender, it should be dedicated to makeup instead of using it for food as well.
Add your first ingredient and blend for around 3 minutes. Tip out into its own container and do the same for the rest of your ingredients. Once they have all been blended individually, you can start mixing them together. Do take detailed notes on how long you have blended each ingredient – as it can have a dramatic effect on your finished product.
Measure your white filler base and around half of the colour you think you will be using into your machine and blend for 1-2 minutes. Let the dust settle and see if you have the desired colour. If not, then add more colour and blend again. Remember you can add colour but not take it out so don’t be too heavy handed. There are some tips below on how to adjust colour if you have made a mistake.
Once you have your ideal colour, turn your container over (if using white paper then fold the paper in half and turn it into a funnel) and carefully pour into jars. (Please note blender blades will dull the sparkle and shimmer of some mica.)
Colour Correction Tips
So it’s not exactly what you were trying to achieve, don’t worry, all is not lost! You can adjust using the complementary (opposite) colour from a colour wheel. For example, your foundation is too pink, add green. Or if your eye shadow is too orange, add blue.
If you want to add more shimmer, sericite works well, but if it’s too shiny add some kaolin clay.
Making up makeup is an easy, affordable and fun project for any age. Using natural products and knowing exactly what is going onto your skin is a growing trend as awareness is increasing of all the ‘nasties’ we are surrounded with in everyday life.
Taking ownership of our skin’s health is a great start for removing toxins from our lifestyle, and with a versatile range of colours you can tailor your products to suit your preference and skin tone. Makeup can be just for yourself, to share with friends, a creative party theme (great for teens!) or the start of your own business from home. And finally, don’t forget to keep detailed notes for future recreation of your perfect blend!
Let us know in the comments below how your project turned out!
SEE RECIPE LINK