Homemade Foundation Powder

Homemade Foundation Powder Make-Up

Note: This recipe is so incredibly popular with readers I decided to create a video tutorial for making homemade foundation powder. You can find my video tutorial here.

I love make-up!

In fact, I find make-up to be pretty magical!

I can wake up in the morning, gulp  graciously sip down my lemon water, coffee, green juice, eat breakfast, and dab a little make-up on and suddenly I go from “Who is that woman?” to “Wow! Who is that woman?”

Okay, maybe I’m not stopping traffic, but for a mom of two little kids, make-up somehow possesses the magical powers to make me feel “put together.” I can go from frumpy to polished, ready to hit the playground and looking half-way decent while doing so.

Who pays attention to the multiple stains from morning breakfast splattered on my shirt, the 5 dirty wipes stuffed in my pocket about to fall out, and the hair that hasn’t been washed in two days, when I have make-up on?

At least that’s what I am telling myself…please don’t burst my mommy bubble!

I love make-up, but I have a problem.

Make-up does NOT love me.

I have seriously sensitive skin.

The moment any foreign substance comes in contact with my skin, it attacks! Leaving behind some serious battle scars.  In my late teen years I began to battle break outs here and there. I believe this was largely due to my poor diet and the amount of chemical-ridden “beauty” products I used. My face would always react poorly and I would turn to more chemicals which promised to help “beautify” my skin.

Real food has certainly helped my skin!  The past few years I have seen huge improvements in the condition of my face in particular.

About 6 months ago (update as of September 2014: I’ve been making homemade products for two years), I decided food wasn’t enough and so I ventured down the world of “natural” beauty products: soaps, deodorant, and toothpaste.

I’m talking real, natural products.

I scoured the aisles in stores and was greatly disappointed to find all the “natural” products (Aveeno, Burt’s Bees, even Arbonne) were far from real ingredients. Since the skin absorbs anything that is placed on it within a mere 26 seconds, I wanted my products to contain ingredients I would feel safe floating around in my bloodstream. I wanted products made from ingredients I could eat.

I finally found what I was looking for. I use a local line of products which contain food-grade organic ingredients for soap, lip balm, and toothpaste. I purchase Primal Pit Paste for deodorant.  Even after searching and searching I couldn’t find make-up products which suited my new requirements. Why not make my own?

Homemade Foundation Powder Make-Up

Homemade Foundation Powder Make-Up

My first concoction was homemade foundation powder make-up.  I have fallen in love with this homemade mineral-like foundation powder. I have tweaked it a bit over the past few months, adding a few ingredients. I love the coverage this make-up gives me without drying my skin or leaving me looking like a pan of bacon grease at the end of the day. Homemade foundation powder is made with ingredients that are be safe to eat. In fact, many of these ingredients you may already be using in your real food kitchen.

Homemade Foundation Powder Make-Up

Want more good news?  This make-up is super inexpensive to make.

To think I used to pay $30 for a container of toxic make-up! The initial cost of purchasing items such as arrowroot powder and lavender essential oil may be pricey, but these products will last through dozens of batches of homemade foundation powder make-up. The true cost is significantly less expensive than toxic or even “natural” make-up found through companies and in stores.

Homemade Foundation Powder Make-Up

Homemade Foundation Powder
  1. Gather your ingredients and a non-metallic bowl (bentonite clay should not come in contact with metal). The amount you use of each ingredient will greatly depend on your skin complexion.
  2. Mix all your foundation powder ingredients in the bowl, starting with the arrowroot as your base. Add each ingredient. Whisk together. Test the color by placing a small amount on your face (or arm) with your finger. It may take a little tweaking the first time to make the perfect shade for your complexion.

I have fair skin (it’s the Swedish) so this combo works perfect for me:

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour/starch. This is your base. You can go back later and add more if you need a lighter powder.
  • 4 TB cocoa powder or cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp EACH nutmeg and ginger (if you have more of an olive skin complexion you may need more)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp bentonite clay
  • 10 drops of vitamin e
  • 12 drops of lavender essential oil

Store your foundation powder in a small container and use a dry sponge or brush to apply. View a video tutorial for making homemade foundation powder make-up, here.

Now you’re ready to face the day, mom.

And I think making your own homemade foundation powder make-up might even give you a bit of bragging rights at the playground today.

Homemade Foundation Powder Make-Up

More DIYs You May Like:


Homemade Body Wash


Homemade Facial Astringent


Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion (Without Coconut Oil)

 I’ve decided to add a section with answers to questions I’ve received. If you have a specific question or comment, please comment below.  Your answer may also be found below:

Q: What kind of coverage does this provide?

A: This foundation powder will provide a light to moderate coverage. If you’re looking for heavy coverage, this powder isn’t for you. I transitioned from a heavy liquid foundation and pressed powder to this homemade recipe. During the transition time I used an organic concealer to hide my scars and little blemishes which would pop up. After using this powder for a few weeks I found my skin appearance actually improved due to the lack of harsh chemicals. I’ve now phased out the concealer. If I’m headed to a fancy event, on very rare occasion, I use an organic multi-mineral cream from Pacifica with this recipe. This combo provides the heavier coverage I desire for such special events.

Q: This doesn’t stick to my face. Help!

A: I guarantee I’ve made countless jars of the powder (around one jar a month), and I haven’t ever had this issue. Truthfully, I’m not sure why a few people have sticking issues. Listed above in the ingredients are the actual brands I use to make this powder. I’d recommend buying ingredients that are high quality and very fine. Since I’m not in your kitchen (or bathroom) making this with you, I simply don’t know why the powder didn’t stick. I’d recommend wiping your face with a damp cloth to see if any powder stuck to your face. It may be that you are experiencing the difference between heavy, cake-like, store-bought powder and homemade, light powder. A few other questions to ask: did you wash your face and then apply this powder? Is your face greasy, did it just sink in? What kind of application tool did you use-powder brush, finger, washcloth? (I recommend a powder brush.)  It shouldn’t roll-off your face, there should be stick. You can find my video tutorial for making homemade foundation powder, here.

Q: I’m allergic to Vitamin E, what can I use instead?

A: I like Tea Tree Oil and find it nourishes the skin much like the vitamin E. That’s my recommendation for a replacement. If you’d like to experiment without the Vitamin E or Tea Tree Oil, you’re welcome to try.

Q: Does the cinnamon irritate your skin?

A: No, it doesn’t. This recipe calls for very little cinnamon compared to the main ingredients. The ratio is very low. Cinnamon can cause skin irritation, if you are worried, leave it out, or test a small amount. I would not suggest applying cinnamon directly to your face without a mixture like this foundation. Cinnamon is actually beneficial for your skin and helps heal, particularly with blackheads. I feel more comfortable applying a small amount of cinnamon found in this powder than the chemicals in store-bought powder.

Q: If I don’t like it, did I waste my money?

A: No, you didn’t. I personally love this foundation powder. I literally use it daily and know many other readers and friends who do as well. I’ve bought countless foundation powders over the years and thrown many away. Talk about a waste of money! Everyone has different tastes. If you don’t like this powder, I’m not hurt, it’s just a difference in taste. Here’s the great news–when you buy powder and don’t like it at the store, you’ve lost $10-30. Ouch! When you buy the ingredients for this powder, you’ve gained kitchen and bathroom ingredients. The cocoa and arrowroot can be used in the kitchen. Arrowroot is basically corn starch without the GMOs. The vitamin E can be added to coconut oil for a wonderful moisturizer, or many other homemade body products, even body wash. The bentonite clay is the BEST skin mask out there! Add a little with water and apply to the face. Your skin will thank you. You can also make toothpaste. The spices are common cooking spices. The Lavender can be used for aroma or in countless homemade DIYs (search lavender essential oil in the search bar above to find some of my favorites).

Q: Can I skip the bentonite clay?

A: I don’t recommend skipping the clay. You can still make a great foundation without it, but if you are looking for corrective issues, like redness or mild acne to be resolved, the bentonite clay is needed. If you want a corrective powder, the bentonite is what I recommend and use in my recipe. For more of a white clay the French clay is a good choice. I personally don’t use the French, so you’d need to experiment with ratios.

Q: I want to turn this powder into a liquid foundation, can I just add coconut oil?

A: I’ve experimented with liquifying this recipe with zero success! Adding a liquid like coconut oil just darkens the cocoa and you end up with a nice edible chocolate. Freeze it and you’ll have a chocolate bar.

Q: I love your recipe so much I want to feature it on my blog. Can I do that?

A. So glad you like the powder and I’m honored you’d like to feature Live Simply’s recipe on your blog. The content here at Live Simply is copyrighted so we don’t allow duplication. If you’d like to use a picture with a link back (recipe needs to stay here at Live Simply), please contact me here and we can talk. I love a good blogger shout-out and am happy to work with you so the recipe is properly featured with credit. Of course, feel free to share across social media or mention the recipe in a blog post with a link back.

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