Homemade Foundation Powder (Video Tutorial)

Forget expensive store-bought foundation powder when you can make your own at home with ingredients in your kitchen.

My journey to simplicity started with food. Little did I know ditching the processed food and learning to use my oven would ignite a fire within my soul for getting back to simple living.

Now, I’m not talking about throwing out the washing machine and bathing in the creek (all power to you if you want to go that route), rather slowly making changes to take back the food we eat and products used with clean, real ingredients. Β  Companies daily fill our heads with the idea that we need to buy lotion, granola bars, and make-up. Trust me friends, I used to buy into this mentality too, until my “aha” simplicity moment. The moment I realized I don’t need a company feeding my body toxins disguised as food or body products loaded with ingredients my skin (and body) can’t recognize.

One of my first DIYs was a simple foundation powder. With a bit of cocoa powder, healing clay, arrowroot starch, and a handful of spices, I whipped up a homemade foundation powder that quickly replaced my favorite store-bought powder. Over time as I switched out more products for homemade versions like: toothpaste, laundry soap, body wash, and lotion, I realized making my own products saves money.

Forget expensive store-bought foundation powder when you can make your own at home with ingredients in your kitchen.

Since publishing my first DIY (homemade foundation powder), I’ve received many questions: Does this actually work? How do you mix it? How does this look on your skin? I try my very best to answer each question, but without a visual, words can only explain so much.

I finally braved-up and faced the camera without any make-up to bring you a video tutorial on how to make this wonderful homemade version of foundation powder. This video is designed to demonstrate making foundation powder start to finish, including what the powder looks like when applied to the skin. You can find the original recipe (and lots of comments, questions, and answers) here. I’ve also provided the recipe (unaltered from the original) below.

Homemade Foundation Powder Video Tutorial:

Β 

Homemade Foundation Powder
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  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. I have fair skin (it’s the Swedish) so this combo works perfect for me: ¼ cup arrowroot, 4 TB cocoa powder, ¼ tsp EACH nutmeg and ginger (if you have more of an olive skin complexion you may need more), ½-1 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp Bentonite Clay, 10 drops of liquid vitamin E, 10-12 drops of lavender essential oil (or another favorite skin-safe essential oil).
  3. Mix all your ingredients in the bowl, starting with the arrowroot as your base. Add each ingredient. Whisk together.
  4. Test the color by placing a small amount on your face (or arm) with your finger or a brush. It may take a little tweaking the first time to make the perfect shade for your complexion.

Β 

I use a liquid foundation under this foundation powder on days when I want more coverage. I’m currently using Beauty Counter’s Tint Skin in Linen. Tint Skin is by far the best “more natural,” store-bought liquid foundation I’ve found, and I’ve tried quite a few over the past few years. You can also use this foundation powder without a liquid foundation for a lighter coverage.

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89 Comments

  • Kristin, I love this idea! I’m totally making this! Thanks for the recipe and I LOVED the video!! It was beautiful πŸ˜€

  • MJ says:

    What a great video. Love your blog. How did you compress your blush. I made the recipe on the blog and its a loose powder but I liked how you had it compressed.

  • Beth says:

    Does this have an “expiration date” because they’re all natural? That recipe makes a lot of foundation! πŸ™‚

  • Ashley says:

    I am pregnant and have read not to use essential oils. Is there something else I could use that would work well?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Ashley, Somehow I missed your question. I apologize! Some essential oils are safe during pregnancy, lavender I believe is one of them. You could also leave out the essential oils.

  • Laura says:

    I loved this video! Great idea Kristin.

  • Tiffany says:

    Hi Kristin! Just made this recipe and tried it on my wrist and I LOVE it!! My comment/question is actually about your tools you use. πŸ™‚ where did you get that wonderful wooden spoon? I’ve seen it throughout your posts and I just love it! Thanks so much for this recipe and all your others. πŸ™‚

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Tiffany, Thank you so much. I’m so glad you love the foundation powder! That little spoon is my absolute favorite (I’m sure you can tell from pictures ;)). I found it at a local kitchen store. I get the rest of my bottles, jars, and utensils from Home Goods or Pier 1.

  • Caitlyn says:

    Hello,
    I made this foundation last night & am unsure of what I’ve done wrong but when I put it on my face the powder seems to stick in my pores & I look spotty. Any way to fix this? It’s made a lot & seems a shame to waste it.
    Thanks

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Caitlyn, I’m sorry to hear your powder is sticking. I wrote about this issue after a couple readers expressed an issue. You can find my tips in the question/answer section of the original recipe post here: http://livesimply.me/2013/06/27/homemade-foundation-powder/

      • Caitlyn says:

        Thanks heaps, i’ll have a look. Might just need a bit of tweaking

        • Kristin Marr says:

          No problem, let me know if you have any questions :).

        • Indrani says:

          I don’t know if you eventually fixed your issue, but I was having the exact same problem with the powder being patchily applied – I noticed that when I changed the brush from a flat-top kabuki style brush to a blush/powder brush (as the author of the foundation powder recipe recommends), it worked fine for me after that… I don’t know if that has something to do with it?

      • Dani H says:

        I leave the powder dry. Maybe if the oils are not completely distributed perfectly throughout, the colour might not go on evenly. I love the idea of the oils but I have the greasiest skin and fear oil where I might be able to do without it. Plus the oils may cause this mixture to become rancid faster, wouldn’t it? Where the dry powder blend should last a very long time, no? Please, please correct me if I’m wrong. I really want to learn whatever I can. πŸ™‚

  • Shannon says:

    Can you substitute peppermint oil for the lavender oil?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hi Shannon, Peppermint it a “hot” oil and when applied without a carrier oil can burn and irritate the skin. I think the peppermint would create an irritating powder.

  • marlene says:

    hello. i’ve made this today, and the color is very cold, and grey, where yours are more warm. what have i done wrong? πŸ™‚

  • Elaine says:

    Where do you buy the zinc oxide? The link is not working. Thanks! I have enjoyed reading your site.

  • marlene says:

    it worked. thank you very much πŸ™‚

  • Eloise says:

    Thank you so much for this ! It is really easy ( and so cheap) to make and it works wonderfully ! May be it’s because I use a coconut oil based face cream before applying the powder but it find it sticks perfectly well. I love that it is made with such healthy ingredients, and good for the skin ! What I like most about this powder is that I am not afraid to reapply some in the evening before going out. Having a skin quite prone to acne, any other powder always left my skin looking worse the next day. It smells great (I used tea tree oil) and leaves my skin feeling so soft. I have been using for a month now and I am just so happy with it πŸ™‚ !

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Eloise, Thank you so much for sharing. I agree, I loved that this powder leaves the skin feeling and looking great! And being able to reapply without worrying about breaking out is a huge plus!!

  • Cathy D says:

    Hiya, just wondering why you have included ‘hot’ spices in your mix like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger? What is the purpose of them in the mix? Those spices can literally strip the hide off of someone with sensitive skin, so I’m wondering if it is for the color they add to the mix, or is it because you feel they ‘stimulate’ the skin for added color? I’m not trying to be critical, just wondering the purpose because for someone with sensitive skin, maybe other types of clays would be a better option? Thanks…

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Cathy, The small amount of cinnamon used shouldn’t cause any irritation. I wear the powder daily and have very sensitive skin. But, if you’re concerned with irritation, I would suggest leaving it out or cutting the amount in half. The spices add a warm “glow” to the powder.

    • Dani H says:

      If your skin is that sensitive Cathy, you might benefit from what I do and use NOW brand’s Moroccan Red clay as the base (it’s not really red at all…it looks like a darker bronzer colour) and then just add the lighter powders to scale the colour down rather than start white and build the colour up. Hope that helps.

  • Elizabeth Vargas says:

    Hi
    Do you have ideas for eyeshadows?

  • Jennifer says:

    Great video Kristin! I was actually wondering if you shot this with you Canon 6D? I am on a mission to find a great camera for my videos and love the look of this. I have to say, also, I made the powder and LOVE it! Any tips for getting it to a finer consistency? I actually added some beet root powder and it has such a grain to it.

    Thanks for all you do!

  • Susan Mayberry says:

    Beautiful!! Thank you, I’ll be making this..

  • Mindy says:

    I made your foundation recipe and am happily surprised at how well it works. Once I felt comfortable with it I made some for my daughter who pays a lot for her mineral make up. She likes it! This will save us both a lot of money and help her skin, because she typically wears a lot of her other foundation and it wasn’t good for her skin. Thanks for sharing.

  • SOORAYA says:

    hello do you have recipe for liquid foundation?

    i have very dark acne scars and needed full coverage
    thanks much for all your ideas

    sooraya

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Sooraya, I don’t have a liquid foundation recipe. After many failed homemade experiments, I purchase an organic concealer to wear under this foundation powder for special events. I use Pacifica brand; they also make a liquid foundation.

      • Dani H says:

        Pacifica is amazing!! That’s what I use too. I have never been able to get these natural
        colourants to work in a liquid form. I think the pigments are just not naturally dense enough. But yes, Pacifica all the way for the thinks I can’t and now won’t bother to make when they make it so beautifully and naturally. πŸ™‚

  • Kathryn says:

    Hi Kristin! This was a suggested DIY after reading about a lotion (which I’ll be making as soon as I get my hands on the carrot seed oil I ordered). I use Bob’s Red Mill brand and have tapioca flour; I shouldn’t have a problem if I use this instead of arrowroot right? I can’t wait to make this and am going to try the benzonite clay. Thank you!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Kathryn, I’ve never tried using tapioca flour and don’t have much experience with that flour even in baking. If it’s a fine, powdery flour then I think it will work well. Start with half this recipe, just to make sure the tapioca will work.

      You’ll love bentonite clay, it’s pretty amazing stuff. I also use the clay twice a week for a facial mask.

  • Sandy says:

    I’m so excited to try this recipe, I don’t ha e arrowroot powder but do have xanthan gum, could I use that instead? Thank you

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Sandy, I’m not very familiar with xanthan gum, so I can’t say for sure if it will work.

    • Dani H says:

      I use quite a bit of xanthan gum in my DIY recipes and while it works so well to naturally thicken homemade shampoos (you only need a pinch) and to even emulsify oils and water phases if they aren’t too complex (it acts like a physical emulsifier….it physically keeps the water and oil blobs at a close distance to each other but doesn’t allow each to coalesce to one another and separate), it’s real job is to draw in water. In this application where you want this to be a fine, dry (at least dry of water) powder, using Xanthan gum will no doubt draw water into it by one of two means….by getting the moisture from the humidity in the air or drawing it from your face. So to make a long story short, I don’t think it will work as you were hoping it would. It would become thick from outside moisture or dry your skin out badly. Things like clays are better because they tend to draw out oils and toxins and doesn’t draw water in too well as anyone who has ever struggled to make a mask from a clay like Bentonite would know. The high electrical charge the clays have make it better for toxins, a better base for this powder than xanthan gum. Plus, xanthan gum is so incredibly expensive, it would be a shame for you to use it on a powder like this and not be happy with it. In a pinch, use corn starch if you have it (it’s often a GMO product but at least you can get the other materials for later while you have something more useful for the powder now. So sorry my answer is so lengthy but I do hope my “book” has helped you πŸ™‚ lol

  • Sarah Beth says:

    Hi Kristin! I would love to buy your product from you for myself, we have the same light skin (me just a bit more acne). I am very bad at making / mixing anything really, it always turns out wrong, lol. If you’re willing that would be amazing! : )

  • Wonda says:

    Just wondering if I could use another kind of starch, as arrowroot is not available in the South American country where I live. I can find tapioca starch and organic corn starch. Great idea by the way. I’m loving your site. πŸ™‚

  • BMarie says:

    Do you have other makeup recipes?
    What makeup do you use daily? Do you make all of it? Or make some/ buy some?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey BMarie, At the moment I only make homemade foundation powder and lip balm (on the blog). I purchase mascara and blush from the local health food store (I like Pacifica brand), but I’ve been working on a recipe for mascara which I hope to share in the future.

  • Barb says:

    Hi Kristen! I have super oily skin so I’m wondering if this will clog pores?? Do you reapply or touch up during the day? If so, does it look cakey? It just looks fantastic and I have all the ingredients but one!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Barb, I haven’t had an issue with the powder clogging my pores. I also use the bentonite clay twice a week as a mask to help “detox” my pores, so that keeps them clean. For fancy events, I use a concealer under this powder or a more natural liquid foundation (Pacifica brand). I just use the powder foundation and bit of blush around the house and town. Sometimes I’ll retouch the powder in the afternoon, and haven’t found it to be really cakey–unless too much is applied.

      Also, the bentonite clay in the powder really helps with soaking up oil, at least for my skin.

  • Candace says:

    Made the foundation today. I love the coverage! I love the color. My face is kinda tingling though. Is this ok?

  • Kay Aerts-Miller says:

    Love, love, love this!

  • lea says:

    I made my first batch and love it I made more to give to friends. Such a lovely foundation!

  • kathy says:

    I wear organic mineral-based foundation (it’s fantastic stuff!) all the time. It has been the best thing for me and my rosacea skin. I’d love to try this to compare.

    For anyone who has trouble with it staying on, I could suggest rather than a blush brush (very soft) use an actual mineral foundation brush. It has stiff bristles and is flat. You need to work it into your skin, so it actually offers a bit of exfoliation too.

    thanks for sharing this forumula, Kristin!

  • Jennifer Pozo says:

    Hey Kristin I am light skinned do I use more Cocoa power and cinnamon for to make mines? and why did you use a liquid foundation underneath is it to hold longer ? Thank you

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Jennifer, I use a very small amount of liquid foundation because I have some scarring from past skin issues. So if I’m going out for an event, I’ll apply a small amount of the liquid foundation and then my homemade powder over the top. It’s just a personal preference. For daily use, I just use a moisturizer underneath. I have fair skin, too. I recommend adding just a bit of cocoa powder at a time to the bowl until you reach your desired color. Just a pinch of cinnamon will do. Enjoy!!

  • Karen says:

    I am stoked to try this….I was searching for cleaning wipes when I stumbled across this….I think I actually have most if not all ingredients. So excited to me a new follower!

  • Laura says:

    I usually just use a mineral concealer under my eyes and to spot cover problem areas on my face and skip the foundation. I may try this to see how it works on my problem areas, but was wondering if you have tried making a powdered concealer? Or is there a way to make this with more coverage? I just found your blog last week and love it!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Laura, For heavier coverage I recommend using a concealer under this foundation powder (that’s what I do). I haven’t been able to make a homemade concealer quite like the store-bought products. I really like Pacifica brand for concealer (and other makeup products).

  • Lisa says:

    Hello Kristin, I was wondering if I could also use turmeric (maybe instead of the ground ginger), to add some “glow” as you say πŸ™‚

  • Jen says:

    Hey Kristin, thanks so much for your recipe! I was really looking forward to having the right colour combination for my mum as I had already tried a number of recipes without success. However, when I tried your recipe, it still turned out way too dark, and I’m almost at the point of despairing, as I now have multiple jars of unusable powder! Any ideas? πŸ™‚ Thanks

  • Kelly says:

    Hi Kristin! I found your site the other day when searching for a homemade powder to make for myself. I’ve been searching for good quality makeup online to assist with my skin issues, but have found everything to be so expensive. I decided to try your recipe and I must say I love it! I was concerned my face would smell very strongly of ginger, chocolate, cinnamon, and lavender but I don’t think it has been bad. Yesterday I wore the foundation by itself. It wasn’t as much coverage as I would like, but I did notice my skin was less oily throughout the day which is a huge plus! Today I put on a thin coat of my pure liquid foundation I bought recently and topped it with this powder. This combination provided the perfect coverage. I’m wanting to purchase some non nano zinc powder to add to your recipe for the added benefits of more coverage and a sunscreen. Thank you for sharing your wonderful creation! I can imagine this will help my skin and will definitely be a MUCH cheaper alternative.

  • Serendipity says:

    Hi Kristin,

    I just discovered your blog and it has definitely inspired me! Im super interested in switching out my foundation powder with your recipe, however i am a bit concerned with bentonite being too harsh on my skin. My skin is very sensitive. I have browsed at some other recipes that used Kaolin Clay. Would that be more suitable for my sensitive skin and do you know a reputable store where I can grab some?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Serendipity, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog! I haven’t tried Kaolin clay, but I keep hearing amazing things about it. I bet you could purchase it from Amazon or Mountain Rose Herb. Another option may be French clay.

      • Dani H says:

        I use Kaolin clay in this type of way and to make a Mario Badescu pimple drying fluid (with several other ingredients) and kaolin clay would work just fine for this. It’s a great milder, lighter-coloured version than bentonite.

  • Serendipity says:

    Also, I forgot to mention, I have very light, pale Asian skin so im not quite sure what ingredients i should purchase to get to this shade. Is there any suggestions?

    • Kristin Marr says:

      Hey Serendipity, You may just need to play around with the cocoa powder ratio. Adjusting that amount will probably help you achieve your desired shade. Let me know how it goes!

      • Serendipity says:

        Hi Kristin,
        Thanks for all your help. I couldn’t find any kaolin powder where i live, so i ended up using bentonite instead. I just lowered the ratio of bentonite to make sure it would not irritate my skin.

        I tried to adjust the colour using cocoa powder but it didnt seem to match. I made a new batch using bentonite, arrowroot, argan oil and tea tree oil instead. The powder is more translucent than white on my skin so i didnt bother trying to adjust the colour.

        THE STAYING POWER IS GREAT! i didnt get shiny at all working in the lab so double thumbs up for a great recipe..

        Thanks

  • Dani H says:

    I make a similar type powder but I use NOW Moroccan Red clay for the main base. It is a very beautiful bronze-brown. I start there and add arrowroot flour and non-nano zinc oxide for an all-in-one setting powder, loose makes powder and SPF all in one. I also add cocoa and ginger as needed and a teensy touch of beetroot just to round out the colour. The beetroot is not enough to detect really but just adds another level of skin’s complex composition of colours. I have never had success using cinnamon. I get dark spots in it. Any idea why? I’d love to have the red-golden hues that the cinnamon adds, especially as a bronzer but no luck πŸ™ Is it just the type of cinnamon I’m using you think? Anyways, any help would be so appreciated with my cinnamon problem and if you ever get the chance to get your hands on NOW’s Moroccan Red clay, you’ll be so glad you did. It cuts out so much colour building and absorbs toxins and oils while it works beautifully as a makeup powder. (I can only say that the colour of NOW brand’s Moroccan clay is the perfect colour to start from. Other Moroccan Red clays may be more red than brown)

  • Dani H says:

    Oh, one more thing. I have Bentonite clay but it’s quite green. I was disappointed with that at first but a wise DIYer friend of mine said that it would be great for toning down the more red areas of my skin, like the broken capillaries around my nose and over pimple marks (those suckers seem to last forever, don’t they?? Lol).

    Thank you so much for your recipe. I love, love, love picking up DIY beauty tips and will be saving this one Kristin. Can’t wait to explore your blog for even more goodies!! Thank you so much!
    Dani

  • Ela says:

    Hey, my skin can’t handle the clay. Can I leave it out?

  • Summer W. says:

    Hi Kristin,

    I have been admiring your blog for a couple of days now . . . reading it between fighting off children . . . ha-ha. There are so many amazing recipes that I am hoping to try. I made the honey face wash a couple of days ago (http://livesimply.me/2015/01/31/diy-homemade-honey-face-wash/), and so far I am really liking it. I only had the citrus castile soap, so that is different from your recommendation. Anyway, I’ve been using Proactiv for over 12 years because of acne issues, so leaving those products feels great, but I am of course worried about my acne returning full force . . . so we will see. Now, I am needing a moisturizer and I’m trying to decide which one to make! Any thoughts?

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