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. 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.
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
- 1/4 cup arrowroot flour starch similar to corn starch (a thickening agent), but without the GMOs.
- 2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp bentonite clay or kaolin (very gentle), or French green
- 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.
- Mix all your ingredients in the bowl, starting with the arrowroot as your base. Add each ingredient, adding the cocoa powder slowly, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired shade. Whisk together.
- 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.
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 (https://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?
Hey, my skin can’t handle the clay. Can I leave it out?
Hey Ela, Yes, you can.
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!
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 🙁 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)
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?
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!
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..
That’s so great! I’m glad you’re enjoying the foundation powder.
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!
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.
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.
Wonderful, Dani, thank you for sharing! Enjoy!!
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.
That’s so great, Kelly! Thank you for sharing!
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? 🙂 Thanks
Hey Jen, I recommend adding more arrowroot flour to the mixture. This will help lighten the powder. Let me know how it goes!
Hello Kristin, I was wondering if I could also use turmeric (maybe instead of the ground ginger), to add some “glow” as you say 🙂
Hey Lisa, I think turmeric may work (I haven’t personally tried it). I’d love to hear how it goes!
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!
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).
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!
Awesome, Karen! Enjoy!!
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
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!!
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!
I made my first batch and love it I made more to give to friends. Such a lovely foundation!
Thanks, Lea. It’s so great to hear you’re enjoying the foundation powder.
Love, love, love this!
Thank you, Kay!
Made the foundation today. I love the coverage! I love the color. My face is kinda tingling though. Is this ok?
Hey Candace, The tingle may come from the clay (a dry tingle) or the spices. You can try decreasing the clay and omitting the spices, particularly the cinnamon.
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!
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.
Do you have other makeup recipes?
What makeup do you use daily? Do you make all of it? Or make some/ buy some?
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.
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. 🙂
Hey Wonda, Organic corn starch should work well as a substitute for the arrowroot.
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! : )
Hey Sarah, I don’t sell this foundation powder, but the blog Scratch Mommy sells a very similar formula.