Homemade Foundation Powder made with all-natural ingredients. I've been using this homemade foundation powder for years and love it!!

I love makeup!

In fact, I find makeup 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 makeup 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, makeup 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 makeup on?

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

I love makeup, but I have a problem.

Makeup 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 makeup products which suited my new requirements. Why not make my own?

Homemade Foundation Powder made with all-natural ingredients. I've been using this homemade foundation powder for years and love it!!

Homemade Foundation Powder made with all-natural ingredients. I've been using this homemade foundation powder for years and love it!!

My first concoction was homemade foundation powder makeup.  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 makeup 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 made with all-natural ingredients. I've been using this homemade foundation powder for years and love it!!

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

To think I used to pay $30 for a container of toxic makeup! The initial cost of purchasing ingredients may be pricey, but these products will last through dozens of batches of homemade foundation powder makeup and can be used in the kitchen, too. The true cost is significantly less expensive than many toxic makeup options.

Homemade Foundation Powder made with all-natural ingredients. I've been using this homemade foundation powder for years and love it!!

Homemade Foundation Powder Make-Up
4.72 from 69 votes

Homemade Foundation Powder

An easy homemade foundation powder made with simple kitchen ingredients. Customize this face powder based on your skin. 
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course DIY
Cuisine Beauty
Servings 6 ounces



  • 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.

To Use:



My original recipe called for adding a few drops of vitamin E oil and lavender oil. Since this post was originally published, I've decided to remove these ingredients to keep this DIY budget-friendly. If you'd like to add a scent, feel free to add a few drops of your favorite skin-friendly essential oil. If you want to add a few drops of vitamin E oil as well, you're welcome to do so. 
Bentonite clay is very detoxifying and absorbs excess oils on the skin. If you have sensitive or mature skin, kaolin clay is the best option. 
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Store your foundation powder in a small container and use a dry sponge or brush to apply. I use a liquid foundation under this foundation powder on days when I want more coverage. You can also use this foundation powder without a liquid foundation for a lighter coverage.

Homemade Foundation Powder made with all-natural ingredients. I've been using this homemade foundation powder for years and love it!!

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

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

Q & A

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, at least not as a solo makeup product.  If you’re looking for heavier coverage (without the makeup looking heavy), I recommend using a liquid foundation underneath this powder foundation. My current favorite brand is Ilia. I use their True Skin Serum Foundation under my powder. I recently shared everything you’ll find in my (natural) makeup bag, here. You can also use this foundation powder without a liquid foundation for a lighter coverage.

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? Did you moisturize before applying this powder (this is my recommendation)? 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: 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 clay makes a fantastic mask! Add a little with water and apply to the face. Your skin will thank you. The spices are common cooking spices.

Q: Can I skip the 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 clay is needed. French clay or kaolin clay are also good choices.

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. I recommend purchasing a liquid foundation from a natural brand. My favorite brand is Ilia. I use their True Skin Serum Foundation under my powder.

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hi Kristin! Thank you for sharing your own recipe for this homemade foundation powder. I have acne-prone skin so I don’t wear make-up often. I’ve tried to use natural products but nothing seems to work for me. I can’t wait to give this a try.

  2. 5 stars
    I was never a fan of makeup. I found it too much of a work and unnecessary. But there are times when the need for it calls. I’d prefer using an organic, homemade makeup than the store-bought ones. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Of course I tried that but still when I apply it, it still gets around some fine dust… when I inhale it I cough and sneeze. I used kaolin clay… maybe this could be the cause?

    1. The Cocoa powder is same consistency here as my Sandalwood powder. I have it in a deep jar and use a long handle brush. Barely touch the ends of the brush on top down in the jar. I go up from the neck, then line the face, do chin and cheeks and forehead then nose last. Dust off any excess (I need a magnified mirror for this step). Don’t know if this helps but I had that happen a couple of times a long time ago when I first started using the Sandalwood powder. One more thought, I never had to do it as I started dabbing the brush in more gently and put in deeper jar so the dust stays down inside if you swirl it the least bit too much it does poof up a dust ~but I thought about putting a cotton ball barely inside nostrils while I covered face. Even now, I have to make sure I don’t get it on eyelashes much or dust gets in eyes. I solved that one this way ~keeping eyes shut, use pinky finger gently across eye from inside to outside edge to roll any off in lashes.

  4. 5 stars
    Hello! I have tried the recipe and I really love the coverage and how my skin feels after applying it.

    However, I don’t know why it seems very “dusty”… when applying it I need to sneeze due to all the “dust”. Did I do something wrong? Any hints for this?
    Thank you!

  5. Can’t wait to try this, but is there a substitute for arrowroot? Can I use all-purpose flour or cream of tartar? I have all the ingredients except the white powder.

  6. 5 stars
    Hi, I’m a regular reader of your blogs. It is so interesting. I’ve tried this face powder and I’m loving it. It is perfect for my skin. I look fresh for longer more time with this powder than the store bought powders. Also I feel like my skin is looking healthy as I’ve adopted a natural way. Thanks a lot for the recipe!

  7. How much zinc oxide would you recommend adding to this in order to make it SPF 15 or higher? I have medium to tan skin (in the winter, lol)?

  8. Hi, thanks for your article! In addition to the starches (cornstarch, etc), what else could be a good subsitute for arrowroot powder when making the base for the foundation? I’ve tried arrowroot and found that I’m sensitive to it. Any suggestions?

    1. Hey Ana, Have you tried the arrowroot or cornstarch alone on your skin? I ask because the issue could be the clay versus the starch. Bentonite clay can be a bit too drying for some folks. The only sub I can think of is kaolin clay, since it’s white and can be used on sensitive skin. Then you could use it as both the clay and starch.

  9. This looks great! My face has been more shiny then usual, but it gets really dry with any commercial powder I use. One question I have is, Can I use tapioca starch instead of arrowroot powder since that is what I have in my pantry?

  10. 5 stars
    I have very sensitive and combination skin can I use it on my face and get a good glowing skin after applying this powder foundation. If not please provide me with some alternative that I can use for my skin.

  11. 5 stars
    What an interesting article! I knew that your skin absorbs what you put on it and a lot of people have sensitive skin issues (including myself), but I have never heard of making your own foundation with kitchen type ingredients. Since the skin is the largest organ in the body, it only makes sense that what you put on your skin can cause reactions, just like this article (https://www.drlam.com/blog/microbiome-gut-flora/23823/) is talking about with your microbiomes.

  12. 5 stars
    I was just wondering, is it possible to add shea butter to the mix to help it go further or would that ruin it? Also can I substitute cinnamon for turmeric. My face has more of a yellowish brown tone, I think.

  13. Thank you for your quick response. I still have one more question: Where do you get bentonite clay, vitamin E oil and lavender essential oil. Thank you so much for your help.

  14. Haven’t made this yet, but I’m tempted. Have a question though: If this is supposed to be a dry powder, what is the objective of the bentonite clay, vitamin E oil and the lavender essential oil? Wouldn’t those ingredients make more of a paste? Are they really needed? Wouldn’t just the cornstarch and cocoa powder suffice?

    1. Hey Alice, This is a dry powder. The clay is used to keep the shine and oils at bay. The vitamin E is added to keep the face from feeling too dry with all the powders. And the lavender is a soothing ingredient, and added for the scent. Since such a small amount is added to the overall powder, they don’t form a powder (you’ll need quite a bit of vitamin e oil for this to happen). You can definitely try just cornstarch (or arrowroot) and cocoa powder–just to see if you like the feel and scent of the powder, and then adjust as desired. I personally like how the powder goes on with the clay (you can also use French green clay in place of the bentonite). The lavender and vitamin E can be skipped.

  15. 5 stars
    I made this foundation powder for the second time and want share my observations. I chose your recipe because I had all the items in my cabinet, which was a plus. The first time, i made only a small batch, since the recipe was new to me. I really like it and found that it is perfect for my make-up needs. I work outside the home so make-up is a regular morning ritual. That said, apparently when I made it the first time, I must have added the cocoa powder in small batches instead of all at one time as I did this time. I’ve always used a medium to light face powder and with 4 tablespoons of cocoa, this is much too dark as written. I’ve had to add up to 1/2 cup additional arrowroot powder to lighten it enough. I’ve made a note on my recipe to add the cocoa in small amounts instead of all at once. LOL, I now have enough powder to last at least a year or more and I shared a sifter jar full with my daughter! I use a homemade aloe and shea butter based moisturizer so that provides enough cling to give the coverage I desire. I didn’t add any essential oil because I was satisfied with the slight fragrance from the spices. I have some dehydrated beet chips that I plan to grind to a powder so i may add a pinch of that to the jar to “pink” it up a bit.

  16. Hi, Kristin! I was excited to see this recipe and can’t wait to try it. I have a special ingredient that I was wondering about turning into a bronzing powder. I was hiking in Utah last summer and brought home some of the earth…a powder gathered from climbing one of the peaks out there. It’s very red/bronze and I’m betting its full of minerals and clay. What would you mix with it to try it as a bronzer? This was harvested from a very uninhabited area, and I’m feeling its very “clean” and safe…and am even wondering about its spf potential!

    Let me know what you think!

  17. I forgot to mention that the Bentonite Clay not only has all the great natural benefits but also it’s greenish tint helps to counter the red, ruddy patches that I have from rosacea. Bonus!