Make Mineral Makeup – Part 4: Mineral Foundation

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Playing around with micas and shimmering eyeshadows is fun enough, but here comes the true challenge: making mineral foundation. By making your own homemade mineral foundation you’ll save big bucks, as store-bought mineral foundations can be rather expensive. Plus, you have the opportunity to get the exact shade that suits your skin color! Once you get the formula right, you can make a huge batch that you can keep forever (and when I say forever, I mean forever. This will never go off)

First, we need to make a white base. Here’s one recipe that I’ve been very happy with.

1 tbs titanium dioxide
1 tsp zink oxide
2 ml (1/2 tsp) magnesium stearate
4 ml (3/4 tsp) sericite mica

Combine all ingredients using a wooden grill skewer or chop stick. Using a fine sieve such as a tea strainer, sift the mixture once or twice.

After that we’ll make a color base. If you have fair skin, start with this color blend.

1 tsp yellow iron oxide
0.5 ml red iron oxide
0.5 ml blue ultramarine

Take a small ziplock bag, mortar or coffee grinder (you should use this grinder only for the makeup however), add all ingredients and start grinding away until the colors are completely mixed. If using a ziplock back, just rub the closed bag between your fingers or palms, crushing the powder and making sure it’s all mixed and ground up. I personally like the ziplock bag even though some people don’t think it grinds the color well enough.

And this is where it gets exciting! You’ll want this to be as close to your natural skin color as possible and therefore you might need to add more of one ingredient or another until you find something that goes with your own skin tone.  First, mix the base with the color and see how it looks on your skin.

1 tbs white base
1/2 tsp color base

If the color looks nice, good for you! If you find it’s too light, just add a pinch of the color blend, if the color is too strong for you, add some of the white base.

If the color is off, you’ll need to grind in more color. Add more of one or the other of the above, or try adding a pinch of brown if you have that at hand and feel the foundation needs more red.
Use very small amounts at a time, and write down what you do so that you can do it again next time. A cosmetics scale that can measure very small weights is quite handy at this point. Remember to always grind in the added color very well before trying it on your skin, other wise it will not give a true picture of what the makeup looks like.

To apply the makeup, I suggest using a large kabuki brush. Pour a small amount of the powder into the lid, and swirl around in it a bit with the brush. Tap the brush to remove excess powder, and then apply to your face using small circular motions.

This might take a while to master fully, but I assure you it will be very rewarding. If you need a break, try some of these other (easier) recipes for your skin:

Primer / Veil

A mineral veil is a powder that is applied on top of your foundation, to make the color longer lasting and keep your face matte all day. These veils can be rather expensive but they are really easy to make yourself. If you look at Bare Escentuals mineral veil for instance, only contains cornstarch, zinc stearate and magnesium stearate. So here’s my recipe for a really simple veil, that can also be used as a primer before applying the foundation.

1/2 tsp each of cornstarch, rice flour and magnesium stearate
(1/4 tsp of mineral foundation)

Run all the ingredients through a fine sieve a couple of times. You can add some foundation if you want to give the veil a light tint.


When those nasty zits show up, sometimes a light foundation just isn’t enough. When making your foundation, save some to make a separate concealer that you can apply with a small brush or a cotton swab.

Green concealer for zits or red skin

2-3 tsp white base
1 tsp yellow iron oxide
1 ml blue ultramarine
0.5 ml red iron oxide

Good luck experimenting! And remember to check back in a few days time for the giveaway where you can enter to win your very own customized mineral makeup plus a lovely set of EcoTools brushes!

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  1. Pingback: How to Choose the Right Shade Of Mineral Foundation « Reality Inspiration

  2. Michelle

    I’m very pleased with this recipe, thank you. I liked that you give measurements to make a small amount, it was easier to find the right color blend than trying to add oxides to a cup of base powders. I also liked that there was no brown oxide for my medium-light tone. I didn’t have ultramarine blue as it wasn’t in another recipe that I bought ingredients for, but I’d be interested to try it. I used Kaolin Clay for Mag St for the same reason. You’re a gem, I’ve un-pinned all other mineral foundation recipes!

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