Learn how to make cosmetics from scratch
Making your own cosmetics is a great way to ensure the ingredients are pure and natural, and to minimize wasteful, non-recyclable packaging. Most of the following recipes use familiar ingredients that you can find at the supermarket or health food store, such as arrowroot powder, cornstarch, cocoa powder, activated charcoal, and coconut oil. Links are in title.
Activated charcoal is pure black powder, which makes it perfect for makeup purposes. If you can apply it dry, it may feel a bit gritty but it will stay put. Add oil for a smoother feel, but watch out for smudging. One word of caution: Be sure to source coal-free charcoal, such as Nature’s Way that makes its charcoal from burned coconut shells. If you can’t, then try the following recipe instead.
This eyeliner is made from burned almonds, which is a traditional way of making ‘kohl’ or ‘kajal’ in the Middle East and India. This recipe calls for the addition of ghee (clarified butter), but you can also use coconut oil.
Beets have a rich, luscious color that’s perfect for using in makeup. Dehydrate and grind to a fine powder, or buy it pre-ground in capsules.
Activated charcoal is a common ingredient in homemade mascara, but this recipe includes a nourishing seaweed called bladderwreck to keep lashes healthy. Save an old mascara tube to refill.
This excellent article has all kinds of ideas for making different shades, from pale pink to dark brown. It can serve as a stepping stone to further DIY inspiration.
Homemade foundation has three parts to it – a base, a binder, and a color. These can be adjusted according to your preferences, and you’ll find detailed directions here.
To make liquid foundation, you start with powder foundation and add oils. The quantity can be altered to change the consistency. Use your own homemade powder or buy a high-quality organic brand.
If you’ve got cocoa powder, then you can darken your eyebrows easily. Add a touch of cornstarch to lighten, or activated charcoal to darken, and some oil to smooth application. Recipe here.
This recipe is a DIY and considerably cheaper version of RMS Beauty’s famous luminizer. Using beeswax, oils, and a touch of mica powder, you can get that same shimmery glow on your cheekbones, lips and eyelids.
This unusual recipe comes from Ariana Schwarz of my all-time favorite zero waste blog, Paris To Go. Using henna, black tea, and oils, you apply the mixture nightly until you reach your desired skin shade and let it set for several hours before rinsing in the shower.