Homemade Powder and Liquid Foundation


This post is for all of you who enjoy the smoothing effects of foundation but want to be able to make your own for financial reasons and/or for the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what you are putting on your body.

Homemade Foundation Powder

Base: Arrowroot powder (you can also use rice bran powder or orris root powder)

Color: Cocoa powder, *cinnamon, nutmeg

Slowly mix in color until you get the shade that fits you.  Not a lot of precise measuring, just play around until it fits your skin tone.  To make future batches easier, try to keep in mind how much you end up using and write it down.

*There is cinnamon cassia and ceylon (and their varieties).   Ceylon has more essential oil in it.  If you have a very good quality Ceylon cinnamon, the oils can irritate the skin.  For using cinnamon in these recipes, I would use a low grade cinnamon cassia and make sure you’re not sensitive first.

Option 2:

Mix 2 parts arrowroot powder, 1 part green clay, and add cocoa powder until color is right


Homemade Liquid Foundation

Use powder from recipe above, add a few drops of one of the following liquids (start with one or two drops and add slowly after you mix).  Remember, the darker the oil, the darker the foundation will be.  For very light skin, use light oils like apricot kernel oil, or even your favorite lotion:

  • essential oil
  • apricot kernel oil
  • olive oil
  • jojoba oil
  • sweet almond oil
  • homemade lotion

You can push this into a compact and use a brush like you would normally, or you can add more to create a liquid.

Mineral Foundation Powder   (NOT RECOMMENDED)

For those of you who want a more complex recipe, here is a mineral recipe.  BUT, I really don’t like most of the ingredients.  So why am I putting it on here…I guess because if you are looking for something like this, I’d like to give you something to work from… and think about.  For example, Mica is a silicate mineral.  We used to have sheets of it through our yard if you only dug a few inches.  Mica rich soil gives me a very itchy rash so I avoid it, but most people are fine with it.  Silica is considered safe, but has it’s own list of concerns that you should research before deciding to use. Titanium Dioxide and zinc oxide are found in most sunscreens and have been identified as a possible carcinogen and I would avoid them completely.  Kaoline Clay is also controversial.  From what I read, I would not go near it either. Iron Oxide seems to be – rust.  Yet, I have read over and over that it is a synthetically prepared inorganic product when used in cosmetics, so you would have to know your source very well.  All of these powders are very harmful if you breathe them in.  SO…what does that leave?  Personally, if you want that shine, get a little mica and add it to the above recipe.


  • 1 Tbsp of Sericite Mica
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Silk Mica-
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Ultrasilk Mica
  • Satin Pearl Mica or Diamond Pearl Mica to add shine
  • 1 Tbsp of Silica
  • 1/4 Tbsp of Arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Titanium Dioxide
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Kaolin Clay
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Zinc Oxide


  • 1/4 tsp of Tan Iron Oxide
  • 1/2 tsp of Brown Iron Oxide
  • 1/2 tsp of Yellow Iron Oxide

Use this mixture to add to your base until you get the color you want.

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59 thoughts on “Homemade Powder and Liquid Foundation

  1. For the coloring on the powder, did you mix in all 3 (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa powder)? or did you just use one for coloring? I’m a red head with pale skin and freckles too :)

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  3. This is a very intriguing recipe. I might have to give it a try.

    As for the use of synthetic iron oxides in mineral makeup, it’s because naturally occurring iron oxides contain lead and other toxic heavy metals. This is one of the (few) cases where something synthetic is preferable to the naturally occurring option. That is, if you plan on wearing makeup, which most women do.

  4. I use this powder recipe also, but I add a little ginger, because my skin has a bit if a yellow tint. I also make a big batch, a pint mason jar full, and that way I just add more to my compact when I need it, and add essential oil to make it a pressed powder. I have been using this for a little over a year and my skin is so much better even without it now!

    • Wow, that’s wonderful!
      I love the ginger idea.
      I thought of using turmeric on my face for Halloween. I figured my kids would love that. But I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t come off for about a week. Ha ha. I think I need a different plan :-)

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  6. If I make golden mette eyeshades then wt thnk I ll use I m in pakistan here np availble that u used thnd eyesshades … nd I want to make eyeshades… plzz tell me

    • I’m not sure what you can find or not find, but I know you have a lot of beautiful spices. Tamarind, ginger, etc. Any of these can be used. You can use cornstarch as a base if you can’t find arrowroot or rice powder. Root through your kitchen and see what you can find, just make sure you experiment on your wrist first to make sure you do not have a reaction, and remember that some wash off easier than others.

  7. Coconut oil might make a nice creamy base for a foundation…I will try that with the suggested powders. This is great, now I am truly following the rule I tell parents in my infant massage classes: don’t put anything on the skin that you wouldn’t eat!

  8. I made this but have some crazy high quality cinnamon and it burned my face….. Anyone else have this problem? Maybe the cinnamon was too intense or my skin can’t tolerate it. It looked great before if started to tingle and turn my face red. Lol

    • It’s probably not the quality of the cinnamon, but just that you are sensitive to it. I’m so sorry that happened to you. Always try it on a tiny area like your wrist or a spot on your neck first. You can try cocoa powder instead.

    • I had the exact same problem with the cinnamon. I think I am going to try again without the cinnamon and just use cocoa powder.

      • There is cinnamon cassia and ceylon (and their varieties). Ceylon has more essential oil in it. If you have a very good quality Ceylon cinnamon, the oils can irritate the skin. For using cinnamon in these recipes I would use a low grade cinnamon cassia and make sure you’re not sensitive first. I will make the notation above too. Thanks for the comments.

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  10. I tried this recipe. I didn’t have any green clay so I used Bentonite clay ( is that green clay? IDK but used it anyway) I used the cocoa powder and almond oil and arrow root. The batch came out too dark so I made another batch using less cocoa but had the same trouble. Any suggestions on using something to make a lighter color? Perhaps omitting the cocoa and just using the almond oil and arrow root?

    • Yes, to find the best recipe for your skin start with no cocoa powder. You can add a little bit of cinnamon or nutmeg. Try a little at first on your wrist as some people are sensitive to cinnamon.

  11. Well, I tried making it w.o. the cocoa and it was green so I added a little cinnamon but it was still dark. I added some almond oil a little at a time to make a creamy texture. When I rubbed it on my skin, it absorbed good but had no color and if I rubbed too long, it became gritty…Do the homemade versions cover and even out skin tone like the store bought foundations? Any suggestions? I soo want to make my own cream foundation…Perhaps you could make a you tube video? or already have? LOL

    • Green? Grapeseed oil has a greenish tint, but not almond oil… Do you like powder foundation? You may want to try powder instead. I use the cream for blemis cover, not all over due to having freckles-) but I use the powder version. I haven’t made a video. Maybe I’ll have to.

      • I think its from the Benzonite Clay but that’s all I have for now and I prefer the cream because I have a touch of roscea and the cream foundation evens out my color better than the powders I have used.

    • Dawn, apricot oil is a lighter oil than sweet almond oil. I like to use it best, but you could also use melted coconut oil which is clear. It will then harden unto to a compact, but will rub nicely on your face. I would try these two methods for lighter liquid foundations.

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    • Your savings will depend on what ingredients you use and what you usually speaks on store bought products. A lot of the ingredients people will already have in their kitchen, like cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg. Arrowroot powder is similar to cornstarch and they can be used interchangeably, depending on how you feel about corn products. The oils can be found online. There’s a link to sweet almond oil on the side panel on this page, and that will cost about ten dollars after shipping, but will last a super long time and can be used as a moisturizer as well. Look on Amazon, bulkapothecary, etc. Or even your local vitamin store to save on shipping.

  14. After learning about the harmful and aging ingredients in many cosmetics and beauty products, I have switched to a clean,natural skin care regimen using natural oils and kitchen beauty aids, so I am thrilled to see your recipes for natural cosmetics. I hope to try making these myself at home. I am so glad I hopped by from Tuesday Greens! All the best, Deborah

  15. Great post! Wonderful idea to make you own foundation. I believe it is the healthiest and best way to make you own products whenever possible. You just never know what you are getting in store bought stuff even if it is organic. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from Oil It Up Wednesdays My Lamp is Full. Have a wonderful healthy day!

  16. Hi! I love your tips for natural and organic cosmetics! I was wondering what could be used as a sunscreen if I chose not to use zinc oxide or anything else that could possibly be harmful to the skin? I would like to add it to the foundation mixture.

    • There’s really nothing that works like the harmful ingredients we’ve gotten used to. Shea butter can be used instead of the oils in the recipe. It blocks more if rays than the other oils mentioned. Carrot seed oil and red raspberry essential oils are said to be the best at naturally blocking the sun (compared to other natural things). These are expensive, but you cannot use more than a few drops diluted in an oil anyway. I use carrot seed oil in my face serum that I use twice a day: http://simplelifemom.com/2014/01/03/anti-aging-with-essential-oils/
      You could also use it in your foundation, as long as it is diluted enough.

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  18. I have tried it with arrowroot, cinnamon and coconut oil. Also arrowroot, cinnamon and jojoba oil. And tried arrowroot, cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg. It all does not spread like foundation. It is very gritty and doesn’t cover anything. I do NoT want to buy makeup with all the chemicals but haven’t been successful with this at all. Help??

    • It depends on how much coverage you want. You may need to add more color to your foundation and less oil to make it less transparent and more opaque. You may also try using powder and not liquid. Everyone’s skin is different and it’s hard to give you the perfect answer. I like to use my morning oil on my face and then use a little powder. My face still has enough oil that it helps it to stay and it covers very well.

  19. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for as a simple, starting point to making my own foundation. Thanks for the recipe!

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