beauty · organic

natural makeup (diy or buy) & why you NEED to switch

you know i personally am not a fan of the cosmetic industry. the two biggest problems i have with them are that they load up their products with chemicals that aren’t suited for people, and that they aren’t regulated by the FDA or any organized body. that means lead and other carcinogens are potentially sitting on your skin all day, in multiple forms.

no. thank. you.

solution? make your own makeup OR buy organic and/or natural makeup from trusted companies. it’s an easier transition than you think 🙂

natural makeup (no harsh chemicals)

wait… what’s so bad about the majority of makeup being sold?

i know i’ve posted on the dangers of certain makeup ingredients before, but let’s run over why you NEED to switch one more time.

cosmetics companies may use any ingredient or raw material, except for color additives and a few prohibited substances, without government review or approval. about one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. to top it off, U.S. federal law allows companies to leave many chemicals off labels, including nanomaterials, ingredients considered trade secrets, and components of fragrance.

the scariest of all? more than 500 products sold in the U.S. contain ingredients banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or the European Union. and here we are, buyin this stuff up like it’s the cool thing to do. (source, source)

and it’s not just about you. the waste from all of these affects wildlife, too!!

so what are you looking to avoid in your makeup products? 

well, a lot of stuff. A LOT. go grab a couple hair or skin products you have and check for the dirty dozen (also check their toxicity here) –

dirty dozen cosmetic chemicals

  • BHA and BHT – endocrine disruption; possible carcinogen
  • coal tar dyes – possible carcinogen; may contain heavy metals toxic to the brain
  • DEA – reactions formed can be carcinogenic
  • dibutyl phthalate – reproductive toxicant; endocrine disruptor
  • formaldehyde-releasing preservatives – known carcinogen
  • parabens – suspected endocrine disruptor; may interfere with male reproductive functions (i’ll showcase this debate in a TNT)
  • parfum (fragrance) – allergies; asthma; known carcinogen; neurotoxicity
  • PEG compounds – possible carcinogen
  • petrolatum – possible carcinogen
  • siloxanes – endocrine disruptor; reproductive toxicant
  • sodium laureth sulfate – possible carcinogen
  • triclosan – antibiotic resistance in bacteria; endocrine disruptor

this is also a great read for those just starting to look into the toxicity of cosmetic products.

ALRIGHT. convinced to switch? MAKE THESE or BUY THESE organic and/or natural makeup products:

make these


  • Kaolin clay or arrowroot powder (base)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Activated charcoal
  • Cinnamon (please make sure it’s ceylon)
  • Dried hibiscus, alkanet root powder, and/or beet powder
  • Mica powder
  • Iron oxides (red/black/yellow/brown for pigmentation)
  • White organic face lotion/moisturizer (for liquid foundation only)
  • Aloe vera gel (eye liner)
  • Shea butter (for eye liner)

Grab a bowl, spoon, and sieve to mix each thing!

Powder Foundation:

  • Mix your base powder with very tiny amounts of iron oxides at a time to get the perfect shade.  As you add the pigments, mix very, very well before adding more. Note that the color of this powder when dampened might be different, and you can test it on the back of your hand. Zinc oxide can also be mixed in for full spectrum sun protection! I personally use plain kaolin clay – no pigments – for a setting powder.


  • Mix a base powder with cocoa, cinnamon, iron oxides, and/or mica to get the color you like. If you want more of a contour color without the shimmer, leave the mica out.

Eye Shadow:

  • Mix any ingredients above to get the colors you want. This is really one DIY makeup product that you have to play around with! I always feel like a mad makeup scientist – it’s so much fun! Right now I have kaolin clay mixed with brown iron oxides and activated charcoal for different shades of brown. You can add mica for some shimmer, too!


  • Mix your base with the dried and powdered hibiscus flower, alkanet root powder, and/or beet powder until you get a color you like. You can add cinnamon, cocoa powder, or iron oxides for more pigmentation too. Note that it will look darker mixed than it will be on your skin, so you’ll need to test it as you mix. Also, alkanet root powder will be darker than hibiscus. Also also (ha), you will need to add a few drops of water to get the hibiscus to make a blush with the base powder (no more than about 1/4 teaspoon) for a small batch of blush. Add mica for some shimmer!

Liquid Foundation:

  • Make your powder foundation and then mix with an organic white cream/moisturizer.  You may need to make your base powder a tad darker, depending on the shade and which cream you use. This foundation will be light coverage. You can also add a small amount of zinc oxide for full spectrum sun protection!

Eye Liner:

  • Mix 1 part activated charcoal, 1/2 part black iron oxide, and either 1/2 part aloe vera gel, or 1/3 part shea butter for black eyeliner. You can add a small amount of mica powder for a little shimmer. Mix very well and store in an air-tight container. You’ll have to use a brush to apply. Feel free to play around with the ratios to get the perfect consistency for your eyelids. You can add cocoa powder or brown iron oxide for brown eyeliner.

Need your makeup to stay in place for awhile?

Homemade Makeup Setting Spray:

Grab a little spray bottle. Put 1/2 teaspoon of glycerin in it. Add 1 teaspoon water. Add 1/2 cup rose water. Shake well and apply before you put makeup on. Keep this in your fridge! OR you can just mix 1 part glycerin to 3 parts water and use the same way. Easy peasy!! And best of all – it will not clog your pores!

Enjoy your DIY, toxin-free makeup! 

*Note – Please do not inhale any of these powdered products! Inhalation of mica and iron oxides can be toxic.

* all the mixture amounts are completely dependent upon your skin tone and what you want. it’s experimental, but it’s easy on the wallet, and great for your health! mix a little at a time while looking for the perfect shades so you don’t end up with 234235 pounds of something 😉

** i keep my mixes in little “travel” containers i found at walmart. they have different colors, so you can color-code your products (that’s my clear one for my setting powder in the main picture with the makeup brush above!).

*** do NOT inhale makeup. either hold your breath, plug your nose, or slowly breathe OUT while applying makeup. especially products with mica in them. that goes for ALL makeup, even homemade.

WHERE TO BUY THESE INGREDIENTS: your local health food/organic specialty store or online! make sure they’re certified organic!

buy these(in alphabetical order; not by favorites! also, check ingredients for each product you buy. some still have iffy ones.)

what safe makeup products do you make and/or buy? what other companies do you trust? let’s add to these lists 🙂

nail polish & remover is up to bat next in the beauty section! 

and don’t forget to ENTER THE GIVE-AWAY!



174 thoughts on “natural makeup (diy or buy) & why you NEED to switch

  1. I tried a million different makeup brands and I’ve settled on Rms uncover up as my only face product, and Kjaer Weis’s mascara for my eyes. I use a drop of living libations vanilla best skin ever as my moisturizer on my face, then after a few minutes to let is soak in, I use my fingers to tap on some uncover up, and then I gently blend it out. Because of the oil based moisturizer the uncover up spreads out like a dream. For any spots I just tap more directly over that area until it’s covered and the edges have melted into the rest of my face. The Kjaer Weis’s mascara smells amazing, and never irritates my eyes. I do use one not-totally-clean product: the by terry ombre Blackstar eyeshadow stick, but it is literally the only eye makeup I have ever found that I adore. I use it to line both my top and bottom lashes and one stick lasts me a year with daily use, so to me it’s worth the money. The Kjaer Weis mascara can last me 4 months easily with daily use, and it could probably last longer but I know you are supposed to chuck mascara after 3 months so I already feel like I’m pushing it. And one tiny container of uncover up lasts me 4-5 months with daily use as a foundation AND concealer. Other than lip balm, that is all the makeup and skincare products that I own, and they are all so compact that they make other “travel sized” makeup look like a joke. The Kjaer Weis’s mascara in particular has got to be the smallest mascara tube I’ve ever seen. Clinique’s travel size mascara is even a bit bigger than KW!

  2. hi, I just stumbled upon your blog. I’ve been wanting to ask someone about homemade makeup, so here goes.
    I have tried making blush, powder & eyeshadow with arrowroot as a base. I added a little Bentonite Clay, Spanish Green Clay & some dark Cocoa Powder for the powder. I think one of the problems was that I used dark cocoa but I still didn’t like the way any of the blends worked. I could never get the blush to show on my skin (neither could a friend and she’s very fair), the only way it worked was if the brush was damp. Then the powder went everywhere but I don’t know if it actually went on my face and then when I put lotion on first, it showed up like dirt smudges. The eyeshadow sort of works but doesn’t stick well so I would need a primer first.
    Any idea why I’m having this trouble?
    Also, could you recommend a natural makeup company that is relatively affordable?

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