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Mineral Make-up

Mineral Make-up

As if I don’t have enough hobbies, I’ve decided to make my own mineral make-up. It started with me looking to buy mineral make-up (foundation) and not wanting to pay the premium. So instead, like a 60 dollar home-grown tomato, I decided to make my own.

I’ll be trying my first experiments in blending this weekend, but here’s the basic starter information I’ve learned so far.

You need three or four basic ingredients:

Pigments – all colors are made from black, red and yellow. You can buy browns that are already formulated as a starting point–much easier than trying to achieve browns or tans on your own and there’s not any difference in cost at most places.

Titanium Dioxide – This is a bright white and is used to help get the makeup to a usable, spreadable state. You can’t just spread the pigments on your face. Tapioca starch is also used either in combination or in place of the TD. (Talc is used also, but not considered to be a great ingredient because of its chalkiness.) I’m probably going to try the tapioca starch to begin because I can get it readily. The place I ordered pigments from didn’t happen to have TD. They had an extender product which is a mica coated with Titanium Dioxide–it looks like it will work, but I don’t really know if I want to use only the extender or if I’ll want something less reflective.

Mica – Mica provides a satin sheen, helps spreadability and can help hide wrinkles (due to its reflective nature.) I’m not sure how much I’ll like this one because the one thing I hate about foundations is sparkle or shine. There are no sparkles in the mica I ordered, but it does have a sheen. Since the pigments are dark and flat, I think some will be necessary, but for me, not a lot. MIca’s can be mixed with either white micas or titanium dioxide to create various make-up (eyeshadows, blushes and to color foundation. My favorite vendor for Micas is on Amazon

Zinc Oxide – this is a basic sunscreen and is also used to sooth skin (it’s in a lot of skin protectorant products). I’m not using this one for now. I don’t generally wear a lot of make-up and not out in the sun because then I sweat it off anyway. I may decide to add it later!

Where do I buy my supplies? I get a lot of stuff from Chemistry Connection on Amazon — Micas, citric acid for bath bombs and soap/shampoo supplies. They also have great supplies for lotion making.

Posted: August 21, 2008
Filed in Mineral Make-up
Tags:, ,

Mineral Make-Up Recipes I

I, brave fool that I am, gave my first mineral make-up recipes a try. I ordered some basic ingredients from DIY Cosmetics. I found their website a bit hard to use. They could benefit from a few more product descriptions and links. There’s mention of an articles section, but no link, and I couldn’t find it. For beginners, there really isn’t enough information about what is needed to get started. I spent a lot of time cross-referencing before I was finally able to put in an order.

DIY also doesn’t sell titanium dioxide powder, a main ingredient in “whitening” the basic colors to achieve an exact color match. Instead they have tapoica starch (which I bought at the grocery store because it was a lot cheaper.) I have no idea at this point which ingredient is better. The tapioca starch worked fine for me to get the color where I wanted it. I’d still like to try the titanium dioxide. I have heard that it is harder to get it to “disperse” throughout a powder, but I think it is less irritating to the skin for those with sensitive skin.

DIY does have very reasonable shipping charges. They also were one of the only sites where I found a recipe to get me started. There was other information on the site that I found useful, although again, navigating and finding it took quite some time.

Here’s what I started with:


Brown (their premixed version)
Tan (their premixed version)
Yellow (because I know my undertone is yellow rather than pink)

Fillers and Whiteners:

Mica Extender (a matte mica coated with titanium dioxide; easily dispersible)
Ultra Fine Mica (a satin matte mica)

Tapoica starch from the grocery

There’s several other ingredients available such as zinc oxide (sunscreen protection) and magnisuim stearate–but I didn’t need them to get started.

I used the basic recipe on the DIY site as a guide, although again, I didn’t buy all the ingredients (including the spoons). Using the brown as a base pigment, I got a nice brown/pink undertone blush. I could have continued making it “lighter” but there was a slight pink to it (a very pleasant pink, mind, but I have yellow undertones in my skin).

Here’s the recipe. In my case a single unit is 1/4 tsp, but you can use any measurement, including the special spoons–just keep the ratios the same.

Blush/medium foundation:

2 Mica extender
1.5 Mica
1/2 brown
3 tapioca
1/2 yellow

I added each ingredient one at a time and mixed and mixed on wax paper. It takes quite a bit of mixing to make sure there are no tiny lumps that will streak yellow/red/brown across your skin. There are special blenders you can buy or you can actually put it in your home blender. Were I making a larger batch, I would probably use the blender, but I just patiently mixed and smashed until there were no streaks.

The foundation that I think matches my skin closer:

2 Mica Extender
2 Mica
3 Tapioca
1/2 Tan oxide

What I found is that my skin could probably go with a little more tan or even a little less. Once the undertone was right, my skin wasn’t that particular. I could probably have added just a pinch more red (which is in the brown–I didn’t buy red oxide itself). Either way, the powder was invisible in room lighting and in the shade outside. In direct sunlight, right after application, I could see “powder” but it was light, not caked. That disappeared after the makeup settled.

Both these foundations are “matte” which is what I was after. No extra glittery look. What I like about it most so far is that it evens everything out. It’s light and it isn’t at all obvious that I have any makeup on.

What I didn’t like is that the tapioca starch was just a tiny, itsy-bit itchy and drying–I have very dry, ridiculously sensitive skin. The tapoica might work well for more oily skins. I’m going to try either titanium dioxide or rice flour in a different batch. Stay tuned!

I’ll also do a post on some of the sites that sell oxides, titanium dioxide, micas, etc. I still need to choose one and order titanium dioxide. Right now I’m leaning towards ordering from Amazon because they seem to have a wide variety of micas, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide–and I think I may go ahead and get a red oxide so that I can really tweak the color exactly.

Posted: August 22, 2008
Filed in Mineral Make-up

Mineral Make-up Recipes II

I posted my first two recipes here and here. I wasn’t in love with the tapioca starch so I decided to try a couple of variants.

This first one, for whiteners/blending, I used only the mica extender (mica coated with titanium dioxide) and the mica (mica has a very slight natural grey tone to it when next to tapioca starch or titanium dioxide). This changed the consistency of the mineral make-up to an amazing degree. It was much harder to mix–it was basically “sticker.” I found that the color mattered more also because there was more light reflection than when tapioca starch was used. Again, I used 1/4 tsp as the unit; any unit can be used as long as the ratios stay the same.

Here’s the recipe:

7 extender
1 mica
1 tan
pinch of brown (to bring back a little more red)

Notice that I used more ingredients–that’s mainly because I had more trouble getting the color where I wanted it. Having a red would have come in handy. I would have put a pinch of red in instead of the brown that I had on hand. This makeup was “heavier” but it also concealed better. It was smooth and soft feeling. It reminded me of Revlon’s colorstay makeup. I could feel it more on my face, it concealed very well, but it was a bit more “visible” because light reflected off of it. There was no powdery residue in sunlight, but there was a matte/reflective look. This is a makeup that I think would work very well for going out at night. It adhered very well to my skin and wasn’t as likely as the tapioca based stuff to just rub off in an hour. It was not irritating at all. No itch, no drying; it felt almost like a cream. This one could easily be added to a cream, in fact, to make a liquid foundation.

Next recipe I tried, I took the above result and added rice flour. Basically I didn’t find that the extender and the micas let me lighten the color as much as I wanted. I can’t give a recipe because I really added this and that as I went along, trying to get the color and consistency right.

Rice flour was cheap – 3 dollars for a pound in the grocery store. It’s not as white as tapioca starch and when you’re mixing it, it “feels” grittier. This actually was a good thing. It helps smear the mica and color pigments very nicely. I needed more rice flour than tapioca to whiten. This flour is a great place to start testing recipes–it’s cheap, and it left NO powdery residue. None. This was one where I could stand in sunlight and not see makeup or powder. It doesn’t adhere to skin as well as the micas–they are necessary to “finish” the recipe. I’m not sure I have the ratios where I want. Once I got the color where I wanted it, I think it could have used more mica–more sticking power. Of course, I can only put so many batches on my arms and face, so for today, I left it. I’ll likely revisit it tomorrow.

Also, once I added rice flour–there was no making this one into a liquid foundation (if you want to make a liquid foundation try using Suave Oatmeal Lotion as your whitening agent in place of titanium dioxide or the rice flour–most lotions contain titanium dioxide so once you get the basic color where you want it, you can use a hand-type lotion to whiten it to your exact skin tone and create a liquid foundation.).

The rice flour I had was not fine enough and didn’t dissolve. There may be special grinds of rice powder that make it possible, but with the graininess, it wouldn’t work with this type.

In just the few tries I’ve completed, I have enough make-up to last me a year. I’m not sure how much further I’ll go until I’ve tried out the ones I’ve created. I’d like to “wear” them a few days and see how they hold up. I’d still like to try titanium dioxide as a white and having a red oxide on hand would really help me get the colors where I want them. If I put in another order, I’d probably order zinc oxide (sunscreen) as well.

Posted: August 23, 2008
Filed in Mineral Make-up

Mineral Make-up Part III

Got in some new supplies (ordered from TKB Trading — lowest prices I found, good basic info about each product and plenty of selections). The main portion of the order was to obtain titanium dioxide and some different mica. Both were coated with methicone, which supposedly makes them completely non-irritating. I also ordered boron nitride, something that is used in high end make-up and supposedly gives a nice finish. I tried all three of these white powders on my skin without any color added and none of them bothered my skin. I couldn’t tell much difference between the sheen of the mica and the boron other than the boron is a whiter powder (the mica has a slight greyish tinge.) Both are quite reflective, which is supposed to hide fine lines.

New oxide colors:

red oxide
red/blue oxide

The red oxide is…rather orange looking to my eye. I mixed the red, the red/blue, the yellow, the tan and the brown with some Suave Oatmeal cream. This turns it into a concealer, while whitening it at the same time. Obviously as is, they are too dark and also too red, yellow or whatever. What I wanted to do was see how the colors looked on my skin, even too dark. The closest matches appeared to be the red/blue or the brown.

I started mixing in yellow with that in mind, but eventually, because the red/blue was a bit purple and the brown a bit pink, I started over with the yellow–and added the red/blue. Either way, I got to the same place, the difference is that I needed more yellow–so starting with red/blue created a rather huge pile of pigment by the time I added enough yellow. The larger the pile, the harder it is to get the lumps out and get even distribution of color. Start very small. Mix between each ingredient. Don’t use more than 1/8 of a tsp of your main color (in my case yellow). Then add a pinch of secondary colors (in my case the red/blue).

The titanium dioxide is rather lumpy, and I experienced no real difference with the titanium coated mica versus the methicone coated titanium dioxide. Both are very creamy, somewhat difficult to mix and impart a sheen.

The mica coated with methicone was nice, a bit less gray than plain mica. Relatively easy to mix, adds creaminess and sheen.

The boron nitride is a nice sheen, a very nice white. Again, other than whiteness, I really couldn’t tell much difference between it and the mica. It may have adhered slightly more to my skin. It was almost twice as expensive.

In the following recipe, the sheen factor was too high for me. The makeup brushes on fairly well, but is sticky. The end result is that it looks like I used a liquid foundation. I was utterly amazed at this, because everything is a powder, but when you sweep it on with a brush–it looks liquid. I used a 1/4 tsp as the measurement tool.

1/2 yellow
pinch of red/blue (not even 1/16 tsp)

2 titanium dioxide (methicone coated)
1/2 mica (methicone coated)

I tried half with some boron nitride and half without. It adds sheen, but the formula doesn’t need it.

I thought the spreadability was too thick for what I wanted so I added:

2 rice powder

The rice powder helps the spreadability a lot and also takes away some of the sheen. For my next batch, I will probably put even less sheen by cutting back the titanium dioxide. The good news is that after wearing it an hour, the sheen backs off and the color stays on. There’s definitely some room to play there.

I have thus far spent about 45 dollars. I can still make several batches, but I must say that getting the color where I want it is hard. Off by just a pinch and suddenly I’m going back and forth with the yellow and the red/blue. I think the brown would have worked almost as well as the red/blue, by the way. The key is to use very, very little color.

The titanium dioxide was a wonderful whitening agent. I liked it, although it was hard to mix into the formula. Lots of patience required here. And do not tear a hole in the wax paper (wax paper was the best mixing surface I found.)

I liked the boron nitride and the mica, but I’d probably go with the mica because it was cheaper. The only real benefit to the boron nitrate was the whiter color, but you’re adding so little of it compared to the titanium dioxide and rice flour you’re not really adding much “white.” Add them last as they seem to have the least effect on the overall color.

It would be vastly easier to just buy samples from a vendor because getting to “beige” is very tough. Then getting the sheen versus powder/spread right is another challenge and I’m pretty sure I’m not where I want to be yet. Based on what I now know about ingredients, I’d probably start with one of these two:

Amazon has a rather large offering of already colored/mixed micas that might be useful to play with. Purple Mica Powder

Posted: August 31, 2008
Filed in Mineral Make-up

Mineral Make-up Version IV

makeupYes, it is that time again! Another batch of mineral make-up. This time, I decided to really back off to the very basic ingredients. Color and titanium dioxide–the oil dispersible version of titanium. I had some titanium that is supposedly water dispersible, but it was shinier–just glints here and there that would be great for eye makeup, but was a sparkle I wanted to avoid. I prefer a matte makeup. I’m not sure if the sparkle was something added to the titanium or a result of water dispersible titanium being a smaller, finer micron. I may try another water dispersible in the future to compare because supposedly the water dispersible is a “lighter” feel and lighter coating than the oil dispersible one.

Anyway, I left out all the micas and extenders and coated titanium and rice. They were just confusing the formulas and after finishing my experiment today, I’d say they added nothing to the formula.

You may remember from before that I learned to start my color base with yellow rather than red or red/blue and so on. I think of my skin as beige-like with red undertones. Well, it turns out that I’m mostly yellow with a pinch of red/blue. The red/blue is made up of red and black from what I understand. And I really do only need a pinch. For a 1/16th tsp of yellow, it’s not even half that of red/blue. Just a dusting really. Then it’s about 3 to 4 additions of 1/8th tsp of titanium dioxide (so about 1/2 tsp total) to get it light enough/beige enough for my skin.

I made two batches, one lighter than the other. As I’ve noticed before, if you get the color/tone right, you can actually wear a pretty wide range of dark to lighter batches. The key is to make sure you have the underlying color correct. Otherwise you end up looking like a purple blob or an escaped garden tomato.

The mix of colors and titanium dioxide is a sticky powder–which is really what is needed. The old recipes where I added rice were much easier to mix, but as I used them, I noticed an awful lot of powder was getting all over the sink. The rice and starches don’t stick. They make application “lighter” and easier. They make mixing easier. But they really add nothing useful other than a dust that doesn’t stick to the skin and wears off quickly.

The end result from today is a nice color that sticks to my skin a lot better than other formulas. It goes on smooth and has the look and feel of a liquid makeup. This powder could easily be a “pressed” foundation, it’s that moist. I added a touch of boron nitride and it didn’t change the formula or feel much. It does create a bit of a “finish” without changing the color or feel.

The only thing I don’t like about this new formula is that it might prove to be a bit heavy. See, there’s a fine line with makeup. I don’t want to wear any. I don’t want to feel it, but I want my skin tones evened out. That’s why I’d like to find a “lighter feeling” titanium dioxide, one that doesn’t sit so heavy–but still doesn’t have any glitter. I know that glitter and reflectors are supposed to hide wrinkles, but I think all they do is call attention to the fact that you have makeup on.

This is a very wearable batch, but if I come across water dispersible titanium dioxide with no glittery look, I’ll give it a try. Meanwhile if anyone really knows the difference between oil and water dispersible (Are either of them coated with anything? Or is it just the micron size that is different?) drop me an email or share this knowledge in the comments!!!

I don’t think I’ll be needing the micas. I honestly don’t know what they add. Mica has a high sheen, which is something I try to avoid. It does not make the makeup lighter in feel and it can change the color (raw mica has an almost grey color). It’s in a lot of mineral makeup, but I think I’ll be skipping it.

I’m sure there will be more experiments!!!

Posted: September 5, 2009
Filed in Mineral Make-up

Make Your Own Deodorant

As you know, I make my own lotions, soaps and shampoos. I haven’t found a good deodorant recipe yet. The key for the recipe that works for us is: Epsom Salts and baking soda and you’ll be good to go (other ingredients in my bar: beeswax (helps harden the bar), arrowroot, kaolin clay (thickener), coconut oil, and cetyl alcohol–to harden the bar.) Melt everything in a pan. You can use any essential oil, but don’t put it in until the mix is cooling. I prefer grapefruit or lavender/geranium.

Here is a recipe book today that has several recipes!

33 Easy DIY Deodorant Recipes

If you like potions and lotions and fiction characters who make them, you might like: Under Witch Moon.

Posted: October 25, 2015
Filed in Lotions, Melt and Pour Soap, Mineral Make-up, Shampoo

Soaping and Shampoo Supplies

I’m sure you’re all wondering where I buy my supplies for making soap and shampoo. I get a lot of stuff from Chemistry Connection on Amazon — Micas citric acid for bath bombs and soap/shampoo supplies. They also have great supplies for lotion making.

If you make mineral makeup, eye shadow, bath bombs, soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap–it’s the best place, with the best prices on almost every single ingredient, and I love their quality. Just go to Amazon and search for Chemistry Connection and the ingredients you need!