Make Make Up – What Do You Need?

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It’s time for the second part of our make up series – which ingredients do you need when making your own cosmetics?

Here’s a list of the the things you’ll need. You will need to make a small investment to get the pigments and stuff that are necessary for making your own makeup, but once you have them, they will last really long – and in the long run you’re going to save a bunch of cash too!

You can order the minerals online – let me know if you need to find a good site.



cheap and easy
Pigments This is what gives your makeup the color you need. Many of the pigments are iron dioxides which is, as the name suggests, a compound of iron and oxygen.
You know how when you mix blue and yellow, you get green, and when you mix red and blue, you get purple? Yes, that’s the case with your pigment powders as well. So you’ll only need a few different colors and you can create almost anything! Get some red and ockra iron oxides, and blue ultramarine. Also if you want to make s0me eyeliner or if you want really dark makeup, you should get some deep black iron oxide as well.
Mica, or glimmer, is another mineral that is essential especially for eye makeup. With a bit of mica in your makeup it will shimmer and look gorgeous. Get the satin white mica, which is a mixture of titanium dioxide and mica.

When you get the hang of things, you can order some more color pigments to play around with, such as green and red-brown. Also there are loads of different mica colors – consisting of mica, titanium dioxide and other pigments – in a whole bunch of shades, including antique gold, bordeaux, emerald green and copper.

HOW MUCH?! You’ll be using very little of these pigments when making cosmetics, so when you’re buying, I’d say get the smallest size available (10 grams of each will be plenty to start with).  On the other hand, these pigments aren’t going to go rancid until after 10,000 years or so, so once you get some you can just keep it like, forever, like.


cheap and easy
Starch For a cheap and filling base, you can use potato or rice starch. Doesn’t work quite as well as the mineral ingredients (see “Advanced”) but is still all right to use – also in a combo with the minerals it can be a really good filling agent.
Talcum powder Talc enhances the gleaming from other ingredients like mica (we’ll get to that), giving your face a radiant and soft appearance, and can also soothe irritated skin. The downside, however, is that it might clog up the pores and it doesn’t give an as natural color as mica does. I wouldn’t recommend talcum powder – at least I get huge breakouts when I use it, but if you want something cheap and easy to start with, you can give it a try.

Titanium dioxide gives a matte look and is used in most mineral foundation, although only up to 10% of the base, as it can give a kind of blue hue to your face. Works great in combination with color pigments and is therefore really good as a base for eye makeup or blush. With some titanium dioxide in the mixture you also get light sun protection.
Zinc oxide is kind of similar to titamiun dioxide and they work great together. Gives a good cover and also works as a sun screen.
Magnesium stearate Covers and makes your skin matte. If you use starch in your makeup, some magnesium stearate can help increase the shelf life.
Kaolin or white clay is a good base to use because it gives a good cover and also provides a matte look as it draws the oils from your skin. The downside is that it can be a bit drying if you don’t have ily skin so it should only be used for up to half of the base.


cheap and easy

Jars You’ll need something to store your makeup in once you’re done. Get a few small jars, or clean out some old makeup containters that you have from before.
Ziplock bags To get the colors properly mixed, you’ll need to grind them together, other wise you’re going to have red and blue streams here and there on your face. Many use coffee grinders and mortars, but I’ve tried both without much success. I thought it was too messy and difficult to get the color off afterward. So the method that I like the best only calls for a few small ziplock bags.
Measuring spoon You’ll need a small measuring spoon of 1 ml, preferably one that you can reserve for this purpose.
Mask It’s good to wear a protecting mask over your mouth when mixing these powders, as it’s not good to inhale all too much of the nanoparticles.


Scales To get more exact measures, invest in scales. They have to be more exact than normal kitchen scales, showing 0,1 grams (or whatever weight measure you use). You can find them cheap online, though you’ll do just fine with just the measuring spoon in the beginning.
Coffee grinder/Mortar Like I said earlier, many choose to blend their pigments in coffee grinders or mortars. And you are more than welcome to do that if you find my ziplock bag solution unsatisfactory. I’d recommend devoting the grinder or mortar solely to making cosmetics, because it might be hard to get the color off.

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    1. hilda

      I’ve ordered my pigments from two places – a german place called Kosmetishe Rohstoffe and a swedish site called Crearome. I don’t know if either ship to the Phillippines, but I’ve been very happy with both so they are worth checking out. Unfortunately their websites are only available in said language but Google translate does a pretty good job, and I can help you with the swedish site if you need.
      I’ve also heard good things about a site called tkbtrading, and they do seem to have a huge selection of pigments!

  3. Terri

    I have a question on the mixture, and it probably sounds silly but I was curious do you add water to the clay to make it you know, liquid like? So the 10% titanium dioxide and 50% of the clay and the pigment added, and add some magnesium and zinc? I just got confused on the steps 🙁

    1. hilda

      Hey Terri!
      You do not need to mix any water into the clay. This post here is not per se a recipe on how to make makeup, it’s more of an inventory list to see which things you’ll need or can use when making your own cosmetics. For actual recipes, check out these posts: for foundation and for eyeshadow and blush. And just let me know if you need help with the recipes 🙂

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