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DIY Makeup: Zero Waste Powder Foundation


Last Updated on May 8, 2023

DIY makeup can be fun, easy, and totally effective at covering and concealing imperfections!

This homemade foundation is good for your skin, and as a zero waste makeup option, is also good for the planet! This DIY foundation uses all natural ingredients to match your skin tone and nourish your skin, all in one guide. Learn how to make your own foundation, as well as how to use it to conceal imperfections by reading on!

zero waste makeup

A few years ago, I started my natural living journey. I turned to DIY not just because it felt safer, but also because it’s cheaper. 

I like knowing exactly what’s in my products, and I’m always down for saving my pennies!

Plus, I think making zero waste makeup is a really fun challenge! 

RELATED: How Going Zero Waste Saved Me $12,000

This powder DIY makeup is simple to make and simple to use! It’s definitely a finishing powder — it will absorb oil and even out your skin tone. It won’t leave you looking cakey as it’s not a heavy, thick foundation powder.

In the morning, I use a tinted SPF* as my base. It’s pretty sheer, but I like knowing my face is protected from the sun. If I have any red bumps, I’ll put on a dot or two of concealer*, then I’ll dust my face with this light homemade foundation powder to even everything out!

Top view of DIY foundation, tinted moisturizer, and a makeup brush

effective diy makeup

I have a birth mark on my left hand which you might have noticed in several videos and photos. I used my hand as an example because it was easier to take consistent photos by myself. 

To conceal blemishes or birthmarks, start with clean skin.

Then use your favorite zero waste tinted SPF to protect your skin and even out the skin tone.

Follow it up with a concealer that matches your skin tone, and top it off with the DIY foundation. Voila! You can’t even tell I have a birthmark anymore!

Step by step process of applying homemade foundation to conceal a birthmark

how to make your own foundation

I have a lot of pink in my skin which only accentuates any acne I may have. Using this powder helps smooth everything out and gives the illusion of a nice even skin tone.

The main ingredient is arrowroot, which can also be found in my zero waste deodorant recipe, and then there are a lot of different ingredients you can use to create a shade close to your skin tone.

These include:

  • cacoa powder
  • ginger
  • bentonite clay
  • French green clay
  • cinnamon

It will take some experimentation when learning how to make your own foundation that works for your skin tone. You’ll want to adjust all of these ingredients until you get your desired shade just right. 

how to make your own foundation - top view of ingredients needed for homemade powder foundation

homemade foundation ingredients

Arrowroot: is great for the skin! It actually helps to clear acne. Yes, you can clear your acne while wearing this foundation. Arrowroot absorbs oils and sebum all while promoting natural healing.

Organic cacoa powder: is loaded with antioxidants and is super high in vitamin C which means you’re fighting wrinkles, skin damage, and free radicals. Cacoa helps to darken the base. 

close up of cocoa powder needed to color this zero waste makeup

Ginger powder: has anti-bacterial properties to help unclog pores and kill acne-causing bacteria. Add more ginger for warmer skin tones. 

Bentonite clay: shows up in a lot of my recipes from face masks to toothpowder. It removes toxins from the pores, reduces inflammation, and lightens acne marks. It’s great for cooler skin undertones. Remember, don’t use a metal spoon with clay or you’ll deactivate it! 

Close up of DIY makeup ingredients ginger powder and bentonite clay

French green clay: is very absorbent. It works similarly to bentonite clay but has a greenish hue. It works well with naturally pink skin to balance out the skin tone. (If I had French green clay, I would probably use it in place of the bentonite below since I have pinker skin.) 

Cinnamon: is a powerful antibacterial that can help reduce acne. However, it can really bother some people. I don’t put cinnamon in my foundation because I find it to be irritating. Test patch a small place on your skin. It adds a great warm hue to the foundation. 

All of the ingredients were obtained in bulk from Berkeley Bowl and Oaktown Spice, keeping this a totally zero waste DIY. 

woman applying zero waste homemade foundation

diy foundation powder: 

  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Arrowroot Powder
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon of Cacoa Powder
  • ½ a Teaspoon of Ginger
  • ½ a Teaspoon of Bentonite Clay

step 1:

Mix all of the ingredients together.

step 2

Dip in a powder brush and dust off the excess.

step 3

Apply to a clean face. Use the concealment instructions above if trying to even out skin tone or cover spots.

Close up of powder foundation \after a post about how to make your own foundation


how do you store homemade makeup?

I store my powder in an old powder tin. You can also buy glass jars or shallow mason-type jars to store your foundation powder in.

what is the shelf life of homemade powder foundation?

The powder is shelf stable and will last 9 months to a year at room temperature. No need to refrigerate or add preservatives!

Have you tried making your own makeup? 

This post contains affiliate linking. It’s denoted with an asterisk. You can read more on my disclosure page

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  1. I love this post, it’s so very timely — or meant to be perhaps… I just received my bulk spices to create my own makeup. I have all my supplies and the intentions of keeping my body healthy by knowing exactly what’s in my makeup! A little nervous to start mixing in hopes of achieving the right colors, but very excited about the possibilities of expanding to eyeshadow, liner, and mascara, and a lip balm tinted with beet root! Wish me luck! Thanks for sharing that it can truly be easy and oh so worth it.

  2. Hi thanks for sharing this amazing new discovery, to me at least! How do I test or change the foundation color as I am a natural Carmel skinned woman? Thanks!

  3. Hello! thans for this great post! I have a quick question about using the clay… My face gets pretty oily and I’m wondering if when my oils mix with the dry clay throughout the day, will that mix and cause the clay to paste up or anything like that?

    1. Try grinding dried beet slices into a powder for blush.. or in a food processor if you have one

  4. I did not know you couldn’t use a metal spoon with the clay. I make my own facemasks but never thought of looking into that. Thank you!