DIY Makeup Series

It’s only March, but already the nights are getting warm. Those Greased Lightnin’ summer days are coming fast, and along with your sunscreen and tall glasses of sweet tea, it’s time to plan to give that sun-kissed face a little TLC. For the past few weeks I’ve embarked on a DIY makeup and cosmetics experiment making chemical-free, organic beauty products including make-up, deodorant, and moisturizing body butter. During the month of March, the recipes and instructions along with experiment notes can be found in a four-part series. Feel free to read through and window-shop, or be inspired to start a homestead line of your own. I may just take these products to a farmer’s market one day!

Before going into recipes and methods, I want to give a few notes about the quality of ingredients and where to find them. I tried to find all organic and fair trade options, remaining conscious of both the environment and just wages. I bought most things online, stumbling upon the treasure trove of quality ingredients at Mountain Rose Herbs company located in Oregon. Their website is easy to navigate, very informative, and filled with tons of organic ingredients fairly priced. Their delivery was fast, 2-3 business days, and my particular order came with a personalized note including some history about the company along with a catalogue/magazine with recipes. I would highly recommend shopping with them!

Drinkable Aloe Vera Gel is a popular trend, so make sure you get the regular, sunburn-relieving kind that is pure aloe, no alcohol. If possible, get Beeswax from a local source as bee ecosystems are constantly being threatened with new developments and pesticides, and local support will help keep these necessary insects thriving. For all containers, BPA-free and USA made is best. I found some great, sturdy containers at The Container Store from the famously indestructible Nalgene brand. Regarding essential oils, some will smell better with the other natural ingredients than others (see my notes on Deodorant). Jojoba and olive oil are interchangeable, but I prefer the easy-to-pour bottle of Jojoba oil for controlling smaller measures. As for the Shea Butter, I thought that an unrefined quality would be best as it’s closer to a natural state, but for this particular experiment I would suggest an organic, fair-trade quality that is much smoother for blending.

Here is a list of all the ingredients and materials I used, with their purchase location. I searched around for the best prices, shipping included, so you may have different results when you look, depending on the economy. Like I said, Mountain Rose Herbs is a steady and reliable resource!

Mountain Rose Herbs:

Fuller’s Earth Cosmetic Clay

French Green Clay

Bentonite Clay

Organic Arrowroot Powder

**Organic Beet Powder ** see note on BLUSH

Organic Hibiscus Powder

Aloe Vera Gel

Baking Soda


Organic, Fair Trade Cocoa Powder

Activated Charcoal

Organic Beeswax

Organic, Fair Trade, Unrefined Shea Butter


Lipstick/ Chapstick Tubes


Australian Red Reef Clay

Whole Foods:

Organic Ground Ginger

Organic, Fair Trade Cocoa Butter

Essential Oil

Trader Joes:

Jojoba/Olive Oil

Organic Coconut Oil

The Container Store:

Containers for products

Before getting started, here’s a final note about materials needed. As you can see, I used things found in most households with the exception of a mini whisk that is not pictured. Here’s what you’ll need to make all of the products:

Small sauce pan with 3-4 inches of simmering water

A small mixing bowl



Measuring cups

Measuring spoons

Glass jars (one is fine)

Cheese grater (this will take a long time to clean, so consider cutting chunks off the beeswax in appropriate measurements, or designating a “craft grater”)

Plastic bag with the tip cut off AFTER filling it with mascara liquid



Makes: 1 tube

Time: 10 minutes + 1 hour setting time


1 tsp. beeswax

1 tsp. shea or cocoa butter

1 tsp. coconut oil

¼ tsp. beet root powder, cocoa powder, or turmeric

¼ tsp bentonite clay


In a clean glass jar sitting in a few inches of simmering water, melt together the first three ingredients. Add your color choice and the clay. Mix until all ingredients are melted and smooth, stirring with a fork or mini whisk. Pour out the liquid mixture into your tube and let set for an hour before use.

Candid Notes: As you see, the base recipe is very simple with three ingredients. Unfortunately, even with the powerful dye of color choices the color does not transfer to your lips and stay a few hours. That being said, the base recipe makes for an excellent chapstick comparable to Burt’s Bees, especially with some added peppermint oil. It pours out nicely, and sets in a short amount of time. Best of all, it goes on smooth and moisturizes for a long time!


Stay tuned for more DIY makeup next week!