DIY COSMETICS LLC August 2010 revised May 2011
No portion of these writings may be copied of reproduced without express permission of the Author, Rebecca Midkiff
Disclaimer: The information herein provided is for general information only. Any health or safety related issues should be further researched, and the advice requested of a properly qualified professional. DIY COSMETICS L.L.C. and its owners cannot be held responsible for, and will not be liable for the inaccuracy or application of any information whatsoever herein provided.
Making foundations can be fun and simple with a little knowledge coupled with our ready to go bases. Most foundations are made from yellow, red and black oxide. Finding the right combination can be time consuming, messy and tedious. I have tried over 250 combinations to come up with the pigments we supply that cover all color ranges. When making your own blend for yourself make sure you take careful notes so you can reproduce it. I supply 5 different blends that will give you a starting point. Use our photos and proportions as your starting point. Your foundation should match your skin tone EXACTLY. Do not try and make a foundation to correct skin tone. This can be done with blushes and powders.
Blending your own powders is pretty simple in theory. Before we talk about mixing the powders I would like to go over some basic differences in the types of products you might want to make and how they differ. We will use several terms to describe the different powders and formulas.
Translucent: These powders are “see through”. They provide you skin with color and radiance but will not cover up flaws.
Opaque: These provide good coverage and you barely see through them or they can provide complete coverage depending on how much titanium is in the product and what type of fillers have been used.
Matte: this has a flat low luster appearance.
High Luster: these products have a pearl appearance and will tend to reflect the light.
Oil Absorption: Fillers and pigments should preferably not absorb oil. When powders absorb oil they tend to collect in wrinkles and skin folds. The powders we use in our bases are specially modified to absorb oil without caking.
Particle Size: The particle size of the pearl pigment will either give you high luster low hiding powder or low luster and good hiding power. The smaller the particle size the lower the luster and higher the hiding power. Our bases are made with low luster mica as high luster tends to make wrinkles and flaws more noticeable.
Dispersability: This is the ease with which you may mix pigments into products. Pearl Mica Pigments tend to be easy to disperse. The matte pigments tend to be difficult to disperse without special equipment.
DETERMINING THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF COLORS FOR YOUR SKIN TONE
This is really not as difficult as it may seem. All skin tones may be achieved my mixing three basic colors together: Red, Black and Yellow. A neutral tone would be considered equal parts of red and yellow (brown) with some black to make it darker or white to make it lighter. You may also start with tan or brown oxide and make adjustments with the red, black and yellow. Your foundation should make your skin look as smooth and clear as possible, provide coverage and even out tone. Do not try to adjust your skin tone by using a different color foundation that does not match your skin tone. If you have a color that you have bought that you like, have it with you when blending so you can match it.
TYPES OF FOUNDATION
Cake Foundation or Pressed Powder: This is somewhere between a pressed powder and liquid foundation. They are pressed blocks of color with a powder element and a wax-oil element. They are good for all skin types and may be applied with a damp or dry sponge. Generally they provide good coverage. They can also help keep the skin moisturized.
Face Powders: Powders add a finishing touch to your foundation and help it keep it looking fresh throughout the day. For a more natural looking effect they may be used on their own. Different shades of powder may also be used to “correct” complexions. For example a powder with a greenish tone helps correct redness.
Cream to Powder Cake Make-up: This is essentially a cake foundation with powder in it. It tends to feel creamy and emollient without having oil in it. They are quite popular and simple to use.
Liquid: Basically pigments in a lotion type base.
GLOSSARY OF INGREDIENTS
PIGMENTS: Generally Cosmetic Iron Oxides are used for making foundation bases. On the very rare occasion I have spoken with customers that are allergic to these. In these cases I recommend they try natural cosmetic clays. There are not as strong or efficient but can help add color.
FOUNDATION BASES: We sell pre-made bases that you may add your pigments too. We have a loose powder base, a pressed powder base and cream to powder base. They come in both translucent and with added zinc or titanium. My test blend photos were made with the loose foundation powder blend.
FILLERS: Even though these are called fillers they have important functions. These are generally powders such as talc (we don’t use talc though there are safe talc powders that may be used for cosmetics) that are blended with the pigments. They can be matte powders or translucent powders. Not only do they add bulk to the product but they are anti-caking and provide a smooth texture. One does not want to spread just pigments and bases straight on to the skin. They would in general be too dark, hard to spread, and get absorbed into the creases.
Serecite: This is a trade name for pure mica that is between 10-60 microns. It is a matte fluffy powder that has excellent anti-caking qualities and does not absorb grease. It improves the binding effects of powders and also has anti-caking properties. It adds a satin sheen versus a pearling effect to products.
BINDERS: Binders are used for pressed powders. They are general used at about 10% and blended into the powder. The powder is then pressed hard into their containers. Pressed powders are a great way to enjoy both opaque and translucent powders without the side effects of long term inhalation of loose powder.
Cleanliness: Make sure your workspace has been cleaned before you start. Wipe down counters and remove any other items on the counter from the area where you are working. I suggest covering your counter with butcher paper or newspaper so the pigments do not get onto the counter and stain it. Additionally I usually put newspaper on the floor below. Some of the powders are very light and fluffy and easily get into the air and surround. Your utensils need to be clean but sterility is not necessary.
Safety: Wear a mask when you are blending your pigments to reduce the chance of inhaling the powders and particles. I recommend wearing the gloves also, so your fingers do not get stained.
Tools: (Included in our Mineral Makup Kit)
Base Powder or Medium to add your pigments to:
•Blending paper: you need a paper that will not absorb the pigments or stick to the pigments. Also a white •background is helpful so that you can see the true color.
•2 scoops, 1 large and 1 small (all our formulas are based on using these scoops).
•Small empty containers
•Blending Equipment (optional)
(note: we have put together a cost effective kit for you with all these in them is you wish to purchase them all together)
It is always most precise to use a scale when measuring out ingredients. Scales that measure in 0.1 grams can be pricy and you most likely don’t own one. We do supply a scale for a reasonable price that weighs as little as 0.1 or 1/10th of a gram. Because most people are not likely to own one of these we use scoops small and large for measurement. Because the weight of powders vary greatly so it is not possible to give you a weight for each scoop. The smallest if very small, only 0.15 grams the larger is 1 gram.
You will hear many different recommendations on blending equipment. For larger amounts than just a few grams I use anything form a coffee grinder to my Industrial size Cuisinart. I ALWAYS recommend you blend the pigment with the blending powder by hand before you put it in your mini grinder. This will assure that there is NO streaking in the powder. I mix it by hand then add it to the mini grinder. Mix is for 3 seconds, put in on your mixing paper (such as wax paper) then put it back into the grinder and mix again for 30 seconds. Do this two or three times.
Select the blend that you think will suit you best from our sample chart. Measure out your pigments using the large and small scoops as needed. Measure out equal parts of blending powder.
These picture below are base on one sample pack of foundation base plus small level scoops of pigment base. The number of small spoons you see in the pictures are the number of scoops I have added to about 3 grams or 1 sample bag of base. The third picture is of the foundation pigment in it's pure form next to it's blended form.
Warm Blend : Pale Redheads and blond look good in warm colors that enhance their natural creamy tones.This is also a good base for creamy Asian skin tones. In short, pale complexions with yellow undertones and no hint pink, or red.
Cool Blend: Pale toned pink complexions with redness showing particularly in the cheeks. This will give you a light warm finish.
Cocoa Blend: This is good for deeper toned pink complexions with flush on the cheeks. A pinky beige foundation suits this darker skin tone. Also black skin with rosy undertones.
Fair Blend: Similar to the Warm blend. Blondes with fair eyes and golden undertones.
Olive: Good for dark skin and dark eyes can use this warm dark shade.
These are generally loose powders that are applied after your makeup to help maintain a fresh look. They can be various shades. They are applied very lightly and are translucent (meaning there is no titanium or zinc added). You can use just a cosmetic grade powder such as rice powder or our tapioca powder (Naturasorb B) add just a pinch of color.
Translucent: No color, for all shades of foundation (no color)
White: Gives a natural glow to dull skin.
Beige: For yellow skin tones.
Peach: Gives you a healthy look.
Base plus a tiny bit of both Red and Yellow Oxide
Pink: Softens the effect.
Base plus FD&C Red #40
Green: Helps cover redness.
Base Plus Chromium Green Oxide
Blue: Whitens a reddish complexion
Base Plus Ultramarin Blue
Purple: Adds a healthy glow to yellow skin tone.
Base Plus Manganese Violet
When making your correctors only the TINIEST amount of pigment is needed. Start with just a few grains and then go from there.