Homemade natural translucent powder

Hey friends!

I am beyond excited to share my latest DIY find with you, homemade all-natural translucent powder! I heard about this from a friend and thought it was worth a whirl…and it’s amazing. Can you tell I am RAVING about it!?!?!  I have super oily skin and this stuff blots the oil right out, stays put all day AND looks and feels totally natural. Perfect right?

PLUS!! It’s SO cheap! I got all these ingredients at Whole Foods for less than $10 and it’s gonna last a lloooonnnnggg time!!

You will need organic cornstarch and French green clay.

You can also tint a little with organic cocoa ( I like it)

Cornstarch is sometimes used in makeup because it offers great oil absorption. It is not a drying agent, it just absorbs what’s there. So if you have dry skin, don’t be afraid   It does have a shelf life, so make a note of that (1 year or longer).  I’ve read a few places that it could possibly irritate skin or cause acne, but I’ve had no such problems…in fact, my acne is better.

French Green Clay is often used in resorts for facials and spa treatments. It’s pretty great at absorbing dirt, oil and bacteria while being gentle on pores.

I’ve added links to purchase these products at the end of the post:)

In a small bowl combine 1 part cornstarch, 1 part green clay and a bit of cocoa.

1 part in a 1 to 1 recipe depends on how much you are making. If you want a gallon, each part would be 2 quarts. If you want 1 cup, each part would be half a cup.  If you are using a spice jar like I did, then about half a jar of each.

Mix together carefully, making sure to fully incorporate any lumps.

I used a spice jar as my makeup container. I prefer this one from Spice Islands because it’s glass with a metal screw on lid. Soak it to remove all the label…and the ground mustard, and let it FULLY dry.

Paint your lid if you want. I did, because it’s cute, and because I don’t want anyone mistaking this for some spice blend I whipped up.

EDIT: The silver paint I used is rubbing off a bit, but Amazon has some makeup containers that might be worth trying…link at the bottom of this post.


When everything is dry, funnel or scoop your powder in, and you’re all set!

I add a little to the cap, load my brush, tap excess off and apply.  Like all loose powder, it can be a bit dusty, but it brushes right off my clothes. Also, it’s going to look a little green, but once you brush it on the color matches your skin tone.

*tip: I use an organic moisturizer with SPF before putting this on. Most makeup these days has SPF, but this doesn’t…so protect yourself friends!

*tip: If you have darker skin, you may want to add more green clay and cocoa, the cornstarch is the white that’s going to be too light for your skintone.

Have a great day everyone!!

You can purchase all these products through Amazon below. I’m not at all trying to make money off tutorials, I just find this to be an easy way to share and purchase products if you can’t find it local.


UPDATE 8/16/13

Some updates from your comments are below. I haven’t tried all of these things, nor do I validate the truth of all of them, but I felt it would be good to answer some of the FAQ’s:

1. This color is green!!!???  This makeup DOES look greenish. It might even look a little green on your face for 3 minutes. Then it begins to blend.

2. Alternatives to cornstarch?  You might try Bentonite Clay or Arrow Root powder in place of corn starch if you can’t find/have allergies.

3.  Do the products need to be organic?

*Just an FYI, on the term “organic”. To be certified organic the corn and cocao to make the powders would have been grown without the use of artificial chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, and the like. It would also encompass any chemicals used in the processing of the product, which aren’t necessarily listed on the ingredient list. Go organic for your health and the health of the planet!

*A whole lot of food allergies COME from eating GMO foods which are grown with lots of chemical weed killers and fertilizers. 

4. Other ways besides cocoa powder to color?  Nutmeg and cinnamon blended to desired shade and used as a bronzer (in the product or on top), or other readers tried Moroccan Red Clay Powder and Brazilian Pink Clay, and carob powder.

5. What if I have dark skin? Remember this is translucent powder, not tinted powder, so it shouldn’t be the color of your skin.  Also, I tested this on my bi-racial child who has pretty dark skin. It’s a little white at first, but in a couple minutes it fades into the skin. This is just how it acts on my skin.  Try it, and if you’re not happy after a few minutes, add a little more color to darken it.

6. Will this dry out my skin?  The products aren’t drying, they are oil absorbing. So if the oil isn’t there, it just won’t have anything to absorb.

7. What about sun protection? The ingredients listed do have naturally occurring SPF. In fact, some would argue that they are a better option than chemically created ingredients because they physically block the uv rays, instead of chemically absorbing them.

8. Can I add sunblock in just to be safe? There are two natural ways to add SPF via zinc oxide powder. If it is 20% of your mixture, it makes SPF 30.  So, you can get the powder and mix it with this powder or you can add it to your under layer. I basically just mix coconut oil and the powder — and this is my normal under layer moisturizer. Once it’s soaked in, then I put on my powder.

9. What happens if your face gets wet…does the makeup harden like a mask? Nope, it acts like regular makeup/powder.

10. What about acne? There are loads of comments and tips on treating acne, I’m not going to copy them all here, since this post is about the makeup, but if that’s a problem for you, read on!

Thanks to all the comments, especially those whose tips are copied above! I do hope this makeup works for you! But I also know that if one thing worked for everyone…well…the makeup industry would look a lot different. For me this project is about saving money, and ridding myself of chemicals. If you feel the same, and it’s not working out, then try some alternatives until you get something that works for you! Thanks y’all!

And thanks Laurie for featuring me on Tip Me Tuesday:)

UPDATE 7/15/15

Yall, this is not a place for drama. I’m so sorry that a few words about the products used in this fun and thrifty powder have become a place for people to be mean to others. That’s not what this site is about! So I’m deleting anything that’s rude. I’m not deleting ones that are contrary to what I believe, because I don’t mind hearing another’s opinions. But the drama gotta go! Hope you all have an awesome time making this product, and I hope it works for you, and you love it! And if it’s not for you, thanks for trying and thanks for visiting anyway:)

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  1. 343
    Stephanie says:

    Thank you Aura for you ACCURATE and informative comment. It is a fact that these “studies” are funded by the very parties that stand to make a lot of money off of it. It has become regular tv viewing to see this drug or that additive recalled because it’s now harmful, can cause cancer or death but that very same product was “approved” by the FDA and all the”studies” found it safe to use/consume. So thank you and I do hope other readers take heed and do the research for themselves.

    Personally no amount of studies will convince me GMOs are safe. It’s just not logical. How can man possibly think they can change the natural world and not have unforseen consequences? All of the particular cells and organisms that make up food is there for a reason, whether scientist know what that is or not and our bodies are created to work in synergy with nature. That tells me that if science removes it, your body will have to work that much harder to replace our replicate it. Taking energy and resources from other bodily functions… Maybe from your heart or lungs or affecting the immune system.

    The tiniest cell has a purpose. Every cell has a purpose.

    Thank you to the blog, love this tip and can’t wait to try it. A possible flour type alternative, coconut flour? Coconut oil is amazing for the skin I wonder if the flour would be good for this?

    • 344

      Well said, Raquel. Stephanie, as someone with a degree in genetics and microbiology, I must point out you have flaws in your argument and don’t really understand how GMOs are made. If every cell has a purpose, then why do you take antibiotics to kill the bacteria cell when you get an infection? How is that working in synergy with nature? Also, as far as GMOs go, they are made by adding/removing DNA (which codes for an amino acid, which makes up a protein), not adding or removing cells. Using restriction enzymes, we can precisely cut the DNA, insert or remove a gene, and close it back up. Compare that to using radiation to cause random mutations (some advantageous, some detrimental) in seeds, which was done many years ago…and guess what? they are able to be labeled organic due to the time gap. I can only urge you to accept the fact that you may be wrong, as could I, but having that mentality is what kept explorers from going to the New World, for fear of falling off the side of the Earth. I’d also like to add that many times, companies will hire out a lab, giving them a grant or other funding, to study something for them. That explains some of the studies coming out of ‘their’ labs. While sometimes there can be pressure to get ‘certain’ results, it is becoming more common to have an agreement to publish the data no matter what the results are, hopefully eliminating the conflict of interest. It’s not perfect, but the best you can do is read multiple articles in PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS for different takes on it. Unfortunately, people can go online and post whatever ‘study’ they want, and others will believe them without checking the sources. That’s my $.02, believe what you will, but hopefully others will gain some insight from this.

      P.S. Organic doesn’t mean pesticide free. They just use ‘organic’ pesticides, which they actually have to use more of because they are less effective.

      • 345

        Love your response. I also majored n microbiology & cannot believe how much $ is spent on “organic” items without any true knowledge what that actually means. To each his/her own beliefs, but I personally believe it’s one of the largest scams to date. Education is never a bad thing.

    • 346


      While I understand why you worry about changing the natural world I wonder if you apply your logic to more than GMO products. Do you vaccinate? Small Pox, measels, rubella, mumps, etc., would kill far more if vaccines didn’t exist, yet this is altering the natural course of things. I don’t think that just because a company is the one funding research on their own product it automatically means they are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. It’s when they OMIT or withhold results that I become skeptical. So the integrity of the company is important, don’t you think?

      GMO foods feed millions of people worldwide that would otherwise be starving. It can also be claimed that we have been genetically engineering crops and livestock for hundreds of years through selective and cross-breeding. I know that altering the DNA directly seems different, but it can be maintained that it is the same thing, just quicker.

  2. 347

    Tried this, was pretty awful. It looked like I stuck my head into a bowl of flour. Did not look natural whatsoever. I mean, the cocoa looked basically like I rubbed myself down with cocoa.

    • 348
      Christine says:

      I’m so sorry! That sounds like a nightmare! This doesn’t work for everyone, but I appreciate your feedback.

  3. 349

    Where can I buy french green clay powder from?

    • 350
      Christine says:

      Hi! You could try online at the links I mentioned, or a natural grocery store would probably have it…over in the beauty section.

  4. 351

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  5. 353

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  6. 354

    Just an aside: Penzeys Spices sells empty spice shaker/containers you can use. They are pretty cheap. You can get them from the store or online.

    I hate when people bring politics into discussions like this.

  7. 355

    Would it be okay to mix Arrowroot and Cornstarch together? Say I want 2 cups in total, I’d mix 1 cup green clay and 1/2 cup Arrowroot, 1/2 cup Cornstarch? Would that just be counterproductive?

  8. 357

    Wow…I thought this was a site sponsored by Al Gore until I actually found “mineral makeup” feedback…LOL!

    So excited to try this! And as far as French Clay…they have it at Whole Foods in stores and Walgreens (online). I read up on French Clay and it has some great benefits on it’s own!!

  9. 358

    Excellent site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find
    high quality writing like yours nowadays. I honestly appreciate individuals like you!

    Take care!!

  10. 359

    Great post.

  11. 360

    It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people about this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

  12. 361

    @Artsy the definition of ‘organic’ is ‘no pesticide’ .

  13. 362

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  14. 363

    I am truly delighted to glance at this webpage posts which carries tons
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  15. 364

    I have very pale (Irish) skin, and I love the green tint of the clay. Foundation always looks too dark and obvious on me, and every little blemish or heat-related redness shows up like a motherfucker, so the green and white is perfect for a small percentage of white people. And I like to think the cocoa works to find the perfect gradient of skin tone for anyone else.

  16. 365

    Ignore the “nay sayers.” Organic & non-Gmo are the ways to go. I can’t begin to imagine that so called food that contains its own built-in pesticide is healthy. When bugs take a bite of the GM plant, the toxin splits open their stomach and kills them! This is real. Read about it.

  17. 366
    Debbie Reed says:

    The reason it is certified organic is so you can be sure they do not use chemical pesticides in the growing process. A product labeled natural may or may not be organic, but certified organic is top of the line non treated.

  18. 367

    u people are mean as duck. so what this lady has an opinion about gmos. big fuckin deal. u need to get over the fact that not everyone thinks the same things you do. y’all are a bunch of dicks

  19. 369

    Thanks so much! Just prepared the second small box of this magic powder!!!

  20. 370

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  21. 371

    Hi Christine, thank you for sharing this, I’ve tried it and I love it! I just wanted to double check is it okay to use metal utensils when mixing the clay? I’ve read that clay absorbs metal, and that it is better to use wooden, plastic or glass spoons/bowls etc. What do you think? Thanks.

  22. 372

    Hi there would you mind letting me know which web host you’re using?

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  24. 374

    Well spoken

  25. 375

    Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

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  26. 376

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  27. 377

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  28. 378

    You put real effort into making it while taking photos as well. And great instructions. Cheers to this post! Love the secret!

  29. 379

    I am so glad to find your blog. Thanks to Google! I have oily T zone and acne prone skin too. My solution is organic virgin coconut oil, organic 100% pure aloe vera gel and pearl powder. So far, I am happy. My sebum have reduced greatly so less shine on my T zone.
    Why I am researching a natural face powder then? Pearl powder is quite expensive so I am looking for an alternative. The bonus for being a cheap ass is I have found more useful tips and a great blog.
    While I am writing I have organic brown rice powder on my face. Lol!

  30. 380

    Hi there!
    I’m doing a round up of DIY natural beauty products. Would you be interested in this? Let me know. I’m at reagantherecipehoarder.com & Facebook.com/reagantherecipehoarder

  31. 381

    thank you for your secrets and recipes. people should be kinder when making comments. i find all these complainers juvenile and inappropriate. i greatly respect the fact that you dont entertain their foolishness. and your page is lovely.
    thanks again

  32. 382

    Where can one find french green clay?

  33. 383
    J.M. Vettleson says:

    Well said…. SOLID!!! ;)

  34. 384

    I’m wondering if both corn starch and french clay could be substituted with arrowroot powder and bentonite clay. I’m trying to save some $ and already have these items. Thoughts? I’d also like to say that people who come to blogs to troll the writers clearly have no life. There is already enough negativity in the world, please don’t spread more.

    • 385

      I think that saying that they have no life and then saying there is enough negativity is hypocritical. Bring negative to people that are negative does not make you positive.

  35. 386

    I stopped using powder because I ran out and kept forgetting to buy more. My skin has balanced itself out on its own and it was oily before. Sure is nice to stop having a layer of ANYTHING on my face. Something to consider. Once in a while if it’s hot, I’ll use an oil blotting sheet.

  36. 388

    can you use bentonite clay instead of french green clay??

  37. 389
    jolleen says:

    Really people. This is her page. If you don’t like the product then move on. I am so trying a few of these. Thanks for the post.

  38. 390

    Thanks for a great recipe. I love it! I miss my old Rachel Perry face powder that is not made anymore. I still have the old container, though, and put this mixture right into it!

  39. 391

    Exactly, thank you!! I completely agree!

  40. 392

    I felt the same about a documentary called food,inc …

  41. 393

    Just a tip: clays should not come in contact with metal. The clay particles bind to the metal and it loses it’s potency to do all the cool stuff it does. This includes using a piece of silverware to stir it or scoop it and also using metal lids. Try to stick to glass, plastic or wood!

  42. 395

    What can i use beside green clay i am allgeric to it

    • 396
      Christine says:

      Hey! Check some of the tips at the bottom of the post for things others have tried:)

  43. 397

    What is the replacement of green clay??

  44. 398

    I wonder if you can add rubbing alcohol to it, in portions to make a pressed powder? Thanks for th wonderful DIY

  45. 399

    If corn starch irritates your skin try arrow root instead.

  46. 400

    I’m so gonna try this ! ilike to make new friends also , and I too am a believer!

  47. 401

    Hi…I am allergic to corn…is there any other item you think could be mixed with this?

  48. 402

    Thanks for stopping by Merrie!
    Seems like we are soul sisters;)
    Have a great day

  49. 403

    Some have said to try arrowroot powder instead. It’s not something I have tested, but worth a shot!
    Hope that helps!

  50. 404


  51. 405
    Linda Maue says:

    You could try rice flour, I am going to try this too, with a bit of talcum powder. :)

  52. 406
    Rosa Martinez-Button says:

    You can use rice powder: http://powdered-peach.blogspot.com/2011/03/stay-shine-free-this-summer-with-rice.html and there’s no shelf life plus has SPF

  53. 407

    I used to use baby powder as foundation, because I’m pale as fuck, but mixed with the other ingredients I imagine it would work, though it won’t absorb oil as well as the corn starch.

  54. 408

    Hi, I’m allergic to corn too and I use arrowroot flour instead. It works great :)

  55. 409
    Christine-GreatOakCircle says:

    Hey Toni!
    Arrowroot is a white powder for baking found probably in the baking section of a whole foods store or maybe the organic part of a reg grocery store. It’s pretty cheap…and also good in grain-free pizza crust;)

  56. 410
    Bridget says:

    I use organic arrowroot and it works wonders. My acne prone, oily, sensitive skin is FINALLY under control. ;)

  57. 411

    Do not use talcom powder it is hard on your lungs! Ok for babies bottoms but not your face or do NOT inhale at all when using!

  58. 412

    Talc is also linked to various diseases involving reproductive health in women who use it on their bottoms, so I would not say it’s safe for baby’s bottom either. Burt’s Bees makes a nice “baby” powder that is talc free and not just for babies! I use it daily instead of antiperspirant and love the gentle scent. Great post also! Thanks! Love the clear directions and great photos. I will be trying this out…

  59. 413

    If talc/talcum powder shouldn’t be used because it is hard on your lungs, why would you put it on a baby’s bottom? Even worse for a baby’s lungs…


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