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:)


  1. Debbie 11 months ago

    Exactly, thank you!! I completely agree!

  2. Lyn 11 months ago

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

  3. Casey 10 months ago

    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!

    • Author
      Christine 10 months ago

      oh wow great tip!! Thank you Casey!

  4. mar 10 months ago

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

    • Author
      Christine 10 months ago

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

  5. ireeny 10 months ago

    What is the replacement of green clay??

  6. RoSa 9 months ago

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

  7. これは本当にありがとうございました、私の問題を解決しました!ブリリアント

  8. 私は私がまったく同じ同じで三電子メールを取得し、今「新しいコメントが追加された時に通知する」チェックボックスやコメントが追加されるたびに、クリックしました。そのサービスから私を削除あなたがすることができます方法はありますか?乾杯!

  9. はをありがとうございました。私と私の隣人は、ちょうどこのことについていくつかの研究を行うために準備をしていました。 ロケーションエリアライブラリが、私は私達が私達の本を得た信じ私が学んだはるかこの記事から。 私は 非常にそこに自由に共有されている…非常に

  10. Yina 7 months ago

    Thank you. It’s a good idea. I’m French and powder is expansive for me, and also too dark for my skin generally. Your recipe seems more natural than others products and I have got all the ingredients at home :) I’ll try ! Thank you.

  11. nan 7 months ago

    …awesome sauce…lol !!!

  12. Kate 7 months ago

    Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try this out. I like the fact that it is natural. Saving money is a huge bonus. I am going to experiment with some of the other coloring agents mentioned to add a little more color.

  13. Megan 7 months ago

    If I wanted to make a green primer for under my makeup would I be able to add aloe vera or some other liquid to this recipe?

    • flatbear 7 months ago

      Okay, sorry for this late reply. I just found the wonderful recipe here and saw your question. If you still need help, here it is! :D

      I recently discovered an amazing recipe for a homemade makeup primer:


      It uses aloe vera gel, arrowroot powder, and your clay of choice. I strongly recommend getting all the ingredients (assuming you lack them) at Mountain Rose Herbs. I have been shopping with them for years, and am always impressed with the purity of their products. (I sound like I work for them, but honestly, I am just excited to share this resource.)

  14. Ethel 7 months ago

    Hello , upon reading the FAQ, it does clear my doubts ! Just one more , if I’m making a liquid foundation using ingredients like bentonite and green clays in it , do they turn up like a minor mask or sth ? Thank you in advance :)

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  16. Vivian 6 months ago

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  17. Amil 5 months ago

    This is a great recipe! I was already using cornstarch by itself as a setting powder (having got fed up with spending money on commercially made powders that did zip for my oily skin or only worked for about to hours before giving out on me), and I honestly didn’t think it could get any better than that. But I thought I’d give this a try, since I happened to have both corn starch and French green clay, and wow! The texture is so nice. It doesn’t highlight every little facial hair (like cornstarch by itself can, if your not careful with it), and it’s super easy to layer. Thanks for sharing this!

  18. Whoa-ho, somebody else that uses powdered clay as a makeup base for oil absorption. I have had oily skin since my childhood and am always searching for “cheap” yet effective, non-irritating ways to absorb my naturally occurring facial oil. Hey, prior to even reading this blog on a whim I had some powdered green facial clay I had been using for facial masks sitting around, so I too tried just fluffing on the powdered clay after applying my sunscreen, but before applying my makeup….and what do you know here is a whole site about that. Well, guess if somebody else incorporates powdered clay in their make-up routine I will continue to do so as well.

  19. Cheryl Dunham 4 months ago

    I just made this powder, love it. However I didn’t have the green clay so I used Rose Kaolin Clay in its place, it worked wonderfully. I used 1 Tbls of the Rose Kaolin and 1 Tbls of corn starch and 1/4 tsp of the cocoa. It doesn’t make your skin any different color.

  20. Ginger 4 months ago

    I have trouble with the mixture being gritty and leaving little black flecks. I would like to use nutmeg but I can never get it fine enough even after blending in my coffe/spice grinder. Not just your recipe but i have been experimenting for awhile. Any suggestions?

    • Gramma Lu 1 month ago

      Ginger: If you use a mortar and pestle (kitchen equipment store/department) you should be able to refine the nutmeg into a silky powder. I would suggest grinding it in your spice grinder first. Then use a fine mesh strainer to sift out the larger particles. Manually grind the FINER particles in the mortar. Don’t put too much in the mortar at a time, this will make it easier to grind it into a fine powder.

      Hope this helped!

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