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DIY Zero Waste Powder Foundation

A few days ago, I announced that I was making the transition from conventional, chemical-laden makeups to Zero Waste alternatives. Today, I’ll be introducing you to one of my favorite DIYs: Zero Waste Powder Foundation!

As a girl who likes to keep a clear complexion, finding a Zero Waste foundation solution to replace my old products has been a top makeup priority.

After scouring the internet for options and ideas, I finally settled on this recipe. Here’s my experience with it.

Make Your Own Powder Foundation! Tutorial via The Zero Waste Memoirs

My Zero Waste Powder Foundation Wishlist

When I choose a foundation, I look for products that have the following qualities:

  • I have dry skin, so the foundation must not look filmy.
  • I have pale skin and lots of freckles, so the foundation must be porcelain-friendly and semi-sheer.
  • My skin tone is neutral with a bent toward redness, so the foundation can’t be too yellow or pasty.
  • I have sensitive skin, so perfumes are an absolute no-go.

Overall, I have pretty happy skin; if I get blemishes it’s hormone-related. However, my dry skin scars easily and the redness is simply a result of my sensitivities to perfumes and dry weather.

The Recipe That Did the Trick

I have yet to find a liquid solution that works to my desired specifications, but I’m pretty happy with how this powder foundation turned out!

Disclaimer: You’ll definitely need to adjust for your specific skin tone. This is just the basic recipe that worked for me! If you have especially pigmented skin, I suggest doing a little research to see if another mixture is better suited to you. I’ve seen people do amazing things with cocoa powder!

DIY powder foundation

This recipe is based on three core parts: 

  1. The Base: Either arrowroot powder or cornstarch. Either works; I just happened to have cornstarch in my pantry when I made this. Note: If you have a corn allergy, go for the arrowroot.
  2. The Color: This is made up of an eclectic mixture of spices and herbs. I used cocoa powder, nutmeg and ground cloves (smells delicious!) for my particular mixture, but you can also include ground green herbs (sage, etc.) to counteract redness. I suggest avoiding cinnamon as it can be harsh and irritating.
  3. The Binding: You’ll want to include a few drops of essential oil (I chose tea tree oil) and nourishing oil (jojoba, orange oil, vitamin E etc.). This helps give some ‘stick’ to your product so it doesn’t just fluff right off your face.
zero waste powder foundation ingredients
Here’s how the ingredients look before mixing!

You will want to start with approximately 3 tablespoons of your base, then add color as needed. My personal recipe looked like this:

  • 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon bentonite clay
  • 1/4 teaspoon cocoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 12 drops rosehip oil
  • 5 drops tea tree oil

Here’s how it looks! Overall, I’m very pleased with the way it evened out my skin tone (worn here with my DIY beetroot lip stain).

Zero waste beetroot lip stain

Pros & Cons of this Zero Waste Powder Foundation Recipe


  • Overall, the texture ended up being very similar to Bare Minerals. I’m okay with that!
  • The product goes on evenly and has a nice texture.
  • Color actually turned out surprisingly well! No weird tinges.
  • The recipe goes a long way. This will last me a while.
  • It was so cheap to make! I’m estimating something like 50 cents total.


  • I’m not super impressed with the staying powder on dry, untouched skin. But it works great if I’ve moisturized.
  • I wish it settled into the skin a bit more, but I plan to fuss with application a bit to see if it makes a difference.

Yield: 1 small jar

DIY Powder Foundation

How to make your own powder foundation

An easy to create DIY Powder Foundation recipe that's perfectly zero waste.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp bentonite clay
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 12 drops rosehip oil
  • 5 drops tea tree oil


  1. Add everything together in a mixing bowl and stir until an even consistency i achieved
  2. Apply to your face using a clean powder brush!


You can use arrowroot instead of cornstarch.

Adjust the pigment by experimenting with the amounts of cocoa, nutmeg and cloves

You can choose your own essential oil and binding oil for this recipe

Have you ever made your own foundation before? Please share your tips! I’m all ears.

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