DIY Powder Foundation Recipe For A Light Coverage

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When I first decided to have a go at making a DIY powder foundation, most of my research sent me down the path of arrowroot and cocoa powder. This sounds like a great idea and it does produce a decent looking homemade face powder, but it didn’t seem to have any staying power! 

After trying lots of different face powder recipes and messing around with all the right ingredients, the recipe below was voted the best by my family and friends. It has the best look, it feels great, and has durability.  


So, for those of you who would prefer to keep it simple and natural, you can measure out around a ¼ cup of arrowroot powder, and stir in the cocoa powder until you reach a color that matches your skin tone, and that’s all you need. 

But if you’re willing to go that little bit further, please read below for the ingredients I like to use and why. Also, if you were looking for a liquid version, you might want to take a look at how I make the liquid foundation.   

A pot of DIY powder foundation and a large application brush

How We Use This DIY Face Powder

Face powder can either be used alone or over the top of a liquid foundation (which by the way is the subject of a post I’m working on right now), depending on how much coverage and how heavy you would like your makeup to be. It is applied using a large makeup brush which you use in sweeping motions across your face.

The Ingredients I’m Using & Why

how to make powder foundation

Zinc Oxide & Arrowroot Powder

Replacing some of the arrowroot powder with Zinc oxide improved its durability and texture immensely. Zinc oxide provides some good protection from harmful UVA & UVA rays that burn or damage our skin, so this was another good reason to make the change.

It’s probably worth mentioning that I also tried this DIY face powder with titanium dioxide, which didn’t make any noticeable difference to the powder, and as zinc oxide is safer and more effective against UV damage this was by far the better choice. 

I’m still keeping some of the arrowroot powder as it’s a good natural bulking agent.        

Magnesium Stearate

Magnesium Stearate is used in loose face powders as it improves slip and adhesion. This means that your power will glide across your face more smoothly. If you can’t get hold of it you can replace it with a little more arrowroot powder, but you will notice the difference in glide. Translucent Mica Powder is also another good alternative. 


Pink Clay

I chose to use Australian pink clay within my face powder recipe as it provides good coverage but also adds a nice color. If you don’t have pink clay you can get away with using white or green clay, and adjusting the mica or brown oxide to compensate.    

Gold Mica

The mica in this recipe gives the face powder a bit of a shimmery, glowing appearance as well as creating a nice natural color when mixed with the pink clay and brown oxide. Mica also gives a bit more slip and slide to the finished powder.

Brown Oxide

Brown oxide offers a longer-lasting and in my opinion more professional look than cocoa powder. That said, cocoa powder is more natural and I totally understand if you would prefer to use that. 

When using oxide a little goes a long way, so be sure to only add very small amounts, a bit at a time until you reach your desired tone. 

Carrier Oil

Adding a little carrier oil to the powder will help the powder stick to your skin. I chose to use jojoba oil in my recipe but almond oil or olive oil will work just as well.

It is a nice idea to add a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil, this not only gives it a lovely aroma but also adds a personal touch to the finished product.

A pot of powdered foundation and a large application brush

DIY Powder Foundation For A Light Coverage

Trying lots of different recipes for a DIY powder foundation and messing around with all the right ingredients, this was voted the best by my family & friends.

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5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 50 grams
Difficulty Level: Easy
Author: Angela Wills

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  • Weigh out the zinc oxide, arrowroot powder, magnesium stearate, pink clay, and yellow mica into a small container.
    Give the ingredients a good mix before transferring them into a mortar and pestle or coffee/spice grinder.
    30 grams Zinc Oxide, 10 grams Arrowroot Powder, 4g grams Magnesium Stearate, 4 grams Pink Clay, 2 grams Mica Powders
    Pink clay being added to a beaker full of powdered ingredients
  • Grind the powders in the mortar and pestle to remove any lumps and to give them a nice smooth consistency. 
    Update: I now use a small coffee bean/spice grinder for this, it combines the powders better.
    Powdered ingredients being ground in a mortar and pestle
  • Add the brown oxide in tiny amounts, grinding them in until you reach your desired color for your skin tone.
    I like to check the color/tone by rubbing a small amount on the inside of my wrist as I go. The brown oxide can sometimes be difficult to blend into the other powders, especially if it is a bit coarse or grainy.
    This will usually be noticeable when you are checking the color on your skin. If you do have dark smudges of brown when rubbing the powder on to your skin. Pressing the powder through a small coffee grinder or tea sift will usually solve the problem.
    Brown Oxide
    Brown oxide is added to the powered ingredients
  • Once you are happy with the color and consistency of the powder, it's time to add the jojoba oil and essential oil if you are using it. Mix these in well until they are fully cooperated into the powders.
    1 gram Jojoba Oil, 4 drops Orange Essential Oil
  • If you havent used a grinder, sieve into a beaker to make sure everything is well incorporated,
    Powder being sieved into a beaker
  • Pour powder into a container. Your powder is now ready to use and enjoy.
    Powder is spooned into a container to store
Category: DIY Makeup
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Easy

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DIY powder foundation is a great place to start if you haven’t made your own makeup before. It is so simple and inexpensive so it is definitely worth a try. The powder provides light coverage and can be amended to suit whatever skin tone you have.

Looking For Pressed Powder?

The recipe above can easily be adapted to make a pressed powder.

Jojoba oil is added to a small amount of DIY powdered foundation

Take 2 tablespoons of the DIY face powder and sprinkle in around 1g of jojoba oil. Mix the oil into the powder by stirring and pressing the powder against the side of the container. 

You may need to add more jojoba oil until the powder starts to clump together or begins to stick to the side of the container when it’s pressed against it with the back of the spoon.      

Powdered makeup is pressed into a compact with the back of a spoon

Firmly press the powder into a shallow powder container. I find it best to do this with your hands. If you can turn the container upside down and the powder doesn’t fall out, then you’re all set to go.

A compact with pressed make up and an applicator pad

Or you can use this DIY face powder to create a liquid foundation by adding a natural moisturizer to it, that’s the next post check out my DIY liquid foundation here!

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How To Make Liquid Foundation From Scratch

This gorgeous DIY liquid foundation looks & feels like any store-bought alternative you currently use, and you can formulate it to match your personal skin tone.

Author: Angela Wills

Title: Founder and Author - Savvy Homemade

Expertise: Beauty Recipes, Skincare Formulation, Soapmaking, DIY Crafts, Parenting


Angela Wills is an author, founder, and the driving force behind Savvy Homemade. With over fifteen years of experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and dedication to every post she writes. She is fearlessly dedicated to creating tried and tested beauty recipes, skincare formulations, soap recipes, and many other DIY crafts that will work for everyone. Angela has a Diploma in Skincare Formulation, is a proud member of the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild, and infuses each DIY product with her passion and expertise.

Discussion (5 Comments)

  1. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!! As I age, I feel like I need a little more coverage so my age spots are less noticeable (they’re not bad but I guess they’ll get darker with time) – what could be added for more coverage?5 stars

  2. Hello

    I would like to make this foundation powder more golden. What could I add to get a golden tone?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Gina,

      Yeah, finding the right shade can be a bit tricky and you will need to experiment. You could add a little gold mica. It’ll likely add a beautiful shimmer to your foundation too. Hope this helps!

  3. Hello, I am so interested in this. Could a drop or 2 of hyaluronic acid be added to the mix, or is that going a little too far? Thank you for this recipe for face powder, it is the only thing I use in my 70’s.
    Kindest regards

    Jean5 stars

    • Hi Jean,

      Using drops in this context probably won’t be a good idea. While I think adding a little would be fine, you really want to stick to manufacturer guidelines and add your hyaluronic acid in concentrations that will be safe for your skin. Hope this helps.


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