How To Make Eyeshadow From Scratch

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So you wanna learn how to make eyeshadow? This couldn’t be easier. Out of all the DIY makeup projects I’ve tried and tested, this is by far one of the easiest and the most fun.

The colors you can create with a few oxides and micas are endless. Your DIY eyeshadow is limited only by your creativity. I’m going to start with a simple loose powder eye shadow which can be stored in a small sifter or eye shadow pot.

Three DIY eye shadows sit together, all of different colors


If you prefer more of a pressed eye shadow, this recipe can easily be adapted to design your own eyeshadow palette! But for now, I’m gonna show you how to store it in a regular pot.

I’ll also be showing you how to make gel eyeshadow, which is even easier!

Mica powders are naturally shimmery, which will result in sparkly eye shadows. If you want to make matt eyeshadows then you will need to use only oxides and pigments. You will also need to change the base slightly by replacing the sericite mica with more magnesium stearate. 

Coffee Grinder 

Coffee grinders are pretty much a must-have for making your own makeup. When I first started out I would use a pestle and mortar to grind my powders together. Don’t get me wrong, it kinda worked. But it took such a long time and I still had trouble with my oxides not combining well enough.

By using my electric blade coffee grinder, I can get a much smoother eye shadow. Trust me, it’s worth the investment… It’s not like they’re that expensive anyway.  

You can pick up a coffee blender cheaply on amazon. A simple electric blade grinder is all you need. Ignore the burr grinders. They’re so pricey and I find the blade ones actually do a better job on the powders anyway. I paid around $10 for my blade grinder on Amazon and it’s been well worth the money.

how to make eyeshadow using a coffee grinder

Once you use your grinder to make cosmetics, don’t use it for anything else again. I mean, the last thing you want in your eyeshadow are bits of stale coffee. Trust me, get another one for your coffee machine.

Whats In My DIY Eyeshadow & Why

Zinc Oxide 

Zinc oxide is a naturally produced product that has been devised from zinc ore. It can help protect the skin from sunburn and is a good choice for anyone with irritated skin. The Zinc oxide has a slightly sticky feel to it which gives the eyeshadow more adhesion and coverage.

Magnesium Stearate

I chose to use magnesium stearate in this eye shadow recipe to enhance its slip and adhesion. Using this product makes the eyeshadow glide more easily and smoothly whilst also helping it to stick to your eyelids. Magnesium stearate can be replaced with arrowroot powder If you can’t get hold of it, however, it will not glide as effectively.   

Natural DIY eyeshadows with three unique colors

Sericite Mica

Sericite mica is a shimmery powder that can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by reflecting the light. It has a beautiful smooth silky feel to it which makes your homemade eyeshadow easier to apply.    

Kaolin Clay

Kaolin clay is full of minerals and is probably the most used clay when it comes to cosmetics. Kaolin clay, also known as china clay, is very absorbent and has a rich creamy feel to it. Although this would always be my first choice for this particular recipe, I have used bentonite clay here with some success. 

Mica Colors

There are so many mica colors to choose from that it can be difficult to know where to start. I ordered a pack of 24 different mica colors for around $20 on amazon this was perfect for mixing and matching eye shadow colors. 

Mixing The Colors

It’s worth noting that the base you will be mixing the mica/oxides with will only lighten the colors you chose by a shade or two.  

Oxides need to be treated a little differently than mica. Use them sparingly as a little goes a long way, I usually work in small pinches and add more if needed. 

Think about buying red, yellow, blue, black, and brown as you should be able to mix them together to make most of the colors you need.         

Micas can vary in strength and color which is why I’m not giving specifics. For example, If a recipe asks for bright pink and you only have pale, mix white mica with red until you achieve a bright pink color that you are happy with. Or sprinkle in a pinch of red oxide. Micas and oxides can be mixed together to create some wonderful unique colors so don’t be afraid to experiment.    

Three eye shadows sit together, all of different colors

How To Make Eyeshadow At Home

So you wanna learn how to make your own eyeshadow? I have one of the best recipes. It's beautiful, it sparkles on the skin and glides on like a dream.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 3 small pots
Difficulty Level: Easy
Author: Angela Wills

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  • Place the zinc oxide, magnesium stearate, sericite mica, and kaolin clay into the coffee grinder and give it a blast for about 30 seconds.
    11.5 grams Zinc Oxide, 2.7 grams Magnesium Stearate, 3.3 grams Sericite Mica, 1.3 grams Kaolin Clay
    The dry ingredients for the eyeshadow base are added to the coffee grinder
  • Now pour this mix into a container with a lid. This is the base for your eyeshadow and can be kept for a good 6 months.
    Eyeshadow base is spooned into a container
  • Take one small scoop (approx ¼ tsp) of the base that you have just made and put it into a container.
    Eyeshadow base is measured out into a beaker
  • Add between 2-4 small scoops (approx ¼ tsp per scoop) of mica to your base and stir to combine. You can use just one color of mica, or blend multiple colors to get your preferred shade.
    Mica Powders
    Mica is added to the eyeshadow base
  • Pour the mixture into the coffee grinder and give it another little blast for about 15 seconds. Check your shade and add more mica if needed.
    Cosmetic Jar 2 oz
    The eye shadow/mica mixture is then poured back into the grinder
  • Decant your eyeshadow into a small pot or sifter with a lid. It is now ready to use.
    Eyeshadow pots
    Eyeshadow is being spooned into its container for storage
Category: DIY Makeup
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Easy

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Now you’ve made eyeshadow using this recipe, it is possible to turn it into a pressed powder if you would prefer. The quick and easy way to do this is by adding a few sprays of isopropyl alcohol or a few drops of jojoba oil to your loose powder and mixing them together.

Once you get the mixture to a pressing consistency, put it back into your eyeshadow pot and press down firmly. You can use lace when you press it to create a nice pattern on the top.

A whole post along with a video on how to make pressed eyeshadow is coming very soon, so check back for that, hopefully early next week.

Of course, you can also make a more liquid version, check out my post on how to make gel eyeshadow, which is even easier!

Final Thoughts

Now that I’ve perfected this eyeshadow recipe and method, I’ll definitely make it again. Have you ever been to your local drug store and the shade or brand of makeup you want isn’t in stock? Or maybe you just want complete control over what you put on your face. The beauty of making it yourself means this is never a problem.

Plus, it’s one of those crafts that really can set your creativity alight. If you have oxides or micas of all the prime colors, plus black and white, you can make nearly any color possible. It’s actually exciting work!

So let me know the funky and beautiful colors you guys come up with. I’m happy to answer any comments or queries below.

If you want to stay on top of all my latest recipes and crafts, why not sign up for our newsletter? I also throw in some exclusives deals from time to time.

Try Vibrant & Colorful DIY Gel Eyeshadows

My makeup collection is incomplete without a beautiful selection of vivid eyeshadows. I love these wonderful little DIY gel eyeshadows, so smooth & easy to make

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.

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