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How to Make Mineral Powder Foundation
6/9/2013

Mineral Powder vs. Liquid Foundation

Traditionally in the summers I wear mineral powder foundation. That's because my face usually gets oily or sweaty and shiny when the weather is warm. In the winters, I always use liquid foundation for the opposite reason.

Saving Money on Mineral Powder Foundation 

I used to use and love Mary Kay's mineral powder foundation. I still love it, but I was looking for a less expensive alternative. So I bought another pretty decent brand, but they didn't have many color choices. Basically light, medium, and dark. I bought the medium and it was a tad dark and did not look very natural on my skin. I was planning on buying the light one and then mixing it together, which I'm sure many people do. However I decided to doctor it with some ingredients I had at home.

Altering the Color of the Mineral Powder Foundation 

Because I have been dabbling a little in making soaps and lotions, I happened to have some titanium dioxide, zinc, and mineral oxide pigments on hand. So I started adding some zinc and titanium dioxide to the powder foundation to lighten it up a bit. The foundation was also too reddish, so I added green mineral pigment (chromium green oxide). Since it was my first time doing it, I knew it would be a challenge, and it was.

I had done some research and found that it works well to mix the powder foundation in a small blender (like Magic Bullet) or mortar and pestle. I opted for the mortar and pestle, since it seemed like it would be easier. Well, I learned a few things. One, I had to go out and buy a face mask because breathing all the powders while I was mixing and testing it was making me sneeze and my nose run like crazy. Two, I learned that you have to mix the mineral pigment very well. Apparently I hadn't mixed the green well and kept adding more, only to find big chunks of it hidden in the powder. And my mineral foundation mixture turned an ugly grayish color.

So to save it, I added some yellow and red oxides and lightened it up a bit more. Then I put it back in the sifter jar that I had originally bought it in (from Artistry). Once I started using it, I noticed it was still too dark and gray looking. I had to dump it all back into the mortar and mix more yellow and red oxides and titanium dioxide into it.

Adding Oil Control to the Mineral Powder Foundation 

After using it again, I noticed that it was not taking the shine off my T-zone. So I dumped it back out into the mortar. I added a little silica powder from my Mally's Skin Finisher jar. Silica is supposed to be good at soaking up oil. And that did the trick. No more annoying shine. 

Still Not Perfect 

But I still feel like my new creation is missing something. I'm thinking it might be missing some serecite mica to give it a little transparency and luminosity. The powder currently seems a little flat or dull and a bit cakey. It seems to accencuate the wrinkles on my forehead.

So I placed an order for some serecite mica. And I hope it will do the trick. I will keep you posted as to how I like it once I add that.

Ingredients to Make Mineral Powder Foundation 

I am confident that I will master this art of making powder foundation. As expensive as it is in the stores and hard to find a perfect match for my skin tone, it is worth it to me to do this. Plus, I have all the ingredients already. Why not?

Next time, once this batch is gone, I will make the mineral powder foundation from scratch. Most likely using the following ingredients:

Titanium Dioxide (a natural sunscreen and adds opacity to the makeup)

Zinc Oxide (another type of natural sunscreen and adds opacity to the makeup)

Sericite Mica (adds transparency and luminosity to the makeup so it won't be so cakey and dull looking)

Brown, Yellow, and Red Iron Oxides (mineral pigments, use in very small amounts because they are potent colors)

Chromium Oxide Green (mineral pigment that I need because I have a very olive skin tone)

Silica (for oil control; I use Mally Beauty Poreless Perfection Skin Finisher, which is mostly silica powder)

Jojoba or Grapeseed Oil (for moisturization, but not sure if I really even need this added oil in the summer)

Alternative Ingredients

Since I started doing this, I have also seen articles and Youtube videos where people use edible cooking powders to make face powder. I don't think they could achieve as much coverage as you can get with titanium dioxide, but hard to say since I haven't tried it. And it would definitely not have sunscreen.

I've heard of people using cornstarch or rice powder as the base, cocoa powder, tumeric, and cinnamon as colorants. Some have used kaolin or bentonite clay as the base, instead. Which would provide better coverage and sun protection than corn starch.

But I think once I run out of my mineral oxide pigments, I would definitely try cocoa powder, tumeric, and cinnamon. Not sure about cinnamon, but I know cocoa and tumeric are good for your skin. I might be willing to try bentonite or kaolin clay as the base, and a little corn starch for shine control.

Liquid Foundation for Next Project

I still love liquid foundation because if it is moisturizing enough, it can double as a moisturizer and makeup. That way I can skip a step. I usually just dust a light coat of Malley's Skin Finisher onto my T-zone after applying liquid foundation.

So my next challenge is to make liquid foundation. It is similar to making powder foundation, only there is the lotion involved. I am in the throes of trying to find a good facial moisturizer to suit my acne prone yet aging skin. Once I find that, I will mix all the same ingredients into it (titanium dioxide, zinc, mineral pigment oxides, mica, etc.) to achieve liquid foundation. I might even add salicylic acid to it. But I'll let you know how that turns out when I try it.

DIY Anti-acne & Anti-aging Cream
6/2/2013

Empty Cream JarHow to Make Your Own Anti-acne / Anti-wrinkle Cream 

I have recently been trying to find cheaper DIY alternatives to skin care. I have found that many of the products on the market are expensive and don't really seem to do much. Those anti-wrinkle treatments that I have used haven't seemed to decrease my wrinkles at all, many of the eye treatments haven't done much for my bags and dark circles, and anti-acne products seem to have so much other weird stuff in them that counteract the acne meds in them and end up causing breakouts anyway. I have found sunscreen products on the market to be expensive and make my face really shiny and sticky and often have strong perfumes, which I don't think are very good for my skin. A lot of those nice BB creams seem to make me break out and don't seem to match my complexion.

It has been an uphill climb trying to find alternatives. My skin has also gone through a dramatic change after child bearing and approaching 40. It has now returned to puberty skin, where it has been oily and acneic. I am sure it is hormonal because I haven't seen my skin so messed up since I was 12 or 13. So many of the new alternative skincare products I have been trying stopped working for me. And many of the old tricks I used to use, like jojoba and aloe vera stopped working for me too.

I found a nice supplier that sells a huge variety of premade skincare bases in bulk. Most of them are pretty awesome, but I am slowly finding that they just don't seem to have the "perfect" skin care products for my aging but acneic skin. And it gets a little expensive buying in bulk all the time. I used to use a facial lotion from them that I absolutely loved. It was the only thing that could smooth out the wrinkles in my forehead.  It was made of mostly natural oils and no synthetic perfumes, silicon derivatives, or dyes. But when my skin changed, it made me break out really bad, and I'm not sure why. My guess is that it was either the rosehip oil or the refined coconut oil in it.


Lately, I created my own anhydrous cream by mixing several different natural oils together. I had done lots of research and found these oils to help with both aging and acne. So far, after a few days of using them, wrinkles and acne seem better than they have in a long time. I'll post comments here with updates on how it continues to work for me.

 

Here are the ingredients I used:

1/4 cup Virgin Coconut oil (the virgin unrefined version is supposed to awesome at treating acne versus the refined coconut oil, which actually worsens acne for me. Also incredible for wrinkles.)
1/2 cup Shea Butter (supposed to be good for acne scarring)
1/8 cup Grapeseed oil (like a natural but gentle acne astringent)
1/8 cup Jojoba oil (to help lower the production of acne causing sebum)
about 1/2 ounce Tamanu Oil (supposed to be a great oil for acne and aging, from reviews from Makeup Alley)
few drops of Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil (for the vitamin A that helps with acne and wrinkles, like a natural Retin-A and Retinol)
about 10 capsules Evening Primrose Oil (supposed to help with hormonal acne)
1 drop Rosemary Oleoresin Extract (to prevent oils from going rancid)

 

Equipment needed:

large bowl (I use a large glass mixing bowl)
smaller bowl (a smaller version of the above bowl)
wire wisk
container or jar for finished cream
hot water
ice water
spoon to transfer cream into jar

 

Here are the steps to make it:

1. Put hot (or near boiling) water in a large bowl. Fill bowl about 1/3 full.

2. Put virgin coconut oil and shea butter in smaller bowl.

3. Place smaller bowl inside larger bowl (to create a gentle double broiler effect) BE SURE NOT TO GET WATER INTO THE OILS! It will mess up the cream.

4. Using a wire wisk, stir the solid oils around until they melt.

5. Remove the small bowl from the large bowl. Once melted, you don't need to keep the oils hot.

6. Add all the other oils and stir.

7. Pour out the hot water from the large bowl.

8. Put ice and cold water in the large bowl up to about 1/3 of the bowl.

9. Put the small bowl of oil mixture into the large bowl of ice water. AGAIN, BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET ANY WATER INTO THE OIL MIXTURE!

10. Stir constantly.

11. When you feel the oil mixture starting to get a little thick and cloudy or stick to the bottom of the bowl, remove the small bowl from the ice water (to prevent it from solidifying too fast).

12. Continue stirring at room temperature until the mixture gets completely solid but before it gets hard.

13. Once it really starts to solidify, which seems to happen all of a sudden, quickly scoop it into a container. (I use an old cream container, but you can use an old clean glass jar or rubbermaid/tupperware container.)

 

It is kind of a process to make it. It takes about an hour and needs constant attention and a little muscle for the stirring. But I got desperate since I was spending lots of money on store bought products that didn't seem to work. Plus I happened to have all these ingredients lying around from other experiments I've been trying over the past few months. If you don't have all these ingredients, I would start with at least mixing virgin coconut oil, shea butter mixture and grapeseed oil. But be sure to use Virgin coconut oil. I tried this before with refined coconut oil and broke out!

 

How to use:

I use this cream in a couple of different ways. I am still experimenting with the best way to use this cream. It is pretty thick and oily. I use it on my face at least two times a day.

 

Cleansing the Skin:

1. Pull hair back away from the face so that you don't get oil in your hair.

2. Take a small glob of the cream into the palm of one hand, so you don't keep dipping into it with dirty fingers (I learned this the hard way)

3. With fingers of the other hand, apply to face generously, in circular motions (I also do around my eyes to get the makeup off, but don't get it inside your eye.)

4. Remove with warm damp cloth or microfiber cloth

5. Your face will still be a bit oily afterwards, but moisturized

6. Follow with toner and any other acne treatments you like

 

Moisturizing

I usually do either cleansing or moisturizing with this cream, not both because it becomes too greasy for me.

1. Cleanse face with a cleanser other than this cream

2. Apply toner

3. While face is still a bit wet from toner, gently put a very small amount of this cream all over face (except eye area - I don't know why really, but it seems that coconut oil and shea butter are a little too rich for eye cream...). Use gentle upward circular motions to rub into skin. Rub off any excess oil with clean hands.

4. Apply any other acne treatments you like or your makeup

 

If you do try this cream, post a comment and let me know how it works for you. I will also add comments as I continue using it.

How to Make Quick and Easy Hand "Lotion"
5/10/2013

Travel BottlesHere is a way to make hand lotion at home with just two ingredients that just about everyone has. It is all natural and amazing for your skin. You will also need a little "lotion bottle" that is shakeable. I just use those empty ones they sell in the travel section of Rite Aid or Target.

This lotion is pretty liquidy, it is not going to be white and thick, like the kind you buy at the store. And you have to shake it each time before you use it. But there are just two ingredients in it, both of which are easy to pronounce and food safe. So you can prepare food with this hand lotion on. 

The two ingredients are water and olive oil. That's it. Just add about 3 parts water and 1 part olive oil to a clean empty shakeable bottle. They will not mix, but just cap and shake the mixture each time right before you use it. I use it in the kitchen as hand lotion. 

It doesn't really have a smell or taste, so it works well while you are cooking or chopping, as you wash your hands so often in the kitchen. And olive oil is so softening for the skin.  You can play with the dilution. If you like it stronger, add more oil, if you like it weaker, add more water.

If you like a scent, add a drop off essential oil (e.o.). I usually like hand lotion unscented, so I don't add any e.o. 

The oil and the water can go bad after a while, so change it out after a few months or so to keep it fresh and clean.



Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder
3/2/2013

There aren't a whole lot of good sculpting powders I've found out there. I know people say you can just use bronzers, but I find them a little too warm and sometimes too orangey. I heard a lot of good things about Kevyn Aucoin's The Sculpting Powder and decided to give it a try. I think it does take a little practice using it, but once you get used to how it goes on, it seems to work very well. The color is a good taupey-brown so you don't get the orange tone.

I do admit that when I first put it on, it looked like a had mud on my face. But when I got a hang of how the powder goes on, it looks like a natural shadow. I found that I can use less blush so that my whole cheek doesn't end up pink. And it gives my face more dimension. I have rounded cheeks, a wide nose, and a double-chin. So this sculpting powder helps give me the illusion of cheek bones, a skinnier nose, and a smaller chin.

I would definitely recommend it if you don't mind taking an extra few mintutes to do the sculpting. There are lots of sculpting instructions and videos online, if you just do a Google or YouTube search. I use three different brushes to apply the powder to three different areas on my face. An angled blush brush for just below my cheekbones, a medium-sized powder brush for my jawline and doublechin area, and a small powder brush on either side of my nose. That seems to do the trick.

I know that some people even use this to contour their eyes, like eyeshadow. I tried that, and it seems to accentuate the dark circles under my eyes, for some reason. So I stay away from that area with this powder. 

But I like this powder so much that I am willing to try other things by Kevyn Aucoin, such as The Celestial Powder and The Sensual Skin Enhancer. I'll let you know what I think of those if I end up getting them. 

Relaxed, Femine, but Confident
2/1/2012

 I found this cute ensemble on Target's web site. I love this beige floral feminine tunic with the vintage wash skinny jeans and the cognac tall boots. The look is soft and gentle but relaxed. The boots add a touch of confidence.

Riding Boots vs. High-heel Boots
10/7/2011

Riding boots have finally grown on me. At first I thought they looked manly, like I should be wearing a sword on my hip. But now I've come to appreciate how they can be cute and stylish and very comfortable for mommies and pregnant ladies.

But  as I'm out and about, I've noticed many ladies wearing high-heeled boots. They look so tall, thin, and chic. And I wish that, being short as I am, I could wear heels that high, too. But I'm sure my day will come when I can return to wearing high heels. Besides, boots are like anything else. As soon as you buy a pair, you'll always see a better one out there.

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