There was once a time when I would panic if I found myself running out of something like makeup. (Coincidentally, that was also the time when my mother was still willing to buy it for me.) Nowadays, I find myself heavily considering whether it's worth it to spend the money on makeup, the gas it would take to go to Target and get it, and the cartful of other things I would inevitably end up buying.

That's why this recipe for DIY foundation powder was right up my alley. Makeup made for free right in my own kitchen? Sign me up. Could such a concoction truly work? I was willing to find out at the expense of my pores.

Making the Foundation

tea, beer
Eris Rolves

I started out with a base of arrowroot powder, a fine white powder often used as a cornstarch alternative in cooking. I am Caucasian and have yet to spend a lot of time outside so far this summer, so I used the maximum amount of arrowroot powder suggested, one tablespoon.

coffee, cocoa, chocolate
Eris Rolves

I was then faced with the decision of choosing one of three ingredients: cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg to color my foundation. I thought the smell of the cocoa would be entirely too intense and the nutmeg wasn't fine enough to look normal on my face, so I chose cinnamon. I added it to the arrowroot powder, getting it as close to my skin tone as I could without accidentally making it too dark.

ice, cake, chocolate
Eris Rolves

Before any last minute doubts about whether or not I was an idiot for putting baking goods on my face could set in, I swiped it on.

I wasn't super impressed. I mostly just felt dusty with it on, and its coverage wasn't nearly as good as my usual store-bought face powder.

I'd rejected cocoa powder for the smell, but in that moment I wondered if cinnamon wasn't just as bad. I felt like I'd just transformed myself into a walking, talking gingerbread man (woman?). But, I looked and smelled presentable enough for an 8 am to 5 pm shift at work, so I decided to give it a try for the day.

My Day

Eris Rolves

The foundation powder held up fairly well through three hours behind a cash register and a miserably sweaty lunch break:

coffee, tea
Eris Rolves

But after five more hours and an even sweatier drive home, it wasn't holding up quite as well: 

tea, chocolate, coffee
Eris Rolves

At about 7 pm, I reapplied my DIY foundation powder before heading to an anniversary party with my parents, because I basically wasn't wearing foundation at all anymore.

Eris Rolves

Round two survived the event and a dance party with my sister. Apparently, I wasn't smiling enough: 

wine, tea, coffee
Eris Rolves

But after a few hours of just watching movies, I'd had it with this day, and so had the DIY foundation powder (peep the dark circles). 

coffee, chocolate
Eris Rolves


One thing I loved about this stuff is how it made my skin feel. I have very oily skin, and normally I'm shining brighter than a diamond by lunchtime, but with the homemade foundation powder on I didn't feel nearly as sticky and gross. The shine you see in the pictures is much, much better than usual.

If I did it all again, I'd definitely play around with the amounts and types of ingredients to get it closer to my shade. The recipe also gives you the option of adding a few drops of either jojoba, olive, or almond oil so you can press it down into a compact and get a different kind of consistency, which could make it last a little longer on my face.

TL;DR: DIY foundation is easy on my wallet and my face. If it covered better, I'd switch to wearing it every day in a heartbeat. But until then, I think I'll stick with applying my regular powder, but very conservatively - I am still broke, after all.