Minimalist Beauty’s Makeup Bag


In Cosmetics Expire!! I explain the importance of cleaning out your cosmetic bag of old makeup and how long to keep each type of makeup to maintain healthy beautiful skin.  I also have been on the search for years of quality natural cosmetics that give beautiful results without all the toxic chemicals.  I wanted to share a few of my absolute favorite natural makeup products as well as my latest DIY formulas for liquid foundation and powder.

My favorite makeup look no matter what the cosmetic trend or the season will always be 60’s French style eyeliner.  I’ve been in love with this look since my days of reading Seventeen Magazine in middle school.  I always feel polished and put together with this simple yet practiced liner look.  You can draw the eyeliner as thick or thin as you like and pretty much add mascara and go, yet I usually do add a bit of foundation and gloss along with it.  Wear a nude lip color or gloss during the day, and spice it up at night with a bright and bold lip color if you choose.

So what’s in my makeup bag?

Zuzu Luxe Liquid Eyeliner in Raven

This felt tip liquid liner always does the trick for a bold liner look.  I was extremely pleased to have discovered this liner a few years ago at Whole Foods.  It has great staying power.  I don’t ever use it on the lower lash line as it isn’t waterproof and my eyes tend to water at times.

Zuzu Luxe Mascara in Black

This is a wonderful basic mascara without all the chemical ingredients.  I no longer fall back on Maybelline Great Lash Big Mascara with guilt, now that I have found Zuzu Luxe Mascara.

Alba Botanica Coconut Cream Clear Lip Gloss

I love love love this lip gloss!  With 70% certified organic ingredients and the yummy coconut cream smell I am constantly using this one up and replacing it.

DIY Cream Foundation

I am still mastering my foundation formula.  It seems to get better every time.

Here is my recipe thus far:

1.5-2.5 tbsp of Badger’s Unscented Sunscreen SPF 30

1 tsp sienna iron oxides

1 tsp yellow iron oxides

1/4 tsp brown iron oxides

1/4-1/2 tsp paradise tropic bronze mica

1 tsp rice powder

I notice that when I mix in more sunscreen (zinc oxide based) the color becomes more of a tan than the warm medium brown that I need.  To create a beautiful foundation color for my mother I doubled the amount of brown iron oxide.  This formula creates a seriously pigmented cream makeup which is why my next item is also in my makeup makeup bag.  To read more on my formulation process go here.

Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion

This lotion is the perfect natural cosmetic luminizer.  I don’t remember when luminizers came on to the cosmetic scene, but they certainly changed everything.  Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion works wonders to create a beautiful luminous skin alone or under powder without looking like you covered your face in gold or pearl liquid.  I recently began mixing a bit with my DIY Cream Foundation to create a lighter coverage foundation application and a more dewy look.

*This product does contain fragrance and therefore is no longer a product that I purchase.  Do what you feel comfortable with when choosing cosmetics.

DIY Loose Powder

I feel in love with rice powder during all of my trial and error makeup creations.  Rice powder is so soft and doesn’t look powdery on the skin.  I mixed a pinch of sienna and yellow iron oxides with tablespoon of rice powder just to give it a sheer tint.  You can add a bronze mica as well yet only a tiny bit.  Check out the DIY Translucent Face Power too.

Mehru Herbal Lip Dye in Raisin Glaze

I enjoy products that last and last and this herbal lip dye is one of them.  I also put a tiny bit on my cheeks for that flushed stain that has become so popular.  Mehru Herbal Lip Dye comes in so many colors so there is plenty to choose from.  I usually wear a sheer layer of Mehru Herbal Lip Dye over lip balm.  You can also layer it for more of an intense color as well yet take time to apply it and exfoliate lips prior for perfection.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15

This was one of the most popular lip balms when I was in cosmetic retail.  It was part of a holiday gift I received this year and I am happy to revisit this soothing lip product.  It is unbelievably amazing!

*All of the cosmetic ingredients, except the sunscreen, for my DIY cosmetics were purchased at Coastal Scents.

Check out my updated makeup bag in My Beauty Regimen!  What’s in your makeup bag?

(Image by Dawn Michelle)

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  1. Anya says

    Hi there! I love this post (and the rest of them!), I’m always in the market for good liner.. and that DIY foundation looks amazing! Is there anywhere specific that you get your ingredients?

    If you’re ever looking for AMAZING non-toxic skin care, changed my life. It’s amazingly good stuff and I try to recommend it to anyone interested in their skin/beauty.

    Thank you for all of the fantastic tips and posts. They are inspiring.


  2. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Anya,
    I get my DIY foundation ingredients from the Coastal Scents and I included the link in the post. Hope you love the liner if you get a chance to try it out. I’ll have to check out the Starflower cosmetic line. It is always great hearing about other healthy skin care options.
    Best Wishes,
    Dawn Michelle

  3. Crystal says

    Hi Dawn,
    Your blog has been EXTREMELY inspiring! I really want to try making my own foundation. but im not sure which colors to use. I know you said you used to work retail so maybe you could help me? I currently wear Mac NW45…sometimes 43 in the colder month…what oxidides do you suggest I try?

    Thank you again!! Oh and the Raw honey has CHANGED MY LIFE! 😉


  4. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Chrystal, I’d get sienna, yellow, and brown iron oxides. You may want to start with my foundation recipe that I use adding more yellow oxide to make it lighter or more brown to make it darker. You can also lighten the foundation by simply adding more sunscreen with zinc oxide. Purchase a brown iron oxide with warm undertones and not blue which will make the color ashy. I’m not sure if you have red undertones in your skin yet the sienna is very warm with an bronze orange tint. If you want pick up a sample of red iron oxides too but I don’t think you will need it. It’s hard to describe but sienna is such a good color to work with for tan-brown complexions. Hope that helps. I’m glad the raw honey face wash is working out for you too. It has changed my life too, not to mention not having to spend a lot of a facial cleanser anymore. Best Wishes!

  5. Shannon King says

    I’m really interested in creating my own foundation, but the idea of selecting colors on my own seems overwhelming. How did you find what colors you needed?

  6. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Shannon,
    After working in cosmetics and having had hands on experience with so many foundations being too yellow, too red, too pink, too something, and also being an artist, I just knew what kind of colors would work for my complexion. I can even tell when another makeup artist is going to use the wrong shades on me. I know my skin skin very well.
    In this article I include a link of another tutorial I found that created a medium beige color. Once you have the pigments and iron oxides you can experiment with the color ratios making small batches which is exactly what I did. Also zinc oxide will lighten the intensity of the pigments like adding white paint to another color paint.
    Hope that helps!

  7. Sakshi says

    Hi Dawn, thank you so much for sharing your natural make up recipes here. I am so glad that now I can use ZnO and TiDO2 whithout the white cast. Which one of these is suoerior in terms of SPF by percentage? I want to mix iron oxides to my neutrogena spf 60 baby sunscreen to suit the my medium-beige complexion. I was wondering if how important are paradise tropic bronze mica and rice powder in this recipe. My sunscreen is not greasy and I have dry skin. So, I want a dewy end result. Can’t wait to hear from you and get started on the recipe.

  8. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sakshi,

    I am so happy for your enthusiasm for wanting to make your own makeup as it is so rewarding and will save you so much money. I’m going to give you as much information as I can to start you on your way to do just that. Yet before I get into all the details on the makeup, I have to let you know how I’m feeling about the Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen SPF 60. To be 100% honest there is nothing pure and free about this sunscreen, and it really hurts my heart so much that they are marketing this product for babies!

    Here’s the ingredients:

    Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4.9%), Zinc Oxide (4.7%)

    Inactive Ingredients: Alumina, Arachidyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Behenyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, BHT, Bisabolol (L-Alpha), Butylene Glycol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Cetyl Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Dimethicone PEG 8 Laurate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate (Licorice Root), Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexl Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Methicone, Methylisothiazolinone, Pantothenic Acid, PEG 100 Stearate, PEG 8, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Polymethylmethacrylate, Polysorbate 60, Potassium Sorbate, Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A), Silica, Stearic Acid, Styrene Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Trisiloxane, Water, Xanthan Gum

    I’ve bolded some of the ingredients that are on my Beauty No No’s page. Zinc oxide is the preferred suncreen ingredient over titanium dioxide which I go more into detail in this article. You can still make an amazing liquid or cream foundation with a pure zinc oxide sunscreen.

    The ingredient that bothered me the most for this product was the very first inactive ingredient: alumina which is an inorganic compound aluminium oxide. Aluminum originates as an oxide called alumina. Aluminum should truly be avoided. If you want to know more about alumina toxicity read this. I’m surprised that the Cosmetic Database does not rate alumina higher, yet you can read more about aluminium on The Cosmetic Database here. Also retinyl acetate isn’t so good either.

    Okay now to the fun part! Check out this video by arcamp83 on making your own mineral makeup. She uses titanium dioxide in her makeup yet you can omit it. You can also add the mineral makeup powder to your favorite face lotion for a liquid makeup. You could also mix your pigment blend with a high spf zinc oxide sunscreen. The paradise tropic bronze mica just adds shimmer for my complexion. You can add a plain mica or lighter shimmer mica shade if you desire that finish for your makeup as well. Note: In order to make your makeup give good coverage you must have zinc oxide in your makeup. I hope that this is helpful and keep me posted on how it turns out.

    Best wishes!

  9. Sakshi says

    Thanks for the prompt reply Dawn. You are an amazing human being, doing all the spade work and helping and guiding others like this. Thanks for the detailed description. I am gonna chuck neutrogena. Will pick one of the natural ones that you have listed. I am so excited and will definitely share the results with you.

  10. Sakshi says

    Also, if you had to pick one from rice powder/satin mica/cosmetic microspheres, which one would you go for? I am gonna mix one of these with iron oxides and a sunscreen to make my liquid foundation. I have dry skin and want a slight dewy look. As you have used Badger spf 30, can you please tell me if it is matte or glossy?
    Thanks again, God bless you!

  11. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sakshi, Rice powder and mica spheres are both very different. Rice powder is the more natural option for adding a more matte finish. Badger’s sunscreen is a very creamy base that doesn’t feel oily like other natural sunscreens that I have tried. It is neither matte or glossy, more like a thick cream.

  12. Sakshi says

    Dear Dawn,

    I really liked your idea of using a colored shimmer mica. Would I still need sericite matte/semi matte/ satin mica as a filler for adhesion/texture? I want to avoid rice powder as I have dry skin and it might make me look chalky and would make my exfoliation more pronounced (I use high prescription strength topical retinoic acid at night).Also, I can’t use silk powder as I am vegan. So, I am planning to get the below mentioned things from Coastal Scents. But I am afraid I might be using just too many things (3,4,5). Just wanted a green signal from you. Do you think if I can/should skip any of these ingredients (3,4,5) in my recipe? I am wishing the end result to be neither matte nor shiny but natural looking.Also, if it could give a soft focus without diluting the SPF and settling into fine lines, that would be superb.

    1).Yellow/sienna/brown iron oxides

    2).Oriental beige mica which is warm brown with satin finish(in place of your tropical breeze)

    3).Sericite mica(any of the above if you choose)

    4).Magnesium stearate

    5).Cosmetic microspheres

    6).Badger spf 30

    I have been researching but couldn’t find much difference in the functions of 3,4,5. All I could gather was they are fillers with good spreadability, adhesive and texturizing properties.I am so confused about which one to use and which one to omit.

    Your input would be highly appreciated Dawn.


  13. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sakshi,

    I noticed in the mineral makeup video that I linked to before that she was able to create her mineral makeup shade using only brown and yellow iron oxide. The last time I purchased sienna iron oxide from Coastal Scents the ingredients were different than what is stated online. In my last order the sienna oxide contained talc as a filler. I’m not sure why but just giving you a heads up. I think that the receive their supplies from different companies.

    Anyway on to you other question if your skin is feeling dry from the topical prescription you most likely won’t want to add rice powder or serecite mica to your formulation. I’m not sure why you would need magnesium stearate either. Cosmetic spheres are a combo of silica and serecite mica usually which make the product feel smooth. If you are use sunscreen as a base the major thing you need are the pigments to give it color. You may want other ingredients when you are creating it from scratch or making a powdered mineral makeup yet even with a powdered makeup you could just use the ingredients in the video link. Hope this helps!

    Have a great weekend!

  14. Sakshi says

    Thanks for your reply Dawn. I appreciate your time. Although she uses Mica spheres in that video to make her powder make up, I understand your point of view. So, I will use just the iron oxides to begin with and see how it turns out to be. I actually remember you mentioning once that pigments are hard to blend without rice powder. May be mixing them with liquid sunscreen won’t pose that problem.

    Take care.

  15. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sakshi, Make small batches until you know exactly the best mix for your makeup and don’t forget to take notes. I find that the notes I take really help with all of my cosmetic formulations. Can’t wait to hear how your makeup comes out!

  16. Sakshi says

    Sure Dawn, my stuff from Coastal Scents is on its way :-)

    Thanks for your guidance again.

  17. Sakshi says

    Hi Michelle! hope you are doing good. I received my stuff from coastal scents today. I was horrified to see that their ZnO contains Lead and Cadmium. It says it on the lable of the jar. They have not mentioned on their website that their product contains neurotoxins and carcinogens. Good Lord!

  18. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sakshi,
    I’m a bit concerned that Coastal Scents may no longer be the best place to buy ingredients from. I was upset that the sienna oxide that I recently purchased had talc in it. Talc was not listed on the ingredients online. I’m going to take down the links until I find a better place. Sorry about that!

  19. Sakshi says

    No no I was not complaining…I just wanted all of you ladies out there to know the fact……you are the best Dawn….they have adulterated stuff whatsoever… know what, I want to share my new discovery with you…..i have started using grapeseed oil on my face and it makes skin glow…it kind of exfoliated my skin like a strong glycolic peel revealing new fresh skin……it would be awesome for oily skin.

  20. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sakshi, I know you weren’t complaining. I just wanted to inform others so that they didn’t get the same surprises that we did with the ingredients in some of the products. Also I love that you are having such a great experience with grapeseed oil!

  21. Sakshi says

    Hi Dawn, finally I did make the tinted sunscreen by adding iron oxides with Badger. It became too pink and then turned too yellow after I tried to correct it :-). You are right it takes a few trials before you get the perfect color. Actually My face is more pink than my neck. And I am in a habit of using too much sunscreen on my face so that might be a problem too. Because you can’t do that with a tinted one or it would look like a mask. Also, I became more greedy on the SPF and added some TiO2 to the mixture wich gave it a thick consistency which I like. Anyways, I feel so glad that I made my own tinted sunscreen. Thank you.

  22. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Sakshi, It does take a few times to figure it out, and I’m glad you did! Enjoy it!