Translucent powders are an ingenious way to give your face an airbrushed finish, absorb oil and help makeup stay put longer. And while they're marketed as a fancy, ultra sophisticated product, the truth is...they're almost entirely composed of cornstarch.
Dropping $20 on a small jar of Mineral Veil just doesn't look as appealing now, does it?
Since I love the concept, but love saving money even more, I wanted to see what I could do at home. There are a lot of DIY tutorials out there on how to make your own translucent powder by mixing cornstarch with some loose powder foundation, which is, of course, easy enough.
However, I wanted something A) a bit more natural, B) cheaper and C) prettier.
What I started with was an easy mixture of cornstarch and cocoa powder. How much cocoa powder you use is totally up to you and how much tint you want in the powder. (Cornstarch by itself is a ghostly white and isn't that flattering!) I added 1/8 tsp. cocoa powder at a time, blending it in my mini food processor so it was thoroughly combined and had turned from bright white to an off-white/clay color.
Keep in mind that you aren't aiming for skin-color here -- since the point of this powder is to be translucent (and a bit brightening), it will be much lighter than what you might use for actual skin coverage.
You could stop here and have a nice, all-natural and simple face powder. But why not make things a bit prettier? :)
I wanted my homemade face powder to have some subtle illuminating properties, so I added just a dash of some glittery, natural mineral eyeshadows I had tumbling around at the bottom of my makeup bag.
I used brown and light gold pigments, but I think it would be nice to make another batch using some pink and peach hues!
Once you blend well, test a small amount on your hand with a brush and see how it looks. For an evening, "going-out" powder you could get away with using a lot more shimmer.
This powder is really fun because you can use it in several different ways. You can use it as a finishing powder for a soft brightening effect, you can use it alone for a natural, fresh look, or - and this is my favorite - you can dust it on before you apply your foundation/blush/eyeshadow. When used under makeup it will absorb extra oil and help the makeup look nicer, longer.
To apply, thoroughly swirl a small amount of powder in the lid with a good makeup brush. Then tap it off. Go ahead, do it -- again! You actually don't want to see much, if any, powder on the outside of the brush (there is some tucked between the bristles). It sounds so counter-intuitive, but it really will give you the best look. Too much powder and your face will look less like skin and more like you've been splashing around in the flour jar. ;)
Finally, just buff on, concentrating on your forehead, nose and chin.
I recommend tying a pretty bow on these things and giving them as gifts to the gals in your life! (Tip: they could be perfectly paired with the lemon sugar scrub). With the total cost being less than a buck, they are a beautifully budget-friendly, handmade present.